5.11. 2017Horsefeathers

Northern Patagonia with Marion Gouwy

Travel tip where to spend your summer time if you want to ride some deep powder.

The past winter was too short for Marion and her boyfriend Romain, so they decided to travel to the South hemisphere and enjoy a second winter.
So let’s go to Argentina for some Patagonia powder in the middle of the European summer!

Marion and Romain got out from Toulouse (South of France) on July 26th and just two days after landing in Bariloche (Northern Patagonia) they rode an extraordinary cold powder day in Cordilleira De Los Andes.


Bariloche is 25 hours far away from Buenos Aires by car or two hours by plane. It´s a tourist base, just one hour from Cerro Catedral – one of the most important ski resorts of Argentina. It’s a perfect place for holidays because of fantastic landscape, lovely local people, twenty local breweries, a lot of traditional chocolate including „churros” and the resort has some big freeriding potential.


The same time we started our journey to Cerro Catedral area and the powder covered mountains, we had Alaskan conditions! It’s pretty rare to get 60cm in Los Andes at the beginning of winter.


There are many different freeride spots, all with pretty easy access to all of them, so we had lots of fun exploring the riding possibilities.
At first, there are many freeride lines between Catedral pistes e.g. Alpine lines under Nubes chairlift or tree runs from Condor and many more. You can also get wilder freeriding if you’re ready to hike a little bit too: “Tres Lomos” and “Palmera” are as good as Japanese tree runs when the conditions are good.


Those freeriding places are long and the view is incredible! Nahuel Huapi lake, one of the first drinking water reserve of Argentina, accompanies every you on every turn you make. The trees of the forest are tall and old, but they are wonderfull and perfectly spaced for snowboarding. “Laguna” is an alpine freeriding area over Giutérrez lake. Lines are both long and versatile. There is an infinite amount of choices to get back to El Bosque chairlift!


When we traced all of the main freeriding spots of Cerro Catedral, we left Bariloche and went to San Martin de Los Andes to meet our local friend; Steven Williams who is the boardercross champion of Argentina. Steven took us to his home resort: Cerro Chapelco, where the lanscape there is different than Cerro Catedral, which is a volcanic area and the view is really open. Utill Lanìn volcano, you can enjoy the sun all day long on the main face of Chapleco. The slopes mainly consist of big forests containing large deciduous trees, the upper zone offers some good freeride lines, but THE spot is the Backbowl of Chapelco.


Steven showed us all the potential of this back face of the resort: There are as many freeride lines as backcounry kicker spots. Even if we had to hike back from every single line we rode, we stayed in Backbowl for five days because it was soo good! Five days on South face, riding in the shadow, with cold snow and with less wind than in Catedral… mmmmh!


Steven also showed us the funnest way to ride back to the parking lot at the end of the day, by the natural supercross of Chalpelco. Don’t miss this if you go there, and once riding it, you will understand why Steven is boardercross champion!


After three weekes of adventures we were so sad to be leaving Northern Patagonia. Our hearts were broken to say goodbye to the Argentin people and those amazing Andes.
We made a promise to ourselves to go back as soon as possible to have another magic snowy summer and maybe to visit Southern Patagonia (Cerro Castor, Ushuaia), or North of Argentina (Las Lenas – Mendoza).


Gracias por la onda Argentina!

Marion Gouwy
Romain Vives


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