September has come and gone quickly. In looking back I realize what a month it has been. It started out with an early morning run in Bariloche, then a wicked week in Las Lenas, 3 days on a beach in Chile, a few days in Valle Nevado, a week in Las Trancas, 5 days in Antuco with our fun descent off Velluda, and now a week in Lonquimay has just finished.
The best part is that I managed to ski 24 days out of 30, averaging 7,791 feet per day for a monthly total of 187 000 feet. Which is fantastic, my second biggest month, March being 189 000 but with an extra day in it. So all is well that finishes well and I am doing my best to keep after it.
If I was on par I would be at 1 495 840, instead I am 33760 feet behind. But slowly catching up.
I never realized that Jesse was going to join me on my mission for a month of ski touring. But somehow, a little sisters do, she managed to borrow all my gear and come along on some great hikes. We summited her first 12000 foot mountain in Las lenas, another 12000 footer in Valle Nevado, she skied her first real couloir, then summitted 3 volcanoes, one of them solo. So we thought we would celebrate this last summit with a good old fashioned airplane. Its no “cirque du Soleil” but decent nonetheless!
Anyhow she will join me tomorrow and then head off on the real purpose of her trip. A 5-6 month trip all around SA, surfing and adventuring with her boyfriend Robbie. Leaving me alone with my obsession.
I forgot to mention, that during that great day on Sierra Velluda, Jesse smartly did not join Donny and I. Instead she went and soloed Antuco volcano, her first solo mountain trip. Pretty cool experience for her.
At the end of our great days we pilled into the Galloper,dropped Donny off and then drove 4 hours to another Volcanic destination. This one is called Lonquimay and is another beautiful volcano sitting around 2835m/9300. At the base of this volcano is a huge monkey tree forest, one that has the oldest trees in Chile, this one is reported to be 3500 years old. Imagine how much has happened in its lifetime!
This volcano has some character to it and a variety of lines that look fun to ski. I ended up running to the top in less than two hours and than doing a lap on the sunnier side. But since it was late in the day and windy the snow had not really softened up. It was still fun to be up and looking around, looking north I could see Velluda, Antuco and looking south I could see LLaima, Villarrica, Lanin, all cool looking volcanoes that I have had the opportunity to ski.
Initially when I came down here in June everyone said that the best time to climb and ski the volcanoes was September. I thought it weird since I assumed they would be more fun to ski under powder conditions. Since then I have learned that powder is rare while corn is a given, so much more worth it to ski a big planar slope under spring conditions than hoping for the powder that rarely comes. It also seems that the weather is more consistent now vs July.
Yesterday was Jesse’s 23 birthday, and I hoped to climb Lonquimay with her and then go hotspringing. It turned out that the winds had picked up and we were blown off the volcano 3/4’s of the way up. Here is Jesse trying to fly to the top.
Accepting the winds, we turned and skied down and went hotspringing. Some gin/tonic in a water bottle and a relaxing afternoon, followed by more gin and some cribbage. Which she won, and asleep by 9 pm.