I have been touring around Bariloche for a week now, and yesterday while I was touring I chatted some local ski tourers up and told them I was finally going ski touring with Jorge Kozulj. They both said” oh him, he is the best in Bariloche, you are in good company”. Jorge has so far been a friend on facebook and I was looking forward to our first adventure.
Jorge is one of the most experienced mountain people around and is a fully certified mountain guide who runs andescross a guiding outfit in Bariloche. We were planning a ski tour to a zone he has never been, which is great. It’s so fun to be down here exploring and to know that maybe no one has ever skied there before.
So early this morning we drove up and sussed out the approach options. It is a very important part of exploring down here, making sure you choose the best option. When there is no available trail, choosing your path correctly is key to a non frustrating experience. The bamboo can be incredibly tight, a machete is a compulsory tool; although we forgot his. So we looked at hiking up creek bottoms or big trees that may not have bamboo underneath, but we chose a slope that had burned a few years ago and had small clumps of bamboo but somewhat easily negotiated. It was decent, within an hour of hiking we were on snow and heading up. The north side felt like spring, hot and slushy, but when we looked into the south it was creamy and cold. So we skied our first run and were psyched. Then we skinned and boot packed our way up to the small peak.
And then a short tour up and we began this mission back down to the car. I am pretty impressed with the terrain in this zone, just aesthetic. The runs are not huge but, varried and cool looking,It’s pretty neat that Jorge had never been into this zone and we were able to explore it together.