About 20 kilometers southwest of Bariloche , Cerro Catedral’s 2,388-meter summit overlooks Villa Catedral, the area’s major winter-sports complex.
After decades of decline and eclipse by resorts like Las Leñas  (Mendoza), Bariloche  is reestablishing itself as a ski destination with new investment and technological improvements at Catedral Alta Patagonia (Base Cerro Catedral, tel. 02944/42-3776, www.catedralaltapatagonia.com ), only a short hop west of town. It’s still more popular with Argentines and Brazilians than intercontinental travelers, but new snow-making and grooming gear have complemented the blend of 15 beginner-to-advanced runs, and lift capacities have also improved. From a base of 950 meters, the skiable slopes rise another 1,000 meters.
As elsewhere, ticket prices depend on timing; the season runs mid-June–mid-October, but is subdivided into low, mid-, and peak season. For prices, check the area’s website.
Basic rental equipment is cheap, but quality gear is more expensive. In addition to on-site facilities, try downtown’s Baruzzi Fly Shop (Urquiza 250, tel. 02944/42-4922) or Martín Pescador (Rolando 257, tel. 02944/42-2275) for ski rentals.
In addition to downhill skiing, there are also cross-country opportunities at close-in Cerro Otto .
From Villa Catedral, the Cablecarril y Silla Lynch (10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, US$13 pp) carries visitors to Confitería Punta Nevada and Refugio Lynch, which also has a confitería.
Hikers can continue along the ridgetop to the Club Andino’s 40-bed Refugio Emilio Frey (tel. 02944/35-5222, www.refugiofrey.com , US$9 pp), 1,700-meters above sea level and open all year; the spire-like summits nearby are a magnet for rock climbers.