Leaving Santiago, headed to La Frontera

Following our La Parva day, Scott and I headed out of town in the opposite direction, passed Portillo, and suspended any disbelief we had over finding skiable terrain beyond there. We found ourselves at the Tunel Cristo Redentor which separates Chile from Argentina by passing through a nice big mountain! We were richly rewarded for making the trip by encountering some of the best ski terrain I've ever seen accessed from a road. Simply amazing.
I really love the road signs in Chile . . . the road was not actually this steep!

And up we went . . . you can see the road just over my shoulder.

We ended up hiking into a big cirque and I couldn't help but be drawn to the impressively alpine line at its head. It's rare to find lines this aesthetic and be standing at the base of them. Scott agreed to go investigate, but decided not to pursue the line part way up, but was super supportive of my going. He waited in the safe area of the bowl below as I continued to climb. Although it got fairly steep (moreso than I thought it would at the bottom), the snow quality stayed impressively consistent. We had dug a pit lower that showed a fabulously homogenous snowpack, and it didn't change much (except for some wintry surface snow) as I went up. I had a turn around time of 5pm and reached my goal just about then, rewarded with an amazing descent down to Scott - the line was probably about 2000 ft, but likely about 4500 ft from the road. Not bad since the tunnel was over 10,000 ft elevation!!!

Me skiing down the apron

Me, with the line just to the looker's right of my head, off the ridgeline. At this point, I was psyched and full of adrenaline . . . welcome to La Frontera (the border)!!

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From there, we headed across into Argentina in search of home, finally landing in Puente del Inca where we would spend the next 5 days exploring the area . . . welcome back to Argentina!!!

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