Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding anywhere in the southern hemisphere: New Zealand, Australia, South America, etc., including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:20 pm
We returned to Puerto Montt from Chaiten midday Dec. 30, a day later than planned due to the ongoing weather challenges in the Futaleufu region where we had been since Dec. 22. After walking around town a bit, we got a rental car and headed north to Puerto Varas and hopefully the Osorno Volcano. The top of Osorno was in cloud but we still took the chance to drive halfway around Lago Llanquihue to the mountain. Southeast of the lake is Volcan Calbuco, which erupted in 2015 and thus has a jagged top at 6,400 feet, barely in the clouds here.
In these parts here’s an appropriate road warning sign.
As we got closer on Osorno’s access road we got lucky with a break in the clouds.
Notice the extensive crevasses and other glacial features on Osorno’s south side. Osorno is at 41 degrees latitude, similar to Mt. Shasta with similar glaciation even though it is only 8,600 feet tall.
At treeline the roadside flowers were impressive.
We reached the ski area about 6:30PM and were first distracted by this bird.
Base lodge 4,300 feet and chair with snow not so far above:
A closer view showed several people up there.
So we joined them.
Patrick and I have both skied a lot worse than this in summer. There’s 1,000 continuous vertical from here to the top of the highest lift at 5,500 feet. With the clouds I couldn’t see how much higher you could earn turns on this southwest face before encountering glacial features, maybe 1,000 feet more per Google Earth.
I climbed a little higher in the very supportable snow.
View down over the lake.
Liz climbed higher at the edge of the snow.
At 7:30PM the low sun is reflecting off the lake.
Osorno trail map at the lodge:
We drove down the hill and had a nice dinner at Oxalis restaurant next to the lake.
Sunset was around 9:30PM. From this region there is a day long scenic crossing to Bariloche including three lake ferries. You can get there faster by driving a continuous road an hour north to the town of Osorno, then east to Villa La Angostura in Argentina.
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