Catedral, ARG - Sept 5-6, 08

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding anywhere in the southern hemisphere: New Zealand, Australia, South America, etc., including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Catedral, ARG - Sept 5-6, 08

Postby Patrick » Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:50 pm

Day 9: Catedral

I guess depression set in today. It might be attributed to a few factors, not sure why? Was it fatigue? Home sick from my family? Mentally and physically dealing with this trip. My body was hurting for a hard crash the previous day. Or maybe the search for a perfect ski shop to repair that nasty core shot i had at La Hoya? Both that day's crash were rock aided. This is the Portillo of my 2008 trip. After La Hoya, welcome to the big resort with Spring time conditions.

I took the city bus to the mountain today, it's a 45 minutes ride that cost $3.50 pesos (slightly over $1). The ski area is impressive, this is the most impressive I've seen in South America (I didn't ski Las Leñas). The layout of the area might be a cross between Jackson Hole (mountain canyons across the lower face of the mtn) and the old Mammoth lifts (seen from books). Lifts everywhere, old and new. That might be one of the reasons why I was a bit blah about the day. This terrain has some of everything for everyone.

I found that topography made it difficult to move from one end to the next, especially that the connector triple wasn't when I first wanted to take it. The big snow event that happened earlier in the week and transformed itself in wet snow. Difficult to ski. I skied a beautiful run and the extremity of the resort (North-East facing) every similar in few to the Hobacks at JH. At the end (at least the line I took) you need to negotiate the bambos. :shock:

After a temporary ski repair, I managed to get 10 runs in for over 5000m, even if I started at 11am. The day included a few long lift lines, a few old lifts, many many pictures. This was blue bird number trees, beautiful views of the mountain and lakes. 8)

Snow on the bottom is similar to Quebec south side slopes in April, a few odd bare patches for the last 100m vertical. Conditions on the groomers where well packed and not really soft. Pretty much bumpy at the end of the day. Off the side of the groomer, heavy refroozen-wet powder remains. Winds was picking up, snow is apparently on it's way.

Going back tomorrow, I also need to get my ski. A patch is being done tonight.

Big commercial ski resort Argentina style. Right side of resort. Major lift in the picture is Condor.
Image

Cerro Catedral ski map (source: nevasport.com)
Image

Lynch lift from the near the top and view of the lake.
Image

View toward the back of the resort.
Image

Part of the village at the base.
Image

Thsi place is big - View toward Princesa III lift
Image

Looking up from approximately mid-mountain. Centro lift with Nubes chair on the left. I believe this is the area where James was asking about the terrain.
Image

Under Nubes lift. Liftline with the Centro poma toward the left.
Image

Slightly below treeline. Sextuple Express.
Image

Fun stuff with trees. Porbably taken from the Sextuple.
Image

Militares chair with Piedra del Condor peak.
Image

Punta Nevada between the Lynch and Punta Nevada chairs.
Image

2do-komo(?) trail - it reminded me of a Bari version of the Hobacks.
Image

Similar slopes, terrain features, orientation and on edge of ski resort.
Image

Bamboos
Image

So many lifts
Image

View from top of resort in the other direction.
Image

Nubes chair from the summit and Piedra Del Condor far away.
Image

Did I already mentioned that Patagonia is beautiful?
Image

View onto the south side of the ski area from Nubes.
Image

Del Bosque chair. Spectacular setting for a lift.
Image

Different angle.
Image

And another...
Image

and another...wow. :drool:
Image

Del Bosque chair and La Laguna pomalift. Not sure how often this is open.
Image

Amancay Gondola.
Image

Seis red run and lower part of the mountain.
Image

The Resort.
Image
Last edited by Patrick on Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Ski Mad World
A blog of MadPat's World: A History of Skiing Geography
http://madpatski.wordpress.com
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4730
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: Catedral, ARG - September 9, 08

Postby Geoff » Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:37 pm

Patrick wrote:The big snow event that happened earlier in the week and transformed itself in wetsnow. Difficult to ski. I skied a beautiful run and the extremity of the resort (North-East facing) every similar in few to the Hobacks at JH. At the end (at least the line I took) you need to negotiate the baboos. :shock:


I did a google on "baboos" since I'd never run across that word before. It's derived from Hindi for 'father'.

1: a Hindu gentleman —a form of address corresponding to Mr.
2 a: an Indian clerk who writes English often disparaging : an Indian having some education in English

Is this what you meant?
User avatar
Geoff
 
Posts: 764
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:38 pm
Location: Killington, VT

Re: Catedral, ARG - September 5, 08

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:01 pm

I guess Patrick is worn out. I took the liberty of editing his date in the title to Sept. 5.

I've seen trail maps, and Catedral:
1) Does look interesting terrain-wise, AND
2) Unlike most in South America, has enough lifts to serve it, including a couple of high speeds I think.

On the downside, we know Catedral has a sketchy snow record. I thought main exposure was east, but if it's northeast (analogous to Jackson's southeast), that's a deadly combination. After all no one can fault the amount of snow that Jackson gets. Getting around the topography is something you can sometimes get from a trail map, but there's really no substitute for direct experience.

Some of this report is reminiscent of the day we took off from La Grave to ski Serre Chevalier. You could see there was lots of interesting off-piste, but it was all refrozen spring snow, so we were confined to the groomers.

I'd never heard of La Hoya. Presumably Esquel is between San Martin and Bariloche? So I looked it up: http://www.interpatagonia.com/lahoya/pistas_i.html . 2,000 vertical, there's a reference on another page that exposure is good for preserving snow. So maybe skiing was better than Catedral. But where's Patrick's report?

baboos
We've had a discussion before that while Patrick's verbal language skills are impressive (and in 2 languages), he has some issues with writing. My guess from context is that at low elevation there are some Argentine native plants that resemble bamboo. Nearly all of the Southern Hemisphere native vegetation is at least semitropical in origin. That's why the tree line is so low in New Zealand vs. similar mild, ocean dominated climates in the Northern Hemisphere.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9984
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Catedral, ARG - September 5, 08

Postby Patrick » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:17 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:I guess Patrick is worn out. I took the liberty of editing his date in the title to Sept. 5.


You are correct, I am totally done. Dealing with languages, especially Spanish all day is mentally tiring.

Tony Crocker wrote:On the downside, we know Catedral has a sketchy snow record. I thought main exposure was east, but if it's northeast (analogous to Jackson's southeast), that's a deadly combination.


I have an impression that it's mostly east, however there are a number of spins that fall either north or south.

Tony Crocker wrote:You could see there was lots of interesting off-piste, but it was all refrozen spring snow, so we were confined to the groomers.


Tony Crocker wrote:I'd never heard of La Hoya. Presumably Esquel is between San Martin and Bariloche? So maybe skiing was better than Catedral. But where's Patrick's report?


It's the same analogy conditions/commercial wise last year between Termas and Portillo.

Not sure when I'll be able to put it up. Dealing with a limited time internet at a hostal where all the keyboard letters are mostly erased plus some keys not working properly. Actually, I didn't to waste a day in transportation just to go from San Martin to Bariloche, I continued one to Esquel which is a few hundred kilometers south of Bariloche. :shock:

Tony Crocker wrote:
baboos
My guess from context is that at low elevation there are some Argentine native plants that resemble bamboo.


Correcto. :oops:
Ski Mad World
A blog of MadPat's World: A History of Skiing Geography
http://madpatski.wordpress.com
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4730
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: Catedral, ARG - September 5, 08

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:21 am

It's the same analogy conditions/commercial wise last year between Termas and Portillo.
No, Portillo had excellent off-piste corn at the right time of day. It was the Valle Nevado group where off-piste generally sucked.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9984
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Catedral, ARG - September 5, 08

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:38 am

What kind of skiable vertical/acreage are we talking about? Not that I would have to chops to ski it, but is that stuff to the looker's left of the Nubes and Hoyita lifts hikable?
Image
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3419
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Catedral, ARG - Sept 5-6, 08

Postby Patrick » Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:46 pm

Day 10: September 6

Catedral day two. I got my skis back from the repair shop, they did a great job with the patch. Unfortunately I didn't ask them to tune my skis. ](*,)

Tony mentioned that the whole world wants to know about my trip. Unfortunately a terrible computer (screen and keyboard) and limited time will limit my time to respond until I get back (and if you following the Canadian news, you probably know that my work is probably going to dictate how much time I can spend on this until mid-October). :roll:

Here goes for today...

Started off the morning with the gondola ride (I didn't use it the previous day). Skied off the terrain off the El Bosque lift. I found the surface very annoying to ski, it was a slick snow surface that had been sideslipped too much the previous. Tony might remember what I thought of my 1st day at Jackson. A day where it wasn't icy, but it helped if you had shape edges. My edges where in the same shape as when I left Big Sky, damage from the rocks at La Hoya. Hard to get a clean crisp turn with those edges. :evil:

Anyway many of the groomed trails were left ungroomed and had annoying small bumps in them OR had been groomed but with dead cookies. I went lower down on the mountain searching northern aspect slopes. After maybe only 2-3 runs, I decided to chill out outside at a mountain restaurant. Listen to the entire Manu Chao CD that was playing while eating my sandwich (this guy is really big in Latin American, France/Spain and Quebec. I really enjoy his music). Today was pretty windy.

A long break was what I needed, snow lower down had softened up into Spring corn. (For Tony's statfacts). Corn started at 1600m while the first sign of a bare spot was at 1300m (on an NE slope). Not a concern, as bare spot were pretty rare except in the last 50m of one trail. The base of the area is at 1050m while summit is something like 2100m.

So the corn was fine, I decided to take the long trip up the mountain via the old chair Princess I, II and III. I could have taken the 6-pack, but the old double gave a better view of the woods. This place should be great when the conditions are ideal. so many on-piste and/or inbounds possibilities. In my opinion, the possibilities are much greater at Catedral than the 3 Santiago areas combine. Treeline is fairly high.

The top lift (Nuebe) was open late. Strong western wind was blowing powder unto the top of the mountain. Did 3 runs off the top, skied the steeps off the top twice with wind deposited powder. It was a bit tricky. My legs were tired especially that the Nubes laps where pretty long and I had to deal with slick groomer with tons of people.

PS. James, the screen here is pretty lousy, but your map seems out-dated. Orientation and lift location seems different. There were so people hiking over the left side of the map where the Laguna lift access a Southern bowl. Lift is a poma (not sure hw often it runs? There were only the cable) which is in a avy zone. There were a few traces of recent wet slide on that side (just left of El Bosqie lift).

The plan for tomorrow is trying to take an early bus to the other side at Villa La Angostura and try a find a way to ski Cerro Bayo. At least, that is the plan. It's a 90 minute bus ride to Villa.

Noticed the map above was too small to actually read anything. Here is the link.
http://www.nevasport.com/classic/mapas/mapa_3390.jpg

Near the place I chilled.
Image

Chilling on the outdoor couch in Argentina and listening to Manu Chao
Image

Close to the bottom looking at the northern part of the resort.
Image

Picture of terrain that reminded me of the Hobacks. Picture taken from the city bus.
Image
Last edited by Patrick on Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ski Mad World
A blog of MadPat's World: A History of Skiing Geography
http://madpatski.wordpress.com
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4730
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: Catedral, ARG - Sept 5-6, 08

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:59 am

Chapelco, La Hoya, Catedral, Cerro Bayo. It seems so obvious that a car rental or driver would make a trip in this region go much smoother.
In my opinion, the possibilities are much greater at Catedral than the 3 Santiago areas combine.
I have little doubt Patrick is right about this. My opinion of the Valle Nevado Group is that rarely have I seen so little made out of so much. Where the lifts are is mostly flat. Decent terrain is a PITA to reach, and especially to spend much of one's day. Although she got much better conditions that we did, I'm still surprised that a Mammoth/Vail skier like skibum4ever wanted to spend that much time there.

Patrick's comments about Catedral confirm my general impression that its snow is sufficiently unreliable (in terms of both quantity and preservation) that a trip into this region should be cherry-picked. IMHO that means waiting for a year when a decent base is established in June, then booking for early August, right after the prices come down from the South American holiday peak.

Of the Southern Hemisphere areas I've not skied, Chillan certainly seems the most enticing at this point. Maybe the NZ club areas.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9984
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Catedral, ARG - Sept 5-6, 08

Postby Geoff » Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:08 am

Tony Crocker wrote:My opinion of the Valle Nevado Group is that rarely have I seen so little made out of so much. Where the lifts are is mostly flat. Decent terrain is a PITA to reach, and especially to spend much of one's day. Although she got much better conditions that we did, I'm still surprised that a Mammoth/Vail skier like skibum4ever wanted to spend that much time there.


As I've pointed out a number of times, the interesting terrain is off the ridge line up the back side of el Colorado where you ski down to the Valle Nevado access road. With a driver to pick you up, you could spend weeks exploring it since you have a good mile of ridge line. A PITA? Sure. ...but if you want untracked powder and good pitch, that's where you'll find it.

Chillan has much better terrain but it has issues due to the lower elevation. Since the hotel company lost the ski operation this year, lift ops are also questionable.
User avatar
Geoff
 
Posts: 764
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:38 pm
Location: Killington, VT

Re: Catedral, ARG - Sept 5-6, 08

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:51 am

the interesting terrain is off the ridge line up the back side of el Colorado where you ski down to the Valle Nevado access road.
Very true, but each lap requires 3 lifts plus a road shuttle not provided by the resort. So how many runs per day will you get out there, particularly when someone in your group has to sit out each run to provide the shuttle? Compare to Powder Country, where a mom-and-pop area runs a shuttle bus to help out access to a large off-piste area.

you could spend weeks exploring it since you have a good mile of ridge line.
At the rate of 1-2 runs per day I have no doubt this is true.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9984
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Catedral, ARG - September 5, 08

Postby Patrick » Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:47 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:Not that I would have to chops to ski it, but is that stuff to the looker's left of the Nubes and Hoyita lifts hikable?


James, I saw your map here somewhere. Get the current ski map and you'll get part of the answer. There is a new quad lift (Nuebes) that goes above that stuff. No need to hike for some of it. :D That what I was skiing when I was talking about wind blown powder.
Ski Mad World
A blog of MadPat's World: A History of Skiing Geography
http://madpatski.wordpress.com
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4730
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: Catedral, ARG - Sept 5-6, 08

Postby Patrick » Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:46 pm

Here is the Powderquest vid from Catedral.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq25W8mBSqA
Last edited by Patrick on Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ski Mad World
A blog of MadPat's World: A History of Skiing Geography
http://madpatski.wordpress.com
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4730
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: Catedral, ARG - Sept 5-6, 08

Postby Patrick » Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:30 pm

There was a TGR link which included a video by Zion in the La Hoya discussion. Here is the specific Bariloche video.

http://www.zapiks.fr/the-next-episode.html

One of the steep place skied (with lift on skier's right) is the area that James was wondering about - off the old Nubes lift?

but is that stuff to the looker's left of the Nubes and Hoyita lifts hikable?


The other stuff (above Hoyita) is also skied in the video.
Ski Mad World
A blog of MadPat's World: A History of Skiing Geography
http://madpatski.wordpress.com
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4730
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: Catedral, ARG - Sept 5-6, 08

Postby Patrick » Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:49 pm

Bump for added pics in two different places.

Proof that Catedral isn't bad either. :mrgreen:
Ski Mad World
A blog of MadPat's World: A History of Skiing Geography
http://madpatski.wordpress.com
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4730
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: Catedral, ARG - Sept 5-6, 08

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:33 pm

Pics are very good for getting an idea of the scale of the area. But my opinions expressed last year have not changed. Snow unreliability calls for not booking until snow is on the ground and probably sticking to August.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9984
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Next

Return to Down Under

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use