Bariloche, the city known as the "Gateway to Patagonia" near Lake Nahuel Huapi in Argentina, suffered power outages, fallen trees, car crashes and general winter chaos last Friday during a monster storm – the heaviest in 12 years – shutting down schools and other businesses. High up at Cerro Alta Patagonia resort, skiers and snowboarders grumbled that the resort was slow to open chairlifts and was running at far less than half its capacity – but charging full price. Skiers trying to make it up the mountain from town had to wait in frustration as the resort was snail-like in clearing the road of its heavy accumulation of snow.
Across the lake, Villa la Angostura and its ski resort Cerro Bayo suffered along with the rest of them with power and telephone outages, but both resorts are expected to be back in full operation this week. Cerro Bayo, known for its spectacular, jaw-dropping views of Lake Nahuel Huapi and the Andes, opened this year with new owners who now bill themselves as a "Boutique Resort," with personalized service, high-end restaurants, top-of-the-line ski and snowboard rental, a first-rate ski school, a new Snow Park, and upgraded general infrastructure. The resort has fewer runs but far fewer people than Cerro Alto Patagonia, and local lodging in Villa la Angostura includes the Relais Chateaux 5-star property Las Balsas, among other luxury lodging. Yet ticket prices remain low, ranging from $23 to $34 per day, less if buying a weekly pass.
For more information about Cerro Bayo, check out their site at www.cerrobayoweb.com, or call (011-54-2944) 494189.