Cerro Bayo

March 11th, 2013

Cerro Bayo

I slept great last night in our very quiet and cool room. We enjoyed the deck last night with a view of the lake. I guess it does pay to be a crabby gringo now and then. Probably didn’t hurt to have Susanne sweet talk the manager while I got to be all crabby. Good cop/bad cop is a time-honored and successful strategy.

The upgraded deck
The upgraded deck

We woke up to a really beautiful and sunny day. Both of our spirits were greatly boosted by the stay in the hotel and sight of the sunshine. Even the coffee wasn’t too bad this morning, so I had a second cup.

I had found a cool website that had listed a bunch of hikes in the Villa La Angostura area. I figured it was a nice day and I had been denied numerous “vista” hikes, I wanted to do something that would give us a great view. Cerro Bayo is a peak just behind that town that is also home to a small ski area. It was a pretty steep climb, so Susanne wasn’t super-excited about it, but off we went anyway.

We drove up the 6 km of dirt road to the ski area at the appropriate velocidad de turista and parked at the ski area base. There were a couple other people there as well, and Susanne noticed that the lift was running. She jumped out of the car and went to see if they were offering rides up the very steep mountain. Indeed, they were. This made her happy. We packed up some stuff and headed over to get our tickets. It was colder than expected.

At the base of Cerro Bayo
At the base of Cerro Bayo
High speed lift....not
High speed lift….not

This really provided us a good opportunity to meet all needs. I would get some hiking in, Susanne would get some great vista without having to kill herself. The chairlift was ancient and made the A chair at Copper Mountain seem ridiculously fast. I think I might have been able to climb faster than the chair took us up.

The view from the top of the chair lift was amazing. We got off and tossed on what remaining clothes we had brought, because it was windy and much colder than I had expected. I was grateful that I had remembered my gloves or else I would have been dying.

Very nice view at the lodge at the top
Very nice view at the lodge at the top
Not beginner terrain on this mountain
Not beginner terrain on this mountain

We hiked up the road to the top of another ski lift with a great view out across the lake. Cerro Tronador could be seen towering above all the other mountains. Evidently, this is a great mountaineering volcano and it would even be something I could climb. Maybe someday I’ll have to come back and do it.

Susanne with Cerro Tronador in the background
Susanne with Cerro Tronador in the background

I hiked up to the summit of Cerro Bayo while Susanne hung out in the sun. The views were really incredible. The ski area is small but looked like it had some amazing skiing. Definitely not a beginner area. Most of the terrain was off-piste double black. A good portion of it requires you to carry avalanche safety equipment. I bet the place is awesome on a great powder day. Maybe after I climb Cerro Tronador, I’ll come here and do some epic powder runs.

View of the peninsula we hiked yesterday
View of the peninsula we hiked yesterday
Summit of Cerro Bayo
Summit of Cerro Bayo
Sandy climb
Sandy climb
Beautiful lake views
Beautiful lake views
Always a happy dude in the mountains
Always a happy dude in the mountains

We headed back down the mountain and into to town for some Linner (lunch-dinner). Both Susanne and Casimiro were relivied to hear that we had no more dirt roads for the rest of the trip.

We wandered the street and picked a restaurant at random. When we entered the place was nearly empty. The waiter approached and asked if we had a reservation. We said no. He said he would have to see if he could squeeze us in. Really? It’s empty. Overall, people have been really great, but every now and then you meet a turd-head. He was clearly in the turd category.

We had lunch, which really wasn’t very good. It cracked us up that the dude was being so hoity-toity about the place and the food was so bad. Bummer.

We headed back to the hotel and I got to take my much-needed nap. Yeah! Naps are under-rated in my book. I think that if everyone would take a nap in the afternoon we could prevent wars and potentially the inane battle over the debt ceiling.

I actually looked at the google news site today for the first time since the trip began. Clearly my life is no worse off for not having to hear all the same blah-d-blah that makes up most of the news these days. The only deficit that we have been concerned with is that our good scotch has run out.

Now we are just chilling at the hotel. Tomorrow we start the trip back to BA with a stop in Nequen. Depending on our mood, we might try some wine tasting there or we may just chill.

It has been good to hang in a hotel for 3 days and I was really pumped that I got such a great vista day today. I’ll be glad to get home and see my dogs and get some good coffee.

Ciao for now!

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