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Trip Report 3Vs & Santiago Chile Aug 2019

Discussion in 'Less Travelled' started by LDJ, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Sorry for the delay but a couple of people wondered how the trip went to Chile this year. I have so much info on the area so feel free to PM me if anyone wants more info. Flew Brisbane - Santiago for 5 days skiing and 3 days site seeing on 11th Aug. Had an awesome Trip to Chile but was let down by the snow. After a great start to the season the snow just kept missing all of the northern ski resorts around Santiago. Given the ease of getting flights to Santiago via Sydney with Qantas 11-12hrs direct I would recommend booking last minute to see snow conditions are as the potential is amazing. More info to follow
     
  2. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    We stayed in Farellones which you can ski down to in a good season and sits around 2500m. Farellones has a number of beginner slopes, a giant snow play area with sleds, inflatable tubes, zip wires, snow biking and hoardes of day trippers wanting to see snow. Each day we went to various resorts around the 3 Valleys area including 2 days at El Colorado, 2 days at Valle Nevado and 1 day at la Parva. The skiing would be absolutely epic when the snow was on. I skied here previously much later in the season in September in 2013 (Maybe?) and coverage and powder was much better. There is so much varied terrain including lots of off-piste, steep chutes and hiking terrain. Lots of T-bars but it’s worth it. The scenery is stunning.
     
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  3. parkmonkey

    parkmonkey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    T bars are good in South America, occasional chairs fall off lifts
     
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  4. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    We spent 2 days at El Colorado 5min from Farellones and we had booked online lift tickets a few months in advance (Sometimes there are benefits of being on old mailing lists). It was in Spanish but we saved 50% and got 2-1. El Colorado is effectively a conical shaped mountain with skiing off pretty much all aspects (In good snow). It goes up to 3300m with potential for 900m of vertical if its all open. 18 lifts mostly T-Bars which was a little fun with 3 of us. 30+ runs but loads more in-bounds terrain. The lookers left in picture gets scoured by wind and this season heat so was completely bare.
    However The backside was in decent condition and you could even do some off-piste as long as you prepared for the dings. Dad and Wife over the backside



    The pisteurs had done a decent job of keeping some of the main runs in good condition it was just sad that less than 50% of runs were open and a lot of the best ones were shut. However the scenery was awesome, it was quiet and beers in the sun were the way to go. The Patagonia Crafts beers by Austral are some of the nicest I have tasted anywhere in the world. The lunchtime food especially the BBQ meats were stunning with the local red wine. Similar price to lunch in Perisher or similar but so much better quality. We definitely stopped more than usual and did shorter days due to snow but we drunk a fair bit more beer, wine and sun so it wasn't all bad. A bad day in the mountains is still a great day.
     

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  5. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    La Parva has about 15min drive from where we are staying and is more a well off locals hill. There are huge amounts of apartments there and all owners get lift tickets free so the resort never has money as most people aren't paying LOL. It can be busy at weekends and holidays but was dead while we were there. This was probably dads favourite as he is 70 and he got super Senior day pass at La Parva for Aus$25 or less and he was chuffed. Costs for lift tickets are similar to Australia but you can get 2-1 on certain week days and you get reductions in certain resorts for Visa or MasterCard (10-50%) so generally we were paying a fair bit less than expected which was great. La Parva was a pleasant surprise with some wonderful views, sweeping long reds and secluded valleys with one long black in. Most of the freestyle terrain and lots of lifts weren't open due to lack of snow but there was still a decent amount of fun runs. Again in good snow this terrain would be a wow! There are areas to hike ou of resort and you can test your becon. 2700m up to 3600m, 30+ runs and lots of inbounds. Lots of slow chairs but well laid out to maximise varied skiing. The more I think about it the more I probably enjoyed it the most out of the 3.

    La Parva with Santiago in the background. You can see El Colorado and La Parva from Santiago. Normally most of the visible mountains would be snow covered to some degree


    One crazy thing is that all 3 resorts are effectively linked via skiing however you can't get a 3Vs ticket which is crazy. You would need to buy a pass for each one. At points you are skiing next to runs from the other resort. Its pretty mad but hey apparently that just how it roles here. This photo is from La Parva looking back to the soured part of El Colorado.



    The funniest thing is. You see the whie ribbon at El Colorado (Mountain in the background) that is actually being used and we skied it to get from backside back to frontside. It was literally 5m white and 20cm deep of snow. How they keep it going in 12C to get people back I have no idea
     
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  6. parkmonkey

    parkmonkey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    You could or still can get day pass that lets you ski all three, I only had a season pass valle Nevada but it’s not like they are checking tickets on the back lifts :)
     
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  7. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Our final ski destination was Valle Nevado which is the most developed resort in the international sense. Lots of French influence and it feels more like a European resort with faster chairs, a gondola and more on-slope crazily priced accommodation. You can heli-ski, hire guides and hit some major major backcountry from here. This is where the international freestylers or hardcore element come. For the rest of us it is the highest with a base of close to 3000m and has the best snow and grooming in the area and the views are just unbelievable. The high Andes soar above you and local mountain El Plomo heads up over 5400m with beautiful glaciers. It was surreal skiing down ribbons of snow in between desert like valleys that would normally have been pistes but kinda cool.



    The snow was definitely better up here where everything was over 3000m however still in the sun there were some funny challenges. One blue run was shut for 20min as the ski patrol built a bridge over a melt water stream that was cutting the run in 2. I also had an adventure T-Bar lift where I didn't quite translate what the lift guy said to me until I was halfway up. I thought he said broken but I thought he wouldn't have said that...what he meant was blantently obvious as 3/4 of the way up the T-Bar track the snow ran out and it was just ground we hoped off and traverse a ribbon of snow back around the other side of the mountain.

    The T-Bar straight in front is up to 3700m. The track you can see in the background going up the mountain is the T-Bar we had to bail on 3/4 the way up after the snow ran out.


    But realistically as much as the snow was poor there was still plenty of snow to have fun and enjoy ourselves. As you can see the extend of the terrain is amazing and I would definitely come back and recommend it to people.

     
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  8. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Its all electronic passes now and contactless. So you can't dodge it. We couldn't find any cheap way of getting a multi-ticket outside of buying 2 or 3 which we didn't do but there might be a way of doing it. Our hotel seemed to suggest you couldn't but did tell us lots of ways to get cheap passes via Mastercard, Visa, online coupons etc
     
  9. Zeroz

    Zeroz A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looks like you were unlucky.
    Sth America skiing is all about the timing. Usually it's huge dumps between long dry gaps.

    Last time I went, the Chile resorts had crap cover, no snow for 5 weeks. We went to Machu Picchu.
    It snowed for a week. Didn't snow for another 4 weeks.

     
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  10. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Also spent 3 days doing Santiago and Valparaiso sightseeing and walking. Was really top notch. The food options were great as long as you like meat, cerviche and pisco sour!

     
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  11. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    @sastrugi I put TR in this thread. Enjoy your trip
     
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  12. sastrugi

    sastrugi At the centre of it all Ski Pass: Gold

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    Three of my all time favourites :woohoo::woohoo::woohoo:
     
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  13. sastrugi

    sastrugi At the centre of it all Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks SO much! The poor season we had in Canada all those years ago was nothing like your pictures here! We were disappointed we had only 3 days of fresh over a 4 week period on a reasonable base (there was rocks and grass which is almost unheard of in Canada in Feb). But hey... snow is snow and it's really only the surface that's important on the day. So glad you had a fab trip overall, this will be my second trip to Arg/Chile and I'm so looking forward to sharing it with +1 as my last trip was my dad sharing it with me (he's been there 8 times). Knowing my luck it we will be snowed in when hiking the W and doing our Estancia riding trip.
     
  14. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Awesome!
    Brings back memories.
    Love a Pisco Sour!
    Must do Chile again sometime soon.
     
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  15. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Those conditions certainly looked pretty dire. I do recall the time I went to Valle Nevado in 1993 the snow base wasn't great. They had managed to work the snow on the pistes pretty well which was also important for the race teams training there at the time, but there was very little offpiste. They did get a good snowfall while I was there so there was powder offpiste but of course on very little base and as your pics show it is rocky underneath, so there was a bit of price to pay for that. Still to hard to resist skiing it though.
    Further south was fine as was Las Lenas just the other side of the divide.
     
  16. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Went to a restaurant in Brazil on a day trip from Iguassu that was pretty much all meat with a small token salad bar to start with. Waiters would just wander around with big skewers of various meats for you to sample.

    I did also enjoy the Pisco sours in Chile.
     
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  17. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    my wife stopped frequently for a break to have a cheeky one in the sun. Controversially we enjoyed the Peruvian version more than the Chilean one. I tried not to tel the hosts too many times :p
     
  18. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    luckily I knew it was going to be bad and took by old K2s rather than new DPS. K2s have some big holes but hey I’m generating money for the Brisbane ski repair industry. We were just unlucky Chillan further south got a huge storm before we arrived and they just never made it further north
     
  19. Zeroz

    Zeroz A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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