Cerro Catedral. Named for its Gothic-looking spires, Cerro Catedral is the oldest ski area in South America, with 38 lifts, 1,820 hectares (4,500 acres) of mostly intermediate terrain, and a comfortable altitude of 2,050 meters (6,725 feet). The runs are long, varied, and scenic. One side of the mountain has a vertical drop of 914 meters (3,000 feet), mostly in the fall line. Near the top of the highest chairlift at 2,250 meters (7,385 feet) is Refugio Lynch, a small restaurant on the edge of an abyss with a stupendous 360-degree view of Nahuel Huapi Lake. To the southwest, Monte Tronadór, an extinct volcano straddling the border with Chile, towers above lesser peaks that surround the lake. Other onsite facilities include a terrain park and picturesque cross-country ski trails. August and September are the best months to hit the slopes: avoid the first three weeks of July (school vacation).
Villa Catedral, at the base of the mountain, has numerous equipment retail and rental shops, information and ticket sales, ski-school offices, restaurants, and even a disco. Frequent buses transport skiers from Bariloche to the ski area. For information and trail maps, contact La Secretaría de Turismo de Río Negro (12 de Octubre 605 2944/429–896). Club Andino Bariloche (20 de Febrero 30 2944/422–266) also has information and trail maps. 46 km (28½ mi) west of Bariloche on R237; turn left at Km 8.5 just past Playa Bonita, Bariloche, Río Negro, 8400. 2944/409–000; www.catedralaltapatagonia.com. Adult day pass 585 pesos (high season). Daily 9–5 (depending on conditions).