Monday, September 13, 2010

Termas De Chillan Part 2!!!

My last day at Termas was a little more of a challenge, but still a great adventure. I decided I wanted to skin up another volcano, this one was just to the right of the first one and opened up to a valley of more great terrain. I was told I could ski down and then be able to hike up the back side of another volcano and ski back into the resort. As I got to the top of Volcano Viejo the clouds started to come in with a thick fog. I waited for it to clear a bit and then had an awesome long run down the volcano proper. I decided to keep going into the valley hoping to be able to find my way out to the side. As I kept going further down, I knew I was on the backside of a lot of terrain called the fingers, I had skied in the resort, but I was not seeing how I could get out of the valley I was in! I followed some tracks (never a good idea) and found myself cliffed out by two canyons with a beautiful stream running through. I definitely was not getting across, so my only choice was to skin back out of the valley I had skied down, which was about 3,000 vertical feet. It was pretty socked in with fog at this point and I could see the track from the cat so started to head for that and followed the track up. 2 hours later I was back in the resort and had done about 3 hours of skinning so had gotten some good exercise for the day! I took a few more runs and then went and had a beer with my new friend at the Iglu, she likes dance music and speaks English so we bonded!! ha! ha! I then packed up and left Termas and took a 7 am bus to Santiago and then a night bus to Mendoza! I loved Termas and will definitely go back soon, hopefully I can learn some Spanish by then!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Termas De Chillan!!!

So after Portillo I was not sure what to do, because my ski partners had to bail. I thought about going to Las Lenas anyways, but there was not lodging for me. My friend Claire Smallwood is working in Termas De Chillan a very cute small resort in southern Chile.Thanks Claire for everything!!! I had never heard of the place, but now I am stoked that I decided to give it a try! I hopped on a bus and went about 6 hours south of Santiago. I definitely need to brush up on my Spanish because I was the only American on the bus and had a horrible time trying to communicate. My wine also spilled in my backpack and started dripping on the Chileans, needless to say I was not a real popular person on the bus. I am a red head (so I get weird looks anyway), a wino and do not speak Spanish. I was the last person on the bus and they dropped me off at a nice little hostel called Chil'in. I was able to communicate to get a room and have been here the last four days. It is perfect spring skiing here, which is awesome! Any kind of skiing is fun this time of year.
Termas has one main lift and it takes 22 minutes to get to the top. Long runs, but wow is it a long chairlift ride when you are by yourself. I decided to do some touring, because the options are endless. The first day I skinned to the top of a volcano and it was such an eery feeling with it steaming all around me. Awesome corn skiing down with some really steep pitches one after another. Yesterday I saw an amazing face that looked like it was only an hour away as I started skinning I realized that it was a few canyons away! It took me two hours to get to the first sub peak and I decided that would be a good stopping point! I had a great adventure skiing down not knowing exactly where I was going. That was the story of my entire trip here just exploring and seeing new things and meeting some great people that I could not communicate with. I had some good alone time and skied some great snow! tomorrow I go to Santiago and then to Mendoza and then home!!! I am excited to get home and get back to work!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Portillo and Super-C!!!!!!!!

My first couple days in Portillo did not start out like I wanted, I got some type of food poisoning or a flu. I was stuck in bed for 2 days, but the last two days have been so much fun that it has made up for the horrible days in bed! Yesterday Johnathan ( and I went out and made some really amazing photos with not great snow conditions, but the scenery here is breathtaking so that definitely helps and of course my amazing Arcteryx colors also did their job! I also have met some great new people and five of us today decided to ski the Super- C Couloir, I had not heard much about this except that Chris Davenport has said that Is one of the best in the world! Coming from a person like Dav that goes a very long way so I was stoked. We started hiking around 10 am because it was definitely a little cloudy and snowy. My hiking and skiing partners include my friend Joni from SLC, my new friends Tucker and Axle from California and Gabe from Canada! We had a nurse, a ski patrol, a medical tech and a geologist on board and oh me a personal trainer/waitress/river guide/skier whatever I am. (ha ha). It was a pretty steep hike and I believe we all made it to the top in about 2 hours, we topped out at 13,100 and probably hiked about 2500 vertical feet. When we got to the top it was beautiful, even though we could not see much I knew we were surround by huge mountains. On a clear day you can see Aconcagua (22,841). I looked down and I could not wait to ski! The top part was probably about 50-55 degrees and some dust on crust. I made the first turns and totally fell in love with this couloir, because it was steep and just kept going and going! Huge beautiful volcanic walls on either side. The couloir I believe was about 3,500 vertical feet! We even got some amazing deep pow turns! In the last year I have skied some pretty amazing couloirs from the Tetons, to La Grave and Chamonix and this one definitely is very high on my list!!! I just love all couloirs!!! Can't wait to ski more!!!