Chile Backcountry Ski Adventure

8 Days in Andes Mountains, Chile / (Skill level: Intermediate)

Price per person

$3500
  • Next Available: Sep 13, 2020 - Sep 20, 2020

About this trip

The perfect next step for backcountry ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Touring the volcanic peaks of southern Chile provides a fun and accessible adventure to those looking to expand on the backcountry skills and experiences they've built in their home mountains.

Overview

  • skill level

    Intermediate

  • Duration

    8 Days

You’ve built up your ski touring and ski mountaineering skills in your home range, and now you’re considering the next step to take those skills abroad. The world is full of incredible ski objectives, and the lake district of southern Chile is a destination that provides the key ingredients of adventure, culture, and incredible ski touring. It’s hard to put the experience into words, but we’ll try.

Alpenglow’s certified ski guides are constantly on the search for new destinations for us to explore, and they have identified the volcanoes of southern Chile as a destination that provides everything we look for in a high-quality expedition. Beautiful snow-covered volcanoes rise out of the forest like sentinels guarding the heavens, and they beckon skiers to enjoy their flanks. On these slopes, we’ll find spring skiing conditions similar to what you’ll find in the High Sierra or any spring ski mountaineering objective. Incredible corn snow fills slopes between 30-45 degrees as we search for the best conditions day after day on wide-open slopes.

The trip begins as we arrive in Temuco after a long period of travel and drive 2 hours to Malalcahuello. We recommend arriving early in the day so that we can spend the afternoon resting and exploring. Perhaps we’ll have a chance to sample the natural hot springs that dot the landscape and prepare ourselves for the long days of ski touring ahead of us.

Our first objective is the Lonquimay Volcano. Dotted with a couple of ski resorts, we choose the path less traveled and tour for about 3-4 hours to explore slopes of 30 degrees to get our legs under us. We spend the night again in Malalcahuello and will soak again in hot springs.

The next day we wake up early and travel for an hour to the base of Llaima Volcano. This is the signature volcano of the region and for good reason. It stands to deliver us the longest day of touring at 5-6 hours, and we’re rewarded with the longest descent of the trip at over 5,000’ of bliss.

Now we need a rest day – we travel 4 hours to Pucón where we spend the day exploring the city and replenish calories with local cuisine. We again have the chance to soak in hot springs to relax our tired legs.

We’re back at it on day 5 as we ascend the Villarrica volcano. We tour up the flanks of this active volcano for about 5 hours. When we make it the crater, we will have the chance to peer deep inside and can possibly catch a glimpse of the molten lava within. We’ll click in at the crater rim and descend back down to where we came from, skiing slopes as steep as 40 degrees in some zones.

Nearing the end of our trip, day 6 brings us to Puerto Varas, a beautiful city on the shores of lake Llanquihue. Across the lake we’ll have views of our next objective, the Osorno Volcano. Today we rest and tour the city, always keeping an eye on Osorno.

Our final day of touring brings us to the base of Osorno. It’s a 1-hour drive from Puerto Varas, and once we begin ascending we’ll be moving for about 4-5 hours. The last slope up high is quite steep and we may utilize fixed ropes. We’ll take in our final view from the top of a peak and begin our steepest descent of the trip with slopes up to 50 degrees.

The trip wraps up in Puerto Montt, a beautiful city on the shores of the pacific ocean. You’ll catch your first flight home here as we say goodbye to an eye-opening and adventurous trip to the volcanoes of southern Chile.

Our Chilean ski tours are guided by one or more of Alpenglow’s IFMGA/AMGA certified lead guides. AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) certification is the most prestigious in the world, attained only by the most experienced and dedicated guides. Our lead guides have traveled and climbed extensively throughout South America and possess intimate knowledge of the Andes Mountains. A thorough understanding of Andean culture combined with a passion for teaching others guarantees an experience you won’t soon forget.

Preparation

  • Fitness

    Skiers and riders must be in excellent physical shape to join this expedition. We highly recommend a structured training regime with a gym or personal trainer to assist you in preparing for this trip. Please contact us for more information on physical training.

  • Technical Experience

    Skiers must be competent on a variety of terrain and snow conditions. Skiers must be able to link turns in steep terrain (up to 45 degrees) while maintaining control. Skiers must also have basic snow climbing experience including use of ice axe and crampons.

  • Ski Touring Experience

    Skiers must have at least 15 days of backcountry ski touring experience in a variety of conditions.

    • Day 1 — Arrival into Chile

      Arrive in Temuco and drive 2 hours to Malalcahuello. Flights should arrive by early afternoon.

    • Day 2 — Climb and Ski Lonquimay Volcano

      A 3-4 hour tour of Lonquimay allows us to get our legs under us as we sample the first turns in Chile. We'll encounter mellow slopes of 30 degrees and spend the evening soaking in hot springs.

    • Day 3 — Climb and Ski Llaima Volcano

      We drive for an hour to Llaima Volcano. This will be our longest day of touring at 5-6 hours and we'll also be rewarded with our longest descent.

    • Day 4 — Rest day in Pucón

      Today we travel to the town of Pucón where we rest a bit while exploring the town. We'll eat delicious food, soak in hot springs and make plans for our next day of touring.

    • Day 5 — Climb and Ski Villarica

      Just 40 minutes from Pucón, we'll climb and ski Villarica Volcano today. We'll tour up for about 5 hours today and encounter steeper slopes at 40 degrees. If we're lucky, we'll be able to peer into the crater and see molten lava flowing. We spend the night in Pucón.

    • Day 6 — Rest day in Puerto Varas

      Situated along Lake Llanquihue, our day in Puerto Varas will be restful as we explore the city. We spend the night in Puerto Varas tonight as we prepare for our final day of touring.

    • Day 7 — Climb and Ski Osorno Volcano

      Our final day of touring brings us to Osorno Volcano where we'll encounter our steepest slopes in both the ascent and descent. 4-5 hours of climbing will bring us to fixed lines at the top. We'll take in our final breathtaking views before descending slopes as steep as 50 degrees. Final night in Puerto Varas.

    • Day 8 — Drive to Puerto Montt and Depart

      Sadly this is our last day. You will depart at Puerto Montt airport.

      • Coming Soon

      • Equipment Lists Coming Soon

        Thank you for your interest in climbing with Alpenglow Expeditions. We are currently in the process of migrating our equipment lists from PDF's, to the website. The equipment list below is either non-existent, or incomplete. For a complete equipment list for this trip, please email sam@alpenglowexpeditions.com. Thank you for your patience.

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      • Head, Hands and Feet

      • Hat

        Bring your favorite baseball hat for shelter from the sun. No white under the brim - the reflection off of it from the sun is blinding.

        Recommended: Alpenglow 5-Panel

        $25.00 Add to cart
      • Beanie

        A comfortable, warm well-fitting hat that covers your ears. Make sure that one of your hats fits under a helmet.

        Recommended: Patagonia Beanie Hat

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      • Balaclava

        We recommend a tight-fitting balaclava that is worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible, but is comfortable enough to wear for hours.

        Recommend: Patagonia Balaclava

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      • Neck Gaiter (Buff)

        A multi purpose neck gator that can also be worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible and yet is still comfy.

        Recommended: Alpenglow Expeditions Buff

        $20.00 Add to cart
      • Sunglasses

        Must have dark lenses. Minimal light should come in below, above, or around the sides of the lenses.“Wrap” style is best. Ventilation is important and a retainer strap is very useful (Chums or Croakies).

        Recommended: Revoi Guide II

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      • Goggles

        These will be worn on stormy or windy days. Make sure you are getting a snug fit with lenses for bright sun. Ventilation and anti-fog features are desired.

        Recommended: Smith I/O

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      • Lightweight Gloves

        All-around gloves for mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and hiking. These gloves (and similar options) are warm, wind-resistant, durable and have a sure grip. You will rarely take these gloves off. They should be snug-fitting, and have some sort of reinforced palm.

        Recommended: Eddie Bauer Mountain Glove

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      • Midweight Gloves

        These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, and insulated. These will be your main glove for the trip until summit days, or when it gets especially cold.

        Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Glove

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      • Liner Socks (optional)

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      • Hiking Socks

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      • Hiking Shoes

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    • What sort of experience is required to join this trip?

      This trip is suitable for advanced backcountry skiers and riders only. You must be very comfortable on steep terrain, and have a minimum of 15 days of touring experience.

    • Do I need to purchase trip and rescue insurance?

      We strongly recommend purchasing trip insurance, and we require rescue insurance on all expeditions. Trip insurance covers issues that would cause you to cancel your trip in advance. Rescue insurance can help cover costs in the event that you decide to end your expedition early. We recommend Global Rescue for both types of insurance .

    • What is included in the price?

      Included in the trip pricing is: airport transfers, in country transport, all lodging, breakfast and dinner each day, certified ski guide, and all necessary park permits.

    • What is not included in the price?

      No included in the trip are international flights, alcohol, guide tips, trip and rescue insurance, personal gear.

Gaspar Navarrete

Gaspar hails from Ecuador, and has been guiding for over 18 years, and climbing since he was 12. He has extensive experience in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Patagonia, Aconcagua, the Himalaya, the Cascades, the Alps and the Pyrenees. Gaspar has established new routes in both Ecuador and Bolivia. As an active instructor with the Ecuadorian School for Mountain Guides, he has trained in Ecuador, Bolivia and France. He is a Wilderness First Responder, and has spent a great deal of time working at high altitude.

Gaspar joined one of Quito’s oldest climbing clubs at a young age, which gave him the opportunity to mentor under very experienced climbers. He considers the Andes, including Patagonia, his home, and he love to share his enthusiasm for the mountains, the Andean traditions, food and culture with his guests.

Gaspar is an ASEGUIM/IFMGA mountain guide

Guide Certifications
  • ASEGUIM
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Ray Hughes

Ray is an IFMGA / AMGA Licensed Mountain Guide. His passion for the mountains ignited while growing up in Northern California, exploring the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Ranges, followed by years honing his mountain skills in Colorado and Switzerland. As one of our core guides, Ray brings the same excitement to guiding and instructing in Lake Tahoe as skiing and alpine guiding in Europe to expeditions anywhere in the world. Sharing experiences, culture, and beautiful places with others blurs the line between work and play.

He is an AIARE Avalanche Course Leader and an American Avalanche Association professional member. Ray also works as a snow safety consultant for professional winter sport athletes and photographers.

He was a 4 x All American in Track and Field and the 250th American to ever run the Mile under 4:00, but now enjoys being an average trail jogger.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Tim Dobbins

With notable first descents in the Alps, Tim Dobbins represents Alpenglow’s cutting edge guiding philosophy providing only the best guides for every trip and expedition.

Growing up in Oregon, Tim started out skiing at the young age of 4 years old. Tim grew up ski racing for 9 years before he moved on to backcountry skiing in Aspen, Colorado. He spent 4 years working as ski patrol at Snowmass Ski Resort.

Tim moved to Chamonix in the mid-’90s where he spent 6 seasons skiing and climbing while studying French. Tim says that Chamonix is where he really started learning how to ski tour, rock climb, ice climb and eventually began skiing the steepest lines he could find.

Examples of those steep lines were the North-East face of Les Courtes, Couloir Barbey from Aiguille D’Argentiere, Couloir Couturier from L’Aiguille Verte, Couloir du Diable on Mont Blanc du Tacul, East face of the Matterhorn and many, many others.

Tim has spent the last 10 years guiding and instructing in rock, ice, alpine, and skiing. He is currently an AMGA Ski Guide, Rock Guide, and AIARE course leader. He is working towards becoming an IFMGA mountain guide. He lives on Donner Lake in Truckee with his wife Gisele, sweet daughter Manue and son Matisse.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

Logan Talbott

co-owner / chief guide

Logan has been guiding professionally for over a decade in the disciplines of Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering. When not out guiding, Logan spends time in the office helping the team with the day-to-day operations of the business. From one day ascents of El Capitan to big Alpine climbs in the Himalaya, from ski descents on Denali to backyard ski tours in Lake Tahoe, he can’t help but smile when out running around the hills. Logan is an AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, an Avalanche course leader with AIARE, as well as a wilderness EMT. In addition to guiding, Logan has extensive experience in mountain rescue, having worked for rescue teams in both Yosemite and Denali National Parks, and volunteering locally for Tahoe Nordic SAR. When not out in the hills, he lives in Truckee, CA with his lovely wife Lynette and daughter Maggie.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Ben Mitchell

Ben has been in love with the mountains from a young age. He began hiking and skiing with his family and quickly decided he never wanted to stop. After finishing university in Portland, OR Ben moved back to Washington State and began guiding on Mt. Rainier and around the Cascades. For the next many years he followed the seasons, skiing, climbing and pursuing the art of human flight through out the world. He has made expeditions into both polar circles, skied first descents in Afghanistan and climbed throughout the Americas and Europe. When not looking forward to the next adventure he thoroughly enjoys roasting coffee, reading and taking his dog out for walks.

Ben is an IFMGA/AMGA mountain guide, Certified Level III Avalanche Professional, and Wilderness First Responder.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Jules Hanna

If you are looking for an AMGA Splitboard guide, Jules is your man. He has been guiding for 10 years and spends his winters in Tahoe and summers in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

Whether it’s a ski day or time to board, Jules enjoys the rewards that the backcountry experience provides. He is an AIARE course leader and has logged many adventures in mountains up and down the west coast learning about the avalanche phenomena. Jules is also an Ambassador Guide for Jones Snowboards.

In addition to guiding, Jules has worked as a climbing ranger at Mt Rainer and a mountaineer for the US Antarctic Program and has many stories to tell from his time on Search and Rescue in those locales.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

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    Chile Backcountry Ski Adventure

Chile Backcountry Ski Adventure

The perfect next step for backcountry ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Touring the volcanic peaks of southern Chile provides a fun and accessible adventure to those looking to expand on the backcountry skills and experiences they've built in their home mountains.