Tronador, a large glaciated peak that dominates the view.
A long way down.
After maybe two or three hours of hiking we reached the first drop point which was a roughly thousand foot long couloir. The line from above.
Chris about to drop.
Garrett styling a turn.
The crew after the first couloir. We took out sleeping bags and other unnecessary items too lighten our packs and started climbing a second line.
Booting up the last section of the second climb.
Nearing the top.
Jerry dropping in on our second line. The top was a fairly broad area with plenty of wind loaded snow, sitting above a narrower choke below. We tread gingerly on top.
Garrett lower in the line.
Alan, one of the hutkeepers. He was rocking an ultralight setup and he pretty much lapped part of our group on the climb.
We transitioned and travelled the short distance across frozen Lago Toncek to the Refugio Frey.
This place absolutely rocks. It's one my favorite places on the planet.
You can use the kitchen facilities and cook your own food or you can be soft and have Alan and Hernan cook for you. We enjoyed the yummy food and vino.
Upstairs the hut has dormitory sleeping for about 25 people. Luckily Coulter didn't snore too bad.
The wind had howled all night long and by morning it was still going although we hoped it had decreased a little.
We hiked up the ridge directly above the hut and headed for the Zebra Chute.
Garrett about to drop.
Garrett dropping. This chute is more north facing, and thus getting sun baked here in the southern hemisphere.
Jerry nearing the end of the first pitch. The willows are starting to poke out of the snow.
The Zebra is the left line.
After some minor willow battles we transitioned and began climbing up the valley back toward Cerro Catedral.
When we reached the ridge, the wind was blowing hard enough to knock at least one of us off his feet. Transitioning we were worried about full backpacks being blown away. The hike back to the resort was only about fifteen minutes, of course the mountain was mostly closed so we rode down the empty runs all by ourselves.
Thanks to everyone for coming along on this trip. It was the highlight of my time in Argentina.
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:56 pm Posts: 478 Location: Meyers, CA
Skylar, Garrett, and Chris were all working for South America Snow Sessions, which is this pretty ridiculous freeriding camp down there. Skylar is the Head Guide, Garrett and Chris are coaches. I was actually just carrying my split through the old hotel where we were all staying the night before the trip when Garret saw it and next thing we knew there was a good crew heading out. I went out to the Refugio Frey 2 other times by myself and it was fun, but it's usually better to share stuff like this with good peeps.
I wholeheartedly agree. My wife and I spent 4 days of our honeymoon tracking up the playground that is the Frey Hut. We were the only ones skiing after a nice storm had rolled through. The photos of the lines bring back great memories. Awesome stuff.
One thing we both know, is some day we will return.