Daniel Ochoa came down to SGT in the summer of 2012 with a knowledge of the world and a good understanding of travel. Ochoa had also caught my eye by producing some very nice photos on his blog – http://www.fotochoa.com. I decided to ask him for his view of SGT Argentina to help us get more feed back on the program. He is what Daniel had to say:

There is something so addicting about southern hemisphere snow. Walking through Cancun International Airport with a bag full of snowboards is surreal and stepping off a jetway right into winter with your flip-flops and board shorts on is magical. The chill on your toes, a cool you haven’t felt in months, means that the promise of pow in the summer has just turned from a day dream to a reality. If you’ve already had a good summer shred you know what I’m talking about and if you are reading this you and I are already on the same page. You don’t need me to tell you how good the snow can be or how great the terrain is, you already know. What I can tell you is that while the powder turns, big lines, and promises of untouched backcountry can leave you speechless, the people you’ll meet and the cultures you will experience leave are guaranteed to leave the longest lasting impressions. My two weeks with SGT Argentina were no different.

When I scooped up the last spot for SGT Argentina’s 2012 session three weeks before departure, all I knew is that I would be snowboarding in beautiful Bariloche, Argentina with campers, clients, world-renowned guides and some stoked pro coaches, and really, that’s all I needed to know. I couldn’t wait and I’ll just tell you right now, the experience didn’t disappoint. The mountains are as advertised, SGT staff is even better than advertised, and one of the most memorable days I had with SGT Argentina wasn’t advertised at all.

I almost missed out on Burg’s brewery tour. David and I talked about it the night before at Jacksons and I was definitely into it but my number one priority was to ride and ride I did that next day. I barely made the “cambi” bus pick up at 5pm after a great day on the hill with the crew. I’m glad I did because Barilcohe has some of the best craft beer breweries south of the equator.

Stop 1, Cerveceria Blest: I could have sworn we were in Germany and actually, David informed me that the German immigrant population was well represented in Bariloche. This was our first stop and it felt like we were gearing up for Oktoberfest. Try the Frambuesa Lambic for something different. A cross between a beer and a raspberry cider, this was a mellow way to get the tour started. The amgios agreed.

Stop 2, Cerveceria Berlina: The rustic yet warm confines of Berlina were perfect for a sunset beer. The brewery sits on a duck pond beneath the Andean peaks and the locale combined with the beers made this place memorable. Try the IPA or the Stout. In my experience a beer in Latin America generally amounts to little more than a homogeneous lager from a nationalized brewery but my first Berlina brew surprised me with something different. Argentines actually appreciate a good, hearty, well-crafted beer.

Stop 3, Cerveceria La Cruz: If you are a local, this is where you come for an Après Ski beer and pizza after a day in the mountains. The vibe is family and the beers are good. No messing around here, the brewery knows what its doing and the locals appreciate it. If I lived down the street from La Cruz, the bartender and I would be on a first name basis regardless of my Spanish comprehension. Try the Double IPA if you are a hophead.

The brewery tour was a great, unexpected, evening with new friends and SGT staff. The kind of experience you have when you decide to drink up as much life as you can. As always though, the best part about going out late night in a mountain town is that you are almost guaranteed a fresh dump of white when the sun rises. 7 am arrived early the next day but with it came the white stuff and another deep day on the Cerro. Salud!

Words & Photos: Daniel Ochoa