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Thread: Ski Chile 2021

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Santiago Chile
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    992

    Ski Chile 2021

    If you followed the 2020 thread, the season revolved around the multiple ills Chile has been suffering, including the ongoing drought that affected the skiing. This year would seem to be a continuation of said ills, including social/political unrest, economic suffering, and plague. In spite of all that, a few ski areas opened late in August, and the skiing was quite good (next to no powder though). These were La Parva, El Colorado, and Corralco. Backcountry access was difficult due to covid restrictions.

    Up until a few weeks ago, some optimism was brewing. Chiles vaccination program had taken off strongly, Santiago had avoided a second wave, the elections for the constituents of the constitutional assembly were on for April 11, and rain had come to the central zone in January. Now, it would seem the Brazilian variant is ravaging the country, 90% of the inhabitants are in quarantine, hospitals are overflowing, and the elections are being postponed for a month. Riots flare up periodically, and the slow burn insurgency in Araucanía continues. Hard to be optimistic in this environment, but I will try.

    If you are looking for general info on skiing in Chile, look to http://bit.ly/Chileskiguide



    On the weather, the Chilean weather service just published their predictions for the fall (April, May, June). https://climatologia.meteochile.gob....maticas/2021/3

    In summary, with rising subsurface temps in the central Pacific, the Niña has ended, and a neutral period begun (“la nada”), but rainfall deficits are still expected. These will be most intense in the central zone, with the far south receiving excess rainfall. A Niño event could occur late in 2021, if the warmer waters surge through to the southeastern Pacific, but that is highly unpredictable.

    The regional quarterly forecasts for rainfall are:

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    What really matters here, is what sort of rainfall will happen from June on, when most of the snow falls. I would not dare a prediction, as drought has been the norm, and is most likely to continue, but one (or god permitting, two) atmospheric rivers could change everything (as happened late June 2020, under lockdown).

  2. #2
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    May 2014
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    Santiago Chile
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    Keeping to recent years norms, this year has been unusual. A brief rainfall snuck through the South Pacific high pressure zone in January, and devastated many mountain areas of the central zone, damaging crops and blocking roads. Thus, rainfall in Santiago now appears as 295% above the historic average (which is all of 12mm at this date). For reference, in 2019, the years rainfall was not much more that what fell in that one event this year.

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    A mud slide in the Cajon del Maipu, which was particularly hard hit.

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    The rest continues with deficits.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    547
    Was hoping to finally make the trip this august, but that's no longer in the cards. Good luck down there!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Santiago Chile
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    If you are thinking about a trip down this winter, it is probably unwise to plan just yet. That said, if the vaccination effort goes well, and those pesky variants calm down, possibilities for August are not out of the question. Here is where Chile stands now compared to other countries.

    The vaccinations took off a bit late, but after the Sinovac jab was approved, they soared.

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    The current objective is 15 million people vaccinated by June, or about 80% of the population. Currently, 7 million have had at least one jab, or 46%, and 4 million have had their 2 (26%). Progressing by age, and risk, this week will have everyone over 50 with their first dose. Everyone expected this would cut new cases and hospitalizations dramatically. But the opposite has happened.

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    This surge is happening across South America.

    New records are being broken almost every day now, making this surge even worse than the June 2020 one, which was catastrophic.

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    It should be noted that testing has expanded greatly from under 20 thousand per day to over 70 since June. Current positivity is 12%, versus 30% in June.

    Unfortunately, it is now younger folks getting hospitalized and dying, with 59% of hospital beds occupied by under 60´s.

    So the restrictions at this point are the most draconian yet. Borders are closed with a few exceptions, and permits for essential activities more restricted. Non essentials cannot be delivered to homes.

    When the restrictions will be lifted may depend on when the vaccines are shown to be effective against the variants. If they are, and chances are they will be, by June there should be a light at the end of the tunnel, just in time for ski season.

    The ski areas are certainly running their marketing campaigns like this season will actually happen with a semblance of normalcy.

  5. #5
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    May 2014
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    Ski Chile 2021

    La Parva touts their continuing commitment to opening the ski area, as they have done with the bike park during the summer.

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    Other areas are chomping at the bit to get the season going too, like Antillanca

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    The dark spot is Valle Nevado, which is in arrears on a wide variety of debts, and recently initiated a chapter 11-type restructure of their obligations through to 2026, with large additional short term injections to keep the lifts turning. They cite the drought and covid as contributing factors to their woes. More detail here:

    https://www.latercera.com/pulso/noti...HZ4SKEJT5ZUEY/
    Last edited by Casey E; 04-07-2021 at 09:07 AM.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2012
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    144
    What a drag, sorry to hear that this second wave of cases is happening

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    To lighten things up, here is a video of a kayak descent of V Villarrica, and a romp down the Rio Captren near V Llaima

    https://twitter.com/ReutersLatam/sta...27381178892295

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Breaking news on the volcano front, way down there where the Nazca, SA, and Antarctic plates meet

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-86413-w

    "Liquiñe-Ofqui’s fast slipping intra-volcanic arc crustal faulting above the subducted Chile Ridge"

    And the "new" volcano Mate Grande just discovered, located on this map, northwest of the rambunctious Volcán Hudson.

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    A fun read, about a fascinating part of the world, if you are into geology.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Maule, Chile
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    21
    That february storm made lots of usually "unskiable" decents possible due to the sticky snow up high https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL4o...3%A1svanWersch

  10. #10
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    Nov 2003
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    F'n Midwest again
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    Buen video, Alvaro, gracias.

    Nice looking "summer ski" there on Cerro El Plomo

    Summit is 5000+ m if I remember correctly
    Aggressive in my own mind

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alvaro View Post
    That february storm made lots of usually "unskiable" decents possible due to the sticky snow up high https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL4o...3%A1svanWersch
    Bravo! I was in Villarrica at the time and saw the photos of snow on El Plomo, but didn’t imagine anyone hauling skis all that way. “Breathless” is probably an understatement, no?

    I did glissade that top part many years ago. Epic mountain.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Maule, Chile
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    21
    Not for tomas jajaja, he sometimes goes alone for a "run" to the top of el plomo from la parva in a single push. I can´t really tour more than 1500 mts in a day so i don`t do this kind of stuff with him

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