September 28, 2016
Skiing Patagonia in August
The Powpow® team traveled south to experience Argentina and ski the Andes. It’s a little strange to leave the summer in North America to go skiing, but it was a bucket list item that had to be done. The snow conditions were questionable when we arrived at Cerro Catedral, but we were fortunately greeted with a six-day blizzard to fix the problem. We enjoyed deep, powder snow and complete joy turns that never ended. Between the wind, the rain and eventual snow, we seriously would have been frozen without our Powpow neck warmers. In fact, you won’t find a skier or snowboarder without some sort of face and neck protection in those mountains. It can be damp and cold down there!
The skiing at Cerro Catedral is exceptional. It feels like the Alps in Europe with a big mountain feel. Navigating the mountain can be tricky and many say it’s best to get a guide the first day. There are some ravines and you could find yourself at the end of a trail next to a stream. On windy days, it’s always best to check which lifts might be on wind hold. All that said, the views are spectacular and the skiing is divine. The refugios on the mountain provide a much-needed place to have lunch, a snack or a beer. The combination of it all makes Cerro Catedral in Bariloche a must-ski mountain.
The place to stay is Club Hotel Catedral and choose between the main lodge or the apartments. You get a picture-perfect view of the mountain and village and enjoy the comforts of a Tyrolean style resort. The indoor/outdoor pool is great, après ski is festive and the food in the dining room is delicious. We met the chef, who travels between a few fine restaurants in France and Argentina. Head down to the village for a number of other restaurants and late-night disco and bars. It’s a quaint and simple village and feels a little like what Vail could have been 30 years ago.
We are sure to travel back to South America to do more skiing in Argentina and try Chile someday. We enjoyed the people, the relaxed vibe and the breath-taking scenery. We'd recommend adding it to your bucket list.