Chile Volcanoes-Spicy Ski Mountaineering across the Andes

  • Dates: September 16-29
  • Duration: 13 Days
  • Level: Advanced
  • Client Ratio: 5:1
  • Cost:
    • 13 Days – $2,995
  • Included: Ground transportation, airport transfers, all meals while on the mountain, tents, stoves, cook kits, group climbing equipment, guide services, accommodations and breakfast
  • Not Included: Airfare, gratuities for guides, hot springs fees, Ski touring gear, extra drinks, meals in cities, personal insurance and Individual transfers.
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Chile Volcanoes spice up your summer with ski descents along the Southern end of the Ring of Fire! Join me for a long week exploring the slopes of the southern Chilean volcanoes by ski touring. In this amazing trip you will discover the Araucania-the Monkey Puzzle Trees, rivers and lakes district of Chile. The trip takes you through active volcanoes and incredible trees like the old araucarias. In addition, you will enjoy delicious local food, hot springs, the local culture and other unforgettable memories.

We will travel through the Lakes District with chance to try several local ski areas and ski down 4-5 different volcanos: LonquimayLlaimaVillarrica, Lanin and Osorno. Each of them has a very different shape. It will therefore make for unique descents. Moreover, the landscapes and views of the region are stunning.

During this trip we will discover the ancient forest of the area, the big rivers and lakes. It will also be a chance to live the culture and enjoy the great food of the area.

We will sleep in different lodges and hotels close to the mountain. The idea is to discover the region by skiing down the volcanos, eating good food and resting in beautiful places every day.

  • Climb and ski four Andean volcanoes over the course of one trip, options include: Lonquimay, Llaima, Villarrica, Lanin, Mocho and Osorno.

  • Combine both single and multi-day ascents during the expedition, staying in comfortable Chilean lodges between objectives.

  • Build your ski mountaineering experience with instruction and practice on fun and challenging terrain.

  • Travel and experience the beautiful landscapes and  culture of Southern Chile and Northern Patagonia.

  • Some afternoons we visit and soak in the spectacular and relaxing volcanic mineral hot springs

  • Fantastic dinners and red wine as well as trekking, horseback riding, spas, etc. if we encounter poor weather days

Objective
Ski the four volcanoes in Southern Chile, an epic adventure and special way to experience Northern Patagonia! Lonquimay, Llaima, Villarrica, Lanin, Mocho and Osorno offer huge vertical drop from the summits! We will attempt to ski from these peaks, while enjoying some of the most spectacular scenery Chile has to offer. Our travel schedule will remain fully flexible to allow us to make the very most of snow and weather conditions.

What to expect
The key to a successful mountain adventure is preparation. Our 13-day program is aimed at providing the framework for success. We spend the first few  days acclimatizing with some easy resort skiing and out of bounds touring, enjoying mountain terrain of the surrounding peaks. Then the last 8 days we focus on our summit attempts.

Starting in the city of Temuco, we start first with Lonquimay and Llaima which are in the same valley. After we have had a chance to warm up,  we’ll set our sights on Lanin, one of the tallest Patagonian volcanos; which offers an outstanding ski descent. Then we head to Osorno or Villarrica, which is famous for its perfect cone-shaped and snow-covered crater.

The Skiing
In a typical day on the volcano, we will gain around 4,500-5,000′ of ascent – which means we also get to enjoy a loong descent! The snow conditions are variable, however it’s usually spring snow or fresh powder on a firm base. On occasion, strong winds can affect the snow, making it a more challenging ski descent.

Our ski objectives will be interspersed with driving and sightseeing, such as: enjoy the cultural heritage and and hot springs. Spend rest days at hot springs and Stay at mountain lodges close to our climbs.

The volcanoes of Chile are ideal objectives for ski mountaineers of beginner abilities and great fitness. Though climbing in Chile isn’t technically challenging, ascending it with skis (sometimes on your back) can be a bit more challenging. We skin as much of the route as we can – usually with ski crampons on. However, there are times when it gets too steep or icy and we will need to carry the skis on our back. Being able to carry your skis, when coupled with the long climb makes it imperative to have a high level of physical fitness and some prior ski mountaineering experience. As much work as it may seem, standing on top of a volcano and overlooking the stunning snow-covered crater is truly remarkable!

If the weather is poor we can always be flexible with the schedule to so you can get the most out of your visit.

Weather
Expect the same variety of weather and temperatures similar to those encountered while ski mountaineering in Europe or North America – it ranges from wonderful weather, to rain, snowstorms and high winds. However whatever the weather brings us, we always have a fantastic time.

Day 1: Depart from the U.S expect a 22-27 hour flight

Day 2: Temuco

Arrive mid morning in Temuco, we are picked up at the airport and transferred to our hotel. Check in to ur the rooms and explore the city or to relax. We will meet in the evening for introductions and a brief orientation.

Overnight: Temuco
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal:

Day 3: CORRALCO SKI & TOUR

We get an early start with a little help from an excellent breakfast.  Based in a large Araucaria (Monkey Puzzle Tree) Forest, Corralco Ski Resort at the base of Volcano Lonquimay offers us easy access to begin our day, getting our legs going with some warm up runs off the ski lifts and some short touring on the southern face of Volcano Lonquimay.

Overnight: Malalcahuello
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Day 4: LONQUIMAY SUMMIT DAY

Early morning start to our ski tour on the Lonquimay volcano. Weather permitting, a rewarding climb to the volcanic crater, 2,865m (9,400 ft), takes approximately 3-4 hours. At the top the view is truly stunning. You can see 7 nearby volcanoes, and a distant view into neighboring Argentina.
The descent off the top offers a constant pitch of 35-40 degrees, on classic snow covered volcanic terrain.
The evenings we have options to soaking our legs in the nearby hot springs followed by a well deserved homemade dinner, Southern Chile style.
Overnight: Malalcahuello
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5: APPROACH TO LLAIMA • 5,180′ | 1,579M

Next up: Volcan Llaima. 2 hours across the valley from Malalcahuello to our starting point. With overnight packs packed, we ascend to the top of a small ski area called Las Araucarias Ski Center (Araucarias are Monkey Puzzle trees). From here we cross a broad plateau to the base of the mountain, where we setup camp for the night.

Overnight: Llaima High Camp
Accommodation: Tent
Meal: Breakfast/Dinner

Day 6: LLAIMA SUMMIT DAY • 10,253′ | 3,125M

With an alpine start, we start our climb on Llaima. Looking up at this mountain from the base, the summit looks close, but it’s an optical illusion. It doesn’t seem to get any

Overnight:Malalcahuello
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Day 7: TRANSFER TO PUCON

On the afternoon of day 5, we will take a drive (2-3 hrs) to the town of Pucon, our home base for the remainder of the adventure. Pucon is known as the adventure capital of Chile.

Overnight: Pucon
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: VILLARICA SUMMIT DAY • 9,341′ | 2,847

We drive up to and start climbing from Ski Pucon Resort. We are warmed up from our previous tours and skin half to two-thirds of the way to the summit before transitioning to boot crampons. We gain  5,000’ vertical feet to the summit of Villarrica over 5 hours. In good conditions, the descent back to the parking lot takes 25 minutes! (B)

Overnight: Pucon
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch

Day 9: APPROACH LANIN OR OSORNO
Overnight: On the Mountain
Accommodation: Refugio
Meal: Breakfast/Dinner

Day 10: SUMMIT
Overnight:
Accommodation: Hut
Meal: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: EXTRA WEATHER DAY
Overnight: Pucon or Osorno
Accommodation: Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Day 12: Transfer back to Temuco for flight home
Overnight:
Accommodation:
Meal: Breakfast

Day 13: Depart back to US

 

 

Day 5-8: Pucon, or “Entrance to the Mountain” is that and more.  This tourist based mountain town borders 2 national parks, a national reserve, and sits on the black sand beach of Lake Villarrica.  In addition to skiing Volcano Villarrica, Pucon offers class 4-5 river rafting, volcanic caves, hot springs, mountain biking, trekking in nearby forests, nightlife and much more.

Our focus for the remainder of the trip is to ski the 3-4 nearby volcanoes with a flexible itinerary based around weather and snow conditions. We have options to ski Volcano Lanin (12,293 ft.), Volcano Villarrica (9,317 ft.), Volcano Llaima (10,252 ft.), Volcano Quetrupillan (7,743 ft), and a few other nearby gems.

The touring climbs provides an epic panoramic view of Chile’s Lake District and nearby smoking Volcanic cones.  If that’s not enough, when was the last time you peered into one of the world’s most active volcanic craters?

We can finish the days with a sunset soak in the nearby thermal hot springs along side the cold waters of the Liucura River. After days like this, if you still have the energy, you have the option to celebrate in town at one of many pubs and clubs.

 

Note:
Every effort will be made to adhere to the itinerary, but unforeseen circumstances may require last minute changes. Weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns and the health of climbers can all contribute to schedule alterations. Please be prepared to be flexible when necessary.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WILL MY GUIDE (OR GUIDES) BE?
You will receive an introductory email with the instructor for your course. We are small company who enjoy working together in the mountains as well as highly skilled professionals who hold current Wilderness First Responder certification and are proficient in technical rescue and evacuation skills. Our guides are dedicated to the world of alpinism, many having first ascents and hold professional certifications with AIARE & AMGA. The AMGA is part of the IFMGA, which is the international body of certified mountain guides.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I TIP MY GUIDES?
Tipping is considered standard practice in the guiding industry. Tipping amounts vary – so $15-20 per day per person/per guide is average that works well for the guides without a serious blow to your wallet. Often 10% of the course cost is a good rule-of-thumb. If you feel that the program was exceptional or substandard the tip can reflect that.

CAN I RENT EQUIPMENT FROM BCAG?
Yes, we rent Beacons, Shovels, Probes and Packs here. If you need these plus touring equipment, Second Ascent rents avalanche safety equipment, alpine touring, tele and split boards click here. Quantities are limited so please contact us as soon as possible if you are interested.

HOW HEAVY WILL MY PACK BE?
You will carry 15-30 pounds, which will include everything on the equipment list.

WHEN DO I NEED TO PAY THE BALANCE OF MY TRIP?
Payable when you make your reservation by check, or credit card.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I NEED TO CANCEL MY TRIP?
If you should decide to cancel your trip, BCAG must be notified in writing. Your trip will be cancelled from the date we receive written notice. You will be assessed a cancellation fee according to the following schedule:
90 to 22 days from trip departure – 50% of trip cost
30 days or less – 100% of trip cost

WHAT HAPPENS IF I WANT TO CHANGE THE DATES OF MY TRIP?
Schedule changes are subject to a $50 fee per person up to 2 weeks out and $100 less then 14 days from the start of the trip and may not be possible. If conditions or circumstances preclude running a scheduled program we reserve the right to make the decision as to whether the program will be canceled, rescheduled, or an alternative provided.

WHAT HAPPENS IF BC ADVENTURE GUIDES HAS TO CANCEL MY TRIP?
In the rare circumstance where we need to cancel a program you can reschedule without a fee or receive a refund on your deposit. If circumstances arise that force us to cancel a program that is already in progress we reserve the right to decide whether a refund or credit, at a prorated rate, will be issued. We are not responsible for cancellation fees or costs arising from your changed or cancelled flights, lodging, or other arrangements. We strongly recommend obtaining trip cancellation insurance from your travel agent.

DO I NEED TO PURCHASE TRIP INSURANCE?
BCAG highly encourages the purchasing of trip cancellation and travel insurance on domestic trips and requires it on International trips. Europeans and Canadians use it because travel insurance provides coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, travel delays, loss of baggage and travel documents, baggage delays, medical expenses and emergency assistance.
Several options include Travelex or Travel Guard International at (1-877-248-8992) & www.travelguard.com for protecting your investment, however there are many companies to choose from and you may wish to do some individual research regarding which policy is right for you.

WHEN SHOULD I PLAN TO LEAVE A RETURN HOME?
We often get this question because most people need to know how much total time they need to take off work. Our Ski Trip itinerary specifies the day that we finish our services in the mountains so you can book your flight home.