Saturday, August 27, 2011
Skylar and Tony hiking away from Cerro Catedral.
If there is one person that I would never say no to riding with, it would probably be Skylar Holgate. Every time I am lucky enough to be accompanied by Skylar, my day is filled with adventure. He has pushed me beyond what I thought my limits were on multiple occasions. While I've been scared, I've also been way more inspired because of it.
Taking in the view from a new vantage point.
On this particular day, he didn't scare me, but he showed me the way to the best snow on the mountain. Skylar, Tony, Nicki, and I all were treated to an absolutely amazing day in the backcountry off Cerro Catedral.
Tony and Skylar at the top of their line. Condor bait.
With a relatively short hike away from the mountain we reached a zone that was untouched. Skylar and Tony rode their lines first. A technical chute into, well I don't know what because I couldn't see past the first turn. I watched Skylar ride the top part of his line and just before dropping in he mentioned that if his line didn't go, he wasn't about to climb back up.
Looking down the boy's line.
After Skylar radioed back up to Tony, Tony ripped down after him. I was up next followed by Nicki down a more mellow chute skiers right of their lines. The snow was perfect and the chute opened up into a blanket of white powder.
Looking back up at our run. Nicki is the tiny black dot below the rocks.
After riding the top portion of the run, we dropped into a slightly different aspect with fun poppers all the way down. The snow was still surprisingly good. My legs were burning once we made it to the bottom. I love that feeling.
With Skylar and Tony leading the way home, Nicki and I tried our best to keep up with them. I couldn't help, but stop a few times to take in the view and our surroundings dotted with lakes, bamboo, and bare trees.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Every year I come to Argentina, time goes by so quickly. Before I know it, I only have two weeks left. People start to leave, the weather begins to warm up a bit, and the sun rises earlier every day.
We have had consistent storms delivering all season and I've only had 2 days of skiing that weren't powder. I guess it's no wonder where the time goes.
When the storm breaks and the sun shines through, there's no end of runs to ski until the next storm rolls in. Slowly working from within the ski resort to farther and farther away until a new storm delivers fresh snow.
And when it delivers, the cycle repeats itself until your body finally is so sore and tired you force yourself to take a day off from skiing and hiking. Usually on those days off, it's nice to just relax, read a book, stretch, and rest up, but taking days of is so hard to do.
For the past week it's been sunny with a little bit of new snow. We've ventured farther away from the resort and found some absolutely amazing snow on one of my favorite runs called Staff Party.
The hike is mostly a traverse and once you are there, the surrounding mountains make you drool looking at all of the possible lines. Staff Party awaits while we drool.
The first pitch is a wide open bowl with minimal features, but nearly perfect powder. Next you drop into a playful section with mini golf lines and poppers everywhere. As if it isn't good enough yet, all of that is followed by a few pillowy rock formations and a tree run with perfectly spaced trees.
The run is roughly 3,600 feet and swallows some whole in the bamboo at the bottom. This is what we call getting bamboozled (Garrett Russell shows us a quality bamboozle below). While Garrett is being seen in rare form, this is a common occurrence amongst those who rarely encounter bamboo while skiing or snowboarding.
Once you swim through the bamboo and make it across the many creek crossings, you come upon the trail to Refugio Frey and ski/hike back to the resort. It's the ultimate run with a little bit of everything.
It's wild to think that there is only two weeks left. I feel like I've been living in fast forward. Such is life in Argentina. While Staff Party has a little bit of everything, so does Argentina. It has everything that I love in one place with the exception of my family and friends, but that is not to say that I don't have the best of friends here in Argentina.
Two weeks, many more adventures to come. Then home to Lake Tahoe and good bye to snow for the meantime. Not yet though!
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Ryan Dunfee just posted this video from our season down here so far. Traveling from New York to Cerro Catedral and catching endless days of powder, it's been absolutely amazing down here. Enjoy the video, I know I did!
While the skiing is what brings me to Argentina, there is so much more that keeps me coming back. The other day, my group of lady campers decided it would be fun to catch the bus to town for some adventuring in la central.
The Cathedral in Bariloche stands alone by the lake. While I took a side excursion to meet up with my brother, he brought me inside to check out some of the amazingly detailed stained glass art.
The inside was quiet and because of the multiple leaks in the roof you could hear the pitter patter of water drops seeping through the cracks and splashing on the floor. I love the sound of rain. The water drops added to the ambiance of the church.
One of my favorite things to do in town is walking through the flea markets. This year the only times I've been to town it's been raining so the indoor heated flea markets are a welcomed break.
There are tons of fun souvenirs, little trinkets, jewelry, and artistic toys. The artisans themselves are always excited to share their work and it's a great time to practice spanish.
I love these little trolls. You see them everywhere made out of different materials. This one is made out of a walnut shell and clay.
While I think the trolls are adorable...I also like functional things like these wooden spoons.
The fairies aren't really my style, but the colorful collection of little flying dolls definitely got my attention.
Aside from skiing, my second favorite thing to do while in Argentina is eat. Empenadas are my weak spot and I can rarely resist them. My goal this year is to cook them at home when I get back. They are so delicious!
And you can't beat the chocolate here. Super cheap, tasty, and creative pieces of chocolate and sweets. My mom would love it!
I personally don't have a sweet tooth, but if you did how could you resist these cupcakes? I'd rather grab a fresh squeezed OJ. Argentines tend to drink tang as a replacement for orange juice since it's so expensive down here, but every once in a while treating yourself to a fresh squeezed orange juice is so satisfying.
Monday, August 15, 2011
My trip is nearly half way over, but I feel like I arrived here in Bariloche only yesterday. Time moves quickly here, especially when you are skiing every day all day. Other than two days that the mountain was closed, I have only taken one day off from skiing. Count today as number two. While it's difficult not to go up on the mountain, sometimes you have to rest your body, stretch, relax, and refuel. Enjoy these videos! More coming soon.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Session 1 was all time. We had amazing snow and ripping campers. Check out the videos. Fun times in Argentina! Session 2 just wrapped up and session 3 campers are on their way here right now. The forecast for the next week is snow, snow, snow, and more snow. Fun fun fun!
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
SGT Session two is now underway. With new campers in the mix things have gotten off to a great start. The session one kids are now more familiar with the terrain we've been riding for the past week and we've been venturing a little farther away from the resort.
With the weather on our side, this past week has reminded me so much of Tahoe, sunny days and snowy nights. However, waking up and looking outside in the morning we're often under the cloud layer. Once we pop through the clouds on the lift it's like a dream come true.
Ryan Dunfee is stoked to finally be skiing at Cerro Catedral. Last year he was crushing it on crutches, but this year he's back in action!
Fellow ski coach and the ever so creative skier, Garrett Russell is always stoked to be out with the campers and I am always stoked to be out there with him. On cold windy days, Garrett looks around and talks about how beautifully sunny it is.
I was definitely skeptical before boarding the plane for Argentina with regards to the recent eruption of the Puyehue volcano in Southern Chile, but here in Bariloche, other than the snow, we've had beautiful blue bird days. You can see the volcano and it's constant plume in the distance from the top of the mountain and there is a bunch of sand that has previously fallen in Bariloche. However, at this point in time Cerro Catedral is in full operation and things are going well.
On this particular day, we took the campers to a run we call the Playground. Coach Pete Connolly, dropped into this steep chute while the rest of us snuck around the corner for some poppers and mini golf lines.
Paul's getting after it at the top of the Playground, which is right up there with my favorite runs at Cerro Catedral. You might be able to tell how this run got it's name. It's so much fun and there are endless little pillows and miniature spines to play on. Below is a view from the bottom looking up.
I'm getting used to hiking on snow rather than dirt again and it feels so good!