One hour south of the bustle of Bariloche, Argentina is a special place called Baguales Mountain Reserve. Baguales is a large cat skiing operation with four huts, expansive terrain, exotic wildlife, and nothing around for miles. The amount and variety of terrain here is impressive. This is Patagonia. The Patagonia you read about in books and hear about in stories.
When I arrived last Wednesday, we were anticipating spring skiing, so we ate some gourmet breakfast snacks and drank tea while things softened up a bit. We loaded the first cat around 10:30am and never looked back.
Once in that cat, it was non-stop. We skied 3 laps in the first playful zone before changing aspects and changing zones. By the end of the day, we’d skied 6 different zones on 6 different aspects. There had been some intense heat the prior days, which made some interesting runnels that once soft, were actually damn fun to ski and play with.
Baguales is big. Big enough to allow for following the sun as it moves from aspect to aspect throughout the day. Big enough to give its clients options on where to go and what to ski. Wether they have powder or corn, they’ve got the terrain variability to make the day’s conditions work.
What really turned me on was their four rustic refugios (huts) placed deep in the backcountry. One at the base of some playful freeride terrain and one at the base of the big, bad Cerro Villegas.
Cerro Villegas is a freeskier’s paradise. Steeps, cliffs, roll overs, chutes, and wide open faces. A week living in the refugio at the base of Villegas would be a dream come true for any freerider.
Baguales offers daily cat skiing and they rent out the refugios for backcountry skiers. There is something for all ability levels and anyone will appreciate the beauty and serenity of Patagonia it its reality.