GUIDED SKI & SPLITBOARD EXPEDITION
In the longest continuous mountain range in the world - spanning the western edge of South America and nearly the entire length of Chile - you better believe there are zones still untouched and unskied. And you better believe that we've got our finger on one in particular. Not far south of Santiago, a lonely dirt road winds alongside a river, both eventually disappearing around the corner. Beyond that, all that can be seen are unnamed peaks blanketed in white. Beyond that, a pass (albeit impassable in the winter) to Argentina.
With exclusive permission from the handful of families who own this mountain paradise, we will roam beneath soaring Andean Condors and stand on ridgelines where very few have stepped foot in the wintertime. Tagging aesthetic lines that literally drop from the Chile/Argentina border will be the name of the game. A comfortable basecamp - set up for us before our arrival - will be our private refuge, with a large dome tent to serve as the kitchen and dining area, separate sleeping tents, and hearty breakfasts and dinners made from scratch.
Ever dreamed of powder in your face in August? Come chase the endless winter with us on our second annual exploratory shred adventure deep in the Chilean Andes.
AVAILABILITY & REQUIREMENTS
Max 6 per session.
Participants must be advanced to expert level skiers or snowboarders. Participation does not require formal avalanche safety certification nor ski mountaineering experience. Previous winter camping experience is preferred.
Access to and from basecamp will be 8.5-11km (5-7mi) each way, fully human-powered. Participants must be in excellent physical condition and comfortable touring for long distances carrying all of their personal equipment for the week.
Splitboards are required for snowboarders. Participants must provide personal touring equipment (including ski/splitboard crampons) and avalanche safety tools (transceiver, probe, shovel). Winter camping equipment such as sleeping bag and insulated pad will also be necessary. We will distribute a mandatory gear list closer to the expedition start date.
There is no visa required for most nationalities visiting Chile. A tourist card valid for 90 days will be issued at the airport on arrival.
2 SESSIONS: EACH 7 DAYS RIDING/10 DAYS TOTAL
Our 10-day expedition begins in the charming city of Santiago. From there we will drive southeast to a small village at the confluence of two rivers: El Teno y Claro. Our base will be a riverside lodge with cozy cabañas, a swimming pool and hot tub, and a quincho for preparing traditional meals. After a welcome lunch paired with cold beer and wine from a nearby vineyard we’ll spend the afternoon prepping for the adventure further up valley.
The next morning we’ll load our packs, skis and splits into the beds of 4WD trucks and begin the push up to basecamp. With a limestone mine up valley, road conditions are decent for the first many kilometers, but get pretty rowdy beyond that. We’ll rally as far as we can make it - likely to the aduana (customs office) on the Chilean side of the border crossing - but at some point we’ll have to ditch the trucks for our skins.
Linking a number of snowbridges over the open river we’ll wind our way up the valley toward the headwaters. The tour will be somewhere between 8.5-11km (5-7mi), again depending on snowline. The slog will quickly be forgotten as we round the last corner and catch our first view of camp - fully established and ready for us to settle in - dwarfed by the zone’s signature peak and surrounded by slopes that are begging to be ridden.
The next 7 days will be entirely dedicated to exploring and shredding. This will be only the second year camp has been in this location, so while some of the primo lines have been claimed and named, many still have not. After a solid 7-night stay, we’ll retreat back down into the lush valley, check back in to our riverside cabañas and roast a celebratory asado (Chilean BBQ), complemented by local wines, beers, and of course, pisco sours.
Then it’s back to Santiago, but with international flights not departing until night, we’ll have the day to explore a little bit more of Chile before heading to the airport. Options include: driving to the coast for lunch in the famous surf town of Pichilemu, sampling the region’s famous wines at a local vineyard, or heading straight back for an afternoon exploring the city.
Donny Roth, AMGA Ski Guide and Founder of Chile Powder Adventures is our main man for logistics, local contacts, itinerary planning and area knowledge and experience. Donny has been guiding in Chile for fifteen years and has been bringing small numbers of clients to explore this little-known stretch of Andes with him for the past five.
7 DAYS RIDING/10 DAYS TOTAL
SESSION ONE: Participants will need to arrive in Santiago (airport code SCL) early on (or before) August 9. We will return to Santiago on August 18 for departures later that evening.
SESSION TWO: Participants will need to arrive in Santiago (airport code SCL) early on (or before) August 19. We will return to Santiago on August 28 for departures later that evening.
40 Tribes Lead and Tail Guides; Airport transfers and private transport between all locations; 2 nights accommodation in cabañas at the river lodge (1 before the basecamp week and 1 after) including meals; 7 nights basecamp accommodation in 3-person tents with a large dome tent for kitchen and dining; Basecamp staff and made-from-scratch meals; 7 days of epic guided skiing/splitboarding!
PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
Airfare and baggage fees; Medical/evacuation insurance; Meals in Santiago and on transfer days; Alcohol; Tips for guides.
A 20% deposit is required to secure your spot, with the remainder due 3 months prior to the expedition start date.