Catedral has everything for relaxation or for sport, for a future skier and for the expert. The massif with its imposing Gothic spires produces a sensation of eager anticipation in the prospective skier. Cerro Catedral is therefore a veritable "cathedral of skiing", an activity that finds here its most harmoniously dazzling environment:
Cerro Catedral annual brings together beginners, intermediate and advanced learners and internationally competitive skiers. Every year it celebrates the National Snow Festival with a firework display and a torchlight procession down the mountain that thrills the visitors from different parts of the country and the world that come here to share this magic moment.
During winter, in the Antonio M Lynch winter sports center, national and international skiing and the other snow-related sports are practiced here.
Its 200 hectare skiing surface area, its 97 kilometers of ski runs, the varied styles and skill levels of its slopes, and their magnificent views afford both beginner and expert skiers everything they need to do major skiing. Oh! And I almost forgot the snow, all the snow one has here.
Cerro Catedral is located 19 kilometers from San Carlos de Bariloche, in Nahuel Huapi National Park. To get there from the city center you have to go along Avenida Bustillo to kilometer 8, and from there to the Salmon Pisciculture complex along an 11-km side road and, after going through Villa Catedral, you get to the base of the mount at 1,000 m altitude.
This is one of the country's and South America's main ski centers. It is at 2,388 meters above sea level, and has about 200 hectares of skiing slopes, with over 70 runs for all levels and excellent elevation devices.
With its 200 hectares of skiing area, and its 97 kilometers of ski runs at all skill levels and for all types of skiing, together with the spectacular views it offers of snowcapped peaks and lake Nahuel Huapi, it has everything the skier could wish for to obtain maximum enjoyment.
The mount is located in an open area, enabling full appreciation of the Cordillera in all its magnitude. The visitor can enjoy the mountain from one of the snack bars on the mount, while enjoying a hot chocolate drink with local cakes and sweets.
Villa Catedral harbors the traditional Hotel Catedral, and at the foot of the mount lies the refurbished Hotel Pire Hue, with its major restaurant. Among other lodging options are the Punta Cóndor and Alp I time-sharing apartments. Outside the Villa, on the lake route lie the Hostería del Viejo Molino and Bungalows Pailahue, both of very high category and with personalized service.
A number of elevation devices can take you from the foot of the Mount to the different platforms that offer snack bars and restaurants for every taste and requirement You can get back to the bottom by skiing down the different runs (in winter), or using the cableway or the sextuple, quadruple or double chairlifts.
The cableway is a shuttle-type installation with two 25-passenger cabins. These cabins move along a support cable in opposite directions (while one leaves the lower, or drive station, the other is simultaneously leaving the upper station). The latter is at an altitude of 1,885 meters.
Six metal towers serve as supports for the cable run and as maneuvering points. From the cabins one has a view over the Mount, its vegetation and ski runs, and of all the other elevation and towing devices used by skiers.
At 1,900 meters altitude is the Punta Nevada top-notch snack bar. From that point, the Lynch chairlift will take you to the summit, where you have the Refugio Lynch, the highest snack-bar/restaurant in all Patagonia.
Nevertheless, the last word in elevation media on Cerro Catedral is "Séxtuple Barrilete", a six-skier chairlift. It offers a combination of the comfort of a cableway with the best qualities of a chairlift. It leaves the foot of the Mount from the Las Terrazas mall, taking the traveler to Barrilete, where you can switch over to the quadruple chairlift for the trip to the summit.
Other ways of getting to the summit are:
Total capacity: 33 media transporting 22,200 skiers an hour.
- A funicular cableway with 2 cabins, transporting 130 skiers an hour,
- 9 chairlifts (9,000 skiers an hour),
- 17 tele-skis (10,800 skiers an hour),
- 2 baby-lifts (400 skiers an hour), 1 sextuple chairlift,
- 2 carrousels
- 1 swing.
When you have got to the top of Cerro Catedral, you will find many different places to have lunch and enjoy the view, since as well as skiing one can admire the majestic Tronador glacier, look at the huge expanse of Nahuel Huapi lake, see Victoria Island, admire the serenity of Lake Gutiérrez and look at the nearby Mt Otto.
The day wears on and you go on skiing, but you are already thinking of the enjoyment of pre-ski while zooming down the wide runs of Punta Nevada or enjoying the deep snow in Piedra del Cóndor, or the intermediate lenga forest or the "bumps" on Carlitos, or the varied run options for beginners. The next day, you will be able to go down by Amancay, Pista 6, Militares or other more difficult ones, each with its own special charm.
After this one can share the mountain convivial atmosphere of the bars and snack rooms after final descent. Varied teas with cakes including strudel, or jacuzzis and saunas, come together, forming the menu of options in pre-ski.
Thus we will come to a time when we will ask ourselves in surprise if this experience is our last one, or will be the beginning of a new lifestyle. Only those who have never been on this mount can say goodbye to Catedral.
THE SKIING CATHEDRAL
Whether you want to practice skiing in winter or enjoy an imposing view from the summit, Cerro Catedral offers you a major infrastructure of services, media and recreational activity.
It is a permanent venue for important social and cultural events, among them snowboard and professional and amateur skiing competitions, all events included in the International Skiing Federation's Annual Calendar. As from the 1997 season, artificial snow cannon were installed, that guarantee skiing activity in favorable weather conditions.
Skiing is something even a child can do, and you will be able to find teachers that will provide entertainment for the tots and peace of mind for their parents. Also, families will find every item of comfort at the same center. All information about the condition of the runs, weather conditions and ski courses can be obtained from the Ski Schools themselves.
Skiing is usually associated with good eating. In this area there is a wide offer: restaurants, snack bars, mountain kiosks. Likewise, in the city and at the ski center there are a great number of places where one can rent ski gear and clothing.
There are several schools of skiing and/or snowboarding. There are specialized teachers for the enjoyment of the tots and for parents' peace of mind. You can also find skiing and snowboarding schools with programs for beginners and for perfecting all the levels. You can take private or group lessons.
If the traveler arrives by car in the summer, taking the fork at Km 10.5, he/she will be able to visit the "Virgen de las Nieves" Grotto, the patron saint of the local mountain people, and will later arrive at Villa Los Coihues on the shores of Lake Gutiérrez.
The mount is not only for the skiers. Among activities possible for those who do not enjoy skiing are: hang-gliding, mountain biking, trekking, sled rides, snow motor-biking and four-tracks.
For those with the energy left to enjoy some night life there are discos, pubs, shows in the different restaurants, and a casino. There are also a pharmacy, public restrooms, a first-aid facility, parking lots and bus services to the city every 10 minutes.
The mount has two slopes that are suitable for skiing:
1) ROBLES CATEDRAL
This run may be recommended for all kinds of skiers. It is an easy one, offering a wide variety of surfaces, from flat and level to medium-steep with some bumps. Being surrounded by rocky formations, it is a psychologically suitable place for beginners to learn. Due to its height and location, this run maintains its snow cover until the end of October, thanks to which it can be used for spring skiing.
De la Garganta
This is a run for experienced skiers. There are two possible points of access: the first lies to the left of La Hoya ski lift when you unhook, and the other is on the slope coming down from Punta Princesa. The run goes down the middle of a canyon with overhanging walls, and is considered technically difficult.
It opens out onto a narrow path leading to the exit of the third stage of the Punta Princesa chairlift.
Pista Seis "del Bosque"
This run is exclusively for advanced skiers, It is 100 m wide, and it is lined with trees on both sides. You can get there taking a right turn below the exit point of "Poma 2000". It links with the Bosque run or alternatively with a trail leading to Plaza Oertle, called "De los Leñeros" ("The Woodsman's Trail"). It is an exciting run due to the uneven terrain.
A difficult run. As in the case of the Seis or Del Bosque runs, you approach it from under "Poma 2000". It goes through wooded areas and offers splendid views for those who enjoy nature when skiing. It leads onto the parking lot, after a short stretch on the tele-ski at the foot of the hill.
De las Nubes
For "hot ski" enthusiasts. "Bumps" and a pretty steep slope are the features of this run, that goes along both sides of the ski lift by the same name. It can also be approached by unhooking oneself on the right of La Hoya ski lift.
Recommended for highly expert skiers. This is one of the most difficult runs on the mount. It is an (usually) iced-over steep run with high bumps. It starts below the center ski lift hookup point, and at its most distant corner, reaches Plaza Oertle. The wooded stream running on its left side increases its difficulty.
2) ALTA PATAGONIA
De la Palmera
This is for real experts. It starts on the right of the unhooking point of the third stage of the Piedra del Cóndor chairlift. This run is an untrodden stretch of virgin snow which could be called a "deep snow skier's paradise". The difficulties it presents would be those precisely due to the poor skiing condition of the snow: most often deep and wet, although on cool, dry days skiing here becomes a veritable pleasure. During September and October, the months of spring snowfall, skiing on this run is an incomparable experience.
Del Segundo Lomo
This is an ideal place to try outside-run skiing. Like the former, it is a very difficult run, not only because of the steepness of the slopes, but also because of the conditions of the snow: mostly deep and wet. Its woods and its difficulties make it an ideal spot to do outside-run skiing.
Most days this is the paradise of powdery snow. One can therefore state that this is the best place for skiing at every level. The most commonly practiced variants are:
a) taking the T-bar from Punta Nevada you unhook on the right and get to a well-flattened run, with a middling, smooth slope with a few low bumps, up to the terminus of the cableway. Here you cross over to your left, going under the cableway station, and then turn right, going along a straight medium-sloped track with bumps up to Barrilete.
b) Take the Filo Chairlift, whose unhooking point is to the right of the Refugio Lynch Chairlift. Here we have a double option: going left to the run between the two chairlifts, or resuming the right run towards the real ridge.
Piedra del Cóndor
An excellent place for intermediate and advanced skiers. From the third stage downwards there is good quality snow. It is great for speed skiing on a medium slope with a variety of bumps.
Only for experts. Third Stage to Piedra del Cóndor. A very busy run, with very large bumps. When the ice is very "dicey", this is a terrible run for inexperienced skiers. It is the most difficult of the conventional type ski runs. Unless the traveler is an excellent skier, he/she should avoid this run.
Del Primer Lomo
Recommended for experts. In a way, it is a variant of the "Intermedia", on the same chairlift. Its snow condition is the same. It is also accessible by the long T-bar, if you unhook after the exit point from the third stage.
Only for the top experts. This is the track joining Punta Nevada with Intermedia. One of its difficulties is the high speed at which it is taken by most skiers.
To get to Cerro Catedral, the tourist must first arrive at Villa Catedral, at the foot of the hill.
Villa Catedral, together with Villa Llao Llao, Villa Angostura and other such places in the National Parks were founded as a result of the policy of creating urban tourism centers all along the Cordillera.
In the vicinity of San Carlos de Bariloche, this Villa was laid out around the great Hotel Catedral.