Report from August 16, 2022
This storm has been raging for 5-days at Cerro Catedral in Bariloche, Argentina.
There was a brief break in the snow this morning, but not in the wind nor mist.
We showed up early and were on the lifts by 9:15am.
On the ride up the mountain, we looked at each other in disbelief over how much snow is at the bottom of the mountain this season…
This mountain generally struggles with snow coverage on the bottom 1/3 of the hill, but not this year.
This year, the lower mountain is slathered in snow 3-feet deep if not deeper.
On our way up the mountain, we saw an old refugio absolute buried in snow and a snow cat just poking out its head.
We worked and grunted our way into one of our favorite tree skiing zones and prepared to drop in.
Our usual entrance had been getting some decent traffic so we decided to try a line we’d never skied before.
I wasn’t totally sure about the snow – it looked wind pressed, heavy, and stiff.
I dropped in.
1st turn: scratchy.
2nd turn: dust on crust.
3rd turn: surfy but shallow.
4th turn: full on cream cheese.
I was elated.
Cream cheese is one of my favorite kinds of snow and one I’m well versed in being from Lake Tahoe, CA.
I slarved down the weird spine/cornice feature at the top and hacked into the forest proper.
That’s when the cheese really turned on.
The wet snow had enveloped everything in a silky smooth stocking that was velvety to the touch.
The entire forecast was perfectly flat without a single tree bomb, ski track, animal print, nor wind spine.
As smooth as smooth can be.
I greedily sank my skis deep into the cheese and gained speed.
The voluminous spacing of the trees here allowed for higher velocities than normal tree skiing.
The viscous density of the snow allowed for quick and responsive speed check turns.
A perfect combination.
I hooted and blasted my way through the mystical old-growth Lenga fairy forest without stopping to admire the intricate hanging mosses (barba del diablo) that bathe every tree.
I eventually did have to stop as the fog was so dense, it was sticking to my goggles and slowly rendering me blind…
I was glowing as I watch Greggy rip down the new run and emphatically smile, gabber, and kick spittle at me.
We are blown away.
The new to us run had worked out superbly.
We locked our focus back into the forest and surfed our way down its final pitches.
When we arrived back to reality and the ski resort base the lift lines weren’t small.
We decided to call it day and hold onto the cheese cream forest feeling as long as possible.