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tele_nut

Portillo and Las Lenas

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In August-September I am going to combine these two resorts and possible El Colorado area in one long late summer ski trip. Has anyone else had any experience with these areas? Recommendations or any other useful information?

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I was in Las Lenas in August / September 2001. I flew to Santiago and took a minibus over the Andes to Mendoza. I passed Portillo along the way, but didn't do any skiing there.

 

I spent a night in Mendoza before taking another bus to San Rafael and finally to Las Lenas. When I was there, there was probably about 20 or so North Americans. Now you'd be looking at quite a few more foreigners. The nice thing (for you) is that the Argentine currency has since been devalued and things are much cheaper now than they were then. I'm not sure where you plan to stay, but there are a few hotels that are decent. Having said that, they were built in the 80s and seem to be falling into a bit of disrepair now. A cheaper option is trying to find a room in a condo. The Canadians / Americans there usually have people coming and going all the time.

 

Looking back, if I were to go again, I'd head to Las Lenas in early August. When I was there, it hadn't snowed for a few weeks and although it was decent corn, powder would have been preferred.

 

There's one chair lift that gives you access to the entire mountain - the Marte chair lift. From there, you can traverse across the fossil fields at 12,000 ft (this mountain was underwater at one time) to the back side where there's tons of gullies to launch into that lead into huge bowls. Near the bottom of most of these bowls, there's a fairly well established flat traverse that'll take you back to the lifts.

 

The nice thing about Las Lenas is that for the most part, it's used by rich folks from Buenos Aries on their yearly ski trips. They tend to stick to the groomers leaving the off-piste stuff well alone.

 

Other things to do include checking out the caves nearby with a bottle of wine and a nice lady in tow. There's also a natural hot spring nearby and if you can handle the mud and nasty sulphur smell, it's fun going there.

 

Nightlife includes UFO nightclub, a little wine & sushi bar, and the casino in I think the Scorpio hotel. Lunch outside the little restuarant at the foot of the ski lifts drinking a Qulilmes and munching on a Lomo Completo in the sun is hard to beat. All in all, it's a small resort at the bottom of a BIG mountain. I had a blast down there.

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Hey Gowans, what would you say would be a reasonable budget to enjoy oneself? Say ski 2 out of every 3 days, nice dinner couple times a week, clean room, eat cheap rest of the time? Get plastered once a week or so, maybe do a little side trip somwhere?

 

$20/day?

 

$50/day?

 

$200/day?

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Hey Gowans, what would you say would be a reasonable budget to enjoy oneself? Say ski 2 out of every 3 days, nice dinner couple times a week, clean room, eat cheap rest of the time? Get plastered once a week or so, maybe do a little side trip somwhere?

 

$20/day?

 

$50/day?

 

$200/day?

 

Well, when I went down there, I got my pass comped but I think the pass was something like $250 for a week. Apart from that, I was staying with a buddy in his condo for $10 a night, I spent about $7 a day on food at home - $2 for a bottle of Malbec wine and it's cheap to make pizza at home. Going out, I'd spend about $15-$20 a night. I think a pretty cushy budget would be around $40 a day. It may even be cheaper since the currency has been devalued.

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