Route Guide - iPhone / Android - Partners - Forum - Photos - Deals - What's New - School of Rock
Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Beta for Argentina/Patagonia trip this December?
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 1.  
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
Nov 4, 2013
Me

Hi all,

My buddy and I are flying into Buenos Aires with an open agenda from 12/3-12/17. We're looking for a mix of a bit of climbing, outdoor sightseeing/hiking, and great eating/drinking. Would love to get to Patagonia as well if only to scope and see the beauty (I know we don't have time for any alpine pursuits there this trip).

For reference, I lead 5.9+ trad and 5.11- sport and he pretty much just follows.

Questions:
- Best accessible climbing spots? We are willing to take a regional flights and/or drive a bit, but want to limit the travel time since we only have 2 weeks total

- Climbing Guidebook rec's? Especially for day trips accessible locations? I saw some references online for "Mendoza Rock", but it's like $65 to order here with shipping:
www.aconcaguashop.com/product_info.php?products_id=795&MDsid>>>
Is this readily available if we get it in Argentina somewhere?

- Worth going to Patagonia to hike/scope given our timeframe? Seems beautiful...

- Any other general recc'd for cheap but time-effective intra-country travel and can't-miss spots for hikers/climbers/food & wine aficionados?

Thanks for reading!


FLAG
By Sirius
From Oakland, CA
Nov 4, 2013
Moving through the crux lock - now that's micro beta for you, that is.

I lived/worked in Chile and Argentina for a few years, and my most concise recommendation for you would be to catch a plane or bus to Bariloche and expand from there. Spend a couple of nights in Buenos Aires if you're looking for some city time, and then just head south.

IMO looking at info for Mendoza is a mistake. That region is beautiful, but nothing at all like the Lake District and Patagonia beyond. There is nothing like Patagonia in this world or the next. You are going in prime season for that region, be it for climbing, trekking, or whatever else appeals to you. To head to the north or the Andean foothills around Mendoza would be a mistake.

Feel free to pm me if you have specific questions. Have a blast! And remember, when someone passes the mate your way, don't stir it! I screwed that one up, learn from my mistake.

Ed:

Questions:
- Best accessible climbing spots? We are willing to take a regional flights and/or drive a bit, but want to limit the travel time since we only have 2 weeks total

If you like trad, Laguna Frey would be hard to beat. That would be my choice, no close contender. The climbing is mindblowing, the people nice, the setting gorgeous. There are plenty of classics under 5.9, but if you can push into 5.10 all the better. You have lots of time to train before December!

There is also a good amount of sport around Bariloche. Ask at the Club Andino in downtown Bariloche.

- Climbing Guidebook rec's? Especially for day trips accessible locations? I saw some references online for "Mendoza Rock", but it's like $65 to order here with shipping:
www.aconcaguashop.com/product_info.php?products_id=795&MDsid>>>
Is this readily available if we get it in Argentina somewhere?


The Club Andino in downtown Bariloche is going to be key. You can buy a photocopied guide there for about $5–$8. They also have a wealth of info, and they speak English. There is also a mega binder full of notes, topos, beta, and spray in the refugio up in Frey.

- Worth going to Patagonia to hike/scope given our timeframe? Seems beautiful...

Oh my god yes. You probably won't be going deep into the ice cap or summiting Fitz Roy, but you can still see a whole bunch of Patagonia in two weeks.

If you really wanted to squeeze the trip, you could catch the ferry across from Bariloche into Chile, and hit some of the hot springs around Lago Petrohue or down the carretera austral south of Osorno.


FLAG
By Cor
Nov 4, 2013
black nasty

Jason,

It seems a bit short for the FitzRoy/Cerro Torre area of Patagonia, unless you are already heading far south from BA. (Patagonia is 800miles long if I recall..)

From BA it is a 3hr(if I remember correct) flight to Calafate, and then a 3hr bus ride
down to Chalten. From there you could do some awesome treks out on the ice cap,
take a boat to see some glacier breaking off into a lake, go sport climbing, etc…

Hope that helps. If you need a local guide for ice cap stuff I have a friend there.
I can get you his email if needed.

Cheers,
Cory


FLAG
By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
Nov 4, 2013
Me

Thanks folks! I'll email you directly for the extra info you mentioned.

Given our timeframe, bussing from/to Buenos Aires is out, because it'd eat up 1/3 of our trip just getting to Patagonia and back. So the best alternative I found seems to be taking Sky Airlines to Puerto Matt or Punta Arenas if we want to to Patagonia, at something like $320/pp rountrip from/to BA. If I'm missing a better way to get there that doesn't eat up multiple days, I'm all ears!!

We do want to reserve ~3 days out of the trip for some city time in Buenos Aires, so subtracting those days in addition to ~2 days for travel to and from BA, leaves us with ~9 days total.

Anyone want to have a go at a sweet Patagonian itinerary for a ~9-day period? We are happy to have a guide as long as they're reasonably priced and flexible with day-to-day structure.


FLAG
By Scott Bennett
Nov 4, 2013
photo by Forest Woodward

Fly from Buenos Aires to Bariloche, catch a bus or taxi into town and find a hostel. I liked La Bolsa. Go walk around town and look for pretty girls.

Spend the next morning buying groceries, then catch the bus to Frey (Cerro Cathedral ski area). They stop at a few locations in the city center, ask around. It's easy and cheap, 40 minute bus ride.

Hike up to Frey (3-4 hours). The trail leaves from the far left corner of the parking lot, and is well-signed. Camp for free in a beautiful spot, and save your pesos for wine and pizza at the refugio.

There's a free guidebook online in Spanish (pataclimb.com). Same book is in print at the refugio.

If you dig Frey, stay for a week. Maybe stash your climbing gear and spend a day hiking/busing back to Bariloche to re-supply, if need be.

If you'd rather sport climb, ask the locals about Valle Encantado. It's a volcanic crag, just east of Bariloche. I've never been, but heard great things. It does get closed for the high season, since the land owner doesn't want it to be a huge scene, but it might be open in mid-December.

Good luck!


FLAG
By Sam C
Nov 5, 2013
Gunks - Madame G's hanging belay

I'm actually doing the same exact trip but a month later (January).

We're flying into Buenos Aires, then transferring to Bariloche. Only staying in Bariloche for 3 days before heading down to El Calafate to take a bus to El Chalten. In El Chalten we plan to stay a couple nights to do hikes around Fitz Roy. Then take a bus back to El Calafate to visit Glacier Moreno. From there, we plan to go to Puerto Natales to get to Torres Del Paine (W Hike). 5 days in Torres Del Paine before we begin our way back to Buenos Aires and spend a few nights there before heading back to the US.

If you're interested in climbing in Bariloche (sport), there's a guide book out called Vertical Bariloche (www.barilochevertical.com.ar/Escalada_1.html) Valle Encantado is closed during the summer season, but your early December dates might allow you to make it in time. There are 2 sides to Valle Encantado and one of them is crossing the river (the better side). You would need some sort of raft or something to get across the river.

Please Please Please report back after your trip and let us (especially me) know how Bariloche is. I'm trying to plan some of the same activities in Bariloche, but found it a little difficult getting any solid information.


FLAG
By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
Nov 7, 2013
Me

Great comments! I will definitely write a trip report here once we return.

Scott: just so I'm clear... In order to climb in Frey we'd take a bus to "central" Frey or whatever, and from the end of the busline, you can a 3-hour hike? Once at the "camp" can one just stay in the rifugio? Reservations required if so? Any other amenities available once there or do you literally have to hike in all your food and such backcountry-style?

If at all possible we'd like to avoid lugging camping gear/food/water/etc. on a 3-hour hike in addition to all the climbing gear and clothes we'll obviously need.

Thanks again!


FLAG
By Scott Bennett
Nov 7, 2013
photo by Forest Woodward

Yeah Jason, you've got it. To get to Frey, take the bus to the Cerro Cathedral ski area. If I'm remembering correctly, it just says "Cathedral" or "Cathedral X" on the front of the bus.

The last stop on the bus line, before it loops back to Bariloche, is the ski resort. The trail to Frey starts from the far back left of the huge parking lot.

Yes, you can stay in the Refugio. I don't know about reservations or pricing. The folks to ask would be at the Club Andino Bariloche, which is in central Bariloche. I think they also run a hostel there (in Bariloche), so you could stay for a night in town before heading up to Frey.

Even if you don't want to stay in the refugio, you can join the Club Andino and gain the use of a kitchen area at Frey. It has stoves, pots and pans, so you could lighten your load a bit.

There's water at Frey, from a central spigot, although I've never been clear how (if) it's treated. Maybe bring a steripen or filter if you have one.

The refugio does sell meals, so you could supplement your food supplies. Take care to sign up for the meals ahead of time, you can't just sit down, restaurant-style. They start preparing the food early, and need to know how much they're cooking. If you want breakfast/lunch, let them know the previous night. Dinner, tell 'em that morning, etc.

I remember the prices being high, but not outrageous considering the location (everything is brought up on mules!). Like $20-ish for a pizza, perhaps. They also sell wine by the bottle.


FLAG
By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
Nov 7, 2013
Me

Killer, thanks Scott! Since I'm in good climbing shape but probably mediocre hiking shape, for this specific trip I'm happy to through money at the situation if it means lightening our load.

Last questions:

- Any thoughts on good spots to safely stow excess luggage in Bariloche and/or in Frey while climbing?
- Can one get by on most routes in Frey without two ropes? Just thinking of space/hiking weight again. If so, will a 60m suffice or is a 70m generally needed?


FLAG
By bking7
Dec 2, 2013

Jason and Sam. I've just arrived in Mendoza and will be making my way south...If you happen to be psyched on any climbing let me know.
Benn246@yahoo.com
Cheers,
Bennett


FLAG
By Medic741
From Pittsford, New York
Dec 2, 2013
When I was a bum at Frey

Hey I spent a few months bumming around Patagonia climbing. Message me with any questions, but...

STORING GEAR: la bolsa de deporte is where I stayed an they have lockers that you can use while climbing for no extra charge. There's also a woody there, chin-up bar, tree house, comfy beds and really cool travellers passing through.

Most routes at Frey need a 70m, and for many multi raps having 2 ropes is very very convenient.

Bariloche has the best concentration of great sport and world class trad and alpine climbs with a fantastic community and some really cool clubs, restaurants and all that.


FLAG
By Medic741
From Pittsford, New York
Dec 2, 2013
When I was a bum at Frey

La bolsa de deporte is at 405 Calle palacios and is the best hostel in the area. It also has a really good local produce stand down the street. Can't go wrong with it.


FLAG
By David Appelhans
From Lafayette
Dec 3, 2013
Imaginate

The water at Frey is not treated, it comes straight out of the lake. It is safe to drink, but with this try very very hard not to poop up drainage from the lake. Better yet carry wag bags. Everyone is drinking this water and it won't make you sick for now. Let's keep it that way.


FLAG
By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
Dec 3, 2013
Me

Thanks again everyone! Leaving today and will post a trip report upon my return.

Bennett: I don't think we're making it to mendoza but have fun!


FLAG
By Brian Prince
From morro bay, ca
Dec 3, 2013
The Seward Highway is really beautiful.

Have fun! I'll definitely be interested in a report


FLAG
By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
Jan 8, 2014
Me

Hi all,

Happy New Year! Just wanted to let you know that my trip report is up here: mountainproject.com/v/frey-patagonia-argentina-december-2013>>>

'Twas an adventure, and hope this inspires more folks to go!

Cheers,
-Jason


FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 1.