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| | |-+  Early August, 2012, Zona Central Chile conditions
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Author Topic: Early August, 2012, Zona Central Chile conditions  (Read 1422 times)

Posts: 256

Early August, 2012, Zona Central Chile conditions
« on: 08/10/12, 05:38 AM »

Buenos días TAYers!
I'm in Farellones, Chile, the base village for the El Colorado - La Parva - Valle Nevado resorts above Santiago. I got here in early July and will be in Chile until early October.

This year so far has been the third drought winter in a row with very thin snowpack in the central Chilean Andes. Thanks to the elevations and low temps, the meager snowpack has actually held up well, but the sad truth is that there have been but 4 or 5 medium snowfalls all winter. The season here normally closes in late September, but unless we get a significant increase in activity the snow won't survive the warming months to come.

However, things are looking promising. Some interpretations show that La Niña definitively broke down last week, the predominant weather pattern that often favors North America but can block storms from getting to Chile. We immediately had a storm last week, and there is a significant system forecast for this coming Tuesday.

Elsewhere on the continent, the snow seems below average but quite a bit better. Termas de Chillan in Chile and Las Leñas in Argentina have reported lots of days of good conditions.

Despite the supposedly poor skiing in the Zona Central its hard to be bummed when you're out skiing in the sun in the High Andes - my summer (winter) has been great so far. I <3 Chile.

5,400m Cerro El Plomo behind Valle Nevado. Since I skied this a few years ago, I haven't seen it in condition for more than a day at a time. The thin snow and high winds have prevented a snowpack from accumulating on the ice slopes on the upper portion of the mountain.

An image from Washington friend and photog Jordan Ingmire from a photo competition we participated in at La Parva. Here I'm skiing La Chiminea at La Parva at night, El Colorado, La Parva, Farellones, and Santiago are seen below.

Typical evening scenes in Farellones.

One of the many runs off of Cerro La Parva above the ski areas.

Another Jordan Ingmire shot. Check out his website Jordan Ingmire Photography.


Posts: 2303

Re: Early August, 2012, Zona Central Chile conditions
« Reply #1 on: 08/10/12, 08:59 AM »

Hopefully the next storm cycle arrives next week. In 2007, we had  good a snowpack and we only skied lifts on that day. Jordan's photos are great.  I will not forget the 43 or so hairpin turns Wink 

Posts: 273

Re: Early August, 2012, Zona Central Chile conditions
« Reply #2 on: 08/10/12, 12:07 PM »

Thanks for posting this.  It brings back memories of being an exchange student in Santiago back in 2005.  I had a few very memorable trips hitching rides and taking the bus to get up to the Sierra de San Ramon and up into the Rio Maipu.  Hopefully one of these days I'll be able to return and sample some of the austral winter on skis!
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