Extremely Canadian Expanding South America Trips

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Extremely Canadian Expanding South America Trips

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon May 03, 2010 11:36 am

Extremely Canadian is offering extensions to Portillo/Arpa cat skiing in 2010 along with the 2 trips to Las Lenas: http://extremelycanadian.com/skitrips/p ... i-arpa.htm
In Chile they are staying at the same Casa St. Regis in Los Andes where Adam, Patrick, Richard and I were in Sept. 2007.

Also new is a youth camp (ages 13-18) at Las Lenas: http://extremelycanadian.com/skitrips/l ... i-camp.htm
The youth tour is at the Hotel Aries while the two adult tours remain at the Escorpio where Adam and I were with them in Sept. 2005.
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Re: Extremely Canadian Expanding South America Trips

Postby EMSC » Tue May 04, 2010 10:20 am

Not that I'm going anywhere that exotic the next couple of years with our new little guy around, but the website doesn't even mention exactly what is or is not covered in the cost. airfare(s)?, hotel, transfers, lift tickets, any meals, etc....? Hard to tell if the price is in any way reasonable without knowing the details of what they are selling you.

Plus, what is your personal reason for using them on a regular basis? Just the relief of not having to plan out all the minutia details of a far away trip? Or is it the guided portion of the service on-hill? or etc... Assuming things keep financially going decent for my family I'm thinking I need to break out of the box and start trying out some 'big' vacations a few years down the road. aka japan, or NZ or etc... but at least I have plenty of time to think things over for a while on how to approach it.
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Re: Extremely Canadian Expanding South America Trips

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue May 04, 2010 11:39 am

Everything is covered including most meals except the international airfare to the gateway airport, Santiago or Buenos Aires in this case.

No question Extremely Canadian tours are very expensive. They make the most sense for a location with high screw-up potential (Las Lenas) or where the guiding is essential to get the most out of skiing (La Grave). When things go wrong, they use their local knowledge to make the best of it. They got us on a snowcat when Marte was down for repairs. On a crappy weather day in La Grave we did a Via Ferrata rock climb. I know they have done winery tours on Las Lenas weather shutdown days. I would be inclined to use them for Gulmarg (similar screw-up potential to Las Lenas) and probably Niseko (likely expensive anyway). I would not pay their premium price for interior B.C. or a more conventional Euro resort where you have high confidence of a good experience on a arrange-it-yourself basis. New Zealand is another place where do-it-yourself is the way to go IMHO.

In general I am far more inclined than the average traveler to arrange my own customized itinerary than do a prepackaged tour. Most of you should know this from reading my trip reports. Even when I am on a tour I often deviate, like jumping ship in Japan after 7 days of a 12-day cruise last summer.

In the case of South America we have contrasting case studies of my and Patrick's trips. His experiences have reinforced my preference to do guided ski trips there. YMMV.
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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: Extremely Canadian Expanding South America Trips

Postby Patrick » Tue May 04, 2010 12:38 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:In the case of South America we have contrasting case studies of my and Patrick's trips. His experiences have reinforced my preference to do guided ski trips there. YMMV.

My trips have been at a fraction, yes fraction, of EC cost. If you're looking for guiding and hastle-free trips, EC, Casa and Powderquest are definitely the way to go.

All this comes at a cost, guiding and organized trip in one package isn't cheap.
For the cost of ONE 7-10 trips quoted on the EC website, I managed 3 trips at 2 weeks each, including everything from bus trips, car rental, beer and wine, meal in restaurant and lift tickets.

I found out that my mishap at the end of last year's trip, happened to some guys from Ottawa going to a SA ski camp, so even if everything is organized, sh*t can happen.
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Re: Extremely Canadian Expanding South America Trips

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue May 04, 2010 5:42 pm

Patrick wrote:so even if everything is organized, sh*t can happen.

But far less likely. EC includes the airport transfers and I suspect Powderquest does too.
Patrick wrote: I managed 3 trips at 2 weeks each...

And quite a few days were chewed up with marathon bus trips. For most Americans vacation time is limited and the time can be more valuable than the $.

These trips should be instructive to readers because they represent the extremes. I suspect most would opt for something in between. This is my usual method. I'll spend the $$$ for cat or heli days in B.C but drive around in a rental car and stay in more modest lodging on the rest of those trips.
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: Extremely Canadian Expanding South America Trips

Postby Patrick » Tue May 04, 2010 8:57 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:And quite a few days were chewed up with marathon bus trips. For most Americans vacation time is limited and the time can be more valuable than the $.

Seeing part of the country. I've skied more days in those trips cumulative than the EC plan for less. 22 ski days. I've lost more days due to weather than travel on these 3 trips.

Tony Crocker wrote:These trips should be instructive to readers because they represent the extremes.


Yeah, you get to travel and meet some other hardcore skiers. I'm far from the only one, I have no regrets and will probably repeat (need to repeat last year's trip for pics :evil: ). It's all about comfort level and what you're willing to pay for.
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Re: Extremely Canadian Expanding South America Trips

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed May 05, 2010 11:19 am

Patrick wrote:Seeing part of the country.

I spent considerable time on non-ski activities on my SA trips also (Iguazu Falls, Rio, Inca Trail, Chile wineries, etc.). With regard to ski time Patrick had to cut in half one of his best ski days (La Hoya) due to the constraints of public transportation. Patrick gets a generous amount of vacation time in a Canadian government job but has a limited budget, so his strategy makes sense for his situation. Again, personal priorities vary. Adam also has a limited budget, but prefers to park himself in a cheap shared apartment in Las Lenas for 2 weeks (he's considering doing this again) in the hope of getting a few epic ski days.
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: Extremely Canadian Expanding South America Trips

Postby soulskier » Sun May 16, 2010 5:36 pm

It should also be noted that if you go to Las Leñas and try to figure out the mountain without a guide, you may be in for some challenges.
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