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Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego - Argentina 2013

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I just came back from Ushuaia, Argentina, where I had the opportunity to ski 7 days at Cerro Castor, the southernmost ski resort in the world.

 

Ushuaia is a nice town, has several good restaurants and shops, and many tourist activities besides skiing.

Summer months (Dec-March) are usually their high season, with many cruise ships leaving to Antarctica.

 

 

Ushuaia views from our hostel

 

 

I usually prefer scheduling ski trips in South America for mid August, but due to work, My friends and I ended up going during the first week of September.

We were not disappointed, actually snow conditions were very good all the way to the valley floor. It's amazing that 300ft above Ushuaia, the snowpack is pretty deep.

 

 

One of the base chairs at Cerro Castor

 

Cerro Castor is at 54-South, and almost 100% south facing, so the snow preservation is very good, despite the low altitude.

The base of the Resort is 650ft above the see level, and the top is around 3300ft. At this latitude and because of the oceanic climate, tree line is very low, around 2100ft

 

The resort is known for having one of the most reliable snow conditions in South America, and also one of the longest seasons (from June - early October)

Locals said Cerro Castor averages about 250 inches of snow per year.

 

The tip of the Andes Mountains

 

Castor is medium size Resort, it has 5 fixed quads and 3 surface lifts, the terrain is pretty varied, with both bellow and above tree line skiing.

Nothing extremely steep though.

 

Some of the terrain accessed by the top chair

 

 

Views from "Del Filo" chair... Zero crowds!!

 

There is some side country terrain for those willing to hike

 

Some of the side country terrain requires a hike back to the resort

 

Even with a solid base, sharp rocks are part of the environment in the Andes

 

 

 

 

Overall it was a very nice trip, Cerro Castor is a very well maintained Resort, with new chairs, good restaurants, NO LIFT LINES, and amazing views!

 

Ushuaia is a cool town, and if planning a trip down there, make sure you try their king crab (Centoia), their Lamb (cordeiro), and don't forget about the steak, the dulce de leche and of course, the wine!

 

Cheers!


Edited by Thiago - 9/10/13 at 10:22am
post #2 of 13

More?

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
 

More?

There you go!

I had a little trouble with a short cut here...:o

post #4 of 13
Nice!
post #5 of 13

Thanks for sharing!  Where is the closest airport?

 

JF

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ushuaia international airport is 5 minutes from town. The flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia takes about 3:30 hours.
Cerro Castor has a ski-in ski-out lodge at the base, but I'd recomend staying in town since there are many options of lodging, dinning and other activities.

Besides that, Cerro Castor is only 15 miles (30 minutes) from Ushuaia, and shuttles are easy to get, and not that expensive $10-$12 round trip.
Right now currency exchange in Argentina is extremelly favorable to forein currencies.
post #7 of 13

How great is it that the top rated post on EpicSki today is the OP of this amazing TR!!

 

Thanks for sharing!

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Here goes a short video from our trip:



This was my friend's (the one in black) first ski experience ever!

I'm no ski instructor, but I'm glad I could help a friend to get bitten by the ski bug!

post #9 of 13

Gracias!  On my bucket list, along with Bariloche.

post #10 of 13

"almost 100% south facing, so the snow preservation is very good"

Don't see that in print every day, at least not in this hemisphere!
 

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post
 

Gracias!  On my bucket list, along with Bariloche.

Yeah, Bariloche (Catedral) is a nice mountain, bigger than Cerro Castor, BUT it can be crowded, and the snow is not very reliable...

Bariloche has much more freezing level issues, and poor coverage on the half bottom of the mountain is pretty normal.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
 

"almost 100% south facing, so the snow preservation is very good"

Don't see that in print every day, at least not in this hemisphere!
 

That is why I always carry a compass while skiing! :D 

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
 

"almost 100% south facing, so the snow preservation is very good"

Don't see that in print every day, at least not in this hemisphere!
 


Yes, I generally try to mention that in my southern TR's.   I have not been there, but I believe less than ideal exposure is another one of Catedral's problems. 

Quote:
Ushuaia is a cool town, and if planning a trip down there, make sure you try their king crab (Centoia), their Lamb (cordeiro), and don't forget about the steak, the dulce de leche and of course, the wine!  

 +1 Liz and I were there 2 days before the November 2011 Antarctic ski cruise.   The training ski afternoon on the Martial Glacier was in a steady drizzle.  

Quote:
Locals said Cerro Castor averages about 250 inches of snow per year.  

 That's surprising.  I would have expected more, but also a lot of rain with the low altitude oceanic climate.  A cursory Google search says Ushuaia has 146 days a year with precipitation but an annual total of only 20.8 inches???

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 
That's surprising.  I would have expected more, but also a lot of rain with the low altitude oceanic climate.  A cursory Google search says Ushuaia has 146 days a year with precipitation but an annual total of only 20.8 inches???
 

 

I had this chat with a ski patrol one day, and his estimate was "more than 6 meters (236 inches) of snow near treeline".

I guess the top of the mountain gets considerable more, because of the extreme southern oceanic climate.

 

We arrived in Ushuaia, after a storm, and there was still snow in town, by the end of the week the snow was gone at sea level...

Surprisingly the snowpack once you get into the mountain valleys just 500-600ft above sea level, was very deep.

During 2 days it was overcast in Ushuaia, and snowing hard at the mountain valley on our way to Castor.

 

I'm pretty sure these valleys just a few miles from Ushuaia, get much more precipitation than the town facing the Beagle channel.

 

Maybe if you compare Ushuaia with Vancouver, and Cerro Castor with Cypress, I would say that overall Vancouver gets more precipitation than Ushuaia, and Cypress more snow than Cerro Castor, but I also think the freezing level issues are smaller at Castor... Rain at the top certainly not as often as in Cypress.

But I might be wrong...:dunno

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