Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:56 pm Posts: 443 Location: Meyers, CA
I spent most of August in Argentina teaching avalanche classes at Cerro Catedral for the awesome SGT crew. I was down there a couple of years ago doing the same thing and wrote up a proper TR of my best trip to Refugio Frey, which you can check here:
This time I was pretty random with my photo documenting but I figured snow in August is rather rare so I'd share anyway.
This danger scale is posted at the entrance to most of lifts at Cerro Catedral. It's interesting b/c there really isn't any avy control work done at the resort and these signs are not regularly updated. For example, on this day when the sign said Fuerte/High avi danger I didn't see any avalanches either naturals or skier triggered. It's kinda crazy to see folks skiing their brains out without packs and prolly zero avy appreciation and then see someone in the lift line with an airbag pack.
The top of the resort is mostly in the alpine and we had an impressive spell of low vis roll through. The lower elevation trees at Catedral are awesome for days like this.
Transceiver practice and vista appreciation time.
Refugio Frey is in the lower left corner. There are roughly a zillion sick couloirs in this area.
If you have a pass there are super fun routes to Frey that don't involve dirt walking and while the trail can be icy it's a great walk/skin. I went up via the trail on a rainy socked in day when the lifts weren't running.
On this trip I rode the lines on either side of the big rock. The terrain here is insanely scenic, steep and fun.
The Refugio was much more crowded on this trip than when I was there a few years ago. That's the way the world goes. It's so beautiful I understand why everyone wants to be there.
I hooked up with a crew from Quebec and climbed and rode a great line before joining a French skier to hit a couloir on the way back to Catedral. This is the same line that we booted the last bit of in my TR from a few years back. With a little better snow we were able to skin to the top, albeit with some advanced skin track yoga moves.
Jacob exiting the couloir and my single "action" shot.
I'm not much of a motorhead but this thing was insane. If a modified AWD van isn't enough for you and your family...This photo is from El Bolson which reminded me a bit of Bishop in terms of location. The locals tend towards the hippie side and are often driving crazy old jalopies that have nothing in common with this land yacht.