Bariloche, Argentina Report: Face Shots, Flat Light, & A Freakish Sunrise in 2 Chutes Around The “Big Finger”

Miles Clark | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

Report from July 26, 2023

The forecast was for an overcast, cool day at Cerro Catedral in Bariloche, Argentina on Wednesday.

I was racking my brain for what I could ski that might have some contrast.

I assumed the tree skiing had been pretty torn up from the day before (it was so fun).

That left tight chutes.

I didn’t wanna go into the backcountry in the flat light and I don’t really know any good chutes that are inbounds.

I hopped onto the gondola with an open mind.

Sunrise. image: snowbrains

While riding up the chairlift, I noticed 2 chutes, one on either side of a craggy, inbounds tower that just might work.

I decided to go have a look.

These were chutes I hadn’t ever skied or hadn’t skied for about 15 years.

Early. image: snowbrains

I slowly poked my way over to them and was grateful I’d taken photos from the chair.

These “chutes” are north-facing and are always sun-cooked and roller-balled before I can get to them.

But on Wednesday they looked pristine albeit a bit boney.

The Big Finger. Left and Right Chutes. image: snowbrains

I went for the looker’s right chute first.

Unexpectedly, there was a very cool double-fall-line chutey, gulley thinger that lead right into it making it a healthy line.

I skied the first fall line, stopped, then realized the 2nd fall line and chute might line up.

Del Bosque is broken, likely for the season. image: snowbrains

I went for it and they did.

The flat light was tough and skiing a chute I’d never skied before that I knew was gonna be boney and bush was a rush.

I was scared.

Once I passed the final choke and into the mini Lenga trees a wave of relief washed over me.

I was pumped.

Spot on. image: snowbrains

The snow was a bit wet, weird and punchy, but nothing this California hadn’t seen before and definitely drier than the wet snow we’d skied in the forests the day before.

Back up for the other one.

The looker’s right chute was more open, longer, with more room for speed.

The light was so flat and this chute had fewer rocks and shrubs for contrast.

Cerro Catedral. image: snowbrains

I blasted into the thing and found the fun mini-exit at the end and rolled into the mini Lenga was a grin.

2 great runs in a zone I never ski because it just gets too much sun on that exposed north face.

Back up for another.

This time I slipped off the back of those chutes and tried a more easterly aspect.

The snow was better out there and I skied a long, mellow, windy gully that gave pleasure and already had a couple of tracks in it.

Rock. image: snowbrains

The light was only getting worse as more clouds rolled in.

It almost felt like night skiing at times…

I worked my way into some fun tree skiing on the way out and hit the trail to the bottom.

The contrast of solitude on mountain high versus the raucous all-ages party that was going on at the base area was beyond belief.

This place is legendary.

Thanks, Argentina!


image: catedral, 7/28/23


image:, 7/28/23

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