To Bariloche, Argentina in August, by Reuben Rich
At midday the temperatures were climbing up through the nineties, on way the way to a credible forecast above one hundred. And I was lugging my skis through the Portland airport lobby. Since I had so egregiously confused the season, no one stepped up to ask my destination, or even offer a condoling smile. But I knew that while they moaned the heat forecast the next few days, I would be enjoying the view of the Andes, drinking a beer on a terrace, after a few runs in good snow. But I jump ahead.
From Portland the best connection is in Dallas, and in many ways that is where the trip begins. Dallas airport always seems such a wonderful setting off point, in part because it is in a direct line to a place I love. The lighting is dim, which encourages my sense of the existence of a reality beyond that which I can readily see, like a walk in the dark of night when the imagination can range freely, filling spaces outside my vision.There are no views of the tarmac , of its planes and service vehicles, so when I enter the jetway it could be a magic tunnel leading me to a place I know, I love and want to be.
Oh, yes, lest I forget, this was to be about skiing. Catedral in Bariloche offers some 4000 vertical feet of all types of terrain from the easiest to the most challenging, served by 38 lifts. From the ridge you enjoy impressive views of the high Andes which demarcate the border with Chile, and of the lakes below. The atmosphere recalls Europe more than the US. Many of us who have skied in Europe, the US and Asia consider this and Alta Utah our favorites.