words and photos by Billy Stepp
We set off from the base of Catedral on a adventure of epic proportions. It was Ashley, our guide Lucas Jacobson who is a Bariloche local, and Alex Lemieux a guide from Utah who also joined for the quick trip to the hut.
First challenge on Tuesday was the high winds and closed lifts on the mountain. We could have taken the summer trail but it would m have been half the fun. We set off and skinned from the base to the top ridge near the Nubes Chair. Once at the ridge we were faced with 60+ mile per hour winds and an icy traverse across a sketch patch. Falling was not an option.
Once across we dropped into a massive bowl with plenty of room to link some turns. Once at the bottom we skinned through the valley, crossed the stream and started our climb to the hut. At this point it was late in the day and the sun was down past the ridge line. Before we knew it headlamps were on as we made the final push up the frosted ridge to the hut.
Once the at the hut we were greeted by friendly smiles and a warm place to dry off. A couple cold cervezas were in order along with a nice steak dinner. Not exactly what I expected at a backcountry hut! The food was delicious.
With so many options right outside of the hut you can eat breakfast and plan your lines. There was a few days of heavy winds so some spots were really effected but others really benefitted as pockets of powder were to be found on the right lines. Some spots were a bit icy with a nice crust on the surface but it was very manageable. Everything was really stable so slide danger was fairly low. The amount of terrain available from the hut ranges from open bowls to tight and technical lines.
This place was mind blowing with insane views in every direction. The après ski did not disappoint as the hut is well run, affordable, and serves excellent food!
This is a must do trip when in the area.