Las Lenas, Argentina touring, Sept. 4, 2015

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Las Lenas, Argentina touring, Sept. 4, 2015

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:46 pm

It’s another warm and clear day, but the overnight freeze was the hardest of the week as evidenced by iced-over puddles and gutters walking to the base. I got out early because I was touring to El Collar (Necklace Bowl), which faces NE and needs to be timed for corn. Marte normally opens at 9:30AM but did not open today until 10:18 (A-factor). Allegedly the reason was for grooming the trails, perhaps because residents of Mendoza (300 miles distant) get to ski free on the first Friday in September. But by observation Wednesday the groomer skiers don’t go near Marte until the snow has softened, which was surely well after noon today. Staley got Necklace Bowl in perfect corn at 11:30 Wednesday, but since last night’s freeze was harder, the delay did not make my skiing any worse.

Here’s Entre Rios and the line Staley (NOT ME!) skied Thursday.
IMG_2374a.jpg

I did not consider this because it was a 2.5 hour bootpack for him.

It’s a very straightforward skin up a cat road to El Collar.
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The end is in sight just past that hut.
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Looking back is another perspective of Entre Rios (center of pic).
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Due to those sheer cliffs the bootpack approach has to go around the back at left.

The skin track ends with a 20 foot scramble up loose scree. One of these Argentines saw me stumble and came down to get my skis so I could climb with both poles.
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The guy in the yellow shirt passed around his flask of Scotch, and one of them took my picture on top.
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The skinning was from 10,300 – 11,000 feet from 10:50-12:10 and I climbed about 100 feet more.

Two of the Argentines start down skier’s left.
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My route skier’s right, starting about 12:30.
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Close up view of “El Collar/The Necklace.”
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The bowl below the necklace was shallow and somewhat dirty. The next pitch is where the great corn began.
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In this area there is a good view of Frankie’s and other extreme lines on the south face of Marte, which like yesterday remained closed all day.
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Necklace Bowl funnels into a narrow but not that steep path lower down.
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The corn remained excellent all the way to the bottom.
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Even though the skinning was comfortable and I only stopped a couple for times for short water breaks, I could tell my legs were tired from needing several rest stops skiing down. The corn was good enough that I would have skied much more continuously if I had arrived there by chairlift or snowcat.

I rested at the bottom of Neptuno 1PM and also had lunch at Estacion Marte, and thus did not board my final Marte of the trip until 2PM. From top of Marte I had a profile overview of El Collar.
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Blue line is the skin track approach and red line is the ski down. Only the short chutes through the necklace rocks are steep. The idea here is get 2,500 vertical of relatively undisturbed corn.

My last run was out Sombrero same as yesterday, 45 minutes later to compensate for the harder freeze.
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The final swing right is the runout to the Urano poma. The swing left before that had exactly one other track, probably mine from yesterday.

10,900 vertical today. I was here 2 weeks, skied 12 days and 161K vertical. My bus doesn’t leave until 4:30PM Saturday but I’m done skiing. Sunday/Monday Aug. 30-31 were the clear standout days for me, with some memorable lines in good snow. The first Sunday/Monday also had Marte open with perhaps even better snow, but I was not quite up to the challenge then due to travel exhaustion and swollen feet.
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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
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Las Lenas, Argentina touring, Sept. 4, 2015

Postby jamesdeluxe » Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:49 pm

Can't remember if you mentioned earlier -- how does this season compare in normal snowfall?
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Re: Las Lenas, Argentina touring, Sept. 4, 2015

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:32 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:Can't remember if you mentioned earlier -- how does this season compare in normal snowfall?

It's below average because they had almost nothing in May/June. The base of Las Lenas has had 121 inches and the season average is in the 250 inch range. Tentative closing is October 5 but they will have trouble making that if the hot weather keeps up. A small storm is expected Sunday/Monday.

With the avalanche issues here, it's understandable that snow has to be measured at the 7,400 foot base. So if it averages 250 there, up on Marte it's probably well over 300 and in the Entre Rios/Torrecillas backcountry could be 400. But as in California, it's not the average but the volatility that can kill you. There was almost no snow at all in 1998 and Las Lenas never opened.
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, Argentina touring, Sept. 4, 2015

Postby Staley » Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:20 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
Here’s Entre Rios and the line Staley (NOT ME!) skied Thursday.
IMG_2374a.jpg
IMG_2374a.jpg (79.18 KiB) Viewed 11264 times



That's actually my line from Monday. Thursday's was quite a bit more exciting.

September 4th was a Cerro Martin day for me. I was planning to ski it with Tony, but given the Marte delay and the lack of cell reception on Collar, we missed the meet up time and I opted to do a few laps on Cerro Martin alone. The snow looked terrible in Banane, so I skied the Cornisa run twice, traversing out to the spires at center left in the below picture to ski steep and deep corn.

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Looking up at Cerro Martin


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Perfect corn through the spires
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Re: Las Lenas, Argentina touring, Sept. 4, 2015

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:02 pm

Staley wrote:That's actually my line from Monday. Thursday's was quite a bit more exciting.

When I stopped to put skins on Friday, someone who had skied with Staley pointed out the line I drew on that picture. I'd be interested to see the line drawn for Thursday's run! There are snow spines on either side of the Monday ski line.
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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Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9821
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Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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