Patagonia, Tuesday, July 07, 2015

White Slumbers

We were surprised by the renovated Primeros Pinos snowpark, a winter sport training resort ideal for the people from the high valley.

We left from Villa Pehuenia at sunset towards our next destination: the Primeros Pinos snow park. We took rubble provincial route 13, which we traveled with extreme care.

Seventy five kilometers out of the ninety that separated us from our destination were part of a tough ascent. During this stretch, the route was not well-signaled; therefore, we had to pay extra attention while driving.

We were soon invaded by dusk and the sky got crowded with bright constellations. We were glad to see such characteristics in the sky, as it meant that the following morning, the weather would be sunny.

  • Training resort

    Training resort

  • Amusing spade sleds or “culipatines”

    Amusing spade sleds or “culipatines”

  • 1,810 meters over sea level

    1,810 meters over sea level

  • A family snow park

    A family snow park

  • Matchless landscape

    Matchless landscape

  • A good dose of adrenaline

    A good dose of adrenaline

  • The surrounding monkey puzzles

    The surrounding monkey puzzles

Skiing at Primeros Pinos

The following morning, some dark clouds on the horizon caught our attention. We realized that we were not good at meteorology. Although the day was grey, some sunbeams would percolate through the clouds, showing contrasts in the various areas of the resort.

We rented our ski gear at affordable prices in the store by the inn. Snowboarding equipments may also be rented in this shop. For those who cannot ski and wish to enjoy the snow, there are amusing spade sleds or “culipatines” available for rent.

We headed for the run, located 1,810 meters over sea level on Mount Quelli-Mahuida. It is an excellent proposal for visitors who wish to make their first steps in skiing. It has a small skiable area which is accessed through a surface lift with a total capacity for 100 skiers. There are two runs with a thirty-meter vertical drop and a slope ranging between twenty and thirty degrees.

Just by chance, the engine supposed to start the surface lift happened to be out of order; therefore, we had to go up the mountain with our skis on our shoulders in order to slide down and enjoy the snow. As a result of such inconvenience, I resolved that it would be better to take some ski lessons and thus capitalize our time by improving our technique.

Fortunately, Rodrigo was there. He is a member of the army who works in the headquarters near Primeros Pinos and who, in his free time, devotes himself to teaching Alpine and Nordic skiing in the snowpark.

It is to be emphasized that Primeros Pinos has a parking space, first aid facilities, kids nursery and private social security within the venue, which turns this into an ideal site to fully enjoy winter sports with all the comfort, safety and pleasure.

Very patiently, the instructor taught us to go down the hill doing randonée, to turn facing the slope and to slide on a fast and short slalom on the powder.
Once the class was over, we decided it was time for a rest. We went back to the inn, where lunch was expecting us. We enjoyed an amusing after lunch talk. Afterwards, feeling more relaxed, I retired to sleep on one of the soft armchairs of the lounge.

I fell asleep without noticing it. In the interim, I remember that I dreamed that I was softly sliding with my skis along a gentle slope, the horizon multiplied in the distance, and the surrounding monkey puzzles were silent witnesses of my fast passing on the snow. As I woke up, I realized I had dreamed of Primeros Pinos.
Read complete Outing... Marcelo Sola / Eduardo Epifanio

See more points of interest in Zapala

Useful Data

Level of Difficulty: Low.

Timetables: The snowpark operates from 10am to 5pm.

Recommendations: Before traveling to Primeros Pinos, phone the resort to make sure there is enough snow. We recommend that you do not surpass the speed limits and that you pay attention to slippery roads. Primeros Pinos is not the ideal site for experts or advanced skiers or snowboarders. In order to get to Primeros Pinos from Zapala, you must travel 45 km along paved Provincial Route 13. From Neuquén, you must go along National Route 22 to the city of Zapala –183 km– and from there continue along Provincial Route 13 till you reach your destination. From Villa Pehuenia, you must travel 90 km along rubble Provincial Route 13 till you reach your destination.

Zapala

Ciudad de Zapala Categoría zapalina 1.810 metros Catango y bueyes Fábrica de cemento Sonrisa invernal Fábrica de cemento Inolvidable... Fiesta en Las Lajas

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