Upper Mountain OPENS Today after 130 Inches @ Bariloche, Argentina | 20 Photos:

Miles Clark | | WeatherWeather
4 figure stare up into La Laguna today
4 figures stare up into La Laguna today

The past 5 days have been full on at Catedral ski resort in Bariloche, Argentina.  Somewhere around 130 inches of snow has fallen on the upper mountain between August 3rd & August 7th and no one had touched it.  Today, we finally got to sample the goods up top and they were…  good to OK.

Canada Joe "double clouding" Nubes today.
Canada Dan “double clouding” Nubes today.

There was a bit of a 4 inch thick crust in spots and other spots were soft and wind buffed.  Nowhere on the mountain was it “deep” today.  Some places had that perfect wind blown snow that you could mach on top of.  Some places had a funky crust that must have formed from it getting warm yesterday afternoon.  When you found the right zones, the speed was smile-evoking.

Evidence of fun had in La Laguna today.
Evidence of fun had in La Laguna today.

Nubes skied the best today.  The Nubes chair stayed closed all day today (the only chair to do so) and the hike up from the Punta Nevada chair wasn’t bad.  We did two laps up there where the wind had blown in snow on top of the crust making turns creamy and light.

We also skied one lap in the Palmera trees.  We were blown away by how much heavier and crustier it was than yesterday at 4pm when we last hit it.  It was goodish, but we didn’t return.  A friend of mine, Federico, hit it at 4pm today, and said was pretty miserable by then.

View west from Nubes today.  The backcountry here is insane.
View west from Nubes today. The backcountry here is insane.

La Laguna skied 2nd best today.  Laguna has completely transformed since we saw it last week.  Most every line in there goes and the boys were getting after it today.  The snow in Laguna had the crust and some of the wind blown snow and was pretty good in spots, but nothing special.  Landings were certainly punchy and not many landings were exactly ‘stuck.’

The wind was really rippin’ at times today.  At the top of Nubes, you could lean into it.  In La Laguna, it would be perfectly calm, then the wind would scream through and knock you over.  You could see it coming as it always had snow with it.  You’d see it from across the mountain, it’d pick up more snow, and just slam into you for 30 seconds bringing you to your knees at times.  Many a snow whirlwind tore across the mountain today.  Never have I seen as many snow whirlwinds as I have here at Catedral.

La Laguna today.
La Laguna today.

Tomorrow looks like a toss up.  The forecast shows partly cloudy, then snow.  By 4pm today, it appeared that Nubes was getting completely blown back in by the wind.  My best bet for good skiing tomorrow will be Nubes early and hopefully it’ll stay closed again.  If it stays closed, it’ll stay fresh longer.  If it opens, it’ll all get ripped very quickly.

If anyone ever tells you that people don’t ski off the groomers in Argentina, you can look them directly in the eyes and say “you’re wrong.”  Maybe before fat skis, but now, these guys and gals are on it and they’ll gobble up powder like alfajores dipped in Fernet.

Upper mountain today about 10am.
Upper mountain today about 10am.

The weekend looks snowy and a touch warmer than we’d like to see.  Hopefully the weekend storm is cooler than forecasted.

Overall, I’d say that throughout this storm, yesterday was the best day of ‘em all.  The Palmera trees were exquisit yesterday.  Best tree skiing I’ve ever had is in that forest and yesterday wasn’t the best day I’ve had in there, but it was hoot-at-your-buddies fun.

 

CATEDRAL FORECAST:

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Learn more about South American Snow & see all the previous snow reports here:

SnowBrains South America

 

PHOTO TOUR:

Nubes after our two laps today
Nubes after our two laps today
Strong winds today ripping across Del Bosque at Catedral.
Strong winds today ripping across Del Bosque at Catedral.
Unidentified skier coming out of La Laguna today
Unidentified skier coming out of La Laguna today
La Laguna, Catedral ski resort.
La Laguna, Catedral ski resort.
Joe Aussie "dloudouble c
Joe Aussie “double cloud” magic in Nubes today
Lake Nahuel Huapi from top o Nubes today
Lake Nahuel Huapi from top o Nubes today
Guess where he came from.  La Laguna today.
Guess where he came from. La Laguna today.
Digging for layers today on Nubes.  130 of new snow deserves a look.
Digging for layers today on Nubes. 130 of new snow deserves a look.  photo:   Canada Dan
Upper mountain first tracks today at Catedral
Upper mountain first tracks today at Catedral
Canada Joe digging in in La Laguna today
Canada Dan digging in in La Laguna today

 

There were a few good turns in Palmera today.  Canada Joe diggin'
There were a few good turns in Palmera today. Canada Dan diggin’

 

Aussie Joe has pop.  Nubes today
Aussie Joe has pop. Nubes today

 

Miles slashes in the Playground today near La Laguna.
Miles slashes in the Playground today near La Laguna.  photo:  Canada Joe
Just skiers right of La Laguna holds some solid lines.
Just skiers right of La Laguna holds some solid lines.

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