Viva Bariloche

Two days: that’s long enough to go to Vegas, get married, divorced, and come back. You can lose 10 pounds in two days according to the infomercials. Two planes, two buses, two sleeping pills and too many beers. Two days to get there, 15 to ride. Destination? Bariloche, Argentina.

After two days of travel I’ve now been in Bariloche for three days of riding at Cerro Catedral with South America Snow Sessions. The riding is varied to say the least: windblown powder and 60 miles-per-hour gusts in the alpine on day one, while day two was all about knee deep fresh in jib-friendly trees followed by pow turns through a thick bamboo forest and a few stream crossings to get out.

From a four-person gondola to old double chairs and a high speed, bubble-domed six-pack, Catedral is full of contrasts. The local shreds are sparse but there is a small crew of dedicated heads who know their mountain well and are happy to ride with a gringo or two. The fact that very few Argentinians are serious riders means that even the easy-access pow stashes stay fresh into the afternoon, a luxury often not available at North American Resorts, and the SASS crew knows where to get the goods.

Day three looked like we were getting skunked after two mellow tree runs led to half-hour lift lines because the top of the mountain was shut down due to high winds. The day was salvaged, however, when our small group spied the female contingent of camp pushing up a wall ride on the back of the administration building. Within an hour there were two separate wall rides going off and two dozen riders and skiers feeding off each other’s stoke when less committed riders would have bagged it hours before.

Three days in and 12 to go. There’s snow in the forecast and with a strong crew of shreds looking to make the most of every day I’m looking forward to seeing what else Cerro Catedral has to offer.

Viva Bariloche!

Riders: Dustin Linker (left) and Adam Yost (right) of the Weber State Snowboard Team.


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