• Duration

    6 days, 5 nights
    August 28-Sept 2, 2021

  • Location

    Refugio Frey, Bariloche
    Northern Patagonia, Argentina

  • Maximum participants

    8

  • Price

    $ 500 (reservation deposit)
    $ 2250 (second payment)

Maximize your long flight over to Argentina by joining us on a human-powered trip extension to one of the amazing “refugios” (huts) to continue chasing southern hemisphere snow. Not far from Cerro Catedral, in the Nahuel Huapi National Park, you can access Refugio Frey, one of the best huts in all of Argentina, known for its stunning scenery, steep couloirs, and granite spires. IFMGA certified Ski Guide and Avalanche forecaster Victor McNeil as well as Argentina native, Juan Cruz Garcia Barros, will be taking our small group on fantastic tours through this stunning scenery.

***Saveur the Journey takes the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously and participation in this trip requires guests and guides to be vaccinated with one of the FDA approved emergency use authorization COVID-19 vaccines. Guests may also be required to provide a negative PCR test less than 72 hours prior to the start of the trip. Guests and guides will adhere to current COVID-19 guidelines as set forth by the CDC and WHO. Please see our COVID-19 Policies for more information.***

Photo credit:Juan Barros

Refugio Frey can be accessed from Cerro Catedral resort by taking the lifts to the top of the Nubes chair and then completing a series of descents and short skins. You reach the hut in about 2 to 2.5 hours. Refugio Frey is staffed year round and offers hot home-cooked meals such as big steaks and homemade pizza as well as wine and beer that is brewed on premise. The hut offers barrack style sleeping arrangements and is powered by a small hydroelectric mill. Outside the hut’s door is a huge cirque with orange granite spires, tight and steep couloirs (up to 1000 feet long and 40-55 degrees steep), and wide open mellow faces (30+ degrees). 

The hut provides everything you need to fuel your adventures. All that is required is ski or splitboard touring gear, clothes, sleeping bag, and avalanche safety gear. On clear nights, the hut has some of the most amazing stargazing anywhere and moonlit night ski tours are a possibility. A morning pre-breakfast tour is also a must to take in the sunrise and feast on powder and couloirs before heading back to the hut for fresh baked bread, jams, coffee and maté.

Photo credit:Juan Barros

The trip is decidedly focused on ski/split touring in fantastic terrain but as with all Saveur the Journey trips, good food is a given. While Refugio Frey is in a remote location they are known for making delicious and hearty food from locally sourced ingredients that will power us for distant peaks and untouched lines. Expect the delicious steaks Argentina is famous for, homemade pizza, warming stews, rich wines and even beer that is brewed on the premises.

For effective ski/split touring you must have alpine touring bindings (“pin-tech” recommended but frame bindings are okay) or telemark bindings or splitboard setup with skins. You must know how to use your gear, maintain your skins, and be an efficient tourer with good kick turns, form, and stamina. Avalanche safety gear (beacon, shovel, and probe) are mandatory for everyone and you must know how to use your equipment and preferably have completed an avalanche safety course. For the descents you must be an Advanced/Expert level rider, comfortable making dynamic turns in steep and varied terrain and in low visibility/difficult weather if necessary. You must understand how to keep yourself warm (proper layering), fed, hydrated, and healthy while being out all day.

Sample Itinerary- subject to change

Day 1 – Saturday, August 28
Drive by van from Bariloche to Cerro Catedral
Avalanche safety briefing
Check gear and take lift to top of Nubes Chair
Ski traverse to Van Titter Valley and onto Refugio Frey
Check into Refugio Frey
Lunch
Quick tour if time allows
Dinner at Refugio (included)

Day 2 -Sunday August 29

Day 2 (Sunday) – August 29

Breakfast at Refugio (included)
Explore the surrounding peaks, couloirs, and faces on skis/splitboard
Packed lunch (included)
More ski touring/shredding
Return to Refugio Frey for hearty dinner (included)

Day 3 - Monday, August 30

Day 3 (M) – August 30
Early morning ski tour for those who want early turns
Breakfast at Refugio (included)
Backcountry skiing/boarding
Packed Lunch (included)
More Backcountry
Dinner at Refugio (included)

Day 4 -Tuesday, August 31

Breakfast at Refugio
Backcountry skiing/boarding
Packed lunch (included)
More Backcountry
Dinner at Refugio (included)
Night ski tour?

Day 5 - Wednesay, September 1

Breakfast at Refugio
Pack up
Ski out
Check into hotel
Farewell dinner (included)

Day 6 - Thursday, September 2

Breakfast at hotel (included)
Shuttle to airport

TRIP PACKAGE INCLUDES

  • All accommodations (4 nights at Refugio Frey, 1 night at hotel in Bariloche)
  • 4 Days of Guided Ski/Split touring in amazing terrain
  • All Meals
  • Lift ticket at Cerro Catedral for bump
  • Fully Certified IFMGA guide, local Argentinian tail guide
  • Transportation by Coach

NOT INCLUDED

FAQ Bariloche Ski Trip

Do you have to be an experienced skier/snowboarder to go on this trip?

You must be an ADVANCED/EXPERT skier/snowboarder. You must be in good physical shape, be able to and have skied in all conditions (including whiteout, wind, very cold). You must be able to ski/ride in control on all types of terrain and should be very comfortable on black and double black slopes. Ideally you should have some avalanche safety training and should be familiar with using an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe. You should have (or plan to rent) suitable all mountain (100-115+mm underfoot) skis. It is highly recommended that you have Alpine touring bindings and skins or a splitboard and skins to fully take advantage of the sidecountry and backcountry options at Cerro Catedral.

Do I need to speak Spanish?

No!  Speaking Spanish is definitely an asset but not at all required.  As is the case with many ski towns/resort you will find many people speak some English. It is a great idea to learn a little Spanish as your effort will be appreciated. Many Our Spanish speaking guides will provide translation, organize logistics, get us to the interesting spots, and help you enjoy your experience.

What what will the food be like?

Argentina is famous for their cuisine and in addition to Asado (slowly grilled meats) there are many stews (like Carbonoda), empanadas, fresh trout, wild game, chorizo, and steaks served up with chimichurri to savor. Argentina has a rich wine tradition and we will learn about and try wines from various regions, especially the famous wine producing area of Mendoza.

What will the weather be like?

Bariloche can have variable weather in late August. Cerro Catedral has over 3700ft of vertical drop so you can encounter cold and windy up top and warm, spring skiing conditions at the bottom. As always it is best to dress with layers. Be prepared for temps in the high teens as well as warm sunny days where the air temperature is well above freezing.

What are the sleeping arrangements at Refugio Frey?

Refugio Frey has barrack style sleeping rooms with double decker platforms and no separation between beds. It is not for those who require luxury accommodations or need personal space. The snow and the terrain make up for any deficiencies in the sleeping arrangments.

Should I bring my own gear or are there rentals available?

We recommend that you bring your own gear, providing that you have suitable all mountain snowboard or skis in the 100-115mm width underfoot. Having touring bindings (or splitboard) and skins is highly recommended. There are rentals available and they are reasonably priced. If you decide to rent gear we strongly recommend bringing your own boots. Avalanche safety equipment is required for backcountry/sidecountry riding and rentals are available as well.

I have dietary restrictions, can you accommodate me?

Please contact us to let us know about your dietary restrictions to see if you can be accommodated.

What if I need to cancel my trip?

If you need to cancel a trip that you have already booked and it is at least 90 days before the start of the trip your deposit is half refundable. If you need to cancel your trip for any reason because of COVID-19 your deposit can be applied to a future trip until 2025. Final payment for the trip is due 60 days before the start of the trip.  Cancellations between 30 and 59 days before the of start of trip that cannot be filled are 50% refundable, if your spot is filled then it is 25% refundable. Cancellations less than 30 days are non-refundable (100% of booking cost).  For this reason, we highly recommend you consider purchasing travelers insurance, (try World Nomads) which will cover the cost of your trip in extenuating circumstances.

Do I need to tip our Guides?

Gratuities for guides are not included in the price of you trip and are much appreciated. Tipping is at your discretion. Normally average tips for excellent service are around 10%-20% of the trip cost. Tips are pooled together and shared equally among the guides.

COVID-19

Please see our COVID-19 policies

Do I need a Visa to enter Argentina?

If you are coming from the US, Canada, Mexico, most of Europe, Australia, South Korea, South Africa and Turkey you do NOT need a Visa to enter Argentina for stays shorter than 90 days. You do need a valid passport.

Our team

Aaron Schorsch

Owner- Saveur the Journey

Aaron Schorsch is the owner of Saveur the Journey where he combines his passions of food, travel, outdoor adventures, and culture. He grew up in rural New Hampshire and has lived and traveled extensively in the US and abroad. Aaron learned to snowboard while teaching English in the French Alps but later took up Telemark Skiing. While he still likes to drop a knee on occasion you are more likely to find him with fixed heels shredding the backcountry or resort in a style he likes to call “joyful abandon.” Aaron is a student of food who has worked throughout the food system from growing seed and farming of vegetables, fruits, and livestock to cooking in high end restaurants and managing farmer’s markets. He loves to talk about, think about, dream about and especially, cook and eat food. He is a member of Slow Food international and has been a US delegate at Terra Madre in Turin, Italy.

Juan Barros

Local ski/culture guide

Juan Cruz Garcia Barros was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Juan started skiing when he was 16 years old, and from that moment he never stopped. Juan started his career as a ski instructor in Colorado (USA) while he was in university getting his Business degree. Then he started working in Las Leñas Ski Resort in Argentina, which led to him moving to Mendoza, Argentina‘s amazing wine province, and home to the biggest mountains in the country, the Central Andes. Furthermore, his ski instructor career took him to Japan, where Juan worked for the past 4 winters, and where he got into ski guiding and also working as a photographer. Currently he is finishing his masters degree in Sustainable Development in Japan and eagerly waiting for winter in both hemispheres!

Victor McNeil

IFMGA Certified Ski Guide

Victor McNeil is a native of the Pacific Northwest and currently lives in Northeast Oregon with his wife and two golden retrievers. You will find Victor working and recreating in the mountains year around, from guiding three week expeditions on Denali to ski guiding in his home mountain range the Wallowas. Victor has a passion for travel and exploration and has skied around the world. In 2016 he became the third certified Splitboard Mountaineering Guide through the American Mountain Guides Association in the country. Victor now “splits” his time between split boarding and skiing. When not ski guiding, he also runs a non-profit avalanche forecasting center in the Wallowas. Victor loves sliding on snow and can’t wait to share some turns with you.

COVID-19 important information and cancellation policy

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