40cms or so of snow in Portillo, only a few lifts running today, but it might calm down enough to get some more open tomorrow.
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Portillo: Open Your Mind to the Full Chilean Mountain Experience
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Ski Chile 2016 - Page 2
Gear mentioned in this thread:
The skiing has been excellent the last month, with packed powder groomers holding out just fine. Offpiste has been ratty.
Now it is snowing again both in the central zone and the south. 30cm accumulated as of today in the 3 valleys, and 68cm in Portillo, lots of wind. More is forecast for tomorrow.
Corralco opened today with a thin base, but looks nice:
Chillan opens thursday. The other volcanoes are starting to look good too:
Callaqui south east face:
Llaima east face:
Take snow-forecast predictions with a lot of salt. This last snowfall ended up with about a third of what was predicted 5 days out. At least the trend has has been reverted and there are fairly continuous flows of fronts predicted now:
Las Leñas, just over the border from the fictitious area, Alto del Padre, is probably going to get wacked.
Snow forecast is the more conservative forecast for us at the moment, they are predicting 25cms or so overnight/tomorrow morning, whilst meteoblue is saying close to 70. The wind just kicked up hard, not lots of snow falling yet though.
Portillo is reporting 116cm in the most recent storm. With 219cm on Plateau, I'm feeling good that even if we don't see another big dump like this until Santa Maria season, all will be good for an August skiing. Portillo holds snow like no other place I've seen. This will make two great August trips in a row. After too many low snow years in both my home of Lake Tahoe and Chile, I'm looking forward to another great week of Andean skiing next month!
Yes, particularly for the Valle Nevado group. The forecast a week ago was for Valle Nevado to get more than either Portillo or Las Lenas. That almost never happens. Long term Valle Nevado average is lower than either Portillo or Las Lenas, so northern storms usually deliver more to Portillo as in early June and central/southern storms should deliver more to Las Lenas.
I suggest you make a spring trip much closer to home at Mammoth sometime.
Portillo's altitude range is quite similar to Mammoth's, but at its San Diego latitude the sun is quite intense by late August and September.
Also most of Portillo's ski terrain faces east or west. That's great for timing corn both morning and afternoon, but there was very little winter packed powder when I skied there in early September 2007. Mammoth is routinely 75+% packed powder all the way through March.
I agree with the substance of ssm949's post. In terms of snowpack and skiable terrain Portillo is set through August even if it warms up and brings on some spring conditions.
Unfortunately the South America ski season south of Las Lenas is just getting started now on very limited terrain.
Edited by Tony Crocker - 7/17/16 at 4:18pm
Damn! I love that dog. We're in a national park so there are no dogs allowed where I ski.
Mind you, given the 'Squaw two step' that we had to perform a few years back, there are benefits ...
That said, the forecast is for mostly "normal" precipitation for the ASO quarter, so something should fall in September:
I have completed a guide for skiing in Chile which can be found here: http://bit.ly/Chileskiguide
Mattadvproject's reports from Chillan this week have been good, though the very bottom is getting thin so he tries to get dropped off at the base of Otto each morning.
Staley is at Las Lenas this week. Snow is good up high, particularly if you are up to the skinning, hiking (Cerro Martin, Entre Rios, El Collar) beyond Marte.
Coverage is minimal off the groomers on the lower mountain, probably not worth skiing if Marte is closed. Fortunately that's been only one day of this week.
Catedral was hurting for snow until a major storm cycle hit last week. So it's good there now per SnowBrains reports but hard to say how long it will last.
The streak of subpar South America ski seasons since 2010 is continuing. The drought is as severe and now longer lasting than California's.
EL Nino was still fairly strong in May and June but its condition is neutral now. "Something" in September is better than nothing, but keep in mind average precip in September in the central Andes is only about half average precip in July. I think this is the real reason for the Santa Rosa legend. Late August/early September is generally the latest you might get a really big storm. Contrast to the Sierra, where we think of late March/early April in those terms. The Alpine Meadows avalanche in 1982 was the most notable example. Average monthly snowfall December to March in the Sierra is level, unlike the midwinter peak in the central Andes.
I'd love to find the meteorological explanation for the contrast. I had assumed the weather patterns, similarly driven by cold water Pacific currents, would be the same but they are not.
Edited by Tony Crocker - 8/26/16 at 1:58pm
A sampler of conditions down under in the Western Hemisphere. Just a 13 year old at Valle Nevado about a week plus ago , easy cruising through gates, ..conditions were pretty darned good from the looks of it (at 25% of actual film speed, annotations from a viewing coach)
Because it was our third time we wanted to see more of the country. We spent a couple of days in Santiago.
Santiago is a modern city with a lot of old stuff.
And lots of art everywhere.
When we got to Portillo we were relieved to see that Laguna del Inca was still there.
We rode the Roca Jack with the Austrians.
And did a little ski racing ourselves in the regular Thursday race.
Because of the warm conditions the Roca Jack Travesia was only open a couple of hours each day for laps in the S Chute.
That was okay because it was time for lunch.
And then the Lake Run would open.
Chalet life after another great day.
After the wine tasting we watched the sunset.
And after dinner it was dancing in the bar filled with skilebrities.
We took a scenic helicopter ride.
The Andes from the air are even more spectacular. Shown are Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside the Himalaya and Nevado Junca 20,250' and the Juncal glacier.
After a great week of skiing, we booked for next year and headed off to Zapallar on the Chilean coast.
After a week in the starkness of the Andes the change in flora and fauna was remarkable. An incredibly diverse country.
The Chilean coast is very rugged, the water is very cold and the waves pound relentlessly.
We were told this was a very calm day.
Fortunately, there is always Jesus del Mar.
The Chilean people we met were all wonderful, their food is amazing and the combination of skiing and beach makes for an excellent adventure.
Next year we plan to add another couple of ski areas to the itinerary. Hope you enjoy the pictures.
Awesome!! You should consider doing a thread in the Trip Reports forum :
And you should probably also enter the image of the month contests... there's one every month :
Here's August... though I guess you only have a few hours left to post anything :
Portillo closed prematurely on Sept. 24. Unfortunately I did not see the snow report page before it was taken down, but I recall it was somewhat over 600cm. and close to Portillo's long term average around 250 inches. Portillo almost certainly got the most snow in South America this season but most of it came early. Running out of snow at 9,400 feet on Sept. 24 shows how warm and dry August/September must have been.
This only reinforces the points I made above: http://www.epicski.com/t/146878/ski-chile-2016/30#post_2011906
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