Day 4: Agosto 31
Pouring rain again. It's been raining pretty much nonstop since my bus passed the town of Victoria while coming down from Santiago. Sky was nice and clear around Santiago. I didn't miss my call regarding the precipitation. The only thing that I have to remember, there is always the TISA Factor.
Pucon is very nice town. Very touristy and much more popular in the Summer. Rafting, Volcano climbs, boating, hiking, fishing, etc etc Even the president Blachelet has her summer residences on one of the lake. The main attraction is the volcano, however besides postcards and posters, I haven't seen any volcanoes. I really appreciate my stay here. The hostal where we stayed (The Treehouse) was great also.
So I'm leaving this morning uncertain of my plans after I crossed the border. The previous night I was even thinking of heading toward Las Leñas. :o After checking this morning forecast and looking at the travel logistics to get from here to LL, I'll stay south.
The bus ride across the mountain pass was pretty interesting. There is flooding in the area due to all the rain. The road was flooded in a few spots. Crossed the border, everyone had to leave the bus at the Chilean border then further at the Argentinian border. The pass is at something like 1200m, everything is white and it's snowing. Beautiful. After the forest, the plain. Got into San Martin de Los Andes and it's snowing. I was told that this isn't necessarily usual.
The luggages under the bus got wet, I guess the place where the water was 3 feet deep over 30-40 yards didn't help. It was an adventure.
It's puking outside, however it's white not like Pucon. I'm in an internet cafe in San Martin Los Andes. There is no way to go Pucon-San Martin-Bariloche in one day. Last bus to Bari leave at 2pm.
So I have to sleep here and my feet are wet. A couple inch of very snow/slush on the sidewalks and streets. The street are rivers on the side and wet slush in the middle.
Spoke to a European showboard instructor and mentioned that this place deserved one look. Not sure what I'll do, tired of traveling and not skiing. If it's still snowing in town, I might take a look. The following day I'll head straight to Esquel (need to transfer in Bari). Playing it by ear, but look like things are finally looking up.
Look at the volcanoes. First one is Pucon where the ski area is. I didn't get to see any of them.
Road between Pucon and the Chile-Argentina border.
Road between Pucon and the Chile-Argentina border. No wonder why the road between Chile and Argentian don't connect in Google. :)
Near the Chile-Argentina border.
From the border to San Martin de Los Andes. (google maps doesn't connect bought road...did you see the road?)
Just across the border. Some people at work didn't know it snowed in Argentina.
A lot of rain = flooding. This isn't as bad as want the bus passed in Chile.
Landscape away from the Andes.
San Martin de Los Andes - I was told it generally doesn't snow in town. Partial blackout over townDay 5: Chapelco, ARG - September 1
DEEPEST SKIING IN SEPTEMBER FOR MYSELF...EVER
I finally stayed in San Martin.
Snowing, streets are worst than yesterday.
I decided that it didn't make any sense to leave (even if the reviews for this place weren't great). I hadn't reserved a space on the shuttle last night, there was only was the 10am (which was late because of the chaos on the mountain road to Chapelco). The place is pretty flat with a few good pitches. The top above treeline looks interesting from the map, unfortunately the visibility was nil. There are some potential good tree shots, but I didn't really have too.
Top of the mountain above treeline was closed. New snow was 30cm (bottom), 80cm (mid) and 100cm (upper). It was unreal. Wet and pretty heavy, I couldn't see anything (100cm wasn't an exaggeration). Found some nice pitch (few, it's true), couldn't see anything, snow going over head in some places. ON A DAY LIKE TODAY, I COULD HAVE USED SALIDA'S BROTHER HOMEMADE SKIS.
When I went in to eat on the mountain at 1pm, the power went out right after I got my food. Stayed out for the rest of the day. Lucky I wasn't in the lifts. Some people were still there 90 minutes later. There might be people still stucked in the lifts or trying to get out of the wet snow.
Even if the power went out, I don't regret my decision last night to stay here. Regardless of the number of runs, it's was worth the price of admission (unless your a beginner and hate powder). :D
On a bus for Esquel tomorrow morning then into Bari for the last part of this skiing trip. Then off on that loooong bus ride to BA.
This is a very touristy ski town, mostly Argentinians. My feet are so wet and cold, I need to go eat.
Morning September 1st in San Martin de Los Andes.
Chapelco - upper part above treeline was closed.(source:nevasport)
Snowing hard in Chapelco.
Not many pictures. Wet snow and visibilty close to zero.
On mountain restaurant. Blackout in the ski area, but you can still get wine.
Quick end of the day without electricity. Mountain is slowly revealing itself.
San Martin street next to Hostal. Imagine yourself walking in running shoes. (yep - wet feet).
Did I say wet feet?
San Martin de Los Andes - very touristy place.