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Las Lenas and 2010 South America Season

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Las Lenas and 2010 South America Season

Postby soulskier » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:06 pm

Hello All,

Reporting live from Las Leñas.

It's low tide thus far and as best I can tell very few gringos around taking advantage of the forementioned pass.

Here's a couple pics from the season thus far.

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Re: US unlimited pass extends to Las Lenas

Postby soulskier » Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:24 pm

Here's a few more from today's powderfest.

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Re: Las Lenas and 2010 South America Season

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:24 pm

Nice pictures from that last report. Perhaps it's best at Las Lenas when it only snows a little bit and doesn't cause Marte so much trouble.

However there are some red flags for those considering traveling from North America. These resorts average 2/3 of their season snowfall by the end of July. So Portillo's current season-to-date of 110 inches (though 25 of it in the past week) and 31 inch base at the hotel can certainly be viewed as "low tide." The other problem is that the MEI index crossed decisively into La Nina territory for MAY/JUN and many forecasters think La Nina will strengthen further. As we know, La Nina is as bad for Portillo/Valle Nevado/Las Lenas as it is for SoCal and Arizona.

One of Patrick's favored spots, Chillan, is reporting base depths of 63-106 inches. But base depths in Argentine resorts, like those in Portillo/Valle Nevado group, are no more than 4 feet.

Adam is not going to Las Lenas this year. He would have been sharing the apartment with fewer people at thus higher cost, so combined with the lean snow year he bailed.

The July 11 eclipse finished at sunset in far southern Patagonia near El Calafate. With a view 1 degree over the horizon in the direction of the Andes the odds of a clear view were a longshot. So some of the people who went there signed up for a charter flight above the likely clouds. They arrived only to find that the flight was cancelled. Many other visitors complained of chronic delays/missed flights on Aerolineas Argentinas and general inefficiencies that we skiers have heard about or experienced in Argentina. Fortunately the story had a happy ending because they beat the weather odds and had a stunning view:
Image Found a different source per admin
Even more impressive is this video from David Makepeace, who was on the same tour as I in western China 2 years ago: http://www.eclipseguy.com/news/raw-vide ... -july-2010
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Re: Las Lenas and 2010 South America Season

Postby Admin » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:43 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Image Admin, why won't this image show?


Twitpic blocks hotlinking.
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Re: Las Lenas and 2010 South America Season

Postby soulskier » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:20 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Nice pictures from that last report. Perhaps it's best at Las Lenas when it only snows a little bit and doesn't cause Marte so much trouble.

However there are some red flags for those considering traveling from North America. These resorts average 2/3 of their season snowfall by the end of July. So Portillo's current season-to-date of 110 inches (though 25 of it in the past week) and 31 inch base at the hotel can certainly be viewed as "low tide." The other problem is that the MEI index crossed decisively into La Nina territory for MAY/JUN and many forecasters think La Nina will strengthen further. As we know, La Nina is as bad for Portillo/Valle Nevado/Las Lenas as it is for SoCal and Arizona.



Tony, you are using logic, which does not exist in Argentina.

BTW, the famous Santa Rosa storm doesn't arrive until Late August. We have had it 4 out of 5 seasons down here.
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Re: Las Lenas and 2010 South America Season

Postby Patrick » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:28 pm

soulskier wrote:Tony, you are using logic, which does not exist in Argentina.


Thanks for posting these pics. You are correct in defining Tony, he is definitely the Mr. Spock of FTO where everything is logic driven. Soul skiing has no logic, it's driven from the Heart.

soulskier wrote:BTW, the famous Santa Rosa storm doesn't arrive until Late August. We have had it 4 out of 5 seasons down here.


I believe Tony has already given his opinion on Santa Rosa, it's not logically and I might be mistaken, but there is no statistical evidence in it (Tony's opinion).
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Re: Las Lenas and 2010 South America Season

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:09 pm

Thanks to Extremely Canadian, I was provided 24 years of monthly snowfall data from Las Lenas. Average August snowfall is 62% of July's and average September snowfall is 61% of August's. Volatility is the greatest of any ski region for which I have data. Any storm in the late August/early September time frame is going to be ascribed to Santa Rosa, and while the probability is lower than July it's far from zero.

Extremely Canadian, who charges top $$$ for their tours, chooses to go in the late August/early September time frame. They believe that time offers the best likelihood of adequate coverage, and with storm incidence NOT at its peak, slightly better odds of Marte being open. Looking at reported base depths, Las Lenas' seem uncomfortably low for a mountain like that, but soulskier's pictures show that it is adequate for at least of some of the big mountain skiing that can make Las Lenas memorable. If August is relatively dry due to La Nina, that is not so negative for Las Lenas skiing as long as coverage holds up. Las Lenas can be epic for corn snow and I wish Patrick best of luck. I don't have any better advice for where he might go, with the possible exception of Chillan.
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Re: Las Lenas and 2010 South America Season

Postby soulskier » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:28 pm

Believe me Tony, I am not advocating anyone coming down. In fact, without the normal gringo crowd, we are skiing lines later in the day that normally get hit.

I will say the Santa Rosa/Late August storms have been huge in past years, but like everything in Argentina, "Nunca Se Sabe"
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Re: Las Lenas and 2010 South America Season

Postby jamesdeluxe » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:15 am

Soulskier, didn't you say you're moving?
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Re: Las Lenas and 2010 South America Season

Postby soulskier » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:03 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:Soulskier, didn't you say you're moving?


Yes, my wife and I are on a 3 month ski sabbitical before returning to the States to help create the world's first ski and energy center.
Last edited by soulskier on Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Las Lenas and 2010 South America Season

Postby Admin » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:07 am

soulskier wrote:the world's first ski and energy center.


:-s
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Re: Las Lenas and 2010 South America Season

Postby soulskier » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:59 pm

I wanted to share what a low snowpack in Las Leñas looks like. This was taken today from the ruta, close to the gas station. We need a big storm ASAP!

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Re: Las Lenas and 2010 South America Season

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:57 am

Adam just e-mailed me the above pic from TGR and expressed great relief that he's not going this year. Soulskier also said in the TGR thread that the thin Las Lenas snowpack will likely collapse quickly when the first big warmup hits and that it is the lowest snowpack he has seen there in his 8 years in Argentina. They will need a big-time Santa Rosa to turn things around, and of course if they get it you can probably expect at least a week of maintenance and avy control before Marte reopens.

For Patrick's benefit it would be helpful if soulskier could give a candid assessment of current and likely end-of-month conditions at Catedral, Chapelco, Cerro Bayo, La Hoya. If their outlook is not any more favorable over the next couple of weeks Patrick should cut his losses and pull the plug IMHO. For John Nash's benefit I believe Portillo and Valle Nevado will probably stay open to end of September, but likely only on a limited number of groomed trails with a snowmaking base. Of course his situation is different. Like me in NZ last month John will be "in the neighborhood" anyway, so his marginal cost of skiing is small and worth a look even if the expectation of conditions is low.

Season to date in Portillo is 122 inches, 12 inches in past week, base depths 20-44 inches.
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Re: Las Lenas and 2010 South America Season

Postby soulskier » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:24 pm

I have been in contact with Patrick and suggest he head further south as Cerro Bayo and Cerro Catedral are having above normal seasons, especially up high.
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Re: Las Lenas and 2010 South America Season

Postby soulskier » Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:28 pm

Here's one from today. You have to do this sketchy downclimb to get to Eduardos at the moment.

Image

Tony, my weather friend says there is a super typhon forming that will hit the Andes in about 2 weeks. Any thoughts on this?
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