Catedral's funky lift tickets
I already heard that Cerro Catedral is one of the first ski resorts in the world to have implemented an electronic lift pass system. Today, in my first day of snowboarding on the mountain, I saw the new system myself, and it is very cool indeed. Every lift has a little scanner at the front of its queue; and you just stick your ticket in the scanner, and hold it there for half a second; and then the machine beeps, and the turnstiles open for you. Much more funky and efficient than ye 'ol punch-a-hole-in-me tickets, which need to be checked manually (or not) by lifties, and which need to be visible at all times. Catedral has a nice new hi-tech system on their mountain.
7-day electronic lift pass for Cerro Catedral.
At 395 pesos for a 7-day pass (low season price), the passes here work out at little over AUD$20 per day. Considering that at Australia's Perisher blue ski resort, lift ticket prices start at over AUD$80 per day, that's so incredibly cheap it's insane. So the lessons may be a ripoff around here, but at least the lift passes are chock-full of true South American value for money.
And they even take your photo, and print it on the ticket, if your pass is for a week or more! Although the thing I heard about the passes being "RFID-based", and not needing to even be taken out of your pocket, is bollocks: the tickets aren't RFID at all, they're barcode-based; and you have to pull them out and stick 'em in the scanner, in order for them to work. However, they are quite reliable, and the tickets also seem to be fairly durable (important when you're crashing down freezing-cold mountains all week).