Sign In:

×

Last Step!

Please enter your public display name and a secure password.

Plan to post in the forums? Change your default forum handle here!

×
×

Ski area closed due to eruption? No problem, lets take skins.

That moment when you realise that the ski area you were going to ski at next week is closed due to the volcano erupting. The obvious next question is, of course, if I was packing skins.

Yes.

Like so many outdoorsy things, our Chilean excursion was greatly affected by the nature's whims. The volcano. The ski areas that were closed because of the snow storm of the decade. But of course, this should be seen as an opportunity for adventure rather than a problem. Visiting other ski areas, exploring other things, or climbing up.

As we landed in Temuco - 700 kilometres south of Santiago - the horizon was full of conical mountains. This is a typical volcano shape, and some of them were smoking.

We didn't really have time to head to the open ski areas during the day, they were a bit further out. So we had reserved the day to explore the area around Villarica. I really wanted to see the volcano, the town of Pucón, and the beautiful lake Villarica next to them. But I also wanted to see how far up the mountain we could drive on the ski area road. Perhaps we could see something.

It turned out that a few other cars were also on the same road, setting up snow chains and planning to go up. We run into two local snowboarding hitchhikers, who explained that while the mountain is still under a Yellow alert, the road is actually passable, and a handful of skiers are enjoying skinning up the ski area.

After some trouble setting up our chains (one of them was of wrong size), we managed to drive up, and started to set up skins on our skis. We could go as high as the lower base of the ski area by car, and then had to skin up about 200 meters through moderately sloping forests. The upper base area, an open and still relatively flat area opened around us.

For the first time, we were able to clearly see the erupting volcano close ahead of us. The volcano was definitely not sleeping, as the top was emitting a large plume of smoke. Yet the most active period of the eruption had ceased, and there were no lava flows, explosions, or visible ash. Sadly, no red stuff! The upper flanks of the volcano were slightly coloured by falling ash, however.

By now we were within the closed-for-the-public 3km range from the crater, but stayed on top of the ridges. Glacier volcanoes can quickly generate deadly lahars, flows mixing volcanic material, mud, and water. And those flows will run on the couloirs and valleys.

We kept climbing, as the ground started to rise more steeply. Weather became very variable. One moment we could barely see our skis, the next moment it was clear skies. After climbing 400 meters and reaching slightly beyond one of the chairlift lines, we decided to turn back. But only because I needed to be on a work conference call in half an hour, and by now we had run out of phone coverage. Otherwise we would have continued to see the crater :-)

We skied down, on mostly icy or otherwise difficult snow. We had skied at Ski Pucón, even if the lifts were not operating. And seen an amazing view of the imposing volcano smoking ahead of us. Worth the climb and the sweat, even if this was yet another one ski run day.

And had the ski area been operating, it would have been a nice place, a mixture of steeper and less steep slopes in an amazing setting.

Photos and videos (c) 2015 by DailyMail (Reuters) for the first picture, the rest Jari Arkko and Tero Kivinen. Tämä blogi löytyy myös suomeksi

This is actually pretty interesting. There were so many occasions where I have felt so disappointed because the secure connection failed skiing was interrupted due to erosion. And I never have thought of this alternative at that time. Not even my friends have.

Play
READ THE STORY
​VIDEO: Trevor Kennison Hits The X Games Big Air Jump
Up Next Ski

​VIDEO: Trevor Kennison Hits The X Games Big Air Jump

​VIDEO: Trevor Kennison Hits The X Games Big Air Jump

Trevor Kennison isn’t afraid to go big. But you probably already knew that. The sit skier who became the first adaptive athlete to air into Corbet’s just made history again as he became the first to hit an X Games big air jump. The jump is 70 feet to the knuckle, 80 feet to the sweet spot…and Kennison took it nearly to the parking lot. After coming up a bit short on a practice jump, he took another crack at it and sent it pretty much to flat. Twice. Check it out.

Play
READ THE STORY
​TGR x HBO Present: Edge of the Earth Official Trailer
Up Next News

​TGR x HBO Present: Edge of the Earth Official Trailer

​TGR x HBO Present: Edge of the Earth Official Trailer

Teton Gravity Research and HBO have teamed up to bring you the all-new documentary film series  Directed by Steve and Todd Jones, EDGE OF THE EARTH brings you an immersive blend of action-adventure sport, travel journal, and nature documentary, following four different groups of elite action-adventure athletes on four unique, never-before accomplished missions within undiscovered realms of nature. Starting with an Alaskan winter ski and snowboard expedition, reaching the heights of a first

Play
READ THE STORY
Robin Van Gyn’s FABRIC Docuseries is Finally Here!
Up Next Snowboard

Robin Van Gyn’s FABRIC Docuseries is Finally Here!

Robin Van Gyn’s FABRIC Docuseries is Finally Here!

Robin Van Gyn's latest project is a 5 part docuseries that covers every corner and crevasse of everything you've ever loved. The star studded cast features womxn in the spaces of surfing, skateboarding, art, environmental activism and snowboarding - aiming to illustrate what is possible when sport is leveraged as a vehicle to affect fundamental change. Each episode is centered sound a specific theme: From knowledge and adaptation, activism, cultural heritage and community, that "showcases a