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Las Lenas

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
ANybody have experience with cheapest way to fly in, dirt cheap rockbottom hosteling , etc for september? thanks,
post #2 of 6
Yea I also wanted some info about Argenine/ Chilean ski areas, mainly when they open and when conditions start getting good. I figure on being there next april or may and was wonderin what my chances were on getting in some skiing.
post #3 of 6

You wanted some info on Chilean ski areas. I just spent a week in Portillo in August, the preferred month, and had a blast! I should've stayed another week, the snow was outstanding!. Their season goes from June to Oct and has different seasonal rates; see http://www.skiportillo.com Portillo only has one hotel. You can stay there expensively or inexpensively. About 75% of the skiers are Argentineans and Chileans. Americans are about 10 to 15 % and the rest are international. Here's what I paid; direct flight from JFK to Santiago and back(Lanchile): $858, ski week at Portillo(7 days lodgings in backpacker lodge (4 bunks/room), 4 meals a day in cafeteria, lift tickets for 8 days, 6 days of ski instruction, use of outdoor heated pool, use of weight room, use of hotel sun porch, free ski storage):$655, connecting transport: approx; $60. They try to match you up with other Americans in the backpackers lodge. Everyone was very friendly and laid back. When I arrived, they had over 200 inches of snow, temperatures each day varied between 22 to 35F. Every day was bright and sunny and sunscreen lotion was a must. You ski at about 11,000 to 12,000 ft altitude. Longest run is a couple of miles long, lift serviced vertical is about 2600 ft. Much higher vertical if you want to hike. There are no lift lines!!! 450 guests for 12 lifts. Excellent large servings of food in cafeteria, i.e. you never go hungry. Food was prepared by same chefs who prepared meals for dining room. Portillo had skiing to challenge anyone; i.e. Heli or regular off piste, chutes, groomed etc. Austrian first team, Maier et. al., was training the same week I was there. At the end of my week the second Austrian team arrived. In the mornings you warmed-up on the same trails as the Austrians. The two expert slopes serviced by lifts are the Condor and the Roca Jack. Half the Roca Jack was used by the Austrians and the other half by skiers. These slopes use Pomas, five or so abreast. Reason? They first installed lift towers, but the avalanches kept taking them out. So in went the Pomas. Ski school is run by Mike Rogan, an American. Instructors are from Switzerland, Chile, US, Argentina, Slovkia, Canada, etc. They even had a Canadian certified mountaineering guide-first class! The bottom line is that I'm going back next year. It's a lot better skiing in Portillo than suffering through the summer in the US.

post #4 of 6

What was the inca lodge like? Did you have to worry about your stuff when you went out skiing? Was there any place to lock your gear up? I'm thinking about going next week - I've got some FF miles that I could use for a ticket... but the lodging is expensive (except for the lodge).... Just curious....
post #5 of 6
Well the thing has been moved up further so I will be there in march/april so it doesn't look like I will get any turns, thanks man.
post #6 of 6

Portillo just got another dump of snow! Go for it! The Inca Lodge has four bunk beds per room. The room is compact but OK. There were three of us from the USA in the room; two skiers and a snowboarder. We all kept most of our gear in the room; i.e. climbing packs, snowboards, skis, etc. One guy used the free ski chek. We didn't have any problems with equipment losses. Every day the bedding is changed and the rooms cleaned. Likewise, it seemed like someone was cleaning the bathrooms every five or so minutes! Even at 3 and 4 AM! If you take advantage of ski instruction, ask for Matthew Wiley; a certified Canadian Mountaineering Guide. He knows more about different types of snow than anyone I've ever met. Likewise, he'll take you outabounds and show you all the different types of snow, most of it untracked.

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