Bariloche - Skiing And Snowboarding In Bariloche, Argentina
Snowboarding in Bariloche
Bariloche sits on the edge of the Lake Nahuel Huapi, and is surrounded by majestic peaks. The streets are filled with good restaraunts, shopping and chocolate shops !
Bariloche is also famous for its nightlife, dining, cinema, theatre, clubs and casino.
|Bariloche is the center of Argentine mountain culture with a rich history of skiing. It even has a volunteer mountain patrol and a few huts set up for backcountry travel.
Cerro Catedral, the resort that serves Bariloche is a well developed resort that attacts a good number of toursits all winter long.
Ski Cerro Catedral in Bariloche
|12 miles from Bariloche, Located in a privileged place in nature, 19 kilometers from the city of San Carlos de Bariloche, opens the door to the world's people are eager to experience the adventure promised by winter sports.|
On the one hand, to the north and west, you can contemplate the Andes with their beaks pointed clear geological youth. On the other, to the east, the majestic Lake Nahuel Huapi with steppe that is lost on the horizon, the contrast is most gratifying
Cerr? Catedral offers 53 different runs and 27 chairlifts
In its favor throughout the season there is a network of tracks, roads Skiable offered the opportunity to travel across the mountain, which is vital for the less advanced levels.
There are also many opportunities for off-piste skiing, those who practice freestyle and snowboarding will also enjoy an area specially designed with bumps and rails to show their abilities. Cerro Catedral is also the stage for the most important international competitions.
At the base of the mountain, the little ski town, Villa Catedral has a perfect blend of bars, restaurants, hotels, casinos, and malls that are steps away from the 6 major lifts that access the mountain in every direction. On any given day during the season, thousands and thousands of Argentines appear around 10:00 or 11:00 to hit the slopes with skills and with out.
At 1030 meters over sea level, Catedral seems to try to join the ground and the sky. A pioneer among South American ski resorts, at present, it is the most complete and it continues updating its facilities in order to offer visitors the most advanced infrastructure. Catedral offer 600 hectares of skiable surface divided into 53 well-signaled runs of various difficulties, which reach 2.000 meters over sea level.
It is certainly the biggest with some 67km (42 miles) of trails accessed by 27 major lifts with a capacity of nearly 20,000 skiers/hour. Gran Catedral incorporates the competing lift operators of Lado Bueno and Robles and includes the cable car company, the independent Lynch chairlift, and the three rival ski schools of Robles Catedral, Ski Total, and Catedral.
Above the Las Terrazas mall the 6 person, high speed Sextuple Express, blasts off and comes back to earth 2,400 vertical feet higher. On cold, snowy, windy days the Sextuple?s giant plastic shield makes the otherwise unpleasant ride very comfortable.
|The ride ends in the center of the mountain with 4 other lifts starting or ending in the same area. This area can become very congested and may want to be avoided during the busy times.|
To continue to the top, hop on the unique Lynch lift. Every other chair is a double with a pull down plastic shield or a regular quad chair. The reason behind this conception was to make a comfortable and convenient ride to the top of the resort for the non-skier/boarder population that comes to Bariloche. Catedral?s well thought out plan to allow everyone, regardless of riding skills, the chance to admire the spectacular views of the Patagonia Mountains of Chile and Argentina from the top of the resort, has been a great success and is a role model for the other resorts whom seem to neglect the non-riders from the best views of the mountains.
Like the other resorts in the Bariloche area, Catedral?s upper half of the mountain is all above tree line. Giant bowls are separated by the random rock bands and cat tracks that traverse side to side all the way down the mountain. On snowy days or when the visibility is poor, watch out for the unsuspecting cat track crossing the main slopes. Not all the cat tracks are marked and when the vertigo sets in, it is almost impossible to detect one of the many trails crossing the mountain.
From the Punta Nevada peak, Del Fin trail glides down the upper ridge of the resort over to the iconic Piedra del Condor (rock of the Condor). Often, the giant condors sore above this rocky point as they ride the thermals from the valley below. Some of the bird?s wing span is as long as a car and watching these enormous creatures in flight is memorizing as they coast over head.
Continuing rider?s left down the ridge leads to two sub ridges. The advanced 2 do Lomo and La Palmera drop all the way to the bottom and are usually a good powder stash, since 3 lifts are needed to lap it.
On a clear day thousands of photos are taken of the lakes, volcanoes, and snow capped peaks that lie in the national park. The Nubes run goes rider?s left off of the quad and leads to some of the most challenging terrain on the mountain. This slope roles over and goes out of sight, so it is wise to pick and choose lines through the technical, rocky area from the ride up on the lift. The rider?s right off of Nubes consist of a few smoothly groomed runs and a few off piste shots with scattered rocks. About half way down the groomed run, Conexion, the Pricesa 3 triple lift climbs a ridge over to another different area that could be a separate resort all on its own.
The landscape around Barilocheand the Punta Princesa area is where Caterdral (cathedral) found its name sake. Jagged rock pinnacles line the ridges all around and embody the feeling of a gothic cathedral. Over the last 3 years the resort has been expanding this area with a dozen new lifts and has plans for more.
From the base of the resort, the Amancay gondola and the Diente de Caballo triple shuttles crowds up to a perfect beginner area lying in the scenic cathedral. Once again the resort wanted to give the novice riders a chance to experience the astounding views obtained from the upper part of the resort. The 2000 double chair ascends the gentle pitch up to 2 beginner surface lifts, which are many used by the ski schools. First time and beginner riders take the gondola and double chair up, take the lesson, practice, and then download the double chair and gondola at the end of the day. This is a truly unique option for beginner riders and is also a great learning area in the spring time when the base of the resort is low on snow.
Advanced riders also cherish the cathedral area with it?s out of bounds and off piste areas. Off of the 2000 double chair a boot pack climbs up to the rider?s right over a ridge to the unmatched La Laguna area. Steep chutes, cliffs, and more untouched bowls of powder are the rewards for the 20 minute hike. However, this secret stash may come to an end if the resort proceeds with its plans to install another lift in this powder paradise.
During mid season when the storms are dumping and the wind is ripping the lower half of the mountain is the place to ride. The dense forest protects riders from the strong winds and provides some visibility for the otherwise white out conditions. Off of the Amancay gondola the intermediate ABC Sur trail traverses back and forth all the way down the mountain. This is one of the longest trails on the resort, but watch out for the other trails and crowds of people crossing it as it switch backs down the mountain. For a true test of strength and endurance ride the Pista 6 off of the gondola. This top to bottom, steep, mogul field resembles the famous Outer Limits of Killington. Over 2,000 vertical feet with an advanced pitch makes it a real challenge or a real nightmare.
At the base the Condor 1 and Esquiadores double lifts lead to the best beginner areas on the mountain. The Camino 1200 and Chapelquito wind down the far rider?s left of the resort for over a kilometer.
At the base of the gondola, the Plaza Amancay has 8 small surface lifts that are designed to help the hundreds of first timers achieve their first turns. In the spring time when the snow is sparse at the bottom, the Princesa 1 and Condor 1 have small beginner surface lifts. Downloading is allowed to help the novices return to the bottom safely.
When to Go Ski
From June 18 to October 10, divided into high, low and mid season
August is the best time to ski, and the time when most ski tourers show up is end of August. The touring is reportedly good through to near the end of October and possibly into November.
If you go in August be aware that the first 2 weeks are big holiday times down there so it is critical to book a place to stay weeks in advance.
The second half of august and beyond is less busy. My trip was from August 4th to August 31st and I think I got pretty lucky. It dumped for the first week I was there, after which the weather was fantastic for the remainer of my trip. The snowpack transformed from a mid winter pack to a bomber spring cycle in a matter of days around the time that i left Refugio Frey, which made for great ski touring on the volcanoes. Those volcanoes really are amazing ski mountaineering objectives!
The skiing conditions are much better, the days are much longer and the weather is slightly better later in the winter. People ski in South America every month through from July to November but the window for the best conditions appears to be about 15 September - 15 October, with slight variations depending on where you are and what altitude you are skiing at. August tends to be very cold and windy, with lots of windslab and unconsolidated snow on the volcanoes, bear in mind that the equivalent month in the northern hemisphere is February.
How much Does it Cost ?
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Hungry eh, What to Eat ?
Skying is a hard sport, you burn a lot of calories, and you have to eat good food,
here are my recommendations:
El Boliche de Alberto Has the best meat in Argentina. There are two restaurants in town, but the original one is located about 5 kilometers out of town. Ask a taxi driver to take you there. Be aware that if you arrive after 8pm, you'll wait in line for at least 1.5 hrs at the very least (and Abandon All Hope, Ye That Are A Party Of 6 Or More). Please note that El boliche de Alberto has a meat version of the restaurant which specialises in meats such as beef, chicken or pork etc. and there is a pasta version which serves a variety of different pastas. No restaurant serves both meat and pasta!!!!
La Parrilla de Julian Located at San Martin 540 (also called "El Refugio Del Monta?es". The second floor window view and the personalized, family-owned restaurant atmosphere (especially compared to the tourist-trap feel of El Boliche de Alberto) adds to the experience. The meat is very good, you don't have to wait 2 hrs to enjoy it, and the location is conveniently on one of the main avenues in Bariloche. However serving sizes are quite small and pricey (Ar$200 for a modest 2 person dinner with desert and no wine)
Taberna Breogan Celta Located on San Martin, one of the main avenues, is this local restaurant featuring the local smoked wild game. Especially recommended is the meat-n-cheese plate featuring venison, wild boar, salmon, and two kinds of cheese.
Casita Suiza One of the best regional restaurants in Bariloche. You also can ask Swiss specialties like fondues, raclettes and pierrades.
Cassis Restaurant 02944-476167, Pe??n de Arelauquen, Ruta 82, Lago Guti?rrez.
Friends Bartolome Mitre Nothing special, but decent - especially good pasta.
Where to Stay
MarcoPolo Inn: this hostel ranks really high with young traveler's looking to meet people while in Bariloche. There is a bar here with loud music playing until 2am, so not the best place if you are looking to get up early to hit the slopes. On the upside it offers free dinner every night and a free breakfast in the morning. The rooms are clean and there is central heating, plus the common area has some great comfy couches! (Salta 422)
Patanuk Lake: While it might be a bit on the rustic side, that seems to be part of its charm. The most important factor is of course the beautiful views of the lake that can be seen from all the rooms. It is still a new unknown spot for many travelers, so you get that personalized attention by the staff that makes all the difference. WIFI and breakfast included. (Juan Manuel de Rosas 585)
Bariloche Hostel: A helpful English speaking staff really make this hostel a great place to come and relax. The rooms are on the basic side, but the view of the lake is worth it. They offer a small breakfast and are very good for hiking advice and booking tours for you. You'll have to create your own fun though, or hit up one of the clubs in Bariloche at night if you are looking for a party scene. (Salta 528)
Hotel Aconcagua: The hotel is kept very clean, even if they haven't updated the drapes since the 1970s. The breakfast is large, yummy, and included in the price. There is also a nice fireplace in the main room where you can sit and relax after a long day of skiing. The rooms with two twin beds are a little squished for space. (Av San Martin 289)
Tango Inn Soho: Located a 20 min walk outside of the city center. Although it is very easy to take a bus there, we have received several negative reviews about this place. The generally unhelpful staff, dirty rooms, and location all lead to a big thumbs down. (Av. 12 Octubre 1915)
Where to Dance
Grisu: Chances are you will somehow get lost in here in any one of the 6 floors. The building is large with different rooms for dancing. There are always 3 DJs spinning live. There is even an area with couches where you can sip your mojito and look out over the lake... this club has a something for everyone! You can try some pretty interesting drink concoctions here as well. (Juan Manuel de Rosas 574)
Cerebro: This club is filled with all kinds of light effects, smoke machines and other new age techniques to keep you dancing through the night. The DJs play a mixture of popular music so it shouldn't be hard to find a room with something you like. (Juan Manuel de Rosas 424)
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