Help

Access: COVID-19: Lockdown

Argentina has ordered a national lockdown from March 19.

See warning details and discuss

Created about a year ago

Seasonality

J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D

Summary

A beautiful array of granite spires in a spectacular alpine setting.

Description

Refugio Frey is surrounded by two valleys crowned with more than thirty granite spires ranging between 20-250 meters high.

Mostly crack climbing, though there is some variety with slab and some vertical face. Majority of the routes are trad, many featuring bolts and double rings at belay stations. That being said, some bolts/pitons are very old or rusted or self driven bolts. Most climbs top out in summits that can hold only a couple of people. Climbs vary between grades III to 8a but are primarily 6 and upwards.

Climbing season from December to March with, February as the driest month. There is a guide book available from the tourist shop next to Club Andino in Bariloche for 1100ARS. The guide book has a wealth of info and is essential for any climbing. It also adds a seriousness scale to the grade of the climb from E1 being 'easily protectable' to E4 'Fifteen meter fall possible, Crux moves are mandatory. In case of bolted routes, bolts are over 7m apart' to E6 'in case of fall, call the funeral palour and undertaker mid-air'

There is a Refugio run by a not-for-profit organization called Club Andino (they also run the volunteer rescue service - the only rescue available), who make fresh dinner every night and have stocks of beer and other treats (all at cost - but pretty reasonable) Check the website http://refugiofreybariloche.com/ for prices - the Argentine peso has been in freefall for the last 5 years or so, meaning prices can change dramatically. The refugio also has some larger cams (4, 5, 6, etc) and other gear that is occasionally lent out depends on how friendly you are

Trekking permits are required (no cost). You can apply for this at https://www.nahuelhuapi.gov.ar/

Overall, Frey is a spectacular place with fantastic climbing. Generally, approaches are easy but the grades are not, and at times, weather conditions can change quickly.

Access issues

Frey is inaccessible by road - it's around a 4 to 5 hour trek; so you'll be staying the night or week.

Approach

Catch the Number 55P bus from Bariloche to Vila Catedral. Approx 40 mins. Take the bus to the end of the route. Signs pointing to 'Frey' on other side of the car park. A 3 to 5 hour, 10.5km trek with 750m plus vertical meter gain.

Alternatively, take cable car from Villa Catedral to Refugio Lynch or Punta Princess with ridge hike along the 'Filo de Catedral' to Laguna Schmoll, then to Refugio Frey. Slightly shorter and much more scenic taking approx 3hrs with -200 vertical meter change, but over loose scree... your call.

Porters are available from Club Andino in Bariloche.

Where to stay

Stay at the Refugio Frey, prices found on the website http://refugiofreybariloche.com. Alternatively, camp for free with many sites available, some better than others. Occasionally, winds can be extreme, often more than 50km/hr. This camping also enjoys spectacular morning sunrise views of the valley.

Bookings are required for camping (though it is free), and are made online at the Refugio Frey website. The booking system only allows bookings three days in advance and to to book a maximum 5 nights. This can be extended depending on availability.

Ethic

This is an old-school alpine trad venue. Bolts are to be used sparingly and as a means of last resort.

Tags

Did you know?

Did you know that you can create an account to record, track and share your climbing ascents? Thousands of climbers are already doing this.

Activity

Check out what is happening in Frey.

Deutsch English Español Français Italiano 한국어 中文