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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    TR: Valle Nevado, Chile

    Day 0: Work than flight
    Back in February I got an email from TGR saying I won this:


    Picked my best friend since grade school as trip buddy, Noah. Always interesting picking dates many months in advance and with this being the southern hemisphere, that added an extra challenge. I had already planned the Iceland mountain bike trip for August and didn't want to go to Chile early or mid season. I always figure spring is best time, hoping for sunny warm spring conditions or spring powder. Got very lucky with Sept 7-18, 2017. 100's of emails to arrange everything, but everything went smoothly starting out with extra leg room on the Delta flight...definitely spring for comfort+ on long flights:


    Free micro beers are the + in comfort+:
    Last edited by 406; 10-03-2017 at 11:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Day 1: Valle Nevado Resort-sunny
    Nice flights arriving at busy SCL airport around 9 am. The Italian ski team clogging up the arrivals area made it difficult to find our driver, but eventually did and made it through Santiago traffic and 1000 switch backs up to the resort and checked into our room at the Hotel Puerta del Sol around noon:


    Changed into ski gear and started exploring the ski area:


    Found some spring snow:


    and some week old powder from the last storm:


    Really fun skiing and nice to have escaped Northern hemisphere summer:

    Dinner for the first day was at the hotel buffet with view of the awesome sunset:

  3. #3
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    Day 2: Valle Nevado Resort-grey bird
    Forecast was predicting a large storm starting in the early afternoon. Groomers were fun and good to scope out areas for post storm:


    The surface lifts take some getting used to:


    Still found some pockets of powder:


    Then it went to like being inside a ping pong ball, so we called it early:


    Time to drink it deep, doesn't take much at this altitude:


    Funny name:


    Dinner at Sur the Chilean cuisine, each night we got 3 course dinners, the apps:


    They put shrimp and avacado on everything, yummy!:

  4. #4
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    Day 3: Valle Nevado Resort-stormy powder day
    Awoke to several feet of new snow. Seemed like we were the only non ski race team at the resort, so not much competition for fresh turns:


    Visibility wasn't good for most of the day, but the sun was out for awhile. I chatted with ski patrol at the top of Embalse lift, who told me I could ski the lift despite the "closed" sign:


    It was really good:


    It was just me and 3 Austrian racers on the lift. They stayed farther skiers left due to fear of scratching their race skis, so I farmed the run closer to the lift many times:


    Incredible day, dinner at La Fourchette, the very fancy French restaurant. A clean air sunset:
    Last edited by 406; 09-27-2017 at 09:44 AM.

  5. #5
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    Day 4: El Colorado Resort
    We noticed the Corno Este t-bar at El Colorado ski area did not spin the day prior, so went that way after a few Tres Puntas laps:


    The locals seem to ski El Colorado and a few runs there was a couple minute lift line. The obvious stuff got tracked fast:


    But plenty of cool terrain to check out:


    Crowds didn't last long. POV video of a couple small chutes:



    beer:


    Dinner at Monte Bianco Ristorante for Italian. Interesting app, bubbling hot cheese with shrimp on top:

  6. #6
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    Day 5: Tres Puntas sidecountry
    View of previous days tracks from hotel room:


    Inbounds was tracked up, so checked with ski patrol and "signed out" to ski the slackcountry of Tres Puntas. Noah making powder 8's on my tracks:


    POV video of lower half of first run:


    It was an interesting traverse to get to the top of the run...lots of hidden sharks, but pockets of deep:


    View of the area we made several laps on:


    Dinner back at Sur:


    With another sunset:

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Day 6: Skinning up Cerro La Parva
    Had to earn the turns today. Took the lifts to top of Valle Nevada resort and then the skin track up to Cerro La Parva:


    Seemed odd the monitoring station was tipped over:


    Summit was cool, but reminds you that we are just playing around in the foothills and the big mountains are further away:


    Noah was determined to ski from the 4000 meter peak, I walked down the dusting of snow on scree to the start of our run:


    Frame grab of the run just prior to dropping:


    First turn after dropping off the cornice was awesome, second turn was couple inches of snow on rock. Ejected from 1 ski and stabbed the whippit into the scree to keep from rolling off the small rock band. Recovered, clicked back in and remembered to clear snow from lens. Such a good run, my best pov video:


    Below the chute was fun turns on the bowl:


    Another amazing day and sunset:

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    3,377
    Damn, dude. Biking in Iceland and skiing in Chile? Your summer was way more interesting than mine.

    Sweet TR!

  9. #9
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    Day 7: Skin up Cerro Falsa Parva and La Parva ski area
    Noticed some cool terrain on Falsa Parva previous day, but wanted to see it from the bottom so migrated over to La Parva ski area to start skinning. Found some fun turns on the way to the La Parva lifts:


    Skinning:


    Ocean fossils at 13000 ft:


    Our run:


    Dug a snow pit at the top and forgot to clean off camera so have a couple minutes of video that look like this:


    So you will have to trust me that it was really good skiing, Noah skiing down:


    After that, explored La Parva ski area. We didn't expect to find inbounds fresh turns, but found many...and sunshine:


    Last resort run of the trip:


    Final Valle Nevado sunset:

  10. #10
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    Jan 2008
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    Day 8: Drive
    Not part of the prize, I arranged rental car, cabins, and couple days of guided backcountry skiing. Donny Roth of Chile Powder Adventures has an area off the beaten path that he is exploring for the last few years and promised big remote days. Checked out of hotel at 10 am and ride down the mountain was interesting with all the traffic going up for the holiday weekend. I want that road sign:


    Don't think I would ever buy a hyundai, but did get excited about our rental diesel small AWD SUV:


    Pretty awesome cabins and hot tub along the river:
    Last edited by 406; 09-29-2017 at 01:56 PM.

  11. #11
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    Day 9: Backcountry
    Donny mentioned something about a long approach:


    Gotta include a river crossing:


    "15 minutes until snow" was more like 2 hours until skining:


    But worth the work:


    Pano to large to place inline...endless amount of lines:
    http://umtgriz.com/forum/2017_summer...916_143106.jpg

    Our run:


    Looking back up as Noah skis down:


    Fast gs turns below the couloir:




    The hike out was teh suck:


    Drool:


    Beer, Chilean wine, and asado finished off the day:

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    in a van down by the river
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    2,776
    That is a rad TR, looks like it was a great trip.
    I don't work and I don't save, desperate women pay my way.

  13. #13
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    Day 10: Backcountry
    Also a long approach, but used hiking shoes to get to the snow this time:


    Bad photo, but 3 condors circled us as we skinned in:


    Up we go:


    Dropping in:


    Donny triggered some wet slides, so we changed route slightly:


    My POV on the upper 1/4 of the run:


    Noah skiing down to me:


    Lower half:


    Relatively easy walk out:


    Drove back to Santiago. Prize included 1 night in Hotel Magnolia located downtown. Very fancy hotel:


    Returned rental car and took Ubar back to hotel. Uber driver gave me 1 star review because I live in CA and don't speak Spanish...should have taken subway as originally planned, but we were very tired.

  14. #14
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    Day 11: Santiago City and flight
    With it being Sept 18th, Chilean Independence day, museum and most stuff was closed. Hotel provided a really good breakfast and then walked up the Cerro Santa Lucía to check out the castle and park:


    Then to Palacio de la Moneda, office of their president seemed to have some activity:


    Waited around 15 minutes and googled to see who is the president of Chile. And then she drove by:


    Walked to Plaza de Armas, but that is were the president had gone, so couldn't see much:


    Third attempt to find some empanadas that were not filled with onions was a fail. Argentina has much better empanadas, but this place was a cool experience with a friendly old man cooking:


    Walking through colorful neighborhoods:


    I was very excited the funicular was open:


    After a 1 hour wait, up we go:


    Pass the down car half way up:


    Big city:


    Walked to the top to see:


    One final hotdog covered in avocado, so much better than the hotdogs in Iceland:


    Back to hotel for ride to airport. We pack heavy, but at least leave the flat screen at home:


    Nice flights home and went into the office Tuesday. Not only lucky winning the trip, but got really really luck with the 3 feet of fresh snow. Felt like I packed a season of skiing into this trip, which is good because baby #2 is due in January. So many mountains in Chile, and I was only in the central area, I can see how people get hooked. Stay classy Chile, hopefully I will get to return:

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Couloirfornia
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    That looked fun. Nice work dude.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_Hemingway View Post
    I realize there is not much hope for a bullfighting forum. I understand that most of you would prefer to discuss the ingredients of jacket fabrics than the ingredients of a brave man. I know nothing of the former. But the latter is made of courage, and skill, and grace in the presence of the possibility of death. If someone could make a jacket of those three things it would no doubt be the most popular and prized item in all of your closets.

  16. #16
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    Aug 2014
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    The High 12 Hill
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    Sick!! And congrats on the upcoming baby, B!!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    1,032
    Awesome TR! Thanks for bringing the Stoke!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    pdx
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    fuck yeah, 406!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    518
    Awesome trip report.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    A LSD Steakhouse somewhere in the Wasatch
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    9,598
    good shit mag
    thanxs 4 sharing
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
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    Awe to the some

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Park City
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    1,699
    That def brings the stoke! Congrats on your win and making the most of it!


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I rip the groomed on tele gear

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    1
    Nice trip! The last time I was there I stayed at the Hotel Valle Nevado, but I remember that the bar at the Hotel Tres Puntas was definitely the place to be at night.
    Last edited by boredtoo; 10-10-2017 at 07:54 AM.

  24. #24
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    Jan 2008
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    Thanks guys! Should be getting the new boots in the next week or so.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    67
    Absolutely awesome! I love South America. Spent loads of time there but never skiing. Just got bumped up on the bucket list. Thanks for posting.

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