Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi is a spectacular park with a number of trails that vary in distance and difficulty. The trails are all interconnected so routes across the park can be planned according to the number of days and difficultly you wish to undertake. We were raring to go and wanted to conquer a three day hike across the park that included a number of tough passes. The snow was still melting so a number of routes and refuges where still closed, on the plus side this meant the park was going to be quiet still as peak hiking season was a few months off.
The hike began at the ghost town of Cerro Catedral, the primary ski slope for the area in winter. This first leg of the hike was along a trail that is widely used by day trippers. With the deep blue waters of Lago Gutierrez to our left we rounded the mountains to a wooded valley which then took us up a steep climb to Refugio Frey. The first section of the walk was in the open as the trees had suffered a fiery end after a tourists campfire got out of control a few years back. On the positive side this openness led to us spotting a couple of giant Condors circling overhead.
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Next stop we go well a truly off the beaten track, down the Carreterra Austral…