Lifties Shut Down Resort In Patagonia - Ski Mag

Lifties Shut Down Resort In Patagonia

Until the employees get paid, nobody can ski at this popular ski area in Bariloche. By Leslie Hittmeier
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Staff members at Cerro Catedral ski resort near San Carlos de Bariloche blocked access to the lifts Wednesday morning in protest. The group of lift operators are demanding a 30-percent wage increase and are burning tires, hanging banners, and beating drums until they get it—no really, they are.

Until the situation is resolved, on-resort operations have been halted. That is, of course, a big problem for locals and foreigners looking to ski the fresh pow of recent storms in the Andes.

“The resort is in critical condition,” says Sarah Johnson, an employee at a local hotel. “It’s really affecting a lot of our jobs.”

The ski instructors, photographers, mid-mountain restaurant workers, ski patrollers, and lifties who aren't part of the protest can’t work, and the tourists who have a limited time in Bariloche, already rented gear, and paid multi-day passes can’t ski. But workers are holding strong, arguing they should be paid more than someone who works in a supermarket.

Cerro Catedral Ski Resort is located about 10 miles from San Carlos de Bariloche, and is inside Patagonia’s Nahuel Huapi National Park. It has 38 lifts and almost 4,000 feet of vertical drop. As El Nino hit the southern Hemisphere, snow continues to fall heavily all over South American ski resorts. But, for now, skiers in Cerro Catedral can only sit back and watch…or skin up amidst placards of dissent, a borderline riot, and the bellows of wage increase. 

Updates to come. 

Staff members at Cerro Catedral ski resort near San Carlos de Bariloche blocked access to the lifts Wednesday morning in protest. The group of lift operators are demanding a 30-percent wage increase and are burning tires, hanging banners, and beating drums until they get it—no really, they are.

Until the situation is resolved, on-resort operations have been halted. That is, of course, a big problem for locals and foreigners looking to ski the fresh pow of recent storms in the Andes.

“The resort is in critical condition,” says Sarah Johnson, an employee at a local hotel. “It’s really affecting a lot of our jobs.”

The ski instructors, photographers, mid-mountain restaurant workers, ski patrollers, and lifties who aren't part of the protest can’t work, and the tourists who have a limited time in Bariloche, already rented gear, and paid multi-day passes can’t ski. But workers are holding strong, arguing they should be paid more than someone who works in a supermarket.

Cerro Catedral Ski Resort is located about 10 miles from San Carlos de Bariloche, and is inside Patagonia’s Nahuel Huapi National Park. It has 38 lifts and almost 4,000 feet of vertical drop. As El Nino hit the Southern Hemisphere, snow continues to fall heavily all over South American ski resorts. But, for now, skiers in Cerro Catedral can only sit back and watch…or skin up amidst placards of dissent, a borderline riot, and the bellows of wage increase. 

Updates to come. 

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