Day 9 out of the last 10, not bad for landing in Santiago on Agosto 27.
To make sure I was going to suffer a bit more, I decided that the main reason why I was in Pucon was to try to ski the volcano. The area starts at 1200m, la cima is at 2800m. Estimate trip was 6 horas. 8-[ The clear temps was in fact heavy cloud cover. At first it was the morning fog from the lake then once in the parking lot, the guides informed us that we might not make it to the summit due to the conditions and visibility at the summit. Everyone in our group decided to spend the cash and go for it. A few of us (climbers, a snowboarded and me) opted to cheat and take the bottom lift (a long and flat 200m vertical gain) while the ski guide and a Colorado girl started skinning from the bottom.
I joined them eventually after crossing over a canyon to the rarely open lift 5. Dark cloud were moving in and summit was nowhere to be seen. The first break was at the top of lift 5 at about 2000m, it is a shame that it rarely runs, great skiing to be access by it. Higher up we continued up passed a wooded structure which was the remaining part of a upper lift of the old ski area destroyed by the 1948 eruption. The guide told me that the ski area was lower in another drainage and was pretty much destroyed. At this point, it started snowing and visibility was far from great. Once up on the glacier, we skinned a bit to final make a group decision. The sliders (skiing/boarders) would start going down as in the whiteout conditions, the guides didn’t want us to ski down from the summit. The hiker continued towards the summit. We were at around 2400m with a long plateau, steep climb at the end and maybe 90 minutes left. We skied slightly down and it would seem the cloud cover was started just a few meters down. Guide took us in one canyon, the snow was sweet corn and hadn’t been baked.
Real sweet run down the Canyon next to 3. I imagine the snow wouldn’t have been so good the previous day baking in the sun all day. Skied back into the area at the parking, eat and waiting for the hiker and guide to come back. We found that they didn’t make it to the summit. At the bottom, the temps were similar to the previous, everything clear up to make it a real clear day…except the summit of Volcano Villarrica that was wearing a sombrero cloud.
After a few cerzersas back at the guide shop in Pucon, I went to get my gear ready. Overnight bus to Santiago and then flying out back home to Canada.
Really satisfied on the 2010 edition of MadPat’s SA trip. Up there if not better than the 2007 edition.
Travel days 2
Ski days 9
Flying day 2
A few thousand kilometers traveled by plane, bus, metro, taxi, pickup truck, minivan, pomalifts, t-bars, ropetow and handle tow, single, doubles, quads (HS or not) and one a HS 6 pack, gondola, skins and…… skis.
Originally posted on Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:54 am on firsttracksonline