September 7, 2015

Tour de los Volcanes de Chile, Part 2

Pucon, Chile is a resort city built on the shores of Lago Villarrica at the base of Volcan Villarrica. After skiing Volcan Mocho Choshuenco, we drove on to Pucon and settled in at the Aldea Naukana, a place where transformations occur, they say.
Ski Pucon Base
Volcan Villarrica activity in early 2015 (still venting) prevented lift maintenance, and the ski area consequently failed to open this season. Maintenance of the very rough road was not apparent either, but we made it to the lift base. We skinned from the base up toward the summit, and turned around where the snow became extremely hard and icy. Just above our turnaround, a trio of German skier/climbers dropped their skis and donned boot crampons for the final 1000 ft vertical to the summit.
Perfect Spring Skiing above Lago Villarrica y Pucon
Another sunny day, another Chilean volcano! After a good night's rest, we made for Malalcahuello at the base of Volcan Lonquimay.
Volcan Villarrica with Our Tracks from Aldea Naukana

Volcan Lonquimay is in Araucania Region, a part of Chile since the 1880's after the Chile military occupied the area and quelled resistance by the indigenous Mapulche.
Lonquimay Summit from the Corralco High T-Bar
Some Malpuche still press claims on the land around Lonquimay. Corralco Ski Area was built on the southern flank of Lonquimay in Chile's protected area of Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello-Nalcas where the Chilean army was training.
Vicho, the Esquiador Extraordinaria
Vicente 'Vicho' Fernandez is a partner in Chile Backcountry who tailor-made our volcano ski trip. We stayed flexible, discussed options and preferences along the way, and Vicho made the perfect arrangements to suit us. We skied on six volcanos in seven days, stayed at accommodations that fit our preferences really well, and enjoyed very good food and drink. Vicho lives in Puerto Varas and really knows the area, and he reads guests and situations really well. He did an excellent job. I'm already scheming next season's trip with Vicho! 

Tour de los volcanes de Chile, Part 3 coming soon!

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