Gaston is a ski instructor with with ES in Zermatt in the winters, and here he tells us about his summer, skiing, teaching and travelling in Patagonia.
Skiing in Patagonia
In the summer, I travelled back to my hometown of Bariloche in Patagonia, Argentina. There, I teach skiing in the resort of Cerro Catedral, in the Andes. The ski season opened on the 30th of June and ran until the 15th of October. This is quite a long Southern Hemisphere winter, of 3.5 months.
Cerro Catedral is 19km from Bariloche and it is within a national park. It has 120km of pistes, so it has the biggest area of lift accessed ski terrain of all the South American ski resorts. From the ski area, you can see the Nahuel Huapi lake, which makes for fantastic views while skiing.
At Cerro Catedral, we have the most days with snowfalls in all of Argentina. The skiing is between 1030m and 2100m of altitude.
The snow really motivates me to get up early every day and go skiing. I love skiing fresh corduroy on the slopes, or also skiing the new snow off piste if it has been snowing.
I now have over 20 ski seasons of ski teaching experience but I still love every day on the snow. What I love about ski teaching is that I am sharing my passion with others. I enjoy seeing how people improve their skills and get more and more out of the sport as they improve.
Hiking in Patagonia
At the end of the winter season, I enjoy some hiking and the sunsets on the lakes, while I wait and look forward to starting the season again in Zermatt. In this area in the summer you can also go hiking and rock climbing and there are mountain huts and a camping area near the highest point in the resort.
This October I took a trip to the ocean in Chile. This was a little road trip to Bahia Mansa, Chile, a little fishing town at a similar latitude to Bariloche, to change the mountains for the ocean a few days before coming back to the altitude of Zermatt.
Gaston is now back in Zermatt already, and back on the snow ready for another great winter.
I grew up in Argentina Patagonia, by the Andes mountains, where I started to ski at the age of 10. Nowadays, after more than 20 years skiing I’m still motivated to keep learning and sharing my knowledge with others. This sport gave me many friends and the possibility to travel a lot, so I will always be grateful for this. I also like any other outdoor activity. Hiking, going to a beach or just walking around to discover new corners in town is always a good plan.