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Kameron

[TR] Araucanía, Bio-Bio, Ñuble (Chile) - Lonquimay, Llaima, Antuco, Nevados de Chillán, et al 10/01/2019

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Trip: Araucanía, Bio-Bio, Ñuble (Chile) - Lonquimay, Llaima, Antuco, Nevados de Chillán, et al

Trip Date: 10/01/2019

Trip Report:

I enjoyed two great weeks of skiing in Central-South Chile with Joe recently. We left Seattle on the evening of 9/29, skied our first turns on the afternoon of 10/1, last turns on 10/10, and I started my travel odyssey the next day, arriving back home on the 13th. This is the usual prime volcano season, but, as in the PNW, storms can come through at any time. The mountains received a strong and unusually cold storm right before we got there, so rather than skiing the corn we thought we would, we had to make do with dry powder. Luckily the weather was stable enough to get in a number of good summits. As we headed North, following the better weather, the snowpack changed into more typical spring conditions.

Big highlights were skiing in the Araucaría (monkey puzzle tree) forests, the quality of the snow, some excellent food finds, and spending time with Chilenos.

I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Lonquimay & Corralco ski area

Lift-served pow at 5 pm

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Pow off the top of Lonquimay

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4000 ft later

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Llaima

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Big graupel from thunderstorms the afternoon before

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Llaima's impressive summit crater with Lanín (left) and Rukapillán (right)

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Thousands of feet of moderately steep pow

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Tolhuaca (which we did not ski)

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Pucón vibes

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Antuco

Freezing rain crust, Laguna del Laja, and peaks E

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Views of Sierra Velluda (right, near), volcanoes Callaqui, Lonquimay, Llaima, and Tolhuaca (left to right in distance)

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Great chalk transitioning into corn

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The road to Antuco

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Nevados de Chillán

 

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Antuco in the distance, "mountaineering" snow

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Alpenglow & ash coming from the Chillán Nuevo, Nevados left and Viejo right. View from Onai

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Thanks, Chopo & Fran!

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For those of you interested in making a trip like this happen, the detailed beta is pretty easy to come by.

If you are perhaps interested in a guided trip, Joe will be offering one next year through Pro Guiding Service with similar dates. The focus will be on keeping it budget friendly and focused on good skiing.

Some other little plugs:

  • Coni at Masajes Pucón did an excellent job helping my tight muscles on our down day, highly recommend if you're in Pucón
  • Onai hostel, run by Chopo Díaz, who is one of the most decorated freeriders in Chile, is an awesome place to stay in Las Trancas, near Chillán
Gear Notes:
Standard + ski lifts at Corralco

Approach Notes:
Aeromexico -> Santiago, Sky Airlines -> Temuco, rental Subaru XC
  • Rawk on! 3

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fantastic. yeah, dreamy indeed -- appreciate the pictorial tour. 

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i imagine skiing into a chilean pine is an extra phuck-you as compared to yer typical, god-fearing non-spiny spruce :)

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2 hours ago, ivan said:

i imagine skiing into a chilean pine is an extra phuck-you as compared to yer typical, god-fearing non-spiny spruce :)

Yeah, the araucarias are pretty stiff and very spiky (even the trunks are covered with the "leaves" when young). If you ever get a chance to fondle a young one, you'll be sure not to ski into it.

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4 hours ago, Kameron said:

Yeah, the araucarias are pretty stiff and very spiky (even the trunks are covered with the "leaves" when young). If you ever get a chance to fondle a young one, you'll be sure not to ski into it.

they seem to like the climate of the pnw just fine - i see them all over the place in folk's yards - don't seem to jibe well w/ the whole feng shui thing, but they do look quite suessian :)

Edited by ivan

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16 hours ago, ivan said:

they seem to like the climate of the pnw just fine - i see them all over the place in folk's yards - don't seem to jibe well w/ the whole feng shui thing, but they do look quite suessian :)

I learned on this trip that araucarias actually grow significantly slower in their native range in Chile. A little research says they could grow 8-10x as fast in other climates. Compare http://www.chilebosque.cl/flora/araucaria_araucana.html vs https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/araucaria-araucana 

So yeah, they like our climate a lot.

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