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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

After our success on Antuco, we headed round to place ourselves near Lonquimay.  This is a popular ski mountaineering objective, partly as it's one of the easier days (only 1200m of ascent, and it's not far from the car park to the top), and partly because the views from the top are stunning, but then, most of them are in this part of the world.  We were staying at Suizandina, a Chilean - Swiss run place which is really nice, and extremely handy for Lonquimay.

Another nice day, but it was firm under ski from the outset, and the ski crampons were used for the first time once we got off the flat.  It would have been a walk from the ski area with skis on our back without them, as it was really quite icy.  We soon caught an American guide and his 2 clients from Chile and Slovenia.  We faced a bit of a dilema, as we didn't want to get in their way, and the guide was friendly, but didn't seem like he wanted to divulge too much (since he had 2 people paying him to go up a hill that we were happily plodding up ourselves no bother), so we hung about a bit and let them get ahead.  The final section to the top involved a carry anyway as it got a bit steep for the skis.  At the crater rim, they were more chatty, taking pictures and video.  They then headed down while we toddled along to the actual summit for some stunning views to the south in particular of Llaima, Villarica and Lanin.

The descent was better than the ascent might have suggested.  The steep headwall consisted of a layer of sun softened light granular snow that was really nice to ski on, but when the angle eased, it firmed up again, and it was a teeth rattler to the ski resort.

Lonquimay from the ski resort access road.
Heading up through the 'resort' (2 easy angled lifts - great if you were a beginner...)
Looking back down one of the easiest angled pistes in the world to the beautiful Araucaria trees (aka 'Monkey Puzzle' trees)
Foreshortened view of Lonquimay.  We skirted round the bottom of this face off to the right.
Getting high on Lonquimay.
Helen higher up Lonquimay.  The obvious black crater below opened up on Christmas Day 1988 - Navidad Crater.
Helen on the final steeper section to the crater rim.
Helen on the crater rim, with Tolhuaca behind.
Me on the top of Lonquimay, with Volcan Lanin in the distance.
Cracking view.
Panorama of the crater.
Didn't quite manage to get the pointy volcanoes in the background.
The pointy volcanoes in question.  Volcans Lanin and Villarica in the distance, with Sierra Nevada and Llaima in the foreground.
Just below the summit on the way down.
Really nice snow here.  Not quite the packed powder of Antuco, but a different type of good snow.  It's amazing stuff when different forms of it are good (and obviously, different forms of it can be bad).
Helen heading down the headwall.
Starting to get to the slightly firmer stuff.
You need to ski with your teeth clenched together in order to keep any fillings in place.
Looking back at Lonquimay through the Araucarias.
10 September 2011: Volcan Antuco, 2985m Skiing Chile, September 2011
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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