September 2, 2011

Farellones, Chile

Brilliant sunshine and cold snow at Tres Valles, Chile was an enigmatic transition from the summertime grey skies of the Tsiu River on the Gulf of Alaska.  Tsiu coho catching was typical - our arms hurt.  Rough weather delayed our fishing trip to the day of our flight from Anchorage to Santiago.  Could have opted out of the Tsiu, and some said, "it's a bad idea," referring to our plan to take a charter air taxi flight to the Tsiu on Alaska's Lost Coast, catch coho silver salmon all day, return to Anchorage, and then jump on a trans-equatorial flight to Santiago, Chile.  But, we actually made it to Santiago with our gear, and we were riding our skis at Tres Valle about 30 hours after landing our last silver.

Tres Valles is perched in the Andes 7000 feet or so above the sprawling capital city, Santiago de Chile.  First impression of Chilean life was enchanting. 
El Powder Lodge en Farellones
Our accommodation is a hand-crafted dwelling in Farellones, the original village in the Tres Valles area.  Three ski areas are easily accessible from Farellones:  El Colorado, La Parva, and Valle Nevado; each with smaller villages around the base.
Farellones y La Parva
An immense area is accessible from the three resorts just above Farellones.  We started at El Colorado, explored La Parva and Valle Nevado with the help of Vince and Christian.  Vince is a ski instructor/guide/kite boarder/linguist/all around good guy Kiwi who met us at the airport and showed us a lot of Tres Valle terraine and made this exceptional movie.  Christian is the proprietor of Powder Lodge de Farellones.  Christian is also the retired national champion snowboarder of Chile.  A delightful man, Christian was the chef, concierge, taxi driver, ski guide, rescue assistance (not life threatening, but one our guys seriously tweaked a knee), and resident remodeler of his ecclectic Farellones Powder Lodge, a very comfortable abode with good food and very cool atmosphere. 
Traversing Across the La Parva Boundary above Santiago

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