The Ridgewalk from Catedral Ski center to the Estancia Peuma Hue, Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina
This is by far one of my favorite things to do in the area. It is challenging, thrilling, and I am constantly saying “Wow” all day. It’s a trekking excursion which requires a guide to help with the mountaineering aspects which can be a bit nerve-racking. For those staying at the Estancia, they would get a transfer to the Ski center on the North face of the Cathedral Mountain. From there, they take a chair lift to the top of the ridge, then basically walk back to the estancia along the top of the Andes. Sounds easy, right? Its not!
The trail starts of walking a shale trail that slopes down hundreds of meters. Then you get to a rock section where you are essentially climbing around large boulders using all elements of your body to make your way on the trail.
All of this is done while you are within the majestic views of the Andes, looking down on waterfalls, gazing into Chile, and walking in the direction of the glacier covered Mount Tronador, the highest peak in the area.
Then, after about 3-4 hours, you arrive at the point where you start to make your way down the South side of the mountain. The first descent is steep.
You have to walk with extreme caution and choose your steps carefully. This is where the expertise of the guide comes in really handy as they know all the tricks to make it easier then it seems. You make your way down to the first pristine mountain lagoon. Once you reach the shore, you start down the second decent. It isn’t as steep as the first but wetter since you are walking along a small waterfall. Now you are heading to the mountain refuge, The Refugio Frey. This refuge couldn’t be better located surrounded by granite needles and on the shores of a second mountain lagoon.
Inside the hut there is a fully functioning café that offers hot drinks and cold handcrafted beers. Also, there is a variety of snacks or foods that are offered, depending on what they have trekked up there. From the refuge, you make your way down the mountain for about 2-3 hours heading for the Muñoz beach. The beach is located on a peninsula off of the Gutierrez Lake and for those staying at the Estancia Peuma Hue, the staff sends a boat to pick you up with some congratulatory beverages to celebrate the full day spent on top of the world!