Las Lenas 2014

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Las Lenas 2014

Postby Staley » Thu May 08, 2014 2:34 pm

There's already snow on the ground, El Nino is in the forecast, and I was able to book a cheap round trip award ticket (fully refundable for $100), so I'm headed to Las Lenas.

Currently I leave LAX on Thursday, 8/28, so I'll be able to catch the direct overnight bus to Las Lenas from BA on Friday, 8/29. My flight back home is Saturday, 9/13, and it looks like I can probably leave Las Lenas on Friday afternoon and still make it to BA in time for my flight using buses (connecting in San Rafael).

If anyone else is trying to do Las Lenas and wants to coordinate lodging/transportation, let me know! I could probably use some travel help given my complete lack of Spanish...
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Re: Las Lenas 2014

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri May 09, 2014 7:48 pm

I would not bet on that El Nino. Predictions made at this time of year are worthless. However, your chosen time frame is exactly the 2 weeks that Extremely Canadian does their tours, so it's your best shot if booking ahead rather than waiting for the snow.

We will consider a South America ski trip the next time there's big start like 2002 or 2005.
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Re: Las Lenas 2014

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:47 pm

The MEI Index made a significant move from neutral +.152 in MAR/APR to moderate El Nino +.932 in APR/MAY.

First big storm of the season was last week. I found base depths of 24-30 inches at Portillo and 12-16 in Las Lenas. The most snow is in the 3-4 foot range farther south in Chillan, Corralco and Pucon. The latter areas are expecting another 2+ feet this week.

Liz and I are considering a road trip from mid-August into early September than would likely put us in Las Lenas during Staley's timeframe. If we go through with it, we're inclined to leave lodging decisions until late in the game. Liz knew enough Spanish to get us around 4 days in Buenos Aires pretty well in 2011.
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Re: Las Lenas 2014

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:10 am

There was a small storm last week, concentrated in the same areas as the June storms.

As of July 5:
The places in good shape (base depths in inches):
Chillan 35-47 (first report of the season)
Corralco 47-98
Caviahue 40-59
Pucon 65-83

Fair to middling (local reports at June openings were good, off-piste is worn down now):
Valle Nevado 12-16
La Parva 18-35
Portillo 24-36 Year-to-date is 122 inches, 5 of that last week. A lot of that 122 must have come very early and melted out.
Cerro Bayo 14-34

Not yet ready for prime time:
Las Lenas 12-20
Catedral 0-10
Los Penitentes 18-28 but not enough to open yet

I can't find anything on La Hoya. It is especially perverse that the areas in South America with the best ski terrain (this goes for Las Lenas and Chillan too) are the least informative when it comes to getting detailed snow reports.

Our plans are on hold for non-snow reasons, just as well at this point.
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Re: Las Lenas 2014

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:44 pm

There was a small storm the past few days. Most base depths are essentially unchanged form the post above.

Portillo's snowfall is now 125 inches. That means 8 inches since the area opened 3+ weeks ago.

Las Lenas base depths are 21-31 inches, not enough though it's still snowing there.

The storm dropped 50cm in Chillan. Chillan's website doesn't have a snow report page but they do have Facebook page where I found this info.

Catedral's base depth is now 5-40 inches with 5-8 inches new, but still limited facilities open.

It is extremely unlikely we will head down there with this slow progress, may make other plans within a week or two.
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Re: Las Lenas 2014

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:10 am

http://snowbrains.com/chilean-freeskiin ... lack-snow/
There is very little snow and very high temperatures. Most of these ski resorts are at the same latitude as Orange County, CA. They have snow in the flats, but anything steep is basically all rock.

Future weather forecasts do not suggest patterns will improve creating suitable conditions before the scheduled competition window Aug. 20-25.

As we know Las lenas gets the same weather patterns. Base depths were 14-47 inches 10 days ago, and to my knowledge it has not snowed since then.

Staley should consider pulling the plug on his Las Lenas trip. If he's flying into Santiago, he could divert the trip to Chillan, which has at least 6-8 feet of base and good conditions. Getting to Chillan from Buenos Aires will be more difficult.
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Re: Las Lenas 2014

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:57 pm

More bad news. Portillo is offering to refund deposits made for the rest of the 2014 season, or apply to next season.

Portillo has had no new snow in the past 2 weeks and 24 inches since they opened June 20.

There is a rumor Las Lenas will close Sept. 1. If you can't get to Chillan or Corralco you should not be skiing in South America in 2014.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
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Re: Las Lenas 2014

Postby Patrick » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:04 am

Tony Crocker wrote:More bad news. Portillo is offering to refund deposits made for the rest of the 2014 season, or apply to next season.

Portillo has had no new snow in the past 2 weeks and 24 inches since they opened June 20.

There is a rumor Las Lenas will close Sept. 1. If you can't get to Chillan or Corralco you should not be skiing in South America in 2014.


I know two groups of friends around Termas...based on their pictures and comments, it looks warm and full Spring mode similar to what I found in 2012. The second group from ZSki are at their first trip to South America and are definitely enjoying themselves. The weather is colder today, so it was probably not going to soften up. That group is leaving to Antuco later today. The first group which I know from the Masters and skied a few days with in the Andes 2012 trip were in a more exploring mode.
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Re: Las Lenas 2014

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:10 pm

Local quotes:

6 days ago:
Update on Argentina:

Las Lenas - abysmal conditions, said by some long time observers to be the worst in many years. Little snow cover mid mountain, top of Marte frozen.

Bariloche (I am there at the moment) - Cerro Catedral mid and top closed for 2nd day running due to high winds.

No relief in sight for either place, as per Snow Forecast.


Supposedly Cerro Bayo and the upper part of Catedral were good in early August, until it rained to 2100 meters for a few days.

3 days ago:
So, a quick roundup of my first day of skiing Cerro Catedral:

- Conditions: remind me of late spring Euro skiing. Groomers are OK if you are starved, off piste is all suncups and refrozen crud. Bottom of the mountain is closed due to complete lack of snow. The place need a good dump and a drop in temperature. It was like 15C today on the mountain (outside my hotel people were playing GOLF).

- Spent 40 minutes queuing for lift tix, and another 45 mins for the Amancay gondola which got stuck for something like 20 minutes. Lift lines on the mountain were brutal. Probably has to do with the old infrastructure, but today also was the last day of the long weekend. Hope it gets better tomorrow.


2 days ago:
Bariloche: conditions are getting worse. Hope is still alive for some new snow.

spindrift: you were spot on in some of your observations. In fact, if you look at the hill from the base, your 500 ft clearly come to mind. The kids area at the foot of the mountain is an ugly sight, all muddy and deserted.

Yes, the Argentine military are still there. One could only wonder why their winter gear is all green and tan.

I will try to post some pics after I get back home (next Monday).

Other than Bariloche: rumors are Las Lenas will be closing down on September 1st. Seems like the 2014 season will go down in history books as disastrous or marginal at best for all SA locations not called Corralco or Nevados de Chillan.


Hopefully Staley was able to use his cheap $100 bailout and redeposit his FF miles.
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
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Re: Las Lenas 2014

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Aug 24, 2014 3:12 pm

There was a moderate storm yesterday August 23: 16 inches at Portillo, secondhand report of 50cm at Valle Nevado. Naturally no info on Las Lenas website except that almost no lifts are open today. LL base depths of 20cm base, 40cm mid and 110cm top are likely not updated from the weekend storm.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
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Re: Las Lenas 2014

Postby Patrick » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:10 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:There was a moderate storm yesterday August 23: 16 inches at Portillo, secondhand report of 50cm at Valle Nevado. Naturally no info on Las Lenas website except that almost no lifts are open today. LL base depths of 20cm base, 40cm mid and 110cm top are likely not updated from the weekend storm.

Modest powder day at Termas yesterday, snow was heavy, but fun according to a friend. Also some fresh tracks in Corralco yesterday. The storm was centered further north in the latitudes between Santiago and Las Lenas. Maybe Las Lenas got something?

I know the temps are supposed to rise (further South) until the weekend. Maybe a snow, rain or a mix. As for myself and my non-Andes destination, it looks like Summer skiing with Spring conditions when I arrive later this week. Freezing level are at above 4000m all this week.
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Re: Las Lenas 2014

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:59 pm

Here's a link to the Zoneski TR from Nevados de Chillán four days ago.
http://www.zoneski.com/forum/index.php/ ... 014/page-3
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Re: Las Lenas 2014

Postby Patrick » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:10 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:Here's a link to the Zoneski TR from Nevados de Chillán four days ago.
http://www.zoneski.com/forum/index.php/ ... 014/page-3

And Antuco then Corralco today. :mrgreen:
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Re: Las Lenas 2014

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:23 pm

Patrick wrote:Maybe Las Lenas got something?

Probably, but who knows if/when we'll find out. The report page http://www.laslenas.com/eng/mountain/sl ... itions.php shows the lifts now open but unchanged base depths. Note there is no time/date info on that snow report page. TISA!

You really have to depend on TR's from visitors at ZoneSki, Epic, TGR, etc. Only Portillo, American managed, has a normal snow report page by our standards. :evil:
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Las Lenas 2014

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:12 am

Per TGR, it looks like Staley went on his trip anyway.

Last weekend's storm was a reprieve, so Las Lenas will close Sept. 8, also per TGR. There has been some good powder skiing at La Parva, which got 60cm from the recent storm. Local guidance is recommended off-piste due to the very thin base.

The only Las Lenas report from Aug.9-16 reported good snow only on the hike-to terrain above Marte. Direct Marte off-piste skiing was closed then due to icy conditions; maybe the recent storm opens some of that. There is no snow base at all for off-piste skiing from the frontside lifts like Vulcano and Caris.

The useless Las Lenas snow report page continues to show 20/40/110cm base depths nearly a week after the storm. No mention of the Sept. 8 close there or on the equally useless Las Lenas Facebook page.

Portillo snowfall is 153 inches, 36 since the June 20 opening.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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