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Click here to view the previous season (Summer 2011)
21 September 2011: Cerro La Campana, 1880m Walk Chile, September 2011
19 September 2011: Llaima, 3125m Skiing Chile, September 2011
17 September 2011: Villarrica, 2847m Skiing Chile, September 2011
14 September 2011: Volcan Osorno, 2662m Skiing Chile, September 2011
12 September 2011: Lonquimay, 2865m Skiing Chile, September 2011
10 September 2011: Volcan Antuco, 2985m Skiing Chile, September 2011

We left Las Trancas below the Termas de Chillan ski resort, and drove round to the Parque Nacional Laguna Del Laja.  We found good accomodation near the entrance to the park at Antucalhue.  It rained on the journey there, and the following day, it rained a lot as well, so we waded through some wet snow to see some waterfalls (perfect wet weather activity).  We were assured by one of the very friendly park rangers that the weather was supposed to be better the following day.  He wasn't wrong.



The sun was out the following morning, and we again really felt like we had landed on our feet.  I had been in touch with the ski resort prior to arriving in Chile (this volcano was on my "must do" list!), and was assured that a very cheap one way ticket on the lifts could be bought.  Of course, once we waited for the ticket office to open, they said they didn't sell such a thing, but as we had waited around, I felt we should buy a ticket to help us on our way. The ticket man gave us a deal on it (not as good as I was expecting), but it wasn't too bad.  We jumped on the lifts and off we went.  That was, until the second lift broke down while we were on it, a good 250m below the top!  We waited for a bit, and then just decided to get on with skinning up anyway.

Higher up, the good soft snow gave way to icy ground, complicated by lava flows, so the skis were on the rucksack, and crampons on.  The wind was quite strong as well, but we did make it to the top, with Helen almost crawling along the final section!  I had suspected that with the wind direction, and the previous days rain, there must be some fresh snow around, so we headed down a slightly different way and came across some nice smooth wind packed powder just below the summit.  Once i'd convinced Helen that it would be great to ski, despite the angle, we set off.  All I can say is that it is some of the best snow i've ever skied on, and Helen said the same.  We were just cruising down a 40 degree slope no bother.  It was stuff you dream of.

Once back in the resort, I thought I would grab a run on the lift, but they litterally shut it as I got to the bottom of the lift!  I would say that if you are coming to do Antuco, don't bother with the lifts.  Despite the near 1600m of ascent, it's not a big day as the distance is short.  Just skin up from the car park. 

Volcan Antuco from the Nevados de Chillan.
A foreshortened view of Volcan Antuco from the car park.
On our way up after abandoning the lift.
It was still a long way to go...
Helen higher up on the icy ground, where the wind was picking up.
Just below the summit, with the stunning view over the Laguna del Laja.
Helen hanging onto the top of the volcano!
Sierra Velluda behind Helen, on the summit.
Helen at the top of the good snow.
Slightly warped stitch, but thought it was worth adding.  Looking into Argentina.
Helen above the Laguna del Laja.
Fantastic snow!
Definite smile on Helens face now!
The snow wasn't quite as good down here, but still was nice to ski.
Heading for a nice easy angled gully.
In the easy angled gully.
Helen trying not to cross my tracks.
Just above the ski area.
One the drive back through the park, with Antuco on the right.
The following day, the winds were much stronger, so the summit was shrouded in cloud.
07 September 2011: Nevados de Chillan, 3212m Skiing Chile, September 2011
06 September 2011: Volcan Chillan Nuevo, 3186m Skiing Chile, September 2011
05 September 2011: Termas de Chillan, Chile Skiing Chile, September 2011
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