I had been told by some friends that I should not miss going to Refugio Frey. In fact my plan was to do a 10 day hike in this area and make my exit through Refugio Frey. However, my plans were thwarted by inclement weather. Instead I decided that I would do a day hike into Frey. I took the bus to the drop off and the signage was pretty good. It is a well traveled trail and I see why I had been told this area was a must visit while in Bariloche.
There were lots of things that stood out from this hike. One of the things that I enjoyed was the change in vegetation to fall colors.
Another impressive aspect of the hike were the clouds that would hover above the lakes and in between the mountains. Yet you were looking down at them, they are wonderful fluffs of joy.
The signs on this backcountry hike were some of the most entertaining I have ever seen. They were not only funny but were artistically very well done.
Before you reach Refugio Frey you get to an intermediary site with a structure, a memorial, and some picnic tables. I appreciated how they used a natural rock structure as a 4th wall for this shelter.
The climb up provided wonderful far fetched vistas.
Once at the Refugio I stopped in to check it out from the inside. For those that plan appropriately, you can stay in this structure. One of the caretakers was inside and offered me some tea which I graciously had while enjoying the views. One of the pictures below shows view from the dining room table.
I also decided to hang out a little bit on an outside porch platform on this makeshift chair. I don’t know what it was about it’s design but this was by far the most comfortable wooden chair I have ever sat on indoors or out. I was not alone, there were some other hikers that I was talking to that wanted to buy one or hike one out.
I initially set out with the other hikers that I was lounging with and noticed that the cat from the Refugio was on the hike with us. He was following us and meowing when we got too far from him. The guys continued and I decided to hike with the cat. For me this was the most memorable part of the hike. I have never had a hiking kitty with me and I REALLY enjoyed the company. Watching him get distracted by moving objects, and hopping on rocks was really fun. I now see why people hike with their dogs. Below is a video of the hiking kitty.
I was getting really far from the Refugio and was starting to get a little worried about the kitty’s ability to get back. I was also planning to climb up to the ridge and I became concerned for the cat. Fortunately I ran into a group of people heading back to the Refugio and he followed them home.
I eventually climbed up to the ridge as planned and you can see the valley where Refugio grey is. There was another lake at the top and the guys were making there way over a pass. For a moment I considered it but the clouds stopped me, I didn’t want to get caught in a storm. Instead I opted to go back the way I came.