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Thread: Ski Chile 2021

  1. #1
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    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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    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
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    Was hoping to finally make the trip this august, but that's no longer in the cards. Good luck down there!

  4. #4
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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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    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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    What a drag, sorry to hear that this second wave of cases is happening

  7. #7
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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
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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
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    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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    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
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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
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    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

  13. #13
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    First snowfall on Volcán Villarrica, which continues to fume, as seen from our rancho

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  14. #14
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    Very nice, que bonito!
    Aggressive in my own mind

  15. #15
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    Had to cancel my trip to Chile last August and was hoping to get out there this August as a makeup. Odds not looking great. Thanks for the updates and keep us posted as things progress.
    I ski 135 degree chutes switch to the road.

  16. #16
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    Awesome video of the Plomo descent. Gracias por compartirlo.

  17. #17
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    Just to keep the stoke going, while we await news of the storm forecast for May 1, here is a Marmot Cajon del Maipo high glacier exploration, with great looking snow in a bad year (2019)...



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  18. #18
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    The upper Maule is definitely on the map now, last year I posted this North Face video on the Chilean side.



    Slava gets his above the Aduana (from our June 2019 excursion)

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    Just across the border, over the Paso Pehuenche, the Argentinians are gobbling up the pow as well



    Meanwhile, at the Paso Vergara, 90km north of Paso Pehuenche as the Condor flies, the boys on the motos explore Lagunas del Teno, at the base of the Planchon-Peteroa volcanos



    And, once again, the Argentinians have their side of the pass scouted out, and even project having a "auto-sustentable" ski area, probably with sled, cat and heli skiing for the foreseeable future.



    This is about 40km southwest of Las Leñas, and the road is likely quite a grunt. But the lure of a new frontier gets my blood boiling...



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    They even have hot springs nearby, which I dubbed the champagne pools, from the constant bubbles, when we snuck over the border once many years ago.

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    Their sweet dream map

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    All is not mechanized, here is a late-season randonee ski down the last volcano of the chain, to the hot springs Termas del Azufre


  19. #19
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    Thank you once again Casey, for the optimism and beta! I will be watching closely with fingers crossed.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Gravity always wins...

  20. #20
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    A storm is forecast for 3-6 days out, with snow falling mostly next Monday. It will probably skirt the central zone for the most part, but up to 20cm could fall in the 3 Valleys.



    Winter is coming....?

  21. #21
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    The storm went south, as I expected, with almost nothing falling north of Maule.

    Volcan San Jose got dusted (above 4,000m), RM

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    Descabezado Grande and Cerro Azul (Quizapú), Region del Maule

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    Llaima, Araucanía

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    For May June July, the local weather service is still predicting mostly below normal precipitation.

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    This is an interesting graph included in their report, with the history of years when "neutral" conditions were forecast for MJJ, and the resulting rainfall (green more, brown less).

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    1996 and 1998 were pre and post respectively for El Niño 1997. 2005 was an exceptional year for snow. More brown there lately....

    https://climatologia.meteochile.gob....maticas/2021/4

  22. #22
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    Sun came out today

    Laguna del Maule


    Volcán Nuevo, Nevados de Chillan


    Chillan continues to be active, with 3 tremors in recent days

    Villarrica, on the other hand, has had its risk class improved to green


  23. #23
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    well something is better than nothing, even if it will just evaporate... Valle Nevado today


  24. #24
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    Hey, how are things going down there? Some of the best memories I have were the couple years (1998-2000) I spent living in Las Condes and traveling throughout Chile, and Western Argentina with my Polola Chilena. Surfing Pichelumu, kayaking around Pucon, rock climbing in various areas and of course skiing and snowboarding there. It's such an amazing country and as the US continues to go down the drain, Chile is one of a few countries we are considering moving to in the next 5 years. I'm sorry to hear about how hard you guys got hit with a 2nd wave and I hope things start improving quickly. I was considering taking my 12 year old son to ski Valley Nevado but not so sure that will be an option this Summer/S. Winter.

  25. #25
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    Chillan rumbles and puffs again this morning




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