The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

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.

Re: The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

Postby Patrick » Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:08 am

Geoff wrote:It puked snow on Monday and Tuesday. We had some sun this morning and it's now puking again. The only problem is that they've had sustained high winds all week so I still haven't been to the very top of the mountain.


Arrived in Santiago with clear blue sky, travelled on an 11 hour bus ride. Cloud cover started near Chillan and was raining for the last few hours on that ride.

Sitting in an internet cafe in Pucon right now, decided against going up. Lower lifts serving beginner terrain are open right now, but visibility would suck. Waiting for tomorrow. Jski from TGR arrived earlier this week, mentioned there was a lot of snow. Lifts was been opened on and off.

Geoff wrote:You can't get much higher than mid-mountain on a chairlift. The Don Otto ran briefly to get the snow off the chairs but the longest chairlift in Chile (and slowest) hasn't loaded since I've gotten here.


If you do a high traverse from the top of poma on the skier's left, you can access the same terrain we had did. (see Chilean Adventure Part 2 for pics)
Ski Mad World
A blog of MadPat's World: A History of Skiing Geography
http://madpatski.wordpress.com
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4730
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:18 pm

travelled on an 11 hour bus ride. [Not to mention an even longer flight which surely wasn't cheap in terms of either $ or FF points, with more bus/flight marathons to come] ... Sitting in an internet cafe in Pucon right now, decided against going up.


This is, of course, what I don't get about Patrick's ski priorities. With a limited amount of time and $ for skiing, why do this vs.:
1) Short notice cheap drive trips to VT after storms, and/or
2) Those FF points would buy 2 trips to western ski destinations, or 1 to the Alps.

This is the ski streak tail wagging the ski quality dog.
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
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9871
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

Postby Patrick » Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:54 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:This is the ski streak tail wagging the ski quality dog.


Give it you already. ](*,) :dead horse:

If it was about a ski streak:

1) I wouldn't have come here at all.
2) There is better ski areas elsewhere in South America.
3) it's not simply about the skiing.
4) Didn't use any FF points for this trip.

How many smoking volcano ski areas have you skied at? The Lake District and Northern Patagonia are a beautiful part of the World, beautiful regardless of the season. If I go to Iceland, it will not be driven by the skiing, but by the place. It is the same for all my travels.

Tony Crocker wrote:This is, of course, what I don't get about Patrick's ski priorities. With a limited amount of time and $ for skiing, why do this vs.:
1) Short notice cheap drive trips to VT after storms, and/or
2) Those FF points would buy 2 trips to western ski destinations, or 1 to the Alps.


1) There is just so many weeks and days I can take off in the Winter, I've taking a numbers of days off this winter to ski VT, NY, NH and Chic Chocs.
PLUS
2) Combined with a trip out West. What more can I do?

I don't favour necessarily going out west in the winter, cause I always said I enjoy the skiing in the East as much. Winter is when the skiing is good in the East, not so much in the Summer (same applies for Northern Hemisphere lifts based skiing).
Ski Mad World
A blog of MadPat's World: A History of Skiing Geography
http://madpatski.wordpress.com
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4730
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:16 pm

Are you doing the hike to the top of that volcano at Pucon, like the Powderquest tours? One of my other philosophies of travel is that if you're going somewhere exotic that you may not return, it's worth the trouble to do it right.

I also mix other tourism on some of my ski trips, including all of them to the Southern Hemisphere. But I would classify an 11-hour bus ride as mostly downtime. Sometimes that logistics is unavoidable; there were several long bus rides in the vast desert area of NW China on my recent trip.

There is also the matter of "kitchen" capital. In my experience that capital was more expensive:
1) the longer the trip
2) the more expensive the trip, and
3) especially if no family members went with me

I agree with the principle that standards for Southern Hemisphere skiing could be somewhat lower since there are few (and poorer) alternatives at that time of year. But given the high cost in time and $ the threshold should still be fairly high IMHO, or enhanced by other tourist attractions as in New Zealand.
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
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9871
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

Postby Patrick » Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:01 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Are you doing the hike to the top of that volcano at Pucon.


That was part of the plan, but it's not going to happen. Forecast was good when I left Canada with sunny day in the forecast today. Well that was changed during the day yesterday and rain is forecast until next Thursday now. This morning looked promising this morning and you could even see some of the surrounding mountains, but by the time we got to the mountain weather changed quick. The only lift still running was shutdown due to wind at noonish.

I'm leaving this area, forecast for the other side of the Andes is more promising. Short bus ride tomorrow, not sure I'll stay where I'm going.
Ski Mad World
A blog of MadPat's World: A History of Skiing Geography
http://madpatski.wordpress.com
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4730
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:37 pm

So did you get any August turns?
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
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9871
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

Postby Lucky Luke » Sun Aug 31, 2008 6:29 pm

Have fun Pat. In life there's people doing thing, and there's people thinking you should do something else. Do what the f.. you like to do and don't even arge :snowball fight:
Ski free or die
User avatar
Lucky Luke
 
Posts: 118
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 6:04 am
Location: Bromont, Qc avatar: Terrace B.C.

Re: The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:00 am

Reported season snowfall:
Portillo 355 inches
Valle Nevado 204 inches
These numbers are slightly better than last year at this time. And recall that these areas got zip in Sept. 2007.

Las Lenas base depth range is 70-220 cm., slightly lower than last year.
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
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9871
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

Postby Patrick » Sat Sep 13, 2008 7:16 am

Update a couple of days after my last ski day.

Onthesnow numbers from September 12th.

Chile:

Ski Arpa: no numbers
Portillo: 166 - 329 cm
La Parva: 460 - 580 cm
El Colorado: 180- 180 cm
Valle Nevado: 215 - 215 cm
Termas de Chillan: 40 - 80 cm
Villarrica/Pucon: 200 - 200 cm

Argentina:

Las Lenas: 105 - 165 cm
Caviahue: 120 - 300 cm
Chapelco: 87 - 394 cm
Cerro Catedral: 25 - 270 cm
Cerro Bayo: not reporting
La Hoya: not reporting


Tony said on August 10th.
From what I see, conditions at Las Lenas are acceptable at the best ski area in the southern hemisphere. So what is the rationale for holding out for a miracle to turn around Bariloche? Since Bariloche is chronically less reliable, it would have made sense to go there in 2007 when it was having a big year. I may wait for such a year in the future to return to South America.


Happy, I made my decision going toward the Bariloche. Waited the last possible moment to choose. Oh yeah, I heard from some Americans staying that the same place I was in Bari that they moved away from Las Lenas cuz they were tired of waiting for Marte to open. Out of 5 days, they got only one run on Marte. :-"
Ski Mad World
A blog of MadPat's World: A History of Skiing Geography
http://madpatski.wordpress.com
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4730
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Sep 13, 2008 4:18 pm

What was the reason for the Marte closure? Storms? I was under the impression that weather was calmer up north, when you left Santiago. Las Lenas latitude is between Santiago and Chillan. I'll try to get a report from Extremely Canadian, as they should be home from their 2 weeks.

I cannot say I was that impressed by the Bariloche region Argentine reports. Off-trail skiing sounded as constrained as at Valle Nevado group last year, albeit on more interesting terrain. An interesting new experience to be sure, but as with Valle Nevado group, I'll bet these areas are not high on Patrick's list for a return visit.
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
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9871
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:37 pm

I think there is another noteworthy issue for the southern itinerary. The low elevation makes rain a possibility, and at least in Catedral's case less than ideal exposure can, along with the elevation, be an issue for surface conditions. This may argue for the colder mid-July to mid-August period being the optimal time. While Powderquest does offer a couple of September tours, the vast majority are in July and August. And the more obscure places probably don't have much of a crowd issue for the July holidays.

If I were in Patrick's place, I too would be seduced by the siren call of the streak. But in both cases he's gone to SA near the end of August and skied mostly in September. In the future I'd suggest planning most of the skiing in August, extending to early September if the streak is a factor.
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
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9871
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

Postby Geoff » Mon Sep 15, 2008 6:59 am

Tony Crocker wrote:I think there is another noteworthy issue for the southern itinerary. The low elevation makes rain a possibility, and at least in Catedral's case less than ideal exposure can, along with the elevation, be an issue for surface conditions. This may argue for the colder mid-July to mid-August period being the optimal time. While Powderquest does offer a couple of September tours, the vast majority are in July and August. And the more obscure places probably don't have much of a crowd issue for the July holidays.

If I were in Patrick's place, I too would be seduced by the siren call of the streak. But in both cases he's gone to SA near the end of August and skied mostly in September. In the future I'd suggest planning most of the skiing in August, extending to early September if the streak is a factor.


Chillan certainly has the low altitude rain risk. You're sleeping at around 5,000 feet. The bottom 1000 vertical feet of the hill are below tree line and often get spit on when the upper mountain is getting snow. Fortunately, the interesting terrain is all at much higher elevation.

The compelling part about September is the dramatic price drop. I realize you sneer at Valle Nevado but you can get slopeside there in September for half the high season price. If you hit the place in late-September, the prices drop even further. On September 20th, you can get a room at the mid-grade Puerta del Sol for $120 per person double occupancy and that includes lift ticket, breakfast, and dinner. On frequent flyer points, you could do a 5 ski day/4 night extra long weekend for $480 per person plus ground transportation. For New Yorkers with access to JFK, you can take the 8pm LAN nonstop to Santiago and land (modulo JFK departure delays) in Santiago at 6:50 in the morning ahead of most of the other flights. You can be skiing by 10:30. On the return flight, you can ski all day, get down the hill, depart Santiago at 10:45pm, and land at JFK at 8:35am. 5 days of skiing. 3 consumed vacation days. If you're flying on frequent flyer points, you can do the trip for $600.00 if you go easy on your bar tab and have enough people to split the ground transportation.
User avatar
Geoff
 
Posts: 764
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:38 pm
Location: Killington, VT

Re: The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

Postby Patrick » Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:04 am

Tony Crocker wrote:What was the reason for the Marte closure? Storms?

Wind closure then it snowed. Prior to the wind closure, it hadn't snowed in a while.

Tony Crocker wrote:I cannot say I was that impressed by the Bariloche region Argentine reports. Off-trail skiing sounded as constrained as at Valle Nevado group last year, albeit on more interesting terrain. An interesting new experience to be sure, but as with Valle Nevado group, I'll bet these areas are not high on Patrick's list for a return visit.


Impressed by my reports or reports in general? My impression of the lift serve terrain or slack country is that it's definitely superior in than the VN group. Geoff was correct in pointing out the great VN/EC skiing down to the road, however if you stay within bounds (or next to the boundaries) these are pretty good. Interest in a return trip is definitely greater. I guess with your prior visit to Jackson hold true here. I can just imagine how good this place is when the conditions are happening. My talk about depression is more related to the remoteness, trackless powder and less commercialized skiing of La Hoya than Catedral. Catedral is has big and commercialzed as a resort in SA can get. Some people like Whistler while some would prefer Shames. The analogy is a bit extreme, but the difference are there.

Tony Crocker wrote:I think there is another noteworthy issue for the southern itinerary. The low elevation makes rain a possibility, and at least in Catedral's case less than ideal exposure can, along with the elevation, be an issue for surface conditions. This may argue for the colder mid-July to mid-August period being the optimal time. While Powderquest does offer a couple of September tours, the vast majority are in July and August. And the more obscure places probably don't have much of a crowd issue for the July holidays.


Tony, I'm not sure that your analogy is necessary correct? Elevation isn't the only factor here. The climate and latitude are totally different. Might be the same as talking why Ste-Anne is a great late skiing destination regardless of snow totals. I remember you saying something about people probably downloading at Catedral? Snow at the bottom was fine, my skis didn't even come close to hit anything, unlike La Hoya.

Tony Crocker wrote:If I were in Patrick's place, I too would be seduced by the siren call of the streak. But in both cases he's gone to SA near the end of August and skied mostly in September. In the future I'd suggest planning most of the skiing in August, extending to early September if the streak is a factor.


A few factors at play here. The #1 is school calendar. Both years I left after school started in the last week of August, that was a deliberate planning on my part. However I don't think I could have planned it better this year snow/storm wise.

Don't worry, I'll post that La Hoya report (wrote it up on paper during one of those long bus rides). I need to get ready to go to work. Working the night shift this week.
Ski Mad World
A blog of MadPat's World: A History of Skiing Geography
http://madpatski.wordpress.com
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4730
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:19 pm

First, the Extremely Canadian report from Las Lenas:

Aug. 23-30: Marte down only 2 days. There was decent powder accessible from Marte all of the other days.

Aug. 30 - Sept. 6 (probably coincident with some of what Patrick heard): 2 windy and firm days at the start, then stormy. One day only Caris was open, but it's 1500 vertical and with 57cm new on the Cenidor slopes still a great day. The last day was epic, with Marte open all day, no wind and lots of powder.

Both of these weeks were better overall than mine in 2005.

If you're flying on frequent flyer points, you can do the trip for $600.00
FF points do have an opportunity cost, conservatively at least 1.5 cents per mile. So that's really a $1,500 trip. And those same points would buy 2 trips west in prime northern ski season.

The compelling part about September is the dramatic price drop. I realize you sneer at Valle Nevado but you can get slopeside there in September for half the high season price. If you hit the place in late-September, the prices drop even further
Interest in a return trip is definitely greater. I guess with your prior visit to Jackson hold true here.
Interesting Patrick should mention this. Jackson in March is a classic example of a trip that should be declined (if advance commitment is required) no matter how cheap the lodging. The odds of decent surface conditions are sufficiently low that it's not worth even just the airfare and lift tickets IMHO.

So my experience last year at Valle Nevado makes me similarly suspicious of late season deals. Year-to-date snowfall was average. It had not snowed for 3 weeks, but we all know that's not unusual in that region. With the same weather but a deeper base and steeper terrain, Portillo had off-piste corn while VN was mostly irregular sludge. I'd roll the late season dice for South America skiing only at Portillo or Las Lenas, and I'd make the call as late as possible to ensure that base depths would be well above average.

Patrick's trip does reveal more variety and potential in those Argentine Lake District areas, and has raised my interest in doing that trip someday. My guess is that I'll do it with Powderquest (who also tries to climb that volcano at Pucon) maybe a month earlier in the season, then tack on a few days at Chillan on my own.
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
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9871
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: The Red Flag for Andes 2008 is Removed

Postby Patrick » Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:13 pm

As mentioned in another thread, I agree somewhat with Tony FF points reasoning on SA. I never considered using mine for this trip or last year.

Interest in a return trip is definitely greater. I guess with your prior visit to Jackson hold true here.
Interesting Patrick should mention this. Jackson in March is a classic example of a trip that should be declined (if advance commitment is required) no matter how cheap the lodging. The odds of decent surface conditions are sufficiently low that it's not worth even just the airfare and lift tickets IMHO.


The advantage with Catedral versus most of the other ski areas I've seen is the important amount of terrain (on or off-piste) below treeline. After some research, the only real places where advance commitment is really required is Portillo or LL. Well, I haven't experienced Jackson in March, but I believe that Bob Peters from Epic isn't that negative about it. I can find probably an equal amount of people that would be in the same mind set as Bob on Bari.

Patrick's trip does reveal more variety and potential in those Argentine Lake District areas, and has raised my interest in doing that trip someday. My guess is that I'll do it with Powderquest (who also tries to climb that volcano at Pucon) maybe a month earlier in the season, then tack on a few days at Chillan on my own.


Hope that if you go, you get to actually SEE the volcano, let alone climb it. ](*,) The Lake district has much more to offer than skiing (ie. Portillo, Lenas), I really enjoyed it.
Ski Mad World
A blog of MadPat's World: A History of Skiing Geography
http://madpatski.wordpress.com
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4730
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

PreviousNext

Return to Down Under

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use