What are your skiing options in Argentina ? They are many and varied – some with free ski passes
June is here, thus the majestic scenery of Patagonia is swathed in white and the time for adrenalin and fun begins. Covered in snow, the mountains invite skiers and snowboarders to glide their way around Argentina’s ski centres, from Ushuaia to Neuquén, passing through Chubut, Rio Negro and Mendoza. Slopes for beginners and experts, off-piste challenges, night-time skiing, trips on sledges and snowmobiles, events snow-rugby and snow-polo matches, new ski-lifts and slope facilities, and hi-tech security services, are among some of the proposals. Come along and see, with family and friends. Welcome to Argentina’s new snow season!
Cero Castor – Tierra del Fuego www.cerrocastor.com
The world’s southernmost ski centre, situated 26 kilometres from the town of Ushuaia, has its base at 195 meters above sea level and its summit at 1057 metres and concentrates the best quality of snow in Argentina and South America. Its unrivalled climatic conditions make it a favourite place for families seeking exclusive vacations and also for professional skiers from all over the world. It has a snow park, beginners’ area and spectacular off-piste.
This year, a four-seat chairlift and a new slope 500 metres long are inaugurated. In addition, new infrastructure works; a building of 1300m2 with new ticket offices, an information centre, a bar/restaurant, equipped first aid post, boutique, auditorium for 50 people and new offices; a new reception area for guests staying at Castor Ski Lodge and enlargement of the parking lot. Equipment for hire has also been renewed and new safety nets. A new app for mobile phones has been launched (for Android and iPhone iOS) where skiers will be able to have their entertainment route, check the conditions of slopes and ski-lifts, find out about points of interest on the mountain, snow accumulation, temperature, and share exclusive content on social networks.
Exclusive sports events like snow-polo, snow-rugby and snow-golf and skiing championships.
Skiable area: 650 ha
Maximum altitude: 1,057 metres
Cerro Catedral – Rio Negro www.catedralaltapatagonia.com
The most traditional and oldest of the ski centres on the continent; it has 120 kilometres of slopes and woodland tracks, paths and wide slopes. It is one of the favourites with skiers, snowboarders and lovers of free-riding and also with visitors who opt to spend a day of pure fun on the sledge slope, snow tubing or going for walks on snowshoes. Bariloche, located in the west of Rio Negro province and 1,640 kilometres from Buenos Aires city, has a complete accommodation and service infrastructure.
The ski data system has been improved, and the beginner area has been enlarged. Windbreaks have been put up to enable quality snow. On the intermediate area, the sector for beginners has been enlarged.
The National Snow Festival will be held from 19th to 23rd June, to coincide with the long weekend for Flag Day. This year there will be a new event; the Fiesta de Brasiloche.
Skiable area: 1,200 ha
Maximum altitude: 2,180 metres
La Hoya – Chubut www.skilahoya.com
Its ski slopes are exposed to only a few hours of sunshine, enabling the snow quality to maintain excellent conditions. In addition, it has an excellent South American off-piste and an outstanding snow park for doing freestyle. It is possible to do downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and off-piste, in addition, it has ski cross and boarder cross circuits.
All the slopes converge at the base of the mountain.
The Free Session, which has been run since 2005, is one of the most important events in the world of free style, a discipline in which the most daring skiers and snowboarders perform all kinds of leaps, pirouettes and tricks. Torch-light descents will also be held.
Skiable area: 64 ha
Maximum altitude: 2,075 metres
Chapelco – Neuquén www.cerrochapelco.com
Situated in the middle of forests that accompany the layout of the ski slopes, protecting them from the wind, it is perfect for downhill skiing, intermediate level snowboarding and a snow park which tempts with demanding tests and leaps on every slope from 20 – 45 degrees of inclination – on ramps or on areas of over 140 hectares, amidst mountains, canyons and woods. It is also a pioneer of skiing adapted for people with special needs.
It will be possible to purchase all the passes for ski-lifts in advance online. There is also a new iPad app providing real time meteorological information, maps of slopes, ski-lifts, services, and updates of what’s new for the season. Two new snow grooming machines are added to its fleet, along with three new snow canons, which will optimise the work of conditioning the slopes.
27th Edition of the Chapelco Tetrathlon. National Highlander Festival, White Festival in the Snow, Federico Graef Memorial, National Giant Slalom Skiing Championship and South American Cup Skiing Circuit, Children’s Day, Argentina Snow Skiing Event, Argentine Skiing Instructors’ Championship, Quito Estete Memorial, International Gathering of Ski Patrol and Mountain Rescue Teams.
Location: San Martin de los Andes
Skiable area: 140 ha
Maximum altitude: 1,980 metres
Caviahue – Neuquén www.caviahue.com
At the foot of the Copahue Volcano, the 2013 season opens on 15th June, offering a free pass for the ski-lifts. At the Alto Copahue Adventure Park, visitors can enjoy activities like trips on snowmobiles, walks on snowshoes, trips on sledges pulled by huskies, and hot water springs.
Opening of the first snow park in South America situated right in the middle of a town. It has areas for Freestyle, a Terrain park with kicks, rails and quarter pipe. In addition, it has 100 metres of snow-tubing to slide with inflatable on a slope designed for games.
Argentine Snow-kiting Championship, Caviahue Snow Polo, Festival of the Volcano.
Skiable area: 325 ha
Maximum altitude: 1,647 metres
Cerro Bayo – Neuquén www.cerrobayoweb.com
Situated just 15 minutes from the centre of Villa La Angostura, the mountain has more than four kilometres of off-piste and offers the possibility of skiing with a wonderful view of Lago Nahuel Huapi along a five kilometre panoramic route opposite the lake. There is an adapted ski passes school and it is possible to go for walks on snowshoes and do canopy in the snow.
Opening of the second stretch of six-seat cable car ski-lift, leading from the base to the highest point on the mountain (1805 meters above sea level). So, 180 hectares of skiable area has been added to the Provincial sector, with two new slopes, as well as the immediate off-piste accesses. This innovation enlarges the skiable area and extends the expected duration of the skiing season.
July is the month of Extreme Rugby and Tetrathlon of skiing, mountain biking, kayaking and running, and in August, the 10th High Altitude Chefs Event will be held, plus Snow Polo, and King of the Park, a skiing and snowboarding competition for professionals.
Location: Villa La Angostura
Skiable area: 460 ha
Maximum altitude: 1,805 metres
Las Leñas – Mendoza www.laslenas.com
This is the closest ski centre to Buenos Aires and the highest in the country. It has its base at 2,240 metres above sea level and its summit at 3,430metres. Here lovers of skiing and snowboarding can find high quality snow, international gastronomy and comprehensive hotel installations. In addition, it is the only centre that has night-time skiing on its slopes that form a 2,000 metre illuminated route.
There will be special passes for beginners and university students, which will include a 25% discount providing proof of studies. In addition, visitors will be able to access special combos that include mountain services like passes to the pistes, equipment hire and lessons. Another new feature is the Bump piste, for the more daring.
The Winter Triathlon, held for the first time this year. In addition, the classic festivities for the opening and closing of the season, Children’s Day, Highlanders’ Day, and Snow Fashion. Plus, free-skiing competitions, the Olympus race, the snowshoes circuit and cross-country skiing.
Skiable area: 17,500 ha
Maximum altitude: 3,430 metres
Penitentes – Mendoza www.lospenitentes.com
Situated 168 kilometres from Mendoza City, on its slopes visitors can do downhill, cross-country, competition and extreme skiing; snowboarding, freestyle, and free-riding. Characterised by its compact, dry powdery snow, it also has a fleet of sledges and a tubing park. Kids can learn at the ski school and play in the snow garden. It has a good hotel infrastructure with hostels, hostelries and apartments, most of them situated at the foot of the pistes to go out and arrive skiing.
Location: Las Heras
Skiable area: 300 ha
Maximum altitude: 2,580 metres