Hike Refuge Frey (by The Ridge)

An unforgettable experience to connect with nature, walking to the top of Cerro Catedral with incredible views of the area. We will cross forests where woodpeckers live and we will cross streams produced by the melting ice. We will visit the picturesque refuge from 1957 with the beautiful Toncek lagoon behind it and the needles of the mountains like a Gothic cathedral.

Difficulty: Medium
Distance (round trip): 16 km. (total)
Dates: November to May
Gain Elevation: + 350 m.
Refuge height: 1,700 m.
Duration: Full day / Optional 2 days
Points of interest: Gutiérrez Lake Viewpoint, Van Titter Stream, Petricek Bivouac Refuge (Piedritas), Toncek Lagoon, Schmoll Lagoon
Others: From Frey you can connect to the Refuge Jakob, and you can also do the Traverse 4 Refuges in several days of trekking.

The start is in the parking lot of Villa Catedral where we will use the lifts of the Ski center to reach the edge of the Cathedral. The first meters will be uphill, this will be the part with the greatest unevenness.

Once we reach the edge, we will begin to walk along it, although technical knowledge is not required, we will walk over rocks with exposed sectors and sometimes we will have to use our hands.

We will arrive at the refuge by a little-known path using the lifts of the ski slopes and we will arrive at the edge of Cerro Catedral. It will be of less difficulty and with beautiful views of Bariloche.

In this part we will have incredible views of the mountains and lakes of Bariloche and the entire Nahuel Huapi National Park, we will be exposed to the sun and wind, for which it will be essential to have the appropriate clothing.

After crossing the edge we will begin to descend. We will go through the Schmoll Lagoon where we can refresh ourselves and load water. Further down, we will see the Toncek Lagoon where the refuge is located.

The refuge is located on Cerro Catedral, a few kilometers from the city of Bariloche and was inaugurated in 1957. It bears the name of Emilio Frey, the first mayor of the Nahuel Huapi National Park and president of the CAB (Club Andino Bariloche).

We will choose a comfortable place and it will be time to have lunch with a beautiful view of the cathedral's spiers (if we look closely, we will find people climbing its sharp peaks).

The return trekking will be totally different since we will go through a Lenga forest. It remains silent, it will only be interrupted by our breathing as we walk.

After several minutes, we will begin to hear the incessant flow of the Van Titter stream, which we will get closer to and cross over a bridge. This will be an ideal place to rest watching the water go by in a hypnotic way.

On the sides of the path there will be colihue reeds that will try to block our way and if we do the trekking in summer, we will find a beautiful yellow natural carpet that welcomes us: “Amancay”, beautiful flowers that decorate this part of the path.

If we are lucky, we may see a woodpecker drilling into the wood of the trees. We will arrive at the Villa Catedral parking lot with the satisfaction of having made this beautiful outing.

*Important: If you suffer from vertigo, we suggest trekking to the Refuge by Villa Catedral.

You dare?

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