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CHILE SKI TOURING: the Araucanía and Northern Patagonia volcanoes
19/09 au 05/10/2019
Got those autumn blues...?
Come late September why not enjoy a change of season, and put on your skis for some austral spring ski touring in the southern hemisphere.
All this in a dream destination: Chile.
This is a land of superlatives, a selection of the planet’s highlights. An enchanting mix of smoking volcanoes draped in snow and wild spaces stretching as far as the eye can see though untamed nature, beneath the purest skies on Earth, form the backdrop to your stay.
Tour and ski through classic snow conditions against stunning panoramas then, after your long day’s efforts, relax in superb natural hot springs, and enjoy the warm hospitality, cuisine and wines provided by our Chilean friends.
This is a varied trip where we travel in 4x4 vehicles, alternating between hotels and comfortable local guesthouses (cabanas).
We have been exploring Araucanía, this magical region of Chile, for 10 years and have amassed an impeccable knowledge of the area.
Close supervision (1 guide per 4 clients) and 4x4 transfers, allow us to be extremely flexible and you will sometimes find yourself at the foot of a volcano not featured in any ski touring guidebooks or websites.
Our trip is based around 10 volcanoes stretching from north to south, in six different sectors, in the Araucanía region and northern Patagonia.
If you would like to know more, click on the link below to watch a video from our 2014 trip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjjhuE9_1P0
Day 1: Fly to Santiago. Regular evening flights from Paris, Geneva, Lyon, and other cities.
Day 2: Arrive in Santiago in the morning. Internal flight to Temuco (1 hour flight), collect 4x4, transfer to Curacautín. Night in comfortable lodge.
Day 3: Ascent of Lonquimay. Majestic approach route and descent, featuring Chile emblematic araucarias (monkey puzzle trees). Return to lodge. Vertical ascent/descent: 1400m.
Day 4: Ascent of the Sierra Nevada. Very early morning start, an impressive volcano, and a beautiful route that’s well worth the effort. Return to lodge. Vertical ascent/descent: 1500m.
Day 5: Ascent of Llaima - a spectacular volcano that last erupted in January 2008 – either via the Conguillío route or from the Las Araucarias ski resort. Vertical ascent/descent: 1600m. Transfer to Melipeuco at the end of the day.
Day 6: Ascent of Sulli Pulli. This unique volcano on the Chile-Argentina border features a magnificent four-kilometre wide caldera. Vertical ascent/descent: 1100m. We travel to Pucón at the end of the day.
Day 7: Ascent of Villarrica volcano. A symbol of the region, this volcano remains active and if we can get near enough through the fumaroles we may be able to see lava in the bottom of the crater.
Afternoon of rest and recuperation in the famous Pucón hot springs and a tour of this handsome little town and delightful tourist attraction, which sits perched on the slopes of the volcanoes, nestling before an immense lake.
Night in a cosy lodge in Pucón. Vertical ascent/descent: 1500m.
Day 8: Ascent of Quetrupillan volcano through untouched territory and via a magnificent belvedere affording views over Lanín volcano. Vertical ascent/descent: 1300m.
We travel to Neltrune at the end of the day, and spend the night in the extremely comfortable cabanas of a magical tourist hotel complex, tucked away in the heart of the Chilean forest!
Day 9: Ascent of El Mocho volcano. This volcano’s lunar landscape looks like a flying saucer placed on the glacier!... Vertical ascent/descent: 1200m.
We travel to the foot of Osorno at the end of the day. This volcano is another emblem of Chile and its reputation is well-deserved. Night in the comfort of a Puerto Octay guesthouse.
Day 10: Very early morning start for the ascent of Osorno, one of the region’s must-see attractions. Return to guesthouse in Puerto Octay.
Day 11: We either climb Casablanca, which provides probably the best panoramas of the whole trip, with unique views over Osorno, Puntiagudo and Puyehue (vertical ascent/descent: 1200m), or Puyehue, which is approached on horseback. An unforgettable experience! Return to guesthouse in Puerto Octay.
Day 12: Travel to Antuco, a transfer day featuring tourist activities, with tour of a vineyard and a day off to enjoy the local gastronomy! Night in cabanas at the foot of Antuco.
Day 13: Ascent of Antuco. In the early morning, after half an hour crossing pistes, we climb up the snowy slopes of this impressively beautiful rocky volcano. Vertical ascent/descent: 1500m. In the afternoon we travel to the Termas de Chillan, where our hotel and its spas await us.
Day 14: Exploration of the Termas de Chillan, a well-known ski resort. Ascent of Nuevo Chillan or Nevados de Chillan. Skied descent through the fumaroles to the natural hot water springs (‘valle de aguas calientes’). Enjoy some fabulous swimming – don’t forget to put your swimming costume and towel in your backpack! Descent to the Pirigallo ski resort. Vertical ascent/descent: +1200m/-2000m. Night in hotel.
Day 15: Return to Temuco, flight to Santiago (1 hour). We can leave our large items of baggage at the left luggage counter in the airport and visit the city. Chilean cabaret evening and night in city centre hotel.
Day 16: Flight home early/late afternoon.
Day 17: Arrive in France early/late morning.
Compagnie des guides ‘extras’
- Extremely close supervision: 1 guide for 4 clients + 1 local guide for teams of 5 to 8 people.
- Contact with your guide prior to registration for more information.
- Impeccable knowledge of the region, which we have been regularly visiting since 2008.
- Truly all-inclusive accommodation and food package, with no meals or other elements not included.
- Use of 4x4 with your guide at the wheel.
- Guide with telemedicine training from IFREMONT.
- Sat phone available.
- All these parameters are the key to the success of your trip. They determine your safety and the flexibility of the group to travel to the best spots, depending on the snow and weather conditions, and bring together all the factors conducive to the successful ascent of a maximum number of peaks, some of which involve complex and remote routes.
Dates: 19 September to 06 October 2018 (subject to change)
Price: 3290 euros (from 4 people)
Please request quote for groups of 1-2 people
The price for this trip was calculated on 17/10/17 based on exchange rates and costs known at the time and may be subject to change between now and the departure date.
Organisation and guiding services of mountain guide.
All accommodation, meals and picnics.
Minibus transfers during the trip.
PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
International and internal flights.
Tickets to tourist sites, such as hot springs, national parks, ski lifts, any equipment hire.
Any tips for agents.
Anything not covered by the price includes list.
Reservation: by payment of 30% deposit made payable to the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix.
Insurance: Participants must have mountain sports insurance with repatriation cover. We strongly recommend that this include cancellation cover.
We offer cancellation cover at a cost of 2.75% of the total cost of the trip plus insurance including repatriation and search and rescue cover at a cost of 2.28% of the cost of the trip. Rescue and repatriation insurance are obligatory. You can take out personal cover and you must give us the name of your insurer, your contract number, 24hr emergency number and amount covered by your search and rescue cover.
- Valid passport or ID card, visa (if required)…
Guides, group size & group ability
One mountain guide for 4 clients + 1 local guide for teams of 5 up to a maximum of 8 people.
Depending on the weather and snow conditions, your guide may have to change the programme to ensure the smooth running of the trip in optimal safety.
This trip is for experienced ski tourers with a good level of physical fitness (see pictogram: fitness level 3; technical level 3).
Some days involve vertical height gains of as much as 1600m, but the very high level of comfort of the accommodation provided, carrying a lightweight daypack and transfer days provides for ample recuperation. Some Chilean volcano slopes can be quite steep (some sections of 35º), especially near the summits, and require experience of crampon use.
Accommodation & meals
In hotels, guesthouses/lodges, cabanas, and comfortable mountain huts with double/triple rooms, showers and toilets.
Single rooms available at extra cost.
Evening meals (and midday meals on transfer and rest days) in restaurants or with hosts.
Picnic lunches on skiing days.
The food here is excellent and very healthy, and is based around extremely high-quality local meat or fish.
Chile also produces wines with an international reputation.
Transfers, documents & luggage
Regular international flights (Air France, Iberia, Lan Chile, etc) available, and internal flight to Temuco.
Passport must be valid a minimum of 6 months. (Visa not required for travellers from EU members countries.)
Group may leave from Paris, Madrid or elsewhere. Flights leave late in the evening and arrive in Santiago early in the morning. Return flights are overnight and the group separates early the following morning (Day 17).
It is possible to join and leave the group in Santiago.
Transfers to and from Santiago and the volcanoes is via a privately hired 4x4 driven by your guide throughout the stay.
Bring 2 kit bags plus 1 ski bag:
- 1 backpack (30-40L) with ski straps (for use as a day pack during the tour and as hold luggage on the flights).
- 1 large waterproof duffel bag or kit bag for carrying your belongings in the 4x4.
- 1 ski bag for your ski equipment.
- Try to pack all your luggage in the ski bag for the flight (yes, it is possible!) including an empty travel bag (eg waterproof kit bag).
- Once in Chile pack your ski gear in your ski bag and your clothes in the kit bag.
- A ski bag is essential for transporting your skis on the plane.
Depending on the airline, you can expect to pay extra for more than one hold bag and for bags weighing over 23kg.
A detailed kit list will be sent to you on registration.
- Non-technical equipment:
- Bring clothing suitable for ski touring, as for spring skiing in the Alps, or 4 or 5 lightweight layers, rather than 3 thick layers.
- Also bring clothes suitable for tourist trips and après-ski wear, again as for use in spring in the Alps.
- Swimming costume and towel for the thermal springs.
- Technical equipment:
- Ski touring boots
- Climbing skins
- Touring skis
- Ski crampons
- Ski poles (preferably not telescopic)
- Lightweight harness (can be hired)
- Steel crampons with anti-balling plates
- Lightweight ice axe
- Specialist equipment (avalanche transceivers, shovel, probe, harness) will be provided if you do not have your own.
Ensure that you check your equipment before departure (ski edges sharpened, good soles on boots, skins and poles inspected and optimised, etc).
Weather & altitude
Very similar to conditions in the Alps in spring, with a maximum altitude of 3200m.
- Budget: exchange rate – 1 euro = 700 Chilean pesos (variable)
- Local time: 5 hours behind Paris summer time
- Electricity: as in France, few or no earthed sockets, small multi-socket adaptor would be useful
- Language: Spanish (national language), English not widely used
- Health: no vaccinations required
- WiFi: available everywhere