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Cerro Bayo, Lake District

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Text and Photos © 1992, 1996 Chris I. Lizza. All Rights Reserved.
Chris' South America Ski Guide can be purchased at amazon.com

Modern slopes at Cerro bayo, with a view
Another view of Cerro Bayo in winter

Ski Area Facts and Figures:

1,730m (5,675ft)
1,010m (3,315ft)
Vertical Drop:
720m (2,360ft)
mid-July to early October
2 Double Chairs, 1 T-Bar, 6 Surface Lifts
15% Beginner, 40% Intermediate, 35% Advanced, 10% Expert
Tickets, 1997:
Adults: u$d 22
Children: US$16 - free under 6 or over 64 years old


Cerro Bayo is typical of the resorts in the Lakes District. Like the others, the chairlift is often required to carry skiers from the low base to the treeline from where consistent skiing can be enjoyed throughout the season. This crucial lift was operational at Cerro Bayo for the 1989 season and replaces the older poma beside it. Above the top of the chair, at the 1,500m (4,920ft) level, there is great skiing on a protected ridge and in a plunging, south-facing bowl.

The chairlift is hardly the only new improvement at Cerro Bayo. The summit was recently reached for the first time by a new T-Bar which retrieves skiers from the basin at the bottom of the bowl. The old wooden poles of the upper poma lift have been replaced with modern steel towers, and the rickety baskets of boulders have been restored with new cement counterweights. Every season, Cerro Bayo sees a new improvement, be it a new lift, a new run, or other upgraded facilities. If you haven't skied Cerro Bayo lately, you haven't skied Cerro Bayo.

New in '97

1995 saw the installation of Cerro Bayo's second chairlift. The Telesilla del Bosque is a great improvement that not only made the upper slopes easier to ski, but gave out-of-bounds skiers an easier return from runs off the Cerro Bayo peak. A new refugio (Deck 18) was built near the top of the new chairlift. Most importantly, tree clearing has been underway to provide an easier return to the base for those venturing to the wilderness terrain of Travesia Tuba. New for the 1997 season is the addition of another snow cat and the construction of a Snowboard Park.

Cerro Bayo and Antillanca (Chile) have recently teamed up as centros amigos. These two fine resorts, located only 90km (56m) apart, can now be skied on the same lift ticket. Purchase a weekly pass at either resort, and you can ski both during the week. This program allows skiers to stay at the homey forested lodges at Antillanca or at the luxurious lakeside resorts of Villa la Angostura and still enjoy plenty of exciting skiing throughout a weeklong stay


Cerro Bayo (1,782m, 5,846ft) is the name of the double-summited mountain at the southern end of a short range which includes Cerros Inacayal (1,840m, 6,037ft) and Belvedere (1,192m, 3,911ft). The east and southeast-facing runs are well-protected from the prevailing westerlies which often strip the snow off of the backside of the mountain. Expansive views of the clear Lake Nahuel Huapi are provided at the top of the T-Bar.

Skiing Tips

Three snowcats access the upper part of the mountain by ascending the steep face via an access road which is also the only easy way to ski down from the mountain's midpoint. Beginners learn on the tow lift at the top of the Principal chairlift and then download to return safely to the base. Intermediate skiers tend to ski the Pomita tow and Bosque chairlift which ascend the ridge toward the summit. The trail to the immediate left (south) of the poma is the most popular and serves as the race hill. Advanced and expert skiers enjoy the south and southeast aspects of the main bowl alongside the T-Bar de la Cumbre. Skiers can descend the left side of the T-Bar track to re-enter the bowl or ski off to the right to return to Pomita.

Adventure Skiing

Adventure skiers will froth at the chutes and bowls of the other summit of Cerro Bayo which is about 50m (165ft) higher than the one served by the T-Bar. The southeastern aspect has several extreme lines, and easier descents are found in the valley separating the two summits. Avalanche danger here and in the T-Bar bowl can be serious after big storms or in late spring.

Nordic Skiing

Nordic skiers will find the terrain at Cerro Bayo limited. Try driving up the Puyehue Pass and skiing near the summit, where more abundant snow and smooth, rolling terrain is found alongside towering rock formations.

Information and Reservations:
In Villa La Angostura:
Codigo Postal 8407
Tel: (0944) 94 189
Fax: 94 310

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