2008 trip

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Re: re: 2008 trip

Postby Patrick » Fri May 09, 2008 8:49 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:I would agree with Patrick that Chillan is the least likely to have much snowmaking. But it's also the most likely to have natural snow.

However I remember someone saying that Termas had an excellent start last year and that usually the coverage wasn't as good when I was there. That is the main reason of my caution.

Example which is probably totally unrelated, the Laurentians are further north than New England and don't get as much precipitation (rain and snow), although it's colder and don't get as affected by the same systems, that doesn't necessarily mean they get more snow, just better snow preservation.
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re: 2008 trip

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat May 10, 2008 2:19 am

I'm almost certain that Chile's weather mirrors California's. Santiago (latitude 33.4) rainfall = L.A. (latitude 34.0) rainfall = 15 inches per year. Valle Nevado's (latitude 33.3) snowfall is only a bit more than Baldy's. Portillo's (latitude 32.8) snowfall is similarly slightly higher than Arizona Snowbowl's (latitude 35.3). Snowfall volatility and El Nino/La Nina sensitivity are very similar among these 4 areas. Recall that with no snowmaking Arizona Snowbowl has had a couple of recent seasons (2002, 2006) when it was barely open at all.

Moving south in Chile is like moving north in California. From Santiago's 15 inches rainfall you jump up to 100 inches in Valdivia at latitude 39.6.

Chillan's latitude is only 36.9, but I have to believe that annual precipitation is much more than the places near Santiago. Patrick is correct to be concerned about Chillan's altitude. Some of that precipitation is going to be rain, and the snow may not preserve as well.
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re: 2008 trip

Postby skibum4ever » Sat May 10, 2008 12:59 pm

This is mr. skibum4ever speaking. I have a much more practical view of traveling to South America. We did this with Europe (on a very bad snow year) and New Zealand/Australia (on a very bad snow year).

We actually had the best times when there was little snow. We got our fill of skiing in and were able to get around the ski areas very easily. On heavy snow years, especially in Europe we were virtual prisoners.

We will be out for 21 days, so, 7 to 10 days will be more than enough days to ski. We have over a million vertical feet already this year, much of it in the champagne powder of Aspen and Vail. Valle Nevado, Portillo and El Colorado will be OK but we have always known they are not Aspen. We would like to make a side trip to Mendoza and Las Lenas because we have friends in Mendoza. We might side trip to Buenos Aires. We might side trip to Peru. Our best side trip was from Greece to Israel and Jerusalem. It was better than our real vacation to Greece.

We want to get the flavor of the area around Santiago and the people since I believe, if you don't swim in a sea of humanity, you might as well be wearing a pair of earphones playing tango music while on a Skiers Edge in the Bronx

We have 6 days reserved in Santiago, followed by 4 in Farellones.
Other than that, we want to remain flexible. I feel we can always fly somewhere else or stay at the beach areas near Santiago if the skiing is unacceptable.
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re: 2008 trip

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat May 10, 2008 7:20 pm

We had a day tour to the coast. He didn't have time to try it but Adam said the surfing looked good. Water temps are 50F winter and 60F summer, so you need a good suit. My impression is that 6 days is a lot for Santiago; better to spend some of that time at the coast or in the nearby wine country.

But the the point is well taken that there are non-skiing activities available if the snow is not good. And with 3 weeks you have time to go far south if that's what it takes to get decent snow.
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Re: re: 2008 trip

Postby Patrick » Sat May 10, 2008 8:05 pm

skibum4ever wrote:We have 6 days reserved in Santiago, followed by 4 in Farellones.
Other than that, we want to remain flexible. I feel we can always fly somewhere else or stay at the beach areas near Santiago if the skiing is unacceptable.


Having read extensively before my trip last year, I would say that 3-4 days in Santiago is more than enough, however you might want to spend some 1-2 days at Val Paraiso/Vina Del Mar.

Buenos Aires is pretty far from Mendoza. Mendoza is closer to Santiago I believe. I heard last year that crossing over into Argentina can be a hassle.
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re: 2008 trip

Postby skibum4ever » Sun May 11, 2008 12:48 pm

Tony and Patrick, thanks for your comments. What do you know about the effects of the Chaiten volvano???
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re: 2008 trip

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun May 11, 2008 8:54 pm

Volcanic eruptions have to be very large to affect weather. I think that means the particulates need to get into the stratosphere and circulate all over the world. Mt. Pinutabo in 1991 was the last eruption of adequate size.

Nonetheless the satellite view of Chaiten's ash plume is impressive:
Image

But Mt. St Helens' ash plume covered a large area (I have friends in Yakima, which got 6 inches of ash) and it was not nearly big enough tio affect weather.

None of the news articles about Chaiten made quantitative comparisons to other eruptions.
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re: 2008 trip

Postby skibum4ever » Mon May 12, 2008 12:43 am

It could, however, make the air pretty unpleasant down there.
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Re: re: 2008 trip

Postby Geoff » Mon May 12, 2008 6:36 am

skibum4ever wrote:It could, however, make the air pretty unpleasant down there.


The prevailing winds blow west to east. Chaiten is pretty far south in Chile. Southern Argentina might be unpleasant. I doubt any ski resorts will ever see any air quality issues.
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re: 2008 trip

Postby Patrick » Wed May 21, 2008 9:04 am

Starting to think about a possible summer trip with some skiing involved.

Options (if possible and conditions cooperates):

Where I'd be looking at going right now, it might change tomorrow :roll: :

Argentina: 55% (Bariloche as a base or/and possibly into Las Lenas)
Chile: 25% (Return to Termas and further South)
NZ: 13% (would love to go, but probably won't have the time
North America: 5% - if skiing isn't the main motivation.
Europe: 2% - don't think were going to visit my in-laws this Summer.
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re: 2008 trip

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed May 21, 2008 12:58 pm

I would sit tight and commit no $ until at least July 1, as you did last year.

I know I've been banging on the La Nina issue, but the year-to-year volatility of Southern Hemisphere snowfall argues for deferring these decisions in any year if you have the flexibility to do so.
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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: re: 2008 trip

Postby Patrick » Wed May 21, 2008 1:33 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:I would sit tight and commit no $ until at least July 1, as you did last year.


Don't worry, just looking at my options. I won't commit and reserve anything until mid-to-late July at the earliest if I decide to go.
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