6+ Feet of New Snow in a Week in Bariloche, Argentina | Report:

Miles Clark | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
Patagonia is the land of contrasts.  Dry ground right on top of deep snowpack.  photo:  snowbrains.com
Patagonia is the land of contrasts. Dry ground right on top of deep snowpack. photo: snowbrains.com

Catedral ski resort in Bariloche, Argentina has been closed for the past 5 days.  Ripping wind, dumping snow, and pouring rain made lift operations unrealistic.  It’s been a wild ride.

Unknown ripper getting some under the Sextuple chair this morning.  photo:  snowbrains.com
Unknown ripper getting some under the Sextuple chair this morning. photo: snowbrains.com

A week ago, Catedral got 40cms of snow right down to the base.  Then it got warm, but the upper mountain still got 40cms (17 inches) on July 28th, 50cms (20 inches) on July 29th, 65cms (25 inches) on July 30th, 30cms (20 inches) on August 1st, and 20cms (8 inches) on August 2nd.  That adds up to 205 cms (80 inches or over 6 feet) of new snow in the past week on the upper mountain.

Simon hiking up Nubes today.  photo:  snowbrains.com
Simon hiking up Nubes today. photo: snowbrains.com

On July 31st and August 1st, it rained to the top.  We talked to the local avalanche forecaster today and he reported that it was raining to the top of the mountain yesterday evening at 6pm.  Then it switched to snow last night and unleashed.  20cms was reported this morning but it was much deeper in spots up high.

Nubes in the morning light.  photo:  snowbrains.com
Nubes in the morning light. photo: snowbrains.com

This morning, we weren’t sure what we’d find.  When the sun hit the mountain you could see snow in the trees halfway up the mountain and the upper mountain rocks were covered in snow and ice.

Catedral ski resort this morning.  photo:  snowbrains.com
Catedral ski resort this morning. photo: snowbrains.com

The skiing was good on the upper mountain today.  There was around a foot of new snow on a hard layer in most spots.  The Nubes chair was closed today so we hiked up there a few times and found the best snow of the day.

The lower you got on the mountain, the more likely you were to find scary ice chunks and mines hidden just beneath the snow.

Tracks and Punta Nevada chair this am.  photo:  snowbrains.com
Tracks and Punta Nevada chair this am. photo: snowbrains.com

All the new snow was dense, wind-pressed, and heavy but fun.  You could slide fast but speed checking wasn’t easy at high speed as the snow was very edge-catchy.

Nubes today.  photo:  snowbrains.com
Nubes today. photo: snowbrains.com

Nubes was the spot today as well as the large bowl between Nubes and Princessa III.  The crowds were mellow all day with short lines right up until about 2pm when it got a bit busy, but not bad.  All in all, it was a great day and maybe one of the best of the season thus far (or so I heard from others – today was my first day of the season).

Backcountry zone just south of the ski resort this morning.  photo:  snowbrains.com
Backcountry zone just south of the ski resort this morning. photo: snowbrains.com

Tomorrow will be another great day with deeper exploration into the lift accessed backcountry.  We’ll have another report right here tomorrow.

PHOTO TOUR:

Nubes this morning looking buried.  photo:  snowbrains.com
Nubes this morning looking buried. photo: snowbrains.com
It's a good idea to dig around a bit after 6 feet of new snow.  photo:  snowbrains.com
It’s a good idea to dig around a bit after 6 feet of new snow. photo: snowbrains.com
Ski school getting after the fresh snow this morning below La Hoya lift.  photo:  snowbrains.com
Ski school getting after the fresh snow this morning below La Hoya lift. photo: snowbrains.com
Looking west from the top of Nubes today.  photo:  snowbrains.com
Looking west from the top of Nubes today. photo: snowbrains.com
Cerro Inviares, my favorite ski hill in the region, today.  photo:  snowbrains.com
Cerro Inviares, my favorite ski hill in the region, today. photo: snowbrains.com
Lake Nahuel Huapi and Catedral ski resort.  photo:  snowbrains.com
Lake Nahuel Huapi and Catedral ski resort. photo: snowbrains.com

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