Termas and Las Trancas : September 1-5 – part 1
Posted : Sat May 24, 2008 12:06 am
September 1 – the morning after:
Talca to Termas?
Okay, what happens when you take a 12-hour overnight flight ski a few hours at 3000 meters then drive until midnight? You don’t get up in the next morning. Or maybe it’s just Andy? So we found this Hostal in Talca. This Hostal is in fact an individual house with a few rooms to rent. We found out when we arrived here that Canadians were “Persona non grata” in Chile or maybe with this Football (Soccer) fan owner (see why in link below)
Anyway, our reception in the Hostal wasn’t that bad and he was nice to us, but he had to let us know that he wasn’t happy about the incidences in Toronto. After a late breakfast we headed back on the Trans American Highway in direction of Chillàn at 10ish in the morning. 😯 😯 Chillàn is about 160 km then another 80 km to Termas. Not sure if we going to ski today? We noticed on the roads that our setup with the skis was probably better than a few that we passed along the way. 🙄 The drive is fairly straight and we can see the Andes and a few volcanoes to the East of us.
We left the highway in Chillàn and turned left toward the Andes. Scenery isn’t the same as near Santiago. As we get closer to Termas we drive through the woods compared to the very dry field with cactuses near the Santiago ski areas. We passed through a few villages and we also saw some peasants sitting at road side next to homemade rack selling gloves or things like an 1980s style one piece ski suits.
We arrived at Las Trancas and checked in at our accommodations at the Chil’In at 2pm. After a quick discussion, we decided to go skiing anyway and head to the local ski area 7km away at the end of the road. This even if we would only have time for a couple of runs at the most. 🙂 It’s Spring time in Las Trancas with some snow still present on the ground, the road from the village to the resort isn’t paved and there are just a few switch backs, but nowhere near to road to Farrellones. As we get closer, we get a glimpse of the mountain and are very impressed. Not sure what is in or out-of-bounds, but the mountain is impressive. =P~ =P~ =P~ We parked in the upper parking lot and hurry to buy our full day lift ticket. 🙄
No mapa de pista in las manos, we hesitate between the triple and the double. No time to think, we hop on the old double. As we slowly climb, we realized we picked the right chair as this lift is much longer as the triple we saw. The higher we get, the most amazed our long this lift is and by the beauty of the terrain that is revealed. We just took the Dono Oto lift which 2.5km long with a vertical of 700meters. Lookers’ right is pretty much the resort’s boundary and so we traverse to the left. We totally freak out as we notice in the distance a t-bar that goes higher followed by then another one. The possibilities are endless. =P~ \:D/
We decided to go to the top of the last lift and ski along the ski area boundary on our right not far from the outer trail. The terrain is a natural terrain park with a bunch of rolls, sidewalls and cornices. The untracked snow is wet and heavy, difficult to ski in. We rejoined the trail just above treeline and we find a kicker built by some snowboarder right in the middle of the trail before a pitch. Andy urged Brendan to go big, he does and…. crashes sideways. Found out that Brendan has had a few concussions and he literary doesn’t have any depth perception. WTF??? Now I know what this guy has been giving me a hard time about my lack of helmet. 🙂 Hell of a skier that isn’t afraid to take risks going big. Would you believe if I tell you this guy is a ski patrol? Andy is the other ski patrol and fellow Masters racer, an amazing skier that makes it look easy. He’s suppose to take it easy as he coming back from a broken leg. We skied all the way down for 15-20 minutes for over 1100 meters and 13km. This long trail makes it to the bottom of the resort next to the Termas hotels and village.
Down at 1600m, one chair connect with the base area with main lifts 120 higher where we started from. We take the triple this time which much shorter. We decide to continue to the top via the detachable poma and the two t-bars we took before the previous run. Skied a groomer from the top then moved slightly between runs on the steeper bottom. Unfortunately it was passed 4:30pm and the Doto Oto was closed so we headed for the Triple for last run.
WOW!!! \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ We are going to have fun here. I can’t wait to ski tomorrow.
Andy getting the Chilean Roof box ready for departure. (photo by Brendan)
Posted : Sat May 24, 2008 12:18 am
Here are some shots from Andy and Brendan on the mountain plus the log. I didn’t bother getting my camera for this short ski day.
WOW!!! Pat pointing to terrain beyond and Brendan (photo by Andy).
Brendan and Pat on that long trail. Volcanoes in the background (photo by Andy).
Andy making some turns. (photo by Brendan)
Posted : Sun May 25, 2008 11:22 am
September 1 – Après-ski that doesn’t involve driving :P:
Back in Las Trancas, we chill at the Chil’In in Chile. We take a short walk to the store and buy some food and refreshments. 😮 The Chil’In is a Hostal, but it’s also a restaurant and a bar. That evening we meet a few fellow gringos eating at the table next to us. We started talking and they mentioned that did a big tour to the top of a volcano and skied a long descent afterward. One American telemarker wasn’t part of their group, but I believe he skied with them. He was another patrolmen, one that no one could miss. At the restaurant/Inn, he still had his ski pants and tele boots on. Some people talked about the “American”, but he made sure that everyone knew that we wasn’t an American, he keep saying that he was from VERMONT!!! Found out that he was a patrol from MRG and he’s been living in a tent on the mountain somewhere. Wonder if Mark Renson can guess who this guy is?
After an Escudo and some vino, we went to check out the Snow Pub after having heard much talk about it. Snow Pub was maybe 500 meters from the Chil’In, but it was a cold walk. Oh yeah, it’s still winter in this part of the World. As we get to nightlife heart of Las Trancas, we noticed that the Snow Pub has a Disco and a Pub. The difference between the two is fairly obvious; the one with dance music and flashing light is charging a crazy cover charge that us poor Canadians are too cheap to pay for what it seem a dead quiet place. We walked in a crowded and smoked filled pub instead. Apparently they were many girls at the Snow Pub; not many girls here, maybe they aren’t as cheap as guys, who knows? After maybe a few hours, we see our friend from MRG walking around with his teleboots still on. Meet some fellow skiers and had a few drinks. Not sure at what time we got back.:^o 😳
Posted : Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:08 pm
September 2 – Oh well: 😦
Waking up is hard to do, this sounds like a song? Coming back from the DL two days ago, Andy was taking a pass on morning. He decided that he was going to join us later. While Brendan and I were having breakfast, we noticed our friend from Vermont. We was having breakfast at the table next to us with a beautiful chica. “Yeah man, the disco was happening!!!” 🙄 Yep, he still had his teleboots. As he was set to leave as the owner intercepted him about breakfast. “No I didn’t have breakfast, juste café.” As he’s walking out, he’s saying to charge it to the Canadians. NO WAY…we kept insisting!!!! [-X
Anyway, as soon as we’re done, I start getting stuff in the car in order to leave as soon as possible. As I come back in, Brendan said I should get my swim trunks for hot spring poaching. Termas is pretty volcanic area and means Hot Springs in Spanish. Once I found my swim trunks, Brendan mentions he got my stuff and we’re ready to go. All right, a full day to explore this ski area. WE ARE STOKED!!! Contrary to yesterday, we parked at the lower parking lot. We put on our boots and gets the skis out.
Where are *&?$@%? my skis???? Brendan got my boots, not my skis near the door. ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)
Anyway, Brendan offered his second pair (the Seth or the Machetes, I can’t remember which was which?). After a few seconds, I decided I was going to return for my B3s. Little that I went, this was a smart move. Brendan was ready to go skiing and he gave me the keys to the go-cart. The go-cart had manual transmission…I haven’t really driven manually transmission in over 20 years. 😮 😯 😳 Driving the 7 km wasn’t too bad and I could always pick up Andy. Once Andy was ready, we headed back up to the ski area. Andy and Brendan had radios and this is when we got the news!!!
“LIFTS ARE STARTING TO SHTUDOWN EVERYWHERE”, only the bottom was open. The top t-bars lifts were closed plus the Doto Oto chair. Only interesting lift running was the Poma and the triple under that and they were going to close that also.
Andy and I had a wait and see approach. After trying to communicate to the people from the ski area, we were told that it was too windy. I tried to get a refund or discounted tickets for yourselves, but nothing doing. This was the famous TISA factor (we didn’t know it was called that) that I heard some people talk about, SuperNat had made references to it when she spoke about South America. So the two of us didn’t ski and one was REALLY pissed off having only skied 2 runs for $40. [-( The only main lift that remained open was the chair that connects both bases, maybe 120 meters.
At least we poached the Hot Springs at the Resort. We walked from the ski area lot toward the hotel. Brendan opted for the “through the woods in deep snow in sandals” approach. Fuck that, Andy and I decided to walk through the front door of the hotel. 😀
Our Vermont friend arrived in his teleboots as we were sitting back and relaxing. He seems surprised to see us. Yep, he had told us about the HotSpring poaching after a few drinks the previous night. 8) Brendan demonstrated diving into the snow which Andy capture on video…too funny. Si, he is a loco gringo!!! 😆
We’re having fun and living the moment. Not thinking about tomorrow….YET!!! 😯 That happened later. 🙄
Poaching 101: Let’s look like tourists. (photo by Andy)
Tres Amigos en Termas. (photo by Brendan)
Posted : Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:12 pm
September 2 – Oh well – part 2 – Après-Poach: 😕
We soaked for maybe a few hours. We headed back toward Las Trancas, but stopped first at the entrance of Las Trancas to check out the small shops. Can’t remember what we eat or if we did get a few local souvenirs at that time or later in the week? The shops are just on the outskirts of the village in front of the HI Hostal.
Once back into the Chil’In, a few of us went back for a siesta? Not sure. I’m talking with the owner, a few other skiers are eating lunch at the restaurant or crashing on the couches with their laptops. As I surf on the internet, I find out that the guys eating were the Americans I saw at El Colorado (one of the guys had the BROs). Started talking to them, funny thing is that noticed me surfing the forums and one of them told he used to write on TGR, but then got banned !!! :shock::shock::shock: WTF??? Anyway, he knew who I was!!! 😯
Later on, I noticed that the three guys with the laptops spoke French; a Frenchman that I believe used to work for TGR, a Swiss and Simon, a Quebecers spending a few months in this part of the World. There were also a few Chilean skiers later on, one of them would be Admin’s Chilean counterpart. He ran a Chilean ski website. All in all, this is a great meeting place…even if most of the people didn’t stay at the Chil’In.
During this spare time, I also had time to surf and write a bit…here is what I wrote on FTO/TGR (mini-TR): Here is the last paragraph I wrote that day…
edit: link removed to original story in order not to give away the ending.
Over one foot of snow is forecast for tomorrow…odds are very bad for opening lifts. 😕 Not even sure for Tuesday…winds are suppose to be like today. We supposed to be in Portillo on Wednesday where it hasn’t snow in many days with no snow in the forecast.
Oh yeah…we talked about the coming days.
Brendan was still really pissed having skied approximately 2 runs with massive liftlines on the poma plus having paid $40 for that. The fact that Andy and Brendan might have skied a TOTAL of maybe 4-5 hours in the last 3 days with probably no serious skiing for a possible day or two really got him frustrated. He couldn’t believe that the ski area actually shutdown the poma because of wind, “Jay Peak runs lifts where it blowing harder than this!!!” The problem, this isn’t North America. Different atmosphere and customs from nightlife to running lifts. Andy is cool. I personally was warned about this and take it with stride, remembering SuperNat’s experiences in Chile to know to expect the unexpected.
Brendan couldn’t stand sitting around and not skiing again the next day. He started talking about Pucon which was expecting three times more snow (90cm) than Termas. He started lobbying to go to PUCON!!! 😯 snow-forecast talks about 271km, however that is as a crow flies, the drive would be much longer. I didn’t want to move, I thought that was a bad idea. SuperNat had been in Pucon in 2005 and she had her moments of frustration with lifts also not running. Andy was cool and relax as always, nothing got him worried. After a calm discussion and absorb all information gather during this afternoon, we finally decided to stay put and wait it out, hoping to get some skiing in two days before heading to Portillo.
Posted : Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:27 am
September 3 – Oh boy, not again: 😦
I woke up fairly early, not sure what I was thinking??? It’s raining outside. As I sit alone eating my Chilean Hockey Pucks for breakfast, I’m wondering if the lifts are running? The French owner of the Chil’In mentions that it’s probably snowing at the ski area. Las Trancas is at 1300m while the resort sits and the upper base sit at 1650m and 1800m respectively. Snow forecast was calling 33 cm at the top lift. He calls and confirm that the lifts aren’t running. It’s really blowing up there. 😦
NO SKIING AGAIN TODAY…HERE IS THE SCORECARD IN CASE YOU’VE LOST TRACK:
Aug 29: Pat being a tourist
Aug 30: Valle Nevado (Pat)
Aug 31: El Colorado-La Parva (Pat; Andy & Brendan -2 hrs)
Sept 1: Termas (Pat, Andy & Brendan – 2 hrs)
Sept 2: Termas (Brendan – 2hrs)
Pat: 2 days and 2 hours going on 6 days
Brendan: 3 times x 2 hours going on 4 days
Andy: 2 times x 2 hours going on 4 days
😯 😯 😯
This is going to be our second day sitting around and third day of very little skiing for me. This is a patience game…not much to do, but wait. Manu Chao, Renaud, Noir Désir, Les Rita Mitsouko are played on the computer and piped through the quiet place, definitely a French feel. Owner is a French immigrant who settled and married this beautiful part of the World. His young boy speaks Spanish with his mother and speaks an excellent French with French accent. They are a few other French in Las Trancas, as guest at the Hostal or owners of businesses around this place.
Music played that day:
Les Rita Mitsouko:
Later in the day, we start meeting a few Canucks; English and French.
At lunch time a few race kids come in to eat at the restorant. We start talking to the coaches as I recognized the French Canadian accent of one of them. We find out they’re part of the Sunshine race club doing a camp down here. The only skiers from North America are mostly racers, partially do to a few big races scheduled in the coming days.
BETTER MAKE THE BEST OF IT…ANDY AND BRENDAN ARE GOING SKIING.
So it’s pouring hard outside and Brendan is going nuts. Andy also wants to get out and at least do some skiing. After fiddling around with their AT gears, they finally depart toward the hill in the late afternoon. They got wet and the car made it to the upper parking lot. They were gone for a few hours and I believe they skied a few runs. They seem to have fun even if the conditions were less than ideal.
In the evening, the Hostal was once again a gathering point. A group from CASA had just rolled into town and showed up for few drinks in front the fireplace, then the competition walked in. Two Quebecers from Powderquest walked in. It was evening for sharing stories. Pierre from Powderquest showed us his video on his laptop, I told him that someone had posted it on FTO a few weeks earlier. He was surely puzzled. Found out the guide from CASA knew my good friend that emigrated to BC 20 years ago. It’s a small world.
There was a discussion later on after a few drinks. Brendan wants Andy to forget about Portillo and they should stay in La Trancas. I’m would be royally fucked if that happens. If don’t go up to Portillo together, I need to be at Santiago the next night. 😯 I cannot cancel my reservation without losing 100% of my cash, Andy cancellation policy is also pretty rigid.
The forecast for the next day still calls for wind, but not as strong as the previous two days. As we stumbled into bed, we’re hoping that the lifts are running tomorrow morning or is it in a few hours? [-o< [-o< [-o<
Video by Pierre from PowderQuest mentioned in the FTO discussion a few weeks before. 😯
I want to thank Andy and Brendan for the use of their pictures. Although I wasn't there, here is what it looked like on the mountain.
Andy skinning (Photo by Brendan).
Andy skinning up (Photo by Brendan).
Andy in the storm (Photo by Brendan).
Brendan making turns (Photo by Andy).
Brendan with the base area in the background (Photo by Andy).
Brendan at the bottom of the off-piste (Photo by Andy).
To be continued in Chilean Adventure (the novel- Part 2c) Aug/Sep 07 – Termas 2
Setiembre 1, 2, 3 – Talca y Termas de Chillan
Originally posted on Sat May 24, 2008 12:06 am on firsttracksonline