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Trekking: Frey Shelter of Bariloche See map

Emilio Frey shelter is located at the foot of the needle Frey, surrounded by towers and needles and at the rocky shores of the lagoon Toncek of green and cold water at 1700 meters above sea level. The name is a tribute to the engineer Emilio Frey, who since 1895 was connected with the Andes as part of the boundary commission chaired by the Perito Moreno. He was also a National Park Mayor and one of the founders of the CAB (Club Andino Bariloche), club which he chaired for 23 years.

The shelter itself is one of the most picturesque in the region. A true masterpiece of carved granite: lintels, sills, edges and other details of high quality ensured that the building does not blend in the landscape. Inside is lined in wood and its roof is of tiles. During the summer (from December to late April) is run by a caretaker appointed by the Club. On the ground floor is a kitchen and a spacious dining room with wood heating. In its first floor there are bedrooms equipped with mattresses, blankets and pillows and backpacker dependencies. It can comfortably accommodate 40 people.

refugio frey, barilocheView of Frey Shelter in Cerro Catedral. Photo

The shelter is opened during the winter also, albeit without dinning room service (you need to bring food and pay for the use of kitchen). Since its inauguration on February 17, 1957 is the site chosen by climbers for the quality of the rock, thou around the shelter there are countless granodioritic rock towers which offer excellent opportunities for sport.

The shelter can be reached only by foot or horseback. All goods, materials and fuels are the same way. The services offered are overnight, dining room, kitchen facilities, toilets and kiosk. 


This shelter can be accessed by three different routes, two of which begin at the base of Cerro Catedral and one from Villa Los Coihues.

The first is located at the south of the parking lot and is marked with a sign and paint. It is the conventional way to get to shelter. Always follow the arrows that guide the start and once skewer the wide footprint walk about 30 minutes until it becomes a trail. This is directed towards the south until reaching the Van Titter valley stream where it begins to rise. After two hours of walking you cross the bridge over said stream, to arrive 20 minutes later to Piedritas, a classical rest stop. An hour left and you arrive at Frey Shelter, at 1700 meters. Duration: 3 ½ hours, difficulty: easy. Return to Villa Catedral is of 2 ½ hours by the Picada Eslovena.

The second is only recommended for people with some experience, since most masons are transited and to get to this path you must use the lifts of Cerro Catedral to the Lynch shelter. The path is well marked with red paint. Scree field is quite irregular and rough at first but then it becomes softer until you reach the fork (left Frey shelter and right Jakob shelter) where it begins to descend sharply to the Lake Schmoll. A new sharp fall and you reach the bottom of a high valley where is the lagoon Toncek, at the end of which you can see the Frey Shelter.

The third route starts from Villa Los Coihues to the Van Titter valley where you can join with the first path mentioned. The running time is approximately four hours.

Excursions around the shelter

  • Pico Bara Pointview, easy hike by scree. Two hours round trip with an excellent view of the towers of the cathedral.
  • Lagoon Schmoll and Filo: for those who rose from the ground by the Picada Eslovena, look out the edge will be a great opportunity to see the Andes from "above". Two and a half hours round trip.
  • Campanile Valley and Catedral South: medium difficulty, 6 hours round trip.
  • You can schedule a climb to the Main Tower of the Catedral with guide: only for people in good physical condition motivated to escalate grade 4 rock.

There is no set maximum numbers of customers, each tour has itineraries that determine roughly the number of people who can carry the guide.

More information can be found in the reports cabin of the Club Andino Bariloche, street 20 de Febrero 32.

Source: Club Andino Bariloche

Alojamiento en San Carlos de Bariloche

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