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South America – what would you do?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Let’s assume you have 3 weeks starting mid August.

I’m generally bored at a resort after 2 to 3 days. If it is a small resort even after a day.

Rental Car and/or max one domestic flight between resorts

Challenging steep stuff rather then intermediate boring groomers

Off piste / Powder as much as possible

Occasional hiking up to 30min ok

Hate crowds / long lift lines

Thanks for your help!
post #2 of 14
Haven't been Paedde, but it's worth a shot if they're having a good snow year. Worst case you don't like it, but get to make some summer turns in good snow and meet new people. Best case you love it and get to make some summer turns in much fresh powder and meet new people.
post #3 of 14

South America ?

Paeddle, from your desscription. Avoid Portillo go to Las Lenas or New Zealand which has several good resorts on South Is. with some pretty affordable Heli trips. Have a friend who skied the Tasman Glacier,all day down the glacier. I've skied Portillo ijn August and had a great time. It was fun and a great experience. If you have some skins etc., the off piste, mountaineering ski days are almost endless. Have fun, think of you from the streams in BC and Alaska! Punch up New Zealand on the net and include the heli and Tasman trips out of Christchurch. Pete
post #4 of 14

Las Lenas lift lines

If you don't like waiting in lift lines, don't go to Las Lenas. The third week in August when I was there last year, the lines were 30 to 45 minutes all day every day. The lift that serves the good terain (Marte) only ran about half the time and, when they ran it, they only loaded every other chair. They loaded their quad chair as a triple. The entire lift system needs to be replaced and they built another hotel which increased the skier population. It is a fabulous mountain; but what good is it if you can't get on it?
Powderdog
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powderdog

The third week in August when I was there last year, the lines were 30 to 45 minutes all day every day.

Powderdog
Sounds like Mad River Glen on a Saturday, only the wait is longer here!
post #6 of 14
If you want to find out about NZ check out

www.snow.co.nz

that should give you a summary of skiing in NZ with links to the ski areas. In NZ there are commerical areas, and clubs. Clubs are not members only, they need and want aying customes. The difference is they are run by a club of skiers, most employ staff for the season but the upper managemen tis all member sand skiers who run the club for the love of it. Facilities are probably not what you are used to but it is an amazing experience like going back in time , no groomers, no chairlifts, but no crowds! - and it is very cheap. Club also have less crowds and lots of terrain accessible by hiking. I think there are 22 ski areas in the South island including clubs - plenty of variety.

My favourite commerical area is Treble Cone
Favourite club is Craigieburn

In NZ your US dollars go a long way, and we all speak English. Only downside is the longer flight to get here, and we drive on the other side of the road. Come in early August to mid September when conditions are more reliable. Need to rent a 4WD. Ski season is a different experince in NZ cause the towns are all below the snow line, so you can do other activities if you want like mountain biking. You have to drive up tot he snow. Commerical areas don't have accomodation on the mountain but the clubs do.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by paedde
Let’s assume you have 3 weeks starting mid August.

Well, your timing is almost perfect. If you started a week or 10 days later though, you'd avoid more of the high season pricing, and be assured of catching the Santa (Rosa?) storms of early Sept.

I’m generally bored at a resort after 2 to 3 days. If it is a small resort even after a day.

Then you need to make sure the lake has frozen at Portillo before considering it, otherwise you will bore quickly.

Rental Car and/or max one domestic flight between resorts

Both do-able

Challenging steep stuff rather then intermediate boring groomers

+1 Portillo

Off piste / Powder as much as possible

+1 Portillo

Occasional hiking up to 30min ok

+1 LL

Hate crowds / long lift lines

+1 Portillo

Thanks for your help!
I'd consider the following itinerary:

Days 1-3: Fly into Santiago, Chile. Stay a day or 2 to see the city.

Days 4-7: Drive (or be driven) up to Valle Nevado. Ski 4 days. They have some relatively inexpensive heli options (so does Portillo), so poss. add a day for that.

Day 8 or 9- 13: Drive back down to Santiago, then either take a rest day, or head right up to Portillo. Ski 4 days. (this is the minimum they'll usually allow, they like to sell 7 day Sat.-Sat. stays.)

Day 14: Back to Santiago, then either drive down to Termas de Chillan, or fly to Malargue and head for LL. This late in the season, LL is a better bet for snow.
(You could also switch this around a bit and do Termas 1st, VN 2nd, and Portillo 3rd. That makes the most sense weather wise, and eliminates the need for the add'l Argentina flight.)

Day 15-20: Ski Termas, hope for snow, or ski LL, hope Marte runs.

Day 21: It's been a long 3 weeks, head on home!
post #8 of 14
What would I do: GO!

Everything else will work itself out .

J
post #9 of 14
Sounds like you know your way around down there. Do you have any recomendations as to where to stay to ski Valle Nevado?
'dog
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powderdog
Sounds like you know your way around down there. Do you have any recomendations as to where to stay to ski Valle Nevado?
'dog
I guess you're talking to me, so...

The only move that really makes sense is to stay right on the hill. Your budget will dictate which property you stay at. I'd have to suggest the middle of the road, Puerta del Sol.

Tres Puntas is a little too bare bones, and furthest from the lifts.

Don't even consider commuting from Santiago, unless you enjoy traffic and life threatening commutes

There are reputedly some serious "low budget" accomodations over on the La Parva side, but I don't have the scoop on that. You might want to search over @ TGR for that info, lots of folks on beer budgets over there:
post #11 of 14
[quote=Skier40]
Day 14: Back to Santiago, then either drive down to Termas de Chillan, or fly to Malargue and head for LL. This late in the season, LL is a better bet for snow.

I don't think you can fly from Santiago to Malarque commercially. The only flight into Marlaque that I know of is the charter from BA.
post #12 of 14
[quote=SHREDHEAD]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skier40
Day 14: Back to Santiago, then either drive down to Termas de Chillan, or fly to Malargue and head for LL. This late in the season, LL is a better bet for snow.

I don't think you can fly from Santiago to Malarque commercially. The only flight into Marlaque that I know of is the charter from BA.
Right-o, mixed that up. I was thinking of the flight from Santiago to Mendoza to go to LL. Much longer transfer though.
post #13 of 14
If you get bored quickly, Santiago has 4 or 5 resorts that are less than a 1 hour drive...
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuroyume
If you get bored quickly, Santiago has 4 or 5 resorts that are less than a 1 hour drive...
No...it doesn't.

Valle Nevado is just under 2 hrs in good weather, La Parva and El Colorado are similar distances.

Portillo is 2+ hours under the best of circumstances, and a treacherous drive to boot.
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