Cerro Catedral

Argentina
2 days in Februari, 2011

Sandra joined us for this hike, which was planned to be the 4-5 days long Nahuel Huapi traverse. However, after snowfall a section of the trail was shut, and therefore we decided to abort the trek and finish already on the second day. We did return some weeks later on to give the trek another try.


Day 1: Villa Catedral - Frey (via lift & ridge)

Our Lonely Planet Trekking in the Patagonian Andees recommended
to start the trek by taking a lift to the ridge, then walk from there
to the Frey hut. After trying both that route and the alternative route
(using no lift, but walking via the Petricek refuge to Frey), I would
definately recommend you to do the alternative route if you plan to
continue to the Jakob hut. There is no reason to use the lift, as
you will see the ridge anyway walking from Frey to Jakob.
And walking up through the forest is much nicer than taking the lift.
Also, you don't need to walk twice between Frey and the ridge, which
is quite a long and strenous section.

 

Reaching the ridge by lift was boring, and sad to see the eroded slopes and destroyed nature around the ski-tracks. Also, the lift didn't go all the way to the ridge, so we needed to walk up the loose eroded slopes for 45 minutes up to the ridge. But once at the ridge, the walk is very nice. The trail is rocky and a bit tricky, but very entertaining and the views are great.

 

The Nahuel Huapi lake visible in the background.

 
 

The last part of the ridge, before descending to Frey.

 
 

A beautiful alpine lake

 
 

The Cerro Catedral ridge in the background

 
 

The valley where Frey hut is situated

 
 

The rocky ridge of Cerro Catedral

 
 

Frey hut is visible at the far end of the lake

 
 

View from Frey hut

 
 

Frey hut

 
 

The cosy interior of Frey hut. We bought fresh, still warm hut-baked muffins straight from the owen :)

 
 

They served amazing food. As we are vegetarians we thought it would be impossible to get decent food, but they surprised us with this luxurious improvized meal!

 
 

It was very windy, so we secured our tent

 
 

Suddenly it started to snow

 
 

And the snowing wouldn't stop...

 
 

There is a very exposed section on this trek, which involves scrambling on steep rocks. This section would now be closed becuase of the snow, so we decided to abort the trek and descend back to Villa Catedral.

 
 

Day 2: Frey to Villa Catedral (via Petricek)

 

A cool refuge in the forest, named after a Slovenian andinist called Petricek.

 
 

Forest of bamboo and lengua (a type of beech)

 
 

View over a beautiful lake