South America, Argentina, Northern Patagonia, Lake District, Bariloche, Cerro Catedral
Lake District, Bariloche, Cerro Catedral. The granite spires around Refugio Frey in Cerro Catedral provide great rock climbing, with routes ranging from one to ten pitches in a beautiful alpine environment. Routes tend to be mixed, requiring an average rack and having bolts in featureless sections. Many routes tend to be run-out and adventurous. Between mid-February and mid-March 2005, I replaced 270 old self-drive bolts, many of which had homemade hangers, with new 12mm stainless steel bolts and hangers (Triplex-Fixe combo). Euro-style self-drive bolts are notorious for being unreliable and having low holding power. These kind of bolts have been used in this area since the late 1980s and continue to be used by a few people. I hope that this bolt-replacement initiative will help first ascensionists realize the importance of stainless steel bolts and hangers instead of self-drives or zinc-plated bolts, which have a short life span. I replaced bolt-for-bolt, not adding extras, and in several instances chopped bolts that had been added after the first ascent without the first ascensionists consent. Many thanks to Fixe USA for selling me the bolts and hangers at wholesale cost, and to my friends Lynn and MFT for loaning me drills and extra batteries.
Rolando Garibotti, Club Andino Bariloche