Yesterday turned out to be a stormy one on Osorno. With hopes of possible clearing we set off from the hut in weather that felt more like winter in Hokkaido than spring on the volcanoes. After 1200’ of climbing, it became apparent that things would not be improving anytime soon. We skied down, and like clockwork, the skies began to clear. But it was just a Northern Patagonia sucker hole, and soon it was pounding snow once again. We had a nice evening on the lake in the beautiful town of Puerto Varas, a great place to wrap up a very successful trip with a fantastic crew. It’s a beautiful morning as I write this, with Osorno looking proud across the water. A good reason to come back..
The storm arrived to the region as predicted yesterday and continues out our window here on the lower flanks of Volcan Osorno. We are sipping coffee by the fire in the comfort of our refugio after a chill day of travel to get here. Hard to say if tomorrow will be a summit day, but it looks pretty promising as a powder day!
Wanting to make the best of our closing weather window, I managed to convince our team to forego our rest day today and go for our third summit in three days, Villarrica. Our alpine start began with a three-hour drive, arriving at a socked-in trailhead. Was this a good idea? It didn’t seem like it until the early afternoon when we popped above the clouds. The mental fatigue of skinning in a whiteout gave way to nice views and general alpine enjoyment, even as the wind increased. We tagged the top, peered into the active crater, and 5,500 feet later were drinking beer in the parking lot. Tomorrow the storm arrives, and we rest.
Today we returned to Lonquimay for redemption! Our team summited in perfect weather with views of eight volcanoes to the north and south. Skiing conditions off the top were perfection. Now we are getting ready for one of the most important events of this trip: Sergio’s famous asado.
October 4, 2018
Posted by: Tyler Reid
This morning we awoke to flapping tent fabric and snow blowing all over the place. Not what the forecast predicted. So we dragged our feet and sipped our coffee slowly. Our “alpine start” consisted of skinning out of camp at 10am. It was a battle with the wind for the first couple hours but things got better as we got higher. As the terrain steepened, we put our skis on our backs and cramponed up steep, styrofoam snow. Avoiding the evil ice patches was the name of the game, but as we got higher the permanent ice formations were unavoidable. The summit of Llaima is one of the worst optical illusions I’ve ever experienced, and today was no different. It just doesn’t get any closer, despite seeming close. On top we took some pictures and tripped out on the super young lava rock, some of which is less than 10 years old! The skiing was not good until a couple thousand feet lower - and then, it was really good. Another amazing day in Araucanía.
Yesterday we had a great ski tour on Lonquimay, climbing above the clouds. We didn’t quite make the summit due to avalanche conditions that had formed overnight with steady wind loading on the face we were hoping to ski. But we might try again later in the week. For now we’re headed out the door for Llaima!
Stay tuned, and photos to come…
Greetings from our camp on Llaima. We’re nicely nestled in at 7,000’ and the weather is beautiful. The winds are mellowing out and we’re looking forward to what is supposed to be a nice day tomorrow. Today was a fun adventure getting here including two hours of exciting four-wheel drive roads. This afternoon we went for a little scenic tour above camp and got some amazing views of the surrounding volcanoes. All is great with us…
We had a nice day of sunny powder skiing as our reintroduction to ski season. A meter and a half of new snow has fallen in the last couple weeks and the coverage is excellent. We took advantage of the spinning chairlifts today and got eight laps in, with the company of our host Sergio, and a small fox. Only one person fell off the chairlift today! (from a low altitude). And he will be hearing about it for the rest of the trip.
Greetings from Temuco, Chile! The whole crew has arrived after traveling from Washington State, New Mexico, Illinois, and all the way from Sydney, Australia. All is well and we are excited to go skiing tomorrow. Stay tuned…
RMI Guide Tyler Reid