The Magic of Refugio Frey

Frey is the ski and climbing mecca in Argentina and one of the most magical places I’ve ever been to. Seb Michaud and his camera team from Focus Production arrived just after one of the first snow storms of the season to film here with Niki Salencon and me. We set out from the Cerro Catedral ski resort which provides the easiest access. Unfortunately, we weren’t alone at the refuge since it is hugely popular now with a growing following of freeriders and ski mountaineers in Bariloche. This and prevailing weather conditions didn’t allow us to nail a dream line, but that’s life in the mountains and I hope to return again within the month to ski some of the many lines we saw. Check out my facebook album here for some photos.

Refugio Frey

The Frey Refuge, where skiers and climbers will always find shelter.

 

Skiing and Training in Bariloche

As I wrote in my blog previously, I’m based in Bariloche, Argentina, this summer, skiing and training. The local ski resort, Cerro Catedral, received some above average snow falls early in the season, followed by a long spell of blue bird weather and warmer temperatures. I spent a lot of time on race skis which did my technique a lot of good and jumping in the park. Then it started to rain with freezing levels just below 2000m – almost all the way to the top – and conditions got really bad. There has been some snow these last days at higher altitudes, just in time for the Red Bull Beyond the Line competition – a male only freeride and freestyle event. As I watched Day 1 of the competition yesterday I really felt like skiing the venue, called “Laguna”, which offers some amazing lines with airs from top to bottom and easily reachable after a 30 minute boot pack (hike). Unfortunately, the 4-star Freeride World Qualifier in Chile I was planning to go to this week had to be cancelled due to a lack of snow. That’s super bad luck since it would have been a great opportunity to get a good head start to the comp season. I’ve been using my time lately working in the gym on a daily basis, especially since my knee – the old tendinitis in my patella – has been playing up again lately. Some time off snow did me a lot of good and I’m becoming an expert on learning how to tape my knee, which I find helps a lot to keep my kneecap gliding as it should.

La Laguna, Cerro Catedral, Bariloche

Seb Michaud is arriving in Bariloche tomorrow with his camera team to film with Niki Salencon and I – we’re planning on spending some time skiing the beautiful mountains using our skins around the refuge “Frey”, best accessed from Cerro Catedral. I’ve heard so much about the beauty of this area and the many lines on offer that I just can’t wait to go there. Hopefully we’ll find some good snow! Fingers crossed!

Skiing in Patagonia!

Well, big news this time. I’m going to Argentina, today! It’s still quite surreal for me even as I sit at the train station waiting for the airport shuttle to pick me up, but I’m really on the way to a trip of a life time: Patagonia, Argentina. Argentina has been a country high on my list of places to go ever since I was looking at studying in Buenos Aires for a year during 2002. But then I founded a company, the Freeride Center Sölden, and cancelled my year abroad. Now my skis are going to take me to this amazing country of wild mountain landscapes, beautiful lakes and of Malbec and ample quantities of meat. Based in Bariloche, Patagonia, I’m going to live in an outdoor sports paradise offering not only great freeride terrain in the Cerro Catedral ski area, but amazing climbing and trekking as well. The beautiful volcanoes surrounding Bariloche offer amazing ski touring later in the season and we are also planning some first descents in a secret and very remote location.

El Lanin – one of the volcanoes close to Bariloche which we would like to ski later in the season