Years ago, I spent two summers in Argentina as a lackey/renaissance man for SASS Global Travel, who operated backcountry ski and snowboard trips out of Bariloche's Cerro Catedral resort. One summer was spent holed up in an office with almost no heat, nursing a broken ankle suffered trying to ski 12 months in a row, trying to upload videos through third-world internet and poundingmate relentlessly to keep going while it puked outside.
But this Will Wesson edit brings back misty tears to my eyes as I reminisce about the following summer, when, totally healthy, I got to experience six weeks of the bizarre and completely awesome Gnarnia terrain garden known as Catedral. Lifts to nowhere, sledders and pedestrians outnumbering skiers in the liftlines, and low-elevation traverses riddled with bamboo (yes, bamboo...) made the ski experience a weird one, but when it was good, it was incomparable to anywhere I've skied in the Lower 48.
Stable snow, storms that would deliver a barren bowl to pow-choked epicness in 24 hours, and short chutes that littered the upper mountain were only a few of the higlights. The absolute highlight had to be the trees, whose perfect pitch, lack of low-hanging limbs and bushes, and wet snow that would make jibbable log rides out of fallen trees made the lower half of the mountain a veritable video game skiing experience - one I've yet to match on the fun meter. I smiled more under the rediculous Tom Sellick mustache I had at the time skiing that mountain than anywhere since.