This report is from 6:30pm local time.
At almost every ski resort in the far west people say “Yeah, but it can all change in one day” when conditions are bad. The saying sounds stupid to visitors, but it’s 100% true. This is exactly what happened here at Catedral ski resort in Bariloche, Argentina the past 3.5 days.
4 days ago, there was no snow at all on the bottom half of the mountain and conditions up high were rock hard and paper thin. You’re only hope last week was that it got soft enough in the afternoon to take a lap or two off the groomers.
Now, we’ve gotten 80 inches or more at the top of the mountain (Catedral stopped counting at 51” at 9am yesterday) in the past 3 days and it’s still nuking snow right now. You can easily ski down the entire mountain to the base and the snow is chokingly deep nearly everywhere.
How does this much change happen is so short a time? The Pacific Ocean. If a storm off the Pacific chooses your mountain to call home for a day or three, things are gonna get dynamic and they’re gonna get dynamic fast.
During the day today, it must have snowed 12 inches or more at the top of the Sextuple chair. Overnight last night, they must have gotten about 24 inches at mid-mountain. We’ll conservatively call it 30 inches since 9am yesterday and add that to the 51” from Catedral’s last reported snowfall totals yesterday at 9am and call it 80 inches in 4 days on the upper mountain. Catedral stopped reporting snowfall amounts yesterday at 9am for reasons still unknown.
The only good chairs open today were the Sextuple and Princessa II. Deep powder was easy to find off either of these chairs. The line for the Sextuple was non-existent all day except for one hour where there was a 20-30 minute line between about 11am & noon. The upper mountain was closed today for the 4th day in a row.
The mountain dramatically changed with the arrival of this storm. “Yeah, but it can all change in one day” really applies to what we just saw happen here in Bariloche. This place was bone dry and now everything is plastered in sticky, fun, wet snow.
“Hollywood Rock” right underneath the La Hoya chair was money first thing this morning. There wasn’t anything to think about. Just point it and go. The landing was about 3 feet deep, wet, spongy, and ready to receive freaked out skiers kindy.
The snow on the upper half of the Sextuple chair was deep & wet, yet responsive and spongelike. The upper trees were great right down to the Plaza level. Once you got below the Plaza (about half way down the Sextuple) the snow got heavy, dense, isothermic, and a bit break-your-knee-off. That said, if you had big fat skis and some speed and it was untracked, it was still damn fun.
Today was the first day since I’ve been here that you could truly call a powder day. We ripped laps from 9am until 4pm and got soaked. I had to wring out my gloves every few laps just to keep them from weighting so much. Temps were mild throughout the day and winds were light to moderate.
All the freeriders on the mountain were walking around with smiles today.
It snowed hard all day without any let up. It must have snowed a foot at the top of the Sextuple chair between 9am and 4pm today. There were no breaks, sucker holes, or calm moments in the storm today. Just big, fat, wet, heavy flakes driving down onto the mountain all day. If it really does clear up in the coming days, we’re gonna see a completely transformed upper mountain that will prove to be an absolute playground.
Tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday are looking good for getting more open at Catedral:
It’s game time in Bariloche, Argentina.
See how the mountain was before the storm:
Learn more about South American Snow & see all the previous snow report here: