Author: Justin

Full service guided ski and snowboard tours in Patagonia, Argentina

Professional Outdoor Guide, specializing in backcountry skiing, heliskiing

Stomping grounds: Wasatch Range, Andes Mountains

Catedral Alta Patagonia

Cerro Catedral will be opening as scheduled, June 17, 2011. Fortunately, the rain of ash from the recent eruption of the Puyehue volcano has not affected the lifts, hotels or other mountain services. With a recent snowfall and more in the forecast, we should be seeing a fairly good opening day. Refugio Frey was recently stocked by helicopter and is ready to receive winter visitors. Due to volcanic ash complications, the Bariloche Airport will remain closed until June 21, 2011. This will not affect any of our ski tours.

Winter has arrived in the Andes!

For more information about the current conditions at Cerro Catedral, please view their daily conditions page here: Parte Diario (Translated to English)


Smoke billowing out of the Puyehue Volcano
Photo: Martin Iniguez/AP

Following the recent eruption of the nearby Puyehue Volcano in Chile, the town of Bariloche has been covered in ash and has been put on red alert. City Mayor Marcelo Cascón informed the community that the water supply is intact, and they do not anticipate any problems regarding its contamination, although citizens are urged to limit their use of water during this difficult time. They do not expect the town’s electricity to be affected either. All passes to Chile have been closed, as well as the local airport, while the ash continues to fall. This rain of ash could continue through the night, but the situation would be the same as that experienced so far. Citizens are urged to stay in their homes, keep all doors and windows closed, and limit their use of cell phones. Once the ash has cleared from the skies, it is recommended to sweep it from rooftops, similar to after snowstorms. City public transit is functioning normally.

We have also heard that everyone that went up to Refugio Frey for ice skating this weekend is okay.

Every hour, there will be further information on civil defense by calling emergency numbers locally: 103/105/106.

Recommendations of the General Directorate of Civil Defense:

What to do if volcanic ash is falling?

• Do not be alarmed, remain calm. Ashes are more bothersome than damaging to health.
• Do not go outside. If outside, seek shelter (eg in cars, buildings), use a mask, handkerchief or cloth to trap dust. No risk of toxic gases, despite the sour smell.
• Do not use the phone, unless it’s something urgent.
• Public information is transmitted by the mass media

At home:
• Close doors and windows and block the flue of chimneys.
• Place damp towels at door thresholds and other places where air may come in.
• Do not turn on ventilators or clothes dryers.
• If the water source is contaminated or has an acid taste or smell, use the one stored in the water heater, water tanks or toilet reservoir (turn off the main water). To purify water, pour 10 drops of bleach for every 4 liters of water. Let stand for 30 minutes, or boil water for 5 minutes.

In your car:
• If possible, do not drive.
• If you must drive, do so slowly (25 Km / h). Remember that ash reduces visibility.
• If the car stops, push it off the road to avoid collision, stay in it.
• Note: Ash is abrasive rock and can damage vehicles and scratch paint.


Ice Skating on Laguna Toncek at Refugio Frey
Photo from C.A.B.

Club Andino Bariloche invites you to get a group of friends together and join other fun lovers for ice skating on Laguna Toncek at Refugio Frey this weekend! This is sure to be an exciting and very unique adventure for all those who attend. What an experience it will be to skate around the lake, taking in the beautiful surroundings of this remote setting in the Andean wilderness of Patagonia.

The plan is to meet at the Cerro Catedral parking lot at 4:00 on Saturday morning to begin the 6 mile, 2200 vertical foot climb up to Refugio Frey (approximately a 4-6 hour hike), stay the night at the hut, and descend on Sunday afternoon. The cost for the event is $30 ARS/$7.50 USD for members, $50 ARS/$12.50 USD for non-members and includes a guide for the ascent and descent and also insurance. Skates will be available for use at the hut – a $10 ARS/$2.50 USD contribution for maintenance of the skates is encouraged. Meals (and beer & wine!) are also available at the hut, starting around $30 ARS/$7.50 USD per plate, or you are can use the kitchen as you wish for a $20 ARS/$5 USD use fee – you will need to bring your own food for this option.

Everyone is invited to stay the night up at the hut – bring a sleeping bag and warm clothes! The fee for the overnight is free for members, $50 ARS/$12.50 USD for non-members. Alternatively, you can bring your own tent, if you wish to do so. The night sky from Refugio Frey is the most beautiful I have ever seen, and it is just a really great place to be.

A good helmet (skiing/snowboarding, climbing, biking, etc.) is required for skating. It is also recommended that you wear hiking clothes and boots for the ascent and descent and bring something more comfortable to wear inside the hut. You will also need to bring warm clothes, a waterproof shell, a hat and gloves, a flashlight or headlamp, sunglasses, sunscreen, water, and a pack to carry it all. A sleeping bag will be necessary for the overnight, and don’t forget your yerba mate for the cold morning!

For more information and registration, contact:

Club Andino Bariloche
20 de febrero and Morales
tel: +54 (2944) 422-266

Club Andino Bariloche has announced this year’s date for their annual TetraCatedral adventure race, August 27th. TetraCatedral is a tetrathalon adventure race, combining four mountain sports: skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, and trail running, held annually in the beautiful mountains of Patagonia at Cerro Catedral ski resort, near San Carlos de Bariloche.

For full details, check out their website (translated to English):

CAB TetraCatedral