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#15451 - 06/23/05 10:25 PM Snow Report from way down south
GwenL Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 326
Loc: Reno, NV
After two bad snow winters (well, one bad and one absolutely horrible), this winter is shaping up very nicely. The snow is nice and deep and just keeps coming. I've been practicing for retirement this week, went skiing twice during the week. I went to Valle Nevado on Monday and La Parva today. The conditions at both were outstanding, and there wasn't anybody else there. Both areas are about an hour and fifteen to thirty minutes from Santiago. I plan to ski twice more this weekend, again at Valle Nevado and then to Portillo, and depart Chile for good on the 30th. Portillo is about an hour and 45 minutes from Santiago. These areas are all above the treeline. Well, if there were trees around Santiago, they would be above the treeline. I think all three have bases above 2800 meters.

If anyone was thinking of taking a Chile ski vacation, this would be the time. Snow-wise, that is. I don't know about airline ticket or resort deals. And there is no guarantee that the snow will stay good all winter, but it certainly is deep early, which is a great sign.

Generally, people go to Portillo on ski week vacations from the States, Europe, or Brazil. Valle Nevado also gets "destination" vacationers, as there is a large hotel complex at the ski area. La Parva has mostly condos.

For your info, the websites for each of the areas are getting better each year.
Portillo: www.skiportillo.cl
Valle Nevado: www.vallenevado.com
La Parva: www.skilaparva.cl

The other area within reach of Santiago is Termas de Chillan, about a five hour drive to the south. Most of the skiing is in the trees. www.skichillan.cl

Were I going to to ski in Chile for, say, a week, I would base myself at a decent hotel in Santiago and either rent a car or get transportation to the slopes and try Portillo, Valle Nevado, and La Parva. If I had more than a week, I'd do the same and add a three-day trip to Chillan. It's fairly easy to get a van to the slopes; there are services that run vans daily, rent gear, and will pick you up at your hotel. None of these areas are large enough to keep an intermediate/expert skier interested for more than two days, IMHO.

The other ski area to consider is San Carlos de Bariloche, better known simply as Bariloche, in the lake district of Argentina. I have not skiied there, but have climbed in the summer. Bariloche will remind you of a charming European ski town, with all the amenities, shopping, restaurants, etc., and the slopes only a short ways away. None of the Chilean resorts will remind you of a charming European ski town.

Gwen


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#15452 - 06/27/05 08:15 PM Re: Snow Report from way down south [Re: GwenL]
KAYLA Offline
addict

Registered: 11/11/00
Posts: 407
Loc: new city, ny
I plan on going to Las Lenas next year.. Portillio sounds great but no T.V in the rooms.. The kiddies need a t.v..
I hope you have a great season.. THINK SNOW

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#15453 - 06/27/05 09:08 PM Re: Snow Report from way down south [Re: KAYLA]
andrew Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/15/99
Posts: 1816
Loc: Denver, CO
if you don't want to go that far, snowbird is still open next weekend. i was going to go on sunday, but i ended up going over the handlebars of my mountain bike on saturday and breaking a tooth
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#15454 - 06/28/05 07:37 PM Re: Snow Report from way down south [Re: andrew]
groundhog Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/01
Posts: 137
Loc: southern NJ
Rough life for you-you-Utahns. What to do... ski? climb? bike? Decisions, decisions....

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#15455 - 06/28/05 11:59 PM Re: Snow Report from way down south [Re: KAYLA]
GwenL Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 326
Loc: Reno, NV
Quote:

I plan on going to Las Lenas next year.. Portillio sounds great but no T.V in the rooms.. The kiddies need a t.v..
I hope you have a great season.. THINK SNOW




Have you been to Las Lenas? I would caution you a bit....I've stayed in the Aylen hotel across from Las Lenas (not to ski, we went to ice climb). The TV is a very small black and white and gets one Argentine station. Las Lenas is pretty small, and can get the rain shadow effect. Last year was bad for Chile, but Las Lenas had no snow. I mean the hills were totally brown, no lifts running. We met several Argentines from Cordoba who had bought a ski vacation at Las Lenas and got no refund. So they all went to Las Lenas anyways in their ski clothes, drank and ate, and watched the Argentine team win the Olympic basketball medal on TV.

The areas around Santiago (La Parva, Valle Nevado) invested heavily in snowmaking these past few years.

Gwen

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#15456 - 06/29/05 01:52 PM Re: Snow Report from way down south [Re: GwenL]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
GwenL, Now you tell us! Was thinking about it but decided on Nepal in the fall instead.

Andrew, how deep is the snow pack. Here on Mt. Humphreys in Arizona the south side is fairly barren (except for in the trees where it is still about 3-4ft deep at 10K ft but the northside has a snow pack between 6-8ft. A co-worker will be boarding on the 4th.

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#15457 - 06/29/05 03:27 PM Re: Snow Report from way down south [Re: Chas]
andrew Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/15/99
Posts: 1816
Loc: Denver, CO
the snowpack is still quite deep up high - definitely much deeper than what you are describing. the only problem is that it has been getting pretty hot, so there hasn't been a good refreeze every day. the corn skiing is usually quite good in the mid morning, and gets pretty mushy by lunchtime.

the snowpack on timpanogos is still huge. i saw some large wet slab activity last time i drove past it a week or two ago.

snowbird reported something like 660" inches of snow totals for the year. some of the snow stakes were getting totally buried a few times this year so that is probably conservative.
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This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.

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#15458 - 06/29/05 07:12 PM Re: Snow Report from way down south [Re: andrew]
KAYLA Offline
addict

Registered: 11/11/00
Posts: 407
Loc: new city, ny
STOP IT ... STOP IT NOW!!!!!!!!!
All you western boys are killing me.... I am working it hot humid kitchen , it's 85 and with 100% humidity and pouring.. What i would give to go skiing and play in the snow..

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#15459 - 06/30/05 01:32 PM Re: Snow Report from way down south [Re: KAYLA]
andrew Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/15/99
Posts: 1816
Loc: Denver, CO
i feel for you. i am stuck working in ft worth(why the hell do people live here?), and i would much prefer to be doing some backcountry turns up in the high wasatch or uintahs.
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This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.

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#15460 - 06/30/05 02:31 PM Re: Snow Report from way down south [Re: andrew]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
you mean Fort Worthless

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