or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › Trip Reports  › TR: Portillo
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

TR: Portillo

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

After years of pondering this trip, my friend Jon and I finally booked a trip to Portillo, Chile.  Helping to push us to go this year is that Robin Barnes and Michael Rogan have returned to work there -- Robin as director of the ski school, Michael as assistant GM.  Unfortunately, the snow pack has not been cooperating this year, however skiing is skiing!  (especially in August for a couple of New Englanders!)


So, we boarded our plane in Boston yesterday to get a flight to Atlanta that would have us in Santiago by this morning.  Well, this is where we stayed last night:



I would like to say that this hotel is in Santiago and we are enjoying some fine Chilean hospitality, but alas, our plane out of Boston had "mechanical difficulties" and we arrived in Atlanta 10 minutes after the flight to Santiago left...


So, Delta put us up in this fine hotel, gave us some meal vouchers where we could dine at such splendid spots such as:





Fortunately, we got booked on tonight's flight to Santiago, and as it turns out we won't miss out on any skiing.  Hopefully.  Jon and I are enjoying a peaceful day in Atlanta, we will be going to airport around 3pm, we will try to talk our way into the Crown Club for the day, and hope our 10pm flight suffers no mishaps.  Stay tuned...


Dan Egan always talks about how good it feels to carry your skis through the airport during the summer.  I wonder how he feels about carrying them throughout Atlanta for 24 hours in the middle of the summer.  What the heck -- we're on vacation!!

post #2 of 34

BBinder and Jon............you Rock!


Enjoy the BBQ and keep us posted on  the rest of your journey

post #3 of 34

Shouldn't the thread be titled: "TR: Atlanta"?

Hope you make it up to Portillo safely. Then I hope you get a crapload of new snow.

post #4 of 34

Bob, Have fun.  Tell Robin hello for me.



post #5 of 34

Given the crappy customer service that has befallen the mainline air carriers, I thought the focus of the restaurant pic was the Waffle (Hangover Central) House.

post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 

Yes! the waffle house rules!


Had as pleasant an overnight flight as one can have, and arrived in Santiago @ 7:30am.  Things went very smoothly at the airport, so Jon decided to get lost after we left the secure section, and we spent 30 minutes looking for each other.  Got on the shuttle and our driver demonstrated why he should get a shot at an F1 ride --  nobody was getting past him, and he was eager to pass everyone in front of us.  He was making such good time that he stopped at one point to demonstrate to us how to use the on board banyo!


Check-in at the hotel was, as predicted, chaotic -- but we got our room, had lunch with a couple guys from New York and hustled ourselves out onto the snow.  The conditions are (how to say this) not what we expected.  Actually, the conditions are exactly what they should be like after a whole month of no snow, but just before leaving home I was watching Sean Warman's "Concepts" DVD, so I had a different and unrealistic picture in my mind.  The conditions are like late season, thawed and frozen-over snow  --  so two thoughts were running through my mind: 1) we came 7000 miles for this? and 2)(the more prominent thought) I am MAKING TURNS ON SNOW IN AUGUST!


The view from our room:













Awaiting the arrival of the Directora.  And need to drink more bourbon.  more tomorrow. maybe

post #7 of 34

Bob, tell Jon that we're going to give him crap for getting lost!


Have as much fun as you can stand and remember, marginal snow is better than none at all. 


Meanwhile, I'll do a snow dance for youz guyz!

post #8 of 34

Have a pisco sour for me!


I hope the weather improves for you. Fingers crossed.

post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 

(Jon is sitting next to me and insists that I insert a correction here:  he maintains that I got lost, not him.  Whatever.)


Finished dinner with Robin and Michael where we got detailed instructions on riding the Roca Jack lift and generally had a great time laughing and talking.  They promise that this will be the best ski vacation of our lives.  What can I say ----  I Believe!!!

post #10 of 34

Hey Guys,  enjoy the RoccaJac Lift maybe the most fun lift in the world.  Make sure you hike uphill and sample the chutes that you traverse over to.  Lunch is great up on the hill, sorry forget the name but theres only one up on the hill place.  Skiing in August is great. Have fun.

post #11 of 34
Originally Posted by bbinder View Post

(Jon is sitting next to me and insists that I insert a correction here:  he maintains that I got lost, not him.  Whatever.)


Finished dinner with Robin and Michael where we got detailed instructions on riding the Roca Jack lift and generally had a great time laughing and talking.  They promise that this will be the best ski vacation of our lives.  What can I say ----  I Believe!!!

I Believe!!!!!

(that it will be the best ski vacation of your life)


I don't Believe!!!

That Jon did not get lost 

We'll discuss at Stowe, eh?

post #12 of 34

But you are missing your wife terribly, right?


Also, Cuppa Jo wants a shirt, too.  Love, Daria.

post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 

The sun cam out today and really softened things up!




We slept in a little to let the snow soften -- got out in time to see the Austrian team doing some practice runs.  Hope to get pix of them tomorrow.  We had plans to meet Robin to ski, but first we caught her doing some work:




She was actually standing up straight, but I was too lazy to edit the picture afteer downloading from my camera.  Robin and Rogan coached us thoroughly on how to ride the Roca Jack (and the other lifts like it), and Robin took us up it where we found some great corn snow.  Below is Robin skiing some of that corn.





Jon trying to emulate Robin and failing miserably:




Not the Roca Jack, but a similar lift (El Cararcara):




Somewhat intimidating to ride at first, but then gets exhilarating, especilly if the people you are riding with do not know how to dismount from the lift...


Finally a picture of me -- I was, of course skiing so fast that Jon was forced to shoot the picture from behind (I elected to post the picture he took before he got a shot of me doing a massive sideways slide)




We also did a lake run: up the Condor lift, walk over some dirt, ski down over some great soft snow (skiing around the rocks), and onto the lake, which we skated across.  Everyone was in such a rush to get to the hike out at the end, so I did not have the chance to take any pictures.


Oh, and I miss my wife terribly and wish she were here.  Jon does not enjoy snuggling at night.

post #14 of 34

Wow, looks great!  Much greater than it looks out my window right now.


I would've guessed Jon to be the snuggling type.

post #15 of 34



Keep it coming!

post #16 of 34

Oh, I am surprised.  Jon always liked snuggling with me.  Hugs to Robino!  Keep the photos coming.

post #17 of 34

looks a lot like Valle Nevado :)  how are the hike to shots looking?

post #18 of 34

Too bad they don't have a BBQ Waffle House in Portillo. Still looks like you are making do. ;)

post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 

Robin said we should think about helicopter skiing, but it seemed a little expensive and it didn't look like the rides would get us to any better terrain:
















The temp. was a little colder today, so the snow was a little stiffer.  The hike-to shots are either unskiable or treacherous right now.  We took the traverse off the Caracara lift and found a lot of nice terrain and snow, but the lift closed by late am because of wind... In the pm we skied the Plateau and Condor lifts and found some nice chalky snow (what Jon referred to as Eastern powder).  I have been skiing on my new/used Nordica Mac 3's but took out my Gotamas in the pm because I brought them dammit.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well they handled in the firm snow.   Even with the limited terrain, we logged 15,000 vertical feet today. 


Robin introduced us to Mike and Evie, a couple of instructors from Squaw and delightful folks to spend time with (and I don't say this just because they bought the wine at dinner).  After dinner, Mike and Evie talked us into going to the local's bar across the street where a lot of the employees go (apparently) after taking an evening nap.  It explains why the superb wait staff seems to be moving a little slowly at the breakfast shift. 


Still great food, and I am even picking up a couple of words of Spanish.  Snow showers in the forecast tomorrow afternoon!

post #20 of 34

Have you been doing your snow dance?

post #21 of 34

sounds like you guys are having a great time, and I found the hunt for treasure shots to be half the fun.  those chalky lines are fun, its good snow, Happy hunting and keep up the stoke. Great pics.

post #22 of 34

Hey guys snow is in the forecast for Friday/Saturday I think... Hope you will get some fresh, on the other hand, be careful, a few inches will just cover up lurking rocks.... 

post #23 of 34
Originally Posted by bbinder View Post

The sun cam out today and really softened things up!




This looks like fine conditions to me. Grade A corn. Yum!


Looks like a fun trip! 

post #24 of 34
Thread Starter 

Winter arrived today at 1:30pm -- snow started to fall and continues to fall as I type.  A couple inches on the ground and I have no idea if there is any prediction for more.  Today we did laps on the Plateau lift with Mike and Evie, and the conditions got better and better as the day wore on.  We had lunch at Tio Bob's on the mountain -- there was so much service that it was almost uncomfortable!  In the pm, Mike set me up on a pair of his Blizzard skis (8.7 ti) -- really held an edge well.  Sipping bourbon with Jon and chillin' til dinner.


Mike and Evie (Evie was a little camera shy):





post #25 of 34
Thread Starter 

2 inches of fresh snow last. Very windy this am.  Most of the lifts were on wind hold until afternoon, but got in some good skiing this afternoon.  Took a fall that snapped one of my poles and made me glad that I wear a helmet....took some ibuprofen and I was good to go.  My pole -- not so much.

post #26 of 34

Sounds like a day filled with edge deep powder and a reason to buy new gear.........

post #27 of 34

boot deep? that is, snow up to the soles of the boots??


What? No crash pics?


Snow-forecast.com is showing snow coming in... 


Enjoy, its september and you are skiing...

post #28 of 34
Thread Starter 

No crash pix -- I was the one with the camera!  Some snow today, probably another inch or two -- the skiing got better and better as the day went by.  By tomorrow when the sun is supposed to come out, I expect that it will be even better!  Yes, we are no longer skiing in August, we are SKIING IN SEPTEMBER!


Jon and me on the lift:






A look at the clouds:




Mike and Jon and a couple of strangers on the Condor lift:




Jon just above the Plateau, near where I crashed and burned yesterday --  Mike has been giving pointers...




I quit early and went to the pool -- trying to drum up business for Epicski.  How about an ESA in Portillo!



Edited by bbinder - 9/3/10 at 3:38pm
post #29 of 34
Thread Starter 

(believe it or not, that IS me smiling...)

post #30 of 34

thanks for the update. hey 4" isnt too bad.  hopefully, you will have some nice cream cheese tomorrow. 





international pool = petri dish... 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Trip Reports
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › Trip Reports  › TR: Portillo