Friday, June 3, 2016

Hike in the Catedral Mountains to the Refuge Frey

I wake early, or what seems like early as the sun doesn't rise until 8 AM; I must catch the 8:15 AM bus to take me to the Catedral ski resort area. This one doesn't pass by too often. There is a ski lift up to the snow, but I take a different path and veer off in another direction, heading to the Refuge Frey. I walk through the fall forest, encountering few souls along the way.
I take in the early views of the lake, the pristine fall forests and her glorious colors, and try to keep my persistent thoughts to a minimum. 
near the start of the trail
gorgeous fall forest of Patagonia
gorgeous fall forest




triple water fall- glacial snow melt
triple water fall- glacial snow melt

mountain pass

As I climb higher, snow begins to cover the ground, which is convenient for me, as in my haste to leave I've forgotten my water bottle. I merely pick up a handful, and slide it into my mouth and wait for it to melt. Fortunately, the weather is not exactly "sweaty." 
getting higher
After 10km I finally make to The Frey. A small, frozen lake is surrounded by steepled peaks, with a veil of snow over their granite faces. I sat and stared as long as I could in the zero degree temperature. It's an absolutely breathtaking sight.
the Catedral Mountains surrounding the lake

black cat- pet of the Refuge Frey (wall on left.) Looks great in the snow
Catedral Mountains and the iced over pond they surround

the jacket wasn't off for long
the "Cathedral" Mountains
you can see why they are called the "Cathedral" Mountains

Eventually I have to turn back. I miss a trail marker, and even knowing I was off the path, I continue to believe so long as I stay close to the descending river, I'd be able to find the trail again. Of course, if you look at what I found in the photo below, a big cat was on the hunt here not too long ago. 
puma tracks I found off the trail
puma tracks I found off the trail- maybe I should learn to stay ON the trail
Eventually the way down becomes impassable, and I head 20 minutes back uphill through the snow and bramble and find the marked trail.
snowy mountains. 
if wasn't so cold, I would have never left!
Certainly, Bariloche and the surrounding Patagonia area is one I would revisit in a heartbeat. If only it took as much time to fly there. Elon Musk?
video: the hike up to Refuge Frey

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