(it’s been pow here everyday the mountain has been open since August 4th, 2013…)
Last night, it snowed about 8 inches at the bottom of Catedral ski resort in Bariloche, Argentina. Even Bariloche the town got a couple inches of snow overnight. We don’t get snow at the bottom of the hill very often and 8” of it down there is a lot. The bottom of the mountain is only 3,714-feet high and the top is 7,149-feet. If we get 8” at the bottom, the top is gonna be deep… and it was.
Right off the bat, all the boys headed straight to the gondola for laps in deep snow and trees. We headed to the old growth Lenga forests of Palmera and we were the only ones out there for 3 runs this morning. On our 4th lap, people had gotten in there and there were quite a few tracks.
The snow in the trees was suburb. The trees had been knocking snow out of the wind all night and all morning. It was about 2 feet deep in the trees and it was creamy and lightish for here. The lower 10% or so of the run you could feel the old hard snow underneath, but the top 90% was perfect.
Palmera holds my favorite tree skiing on Earth (or at least that I’ve encountered). Big, old growth, widely spaced Lenga trees dripping with spanish moss that have no tree wells, leaves nor low branches. It’s tree skiing heaven. The many a downed tree make for great pillows to pop off every few turns.
In the morning, there were glimpses of blue sky and the forecast showed clearing. The opposite initially happened as it got real windy and the snow came down hard at times. The trees made sense all day until about 2:30pm when the skies began to part in ernest. Big patches of blue showed up by 3pm and we headed to La Laguna for our final lap of the day.
We cautiously checked The Playground and avalanche conditions appeared safe. We laid into 3-foot deep powder and screamed our heads off. You could blindly hit everything as landings were bottomless. The wind seems to always blow snow in there a bit deeper than the rest of the mountain.
Today was an exceptional day at Catedral. It’s not often per season that there is powder top to bottom and you can lay into every foot of Catedral’s 3,400-foot vertical drop.
The forecast is showing mostly clear skies and big cold. This is ideal as this deep snow will stay cold, settle a bit, and allow us to get after the backcountry for a few days.
More Snow Reports and News from South America Here: