The conditions at Cerro Catedral Ski Resort didn’t turn out to be as expected. Wet, heavy snow with a slight crust on top provided a kind of freeriding we didn’t really aim for.
After some enjoyable laps in the woods we were fired up to explore the backcountry far beyond the resort’s boundaries. An exposed traverse led us to the „cancha de futbol“, a sandy, flat patch sourrounded by rocky spires. From this impressive spot the Refugio Frey was only a few powdery turns away. A feeling of excitement and pleasure took over when we saw the tiny hut appearing in the distance.
Juan Manuel aka „Lechu“, the hutkeeper, gave us a warm welcome. As expected we were the only guests. Lechu and the hutcat „Jazz“ were apparently pleased to get some good company. Ready-made „Knorr“ pasta, a bottle of fine „Malbec“ and a fire donating warmth and cosiness provided the perfect basis for interesting intercultural talks and led us finally to our warm sleeping bags.
The next morning and a peek through the windows let us hope for some blue skies and powder skiing. After a routine porridge, we got ready to ski!
In order to get a more comprehensive image of the avalanche situation we did some snow testing. The result was quite satisfying and after some more meters of skinning and bootpacking we stood next to the „Tres Marias“.
The first turns were super fun and the snow so good that we headed for two further laps at
The second day was more windy with heavy snow and another enjoyable line. The situation became more and more delicate and so we decided to cut our second mission short, even though we had already skinned 2/3 up a narrow, steep couloir.
As snowfall increased again overnight we dug out the door and headed out for a short tour on the 3rd day. It turned out as whiteout with deep, heavy snow and lots of laughing while some members of our crew performed spectacular crashes…
Before we got completely snowed in, we decided to return to civilization. After almost 3 hours fighting the bamboo-like „caña colihue“ we arrived at Catedral Parking Lot, caked with wet snow where our „EcoSport“ was already awaiting us. That was probably the hardest test ground for GoreTex Pro Shell ever!
How to sum up these four „Freydays“? UNFORGETTABLE!