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Thread: Ski Chile 2019

  1. #1
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    Ski Chile 2019

    A bit too early, but as the hype has already begun, here goes.

    See http://bit.ly/Chileskiguide for general and trip planning info.

    As you may remember, last year had considerable snowfall deficits throughout the central zone, and a rather high snowline in the south. So far this year has progressed with low precipitation throughout the country, record temperatures, and wild fires. Thus the deficits continue:

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    Chile has 50-90% rainfall deficits for the first quarter, which is drought. The exception to this are the northern regions, where a rainy "Bolivian winter" creeped over the altiplano and dumped rain (and snow above 4,500m) right down to the ocean in parts. Thus Arica got years of rainfall in a few days and damage was extensive, roads cut, farms flooded, etc. That is a loooong way from the ski areas, but it does indicate something weird going on.

    The beginning of the rainy season is still a month or two away, and the Chilean meteorological service predicts continuing dry conditions for the next quarter (fall):

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    While the current El Niño is developing along a similar pattern as the last one (2015), which ended up producing higher precipitation mainly in the spring (not winter), it is still too early to attempt a prediction for the 2019 winter. Nonetheless, the ski areas are pumping the hype. Here is what La Parva says (translated by google):

    "During March the meteorologists of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA for its acronym in English), confirmed the arrival of the phenomenon of "Child" on the coasts of the South Pacific.

    According to the Official Blog of the Meteorological Directorate of Chile, little by little the conditions have been given to begin to conform this climatic phenomenon, a situation that was not present since the end of 2014. This would be due to large temperature increases in the water from the sea of ​​the Equatorial Pacific Ocean, specifically in the area known as Niño 3.4 that is found in the mid pacific. This increase in water temperatures tends to cause more cloud formation, humidity and low atmospheric pressure, which can translate into a rainier winter, and we hope, with more recurrent snowfalls
    ."

    The big news from March was the coupling of the winds to the higher ocean temps (a "west wind burst" or WWB), and continued weakening of the southern high pressure system, which have raised the probability of an impact from this El Niño. I woudn´t dare a prediction now, but the outlook is certainly better than an intense El Niño! Here some graphs of the comparison to 2015:

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    In other news of interest to backcountry mags, a new law has started being discussed regarding "responsible access to the mountains", which could help unblock or improve access to many mountain regions in Chile. The latest uproar has been over the remote Volcan Maipo near Santiago (5,200m), a huge caldera with a lake and volcano in it (Diamante Caldera and Lake), which blew out 300 cubic km of tephra 500,000 years ago, and last erupted in 1912. People have mountain biked it, but I can´t find evidence of it having been skied. The local gas company, Gasco, controls access and it is very difficult to obtain. Hopefully this will open up soon....

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    Last edited by Casey E; 05-31-2019 at 01:26 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thanks Casey, solid work as always.
    Can you remember when you last had a great August in the north? I was in Portillo in 2006 or 2007. It was insanely good that year. Been back a few times since and have been disappointed. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beder View Post
    Thanks Casey, solid work as always.
    Can you remember when you last had a great August in the north? I was in Portillo in 2006 or 2007. It was insanely good that year. Been back a few times since and have been disappointed. Good luck!
    Last great season was 2005. Have had some good ones since, but not a big-base-regular-snowfall one.

  4. #4
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    First stoke of the season, Corralco posted this today
    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey E View Post
    Last great season was 2005. Have had some good ones since, but not a big-base-regular-snowfall one.
    I had to re-read that. 2005?

    I haven't skied Chile, but have had some really good trips to Argentina the past 4 years.

    Does Chile just get less snow than Argentina?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterbmoorman View Post
    I had to re-read that. 2005?

    I haven't skied Chile, but have had some really good trips to Argentina the past 4 years.

    Does Chile just get less snow than Argentina?
    Argentina does get less snow than Chile, being on the leeward side of the Andes.

    With my historical perspective of 41 years in Chile, recent seasons have not seen anywhere close to the snowfalls of some years in the 70’s to 90’s. This is clear in the rainfall records, when the “historical average” was surpassed by a factor of 2 several times.
    Snowmaking was only introduced after 2000. The past 10 years or so have been mostly below average, with none surpassing the average by any significant amount. The El Niño cycle used to bring big swings in precipitation, but it hasn’t recently. For example, 1997 was a big snow year (Niño), and 1998 was disastrously dry (Niña). 2015 was a Niño year, but only really impacted for a couple months in the spring, and 2016 was closer to “normal” than a Niña.

    Even in drier years, good snow conditions can occasionally be had, but the season is short and those good conditions will not last long.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey E View Post
    With my historical perspective of 41 years in Chile
    That's a long time!

  8. #8
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    Volcan Chillan erupted briefly last night, and maintains the orange alert level.
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    See the video here: https://mobile.twitter.com/Sernageomin

    Copahue and Planchon-Peteroa maintain yellow alerts

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    For more info on volcanoes, activity, and other geological info, see here:
    https://www.sernageomin.cl

  9. #9
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    possibly the most for real.

    nice. thank you.

  10. #10
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    Casey,
    Thanks for the stoke and info over the years.

    If you get any more on Nevados volcano activity please let us know, I was planning on returning there in August.

  11. #11
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    My first trip to Chile was 2002, and that was a fantastic season.
    I spent 2 months there from mid-August until mid-October.
    Skied closing day at Portillo in early October.
    La Parva was filled in more than normal and skied super fun.
    Aggressive in my own mind

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Minion View Post
    Casey,
    Thanks for the stoke and info over the years.
    As well.

    Care to share your story on how you ended up spending 40 years of your life in Chile?

    Appreciative, and curious.

  13. #13
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    Ski Chile 2019

    If this doesn’t give you the itch, nothing will. 17 sports in one day, Aconcagua region.

    https://www.facebook.com/sudaoutdoor...001764?sfns=mo

  14. #14
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    Cross posting this for stoke:

    South Of Summer
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...d.php?t=327583

    Thanks for this thread again, peaking in here is a summer highlight.
    24° 06°

  15. #15
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    [QUOTE=danmelon;5646137]Cross posting this for stoke:

    South Of Summer
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...d.php?t=327583

    That is "bacán"! Caught the austral spirit of winging it, nice video. Brought some deja vu up for me. Which brings us to the prior post ...

    Quote Originally Posted by MakersTeleMark View Post
    As well.

    Care to share your story on how you ended up spending 40 years of your life in Chile?

    Appreciative, and curious.
    In a word, love. Love of life, skiing and Andrea, my chilean wife. Smitten by wanderlust at an early age, at 18 I had already skied Canada, Europe, and Morocco, and there was this ski magazine poster in my brothers room, with the tips of a pair of skis looking down the garanta at Portillo to the lake and hotel. It said, "if you are standing here, you want to be standing on Rossignols". Well, I didn't care much if it were Rossis or not, but I did want to stand there. So armed with Portillo and Pinochet in my vocabulary, a pair of Fischer C4´s, and Nordica boots bought in Andorra, in January 1977 I embarked on what would end up being a 14 month trip, skiing and hitchhiking from Canada thru the US, storing the skis with a girlfriend in LA, and proceeding by land to Chile. Met a swiss dude along the gringo trail who happened to teach skiing, and we spent the season skiing all the way down to Punta Arenas. I left Chile twice but my heart kept pulling me back, so I had to get some credibility to continue courting. After 2 years of letters, traumatic phone calls, and a couple trips back and forth, off came the beard and ear ring, we married, and then lived in Canada while I finished U. Were DINKS for a couple of years, then Andrea bribed me to go back to Chile (as is their want to do), and we settled on a 10 month trip through Asia and the south Pacific, ending in Chile in 1982. Skied NZ (and almost India) on the way! Next up were kids and the refugio in La Parva (same time, more bribes...). And here I am, washed up in a paradise of sorts. Lovely family, 3 great sons now producing grandkids to play with, and a rancho in Villarrica. A happy ending, so far.....

  16. #16
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    Damn, that is cool as fuck. Well done, guy.
    crab in my shoe mouth

  17. #17
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    No video of that trip, but there are some photos, Instamatic quality.

    El Colorado. Skiing the cliffs off of La Rotonda and Falso Embudo (El "Precipicio" area as the sign said at the time)

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    Aw, Falso Puma
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    Olivier on Cono Este, the most remote lift of the two valleys at the time. There are now 10 lifts on those hills in the background.
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    About as close as we could get to Santa Teresa. Valle Nevado now hunkers down on the ridge in the back (October shot)
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    We lugged those skis on public air, bus and boats, plus hitchhiked, through the Patagonia. This included 3 nights on an old US Vietnam supply ship that plied the raucous southern seas from Punta Arenas to Castro, Chiloe. 3rd class if you can imagine it. The hold was full of hysterical cattle, swaying in shit and vomit. Here Olivier getting from Chiloe to the continent, with his life saver.
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    Our "acontecido" ramble through Tierra del Fuego late September that year was fortunately without skis. Not to say we couldn't have used them, we actually found a ski area outside the wild west town of Ushuaia, "run" by a Swiss couple! "Run" I say, as all they really had to do was keep the VW motor pulling the rope, and have some goodies to sell. Got a nice hike in though.
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    To round it off, I skied within sight of this fish market in Punta Arenas. This is a better photo than the one of me skiing, believe me.
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    Last edited by Casey E; 04-14-2019 at 10:26 AM.

  18. #18
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    Hoping its halfway decent in the south this year. Probably around los lagos in early october

  19. #19
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    Thanks for sharing. Wow. What a life.

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=Casey E;5648144]
    Quote Originally Posted by danmelon View Post
    Cross posting this for stoke:

    South Of Summer
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...d.php?t=327583

    That is "bacán"! Caught the austral spirit of winging it, nice video. Brought some deja vu up for me. Which brings us to the prior post ...



    In a word, love. Love of life, skiing and Andrea, my chilean wife. Smitten by wanderlust at an early age, at 18 I had already skied Canada, Europe, and Morocco, and there was this ski magazine poster in my brothers room, with the tips of a pair of skis looking down the garanta at Portillo to the lake and hotel. It said, "if you are standing here, you want to be standing on Rossignols". Well, I didn't care much if it were Rossis or not, but I did want to stand there. So armed with Portillo and Pinochet in my vocabulary, a pair of Fischer C4´s, and Nordica boots bought in Andorra, in January 1977 I embarked on what would end up being a 14 month trip, skiing and hitchhiking from Canada thru the US, storing the skis with a girlfriend in LA, and proceeding by land to Chile. Met a swiss dude along the gringo trail who happened to teach skiing, and we spent the season skiing all the way down to Punta Arenas. I left Chile twice but my heart kept pulling me back, so I had to get some credibility to continue courting. After 2 years of letters, traumatic phone calls, and a couple trips back and forth, off came the beard and ear ring, we married, and then lived in Canada while I finished U. Were DINKS for a couple of years, then Andrea bribed me to go back to Chile (as is their want to do), and we settled on a 10 month trip through Asia and the south Pacific, ending in Chile in 1982. Skied NZ (and almost India) on the way! Next up were kids and the refugio in La Parva (same time, more bribes...). And here I am, washed up in a paradise of sorts. Lovely family, 3 great sons now producing grandkids to play with, and a rancho in Villarrica. A happy ending, so far.....
    I'd buy the book and watch the movie.

  21. #21
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    Fast forward to the internet age, this breaking news just in: Villarrica Volcano got it's first good dusting, some 10cm down to 1,700m.
    As seen from my rancho:

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    Going below zero tonight at lake level (220m). Going to be a frosty tijerales party tomorrow.....

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey E View Post
    Fast forward to the internet age, this breaking news just in: Villarrica Volcano got it's first good dusting, some 10cm down to 1,700m.
    As seen from my rancho:

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	278538

    Going below zero tonight at lake level (220m). Going to be a frosty tijerales party tomorrow.....
    What did you build?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakersTeleMark View Post
    What did you build?
    Click image for larger version. 

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  24. #24
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    Check your PM's

  25. #25
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    [QUOTE
    In a word, love. Love of life, skiing and Andrea, my chilean wife. Smitten by wanderlust at an early age, at 18 I had already skied Canada, Europe, and Morocco, and there was this ski magazine poster in my brothers room, with the tips of a pair of skis looking down the garanta at Portillo to the lake and hotel. It said, "if you are standing here, you want to be standing on Rossignols". Well, I didn't care much if it were Rossis or not, but I did want to stand there. So armed with Portillo and Pinochet in my vocabulary, a pair of Fischer C4´s, and Nordica boots bought in Andorra, in January 1977 I embarked on what would end up being a 14 month trip, skiing and hitchhiking from Canada thru the US, storing the skis with a girlfriend in LA, and proceeding by land to Chile. Met a swiss dude along the gringo trail who happened to teach skiing, and we spent the season skiing all the way down to Punta Arenas. I left Chile twice but my heart kept pulling me back, so I had to get some credibility to continue courting. After 2 years of letters, traumatic phone calls, and a couple trips back and forth, off came the beard and ear ring, we married, and then lived in Canada while I finished U. Were DINKS for a couple of years, then Andrea bribed me to go back to Chile (as is their want to do), and we settled on a 10 month trip through Asia and the south Pacific, ending in Chile in 1982. Skied NZ (and almost India) on the way! Next up were kids and the refugio in La Parva (same time, more bribes...). And here I am, washed up in a paradise of sorts. Lovely family, 3 great sons now producing grandkids to play with, and a rancho in Villarrica. A happy ending, so far.....[/QUOTE]
    Last edited by byates1; 04-18-2019 at 02:23 AM. Reason: wow, wow.

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