La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

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Re: La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:02 pm

Altitude isn't that much of an issue when you consider the climate.
Of course it is. Didn't you read Klar's comment about it raining 10 days in a row at the base of Catedral? It probably rains once in a blue moon at 9,000 feet at Portillo or Valle Nevado.

Portillo/Valle Nevado/Las Lenas are very close weather analogies to Taos/Arizona Snowbowl. Virtually no rain risk, quite a bit of drought risk.

Chillan and Pucon are somewhat like PNW, less drought risk, some rain risk.

Bariloche is the worst of both worlds. Same altitude as Chillan/Pucon, but much drier being on leeward side of Andes Crest. In fairness, South Island New Zealand Southern Lakes areas have a similar weather/snow risk profile to Patagonia Lakes District.
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Re: La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

Postby Patrick » Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:19 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Chillan and Pucon are somewhat like PNW, less drought risk, some rain risk.

Bariloche is the worst of both worlds. Same altitude as Chillan/Pucon, but much drier being on leeward side of Andes Crest. In fairness, South Island New Zealand Southern Lakes areas have a similar weather/snow risk profile to Patagonia Lakes District.


Not a South America climate specialist, but the different between Chillan/Pucon and Catedral is that it's located further south (much further than Termas) and on the other side of the Andes.
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Re: La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:03 am

Catedral is 2,000 feet lower than Termas, both base and top. That easily offsets 4 degrees of latitude (~Bachelor vs. Crystal).
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Re: La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

Postby Patrick » Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:50 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Catedral is 2,000 feet lower than Termas, both base and top. That easily offsets 4 degrees of latitude (~Bachelor vs. Crystal).

Not saying that you're wrong, but there might other factor at play. Termas is West of the Andes while Catedral is East and would potentially have less maritime influence (maritime moderate extremes).
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Re: La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:41 pm

As in some of the other speculations about exotic climates, I think actual evidence from locals should carry the most weight. The "10 days in a row of rain in winter" seem rather conclusive to me. This has very likely never happened at Mammoth, Bachelor, Valle Nevado or Portillo, all of which are in Pacific coastal climates but at high altitude. Again, Catedral's own marketing materials admit that the lower mountain is often not skiable. Since we all know that ski areas like to gloss over their shortcomings, this one must be too frequent to hide. There was also a comment in one of those reports about people in Bariloche having trouble driving up to the hill when it does snow down to lake level, because that doesn't happen very much. It is similarly rare for the snow to reach lake level in Queenstown and Wanaka in NZ.

Chillan is at an intermediate altitude, we know it gets some rain, but 10 days in a row, probably rare. Or perhaps more relevant as in some PNW areas, it may usually get enough snow to recover/resurface not too long after rain events.
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Re: La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

Postby Admin » Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:13 pm

This seems like an apropos place to try out a new smiley:

:worthless:
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Re: La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

Postby Patrick » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:02 pm

Admin wrote:This seems like an apropos place to try out a new smiley:

:worthless:


:lol: :lol: :lol:

If I wouldn't be at work all the time, I might have time to actually look at my pictures. =;
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Re: La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

Postby Patrick » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:31 pm

Admin wrote:This seems like an apropos place to try out a new smiley:

:worthless:


How about these??? Another re-edition with pics.
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Re: La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

Postby Admin » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:34 pm

Nice shots!

I'm working right now (read: today) at commissioning a feature on La Hoya through an Argentinean writer I know. Hopefully she'll go for it and we'll have a new resort feature following her August visit.
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Re: La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

Postby Patrick » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:43 pm

Admin wrote:Nice shots!

I'm working right now (read: today) at commissioning a feature on La Hoya through an Argentinean writer I know. Hopefully she'll go for it and we'll have a new resort feature following her August visit.


La Hoya sucks...you should send her to Las Lenas or Portillo instead. :opocorn:
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Re: La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

Postby Admin » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:56 pm

Patrick wrote:
Admin wrote:Nice shots!

I'm working right now (read: today) at commissioning a feature on La Hoya through an Argentinean writer I know. Hopefully she'll go for it and we'll have a new resort feature following her August visit.


La Hoya sucks...you should send her to Las Lenas or Portillo instead. :opocorn:


Nice try. :roll: Besides, she lives in Patagonia. You can check out her website at http://www.argentinasnow.com/

And nice job using the new smiley, courtesy Marc_C.
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Re: La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:34 pm

It was obvious from the narrative that La Hoya was the highlight of this trip, but the pictures (finally!!!) reinforce the point. Terrain-wise, as good or better than Chillan? Steeper, at least at the top, is the impression from the pics.
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Re: La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

Postby Patrick » Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:55 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:It was obvious from the narrative that La Hoya was the highlight of this trip, but the pictures (finally!!!) reinforce the point.


I sometime like places that are off-radar. A series of factor definitely made this the highlight of my trip. To use an analogy, some like Altabird, Whistler ski trips while others like places like Castle or Shames. La Hoya fits in the second category while Portillo, Las Lenas or the Valle Nevado gang would be in the first. Not saying that the skiing is better at one place versus the other, but there is something to be said about non-commercial places.

Tony Crocker wrote:Terrain-wise, as good or better than Chillan? Steeper, at least at the top, is the impression from the pics.


We had an interesting discussion at the Hostal that night. A few French skiers from the Alps and myself discussing various places in SA. Most of us agree that Termas was our favorite. Slackcountry and backcountry possibilities are endless at the other place. Size and vertical of area is also bigger. The steeps about the chair were off-limit when we were there. Not sure if that is always the case, however there is something to be said about those off-piste (on map) lines about the base.

La Hoya is pretty rocky place is some parts. :-( Hard to know how much snow falls here? All this being said, out of all the areas I've seen in the past two seasons, La Hoya is one of the places I would like to return.

PS. I'll try to post the other pics for Catedral and Bayo in the next few days, however Bluesfest is starting tomorrow night and plus I'm seeing a midnight show of Peter Murphy on Friday. :mrgreen:
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Re: La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:09 pm

I sometime like places that are off-radar.

Usually there's a reason for that. Sometimes it's just being off the beaten path. More often it's a deficiency in snow or terrain. Or being overshadowed by more famous areas in the immediate region. Anyplace in the Argentine Lakes District is going to be deficient in snow by North American standards, likely no one is much over 200 inches per year. La Hoya is farther south, better exposed and a bit higher on average than Catedral plus less traffic. So no surprise snow quality was better. But it was also thin judging by the multiple comments about hitting rocks.

The most attractive "off-radar" places IMHO are the "overshadowed by more famous areas in the immediate region" ones. Utah being the obvious example. The second tier areas there (Snowbasin for terrain, BCC for snow) are quite impressive on an absolute scale and would be the stars in many other regions.

Shames is truly remote from anywhere. And also small unless you do backcountry. Castle is not small, and thus it's not off-radar anymore for Calgary weekend day-trippers. But the infrastructure is so low key that for the midweek destination skier it remains a stash.

I do advocate that inconvenience is often more than rewarded by lack of crowds. Even for big and/or famous places. Aspen is a good example vs. the busier places on I-70 closer to Denver.
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Re: La Hoya, ARG - Sept 3-4, 08

Postby Patrick » Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:16 am

Tony Crocker wrote:
I sometime like places that are off-radar.

Usually there's a reason for that. Sometimes it's just being off the beaten path. More often it's a deficiency in snow or terrain. Or being overshadowed by more famous areas in the immediate region. .


There is also being overshadowed by the marketing departments. People generally prefer going to "known places"... in that aspect, places like Castle, Revy, etc are still unknown to many folks. Average American traveling skier only know the Banff areas and Whistler in Canada (okay, it might be an exaggeration, but you see the point). Most areas in the Western US have long been establish and get the publicity from years of the numberous US ski magazines. That isn't necessarily the case once you cross the border to Canada and even less so in SA.

Tony Crocker wrote:La Hoya is farther south, better exposed and a bit higher on average than Catedral plus less traffic. So no surprise snow quality was better. But it was also thin judging by the multiple comments about hitting rocks.


I was also skiing more off-piste here. The "thin" and hitting rocks might be totally irrelevant. That was hit off-piste in powder. I remember that I did a good job on my skis at Big Sky and Snowbird on a very good snow period. If you don't know the place, you don't necessarily what lies under the snow.

Tony Crocker wrote:The most attractive "off-radar" places IMHO are the "overshadowed by more famous areas in the immediate region" ones.


That logic might apply to the US or the Alps, but that model doesn't apply in place where the skier population is small. Shames, places in the BC interior, SA, etc.
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