Climb Details

Cost:
Deposit:
Length:
Difficulty:
Type:

$3200
$1500
12 day(s)
Level 2 difficulty 
Skiing

Availability



Upcoming Climbs

September 20, 2014 - HOLD A SPOT

Guide(s):

Tyler Reid


The volcanoes of Southern Chile's Araucania Region are fantastic ski mountaineering objectives. Our 10-day ski mountaineering expedition attempts ski descents from the summits of several Chilean peaks: Volcán Villarica (9,341'), Volcán Lonquimay (9,400'), Sierra Nevada (8,379'), and Volcán Llaima (10,253'). Trip highlights include:

  • Climb and ski four Andean peaks over the course of one ski mountaineering expedition.
  • Combine both single and multi-day ascents during the expedition, staying in comfortable Chilean lodges between climbs.
  • Build your ski mountaineering experience with instruction and practice on fun and challenging terrain.
  • Experience the beautiful landscapes and welcoming culture of Southern Chile.
  • Climb and ski with an experienced RMI Ski Mountaineering Guide, benefiting from their background, training, and expertise and see why we continue to set the standard in guiding excellence.

Skiing Lonquimay

Beginning in Temuco, Chile our Ski Mountaineering Expedition first heads to the lower slopes of the Volcán Villarica where we spend the day skiing the backcountry of a local ski resort to get in some skiing and practice in before we begin climbing. Volcán Villarica (9,341') is our first skiing objective. The mountain's classic conical shape towers above the resort town of Pucón and is one of only five volcanoes in the world with an active lava lake within the crater. We make a one-day ascent and ski descent of Villarica, covering 5,300' vertical beginning from the ski area on the lower flanks of the mountain to the summit and back.

We next head north to climb and ski Volcán Lonquimay (9,400'). Lonquimay is one of the best ski mountaineering objectives in the region, offering a sustained 35 degree descent right off the peak's summit with striking views of a surrounding landscape that was heavily influenced by its last eruption in 1988. After two big ski descents, we trade out our crampons for some more relaxed ski touring on Sierra Nevada (8,379'), a broad volcano close to Volcán Llaima surrounded by lush Araucaria (Monkey Puzzle) forests. After the tour, we take advantage of Malachuello's (mal-al-cah-way-yo) relaxing thermal hot springs for a soak.

Volcán Llaima (10,253'), is our final climb and descent. Llaima is one of the most visually stunning peaks of the Southern Chilean volcanoes with the mountain's snowy flanks rising to an impressive point high above the surrounding region. We climb and ski the northeastern shoulder of Llaima, an incredible route that sees fewer ascents than the shorter western route.

The peaks tackled on RMI's Chile Ski Mountaineering Expedition provide significant mountaineering challenge, considerable vertical relief, and the unforgettable experience of long ski descents from high summits. Throughout the expedition we learn how to safely access mountaineering destinations on skis while increasing the speed and efficiency of climbing and skiing technical mountaineering terrain.

This trip is open to all individuals in excellent physical condition, with "Advanced" downhill skiing or riding ability, and previous ski touring experience. Participants should feel comfortable on black diamond terrain in ski areas, skiing in a variety of off-piste (ungroomed) snow conditions. Participants should be able to ascend and descend 4,500' vertical feet in a day of backcountry touring, carrying a 15-20 lb backpack, or 2,500' vertical feet carrying a 35-40lb backpack.

THE RMI DIFFERENCE

Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. was established in 1969 and is one of America's oldest and most-trusted guide services. We are the largest guide service on Mt. Rainier and Mt. McKinley and leaders in guiding climbs and treks around the globe. Our years of leading mountain adventures give us the experience and knowledge to create the best possible trips and we work hard to live up to our reputation as an industry leader. Our trip preparation before departure takes care of the details for you, from hotels to airport transfers, so that you can focus on preparing for ski touring in Patagonia, instead of the distraction that comes with coordinating logistics.

Climbing LlaimaClimbing Llaima

Our Chile Ski Mountaineering Expeditions is led by RMI's foremost U.S. guides, who bring years of climbing and ski mountaineering experience on mountains all over the world. As you reach higher elevations and challenging terrain and test the limits of your experience, the value of accomplished and highly trained RMI Guides cannot be understated. Our professional guides make possible the experience of safely completing the adventure.

RMI / Pacific Alpine Guides PartnershipIN PARTNERSHIP WITH PACIFIC ALPINE GUIDES

The Chile Ski Mountaineering Expedition is operated in partnership with Pacific Alpine Guides, a small guide service run by RMI guides Tyler and Katy Reid. Our partnership combines the strengths of our guide services: RMI's decades of experience leading countless successful international expeditions around the world and to high altitudes, with Pacific Alpine Guides experience specializing in guided backcountry skiing, remote ski mountaineering, and AIARE avalanche training.

SAFETY

Safety has always been RMI's top priority and we strive to create the safest mountain experience possible. RMI's experienced team of guides focus on leading a fun and successful climb without compromising safety. We apply the same standards of safety we bring to Alaska and the Himalayas to our ski expeditions in South America. Careful planning, flexibility in our itinerary, daily weather forecasts via satellite, and diligent attention are taken as we venture into a remote backcountry environment. Comprehensive medical kits, rescue equipment, and radio and satellite communication equipment are carried with the team throughout the trip.

As you prepare for your upcoming adventure please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our experienced guides regarding equipment, conditioning, the route, or any other questions you may have about our programs. We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (888) 89-CLIMB or info@rmiguides.com.

Chile's Volcanoes Ski Mountaineering Expedition Equipment List

Whittaker Mountaineering

The following is a list of required equipment. We may encounter a variety of weather conditions throughout our climb, including rain, wind, snow, sleet and extreme heat. Skimping on equipment can jeopardize your safety and success, so we want you to think carefully about any changes or substitutions you are considering. If you have questions regarding the equipment needed for your upcoming climb, give us a call and speak directly to one of our experienced guides.

Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase from our affiliate Whittaker Mountaineering. RMI climbers receive a 10% discount on new clothing and equipment items ordered from Whittaker Mountaineering. This offer excludes sale items. For internet orders, please use the discount code RMI2014.


Pack & Bag Guides' Pick

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BACKPACK: A 70+ liter pack is the recommended size for this climb. A strapping system to hold your skis is a nice feature.


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DAY PACK (OPTIONAL): An optional item for use on the ski tours above camp. It should be large enough to carry food, water, clothing, and rescue gear for the day. A strapping system for carrying skis is a nice feature.


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SLEEPING BAG: A bag rated to 0° F. Either goose down or synthetic, with ample room for movement. Most guides prefer down, because it is lightweight and compactable. A waterproof bag is superb, but not mandatory.
The temperature rating system for sleeping bags is arbitrary and is not a guarantee of warmth. Base your selection on how well you do in the cold. If you tend to sleep on the cold side, choose a bag rated on the lower end of the temperature range.


Technical Gear Guides' Pick

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ICE AXE: A shorter 50-60cm ice axe is preferable for ski mountaineering, as this is a tool we tend to only use in steeper terrain. Avoid aggressive ice climbing tools in favor of a simple mountain axe with an adze.


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CLIMBING HARNESS: We recommend a comfortable, adjustable alpine climbing harness. Removable, drop seat or adjustable leg loops are convenient for managing your clothing layers over the course of the climb and facilitate going to the bathroom.


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1 TRIPLE-ACTION LOCKING CARABINER(S): Used for clipping into the climbing rope.


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3 NON-LOCKING CARABINER(S): Used for pack ditch loop, etc.


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HELMET: A UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme) or CE (European Committee for Standardization) certified climbing helmet or a ski mountaineering helmet rated from both rock fall and skiing falls. Standard ski helmets are not acceptable. They are not rated for rockfall and are too warm to be worn during ascents.


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CLIMBING CRAMPONS: 12 point adjustable crampons which fit your ski boots and are designed for general mountaineering.


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AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER: A digital transceiver is preferred. If you rent a transceiver, one set of new batteries will be provided.


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SKI CRAMPONS: A crampon specific to your ski binding which is used for ascending firm slopes with skis on.


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SKIS WITH AT BINDINGS, TELEMARK SKIS, OR SPLITBOARD: All skis and boards need to have brakes or retention straps.


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SKI SKINS


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SKI POLES: Adjustable poles are recommended.


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24 ' PERLON CORD: 6 mm cordelette in one continuous length.


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15 ' PERLON CORD: 7 mm cordelette in one continuous length.


Head Guides' Pick

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BUFF / NECK GAITER / BALACLAVA: One item for face protection is required. Our primary recommendation is the Buff. A neck gaiter or balaclava is also acceptable.


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GLACIER GLASSES: You will need protective sunglasses, either dark-lensed with side shields or full wrap-around frames. Almost all sunglasses block UV-A, UV-B and infrared rays adequately. Pay attention to the visible light transmission. The darkest lenses (glacier glasses) only allow approx. 6% visible light to get through, while lighter lenses (driving glasses) let in as much as 20+ %. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the wearer’s pupils through the lenses, they are too light for sun protection at altitude.


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GOGGLES: Amber or rose-tinted goggles for adverse weather. On windy days, climbers, especially contact lens wearers, may find photochromatic lenses the most versatile in a variety of light conditions.


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HEADLAMP: Be sure to begin the program with fresh batteries.


Hands

Each glove layer is worn separately as conditions change during the climb.


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HEAVY WEIGHT GLOVE: Wind/water resistant, insulated gloves. These also serve as emergency back-ups if you drop or lose a glove.


Upper Body

We recommend a minimum of five upper body layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Two of these should be insulating layers, one light and one medium, that fit well together. Today there are many different layering systems to choose from, including fleece, soft-shell, down and synthetic options.


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2 LIGHT TO MEDIUM WEIGHT BASELAYER: Long-sleeve wool or synthetic top. Quarter zip styles will allow for better temperature regulation. We recommend light colors, which best reflect the intense sun on hot days.


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RAIN JACKET (HARD SHELL): A jacket made of rain-proof material with an attached hood.  We recommend a thinner lightweight jacket rather than a heavier insulated jacket.


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INSULATED PARKA with HOOD: This expedition-style heavy parka should extend below the waist and must have an insulated hood. While the parka is worn primarily at rest breaks on summit day, it serves as an emergency garment if needed. We recommend down rather than synthetic fill as down weighs less. The parka does not have to be waterproof, though that is a nice feature.


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SPORTS BRA: We recommend a moisture-wicking, active-wear bra.


Lower Body

We recommend a system of four layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Products which combine several layers into one garment, such as traditional ski pants, don’t work well as they don’t offer the versatility of a layering system.


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SKI PANT: A lightweight, well ventilated soft-shell or hard-shell ski or climbing pant that fits over the cuff of your ski boots.


Feet

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ALPINE TOURING, TELEMARK BOOTS, OR SNOWBOARD BOOTS: Telemark boots flex at the toe for more efficient striding uphill and to allow the "telemark turn" on descent. Telemark boots should be of contemporary plastic design. No leather "Nordic" boots please. Alpine Touring boots are a cross between a downhill ski boot and a hiking boot. AT Boots have rigid, lug soles, and are crampon compatible for climbing steep snow slopes. If renting boots it is recommended that you demo the rentals at your local ski area before taking them on this program. Please call our office to speak with a guide about ski and snowboard boot recommendations.


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LIGHTWEIGHT HIKING SHOES: Great for travel, day hikes, and camp.

 
Garmont Zenith Trail
 
La Sportiva Exum Pro
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W:

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3-4 SOCKS: Either wool or synthetic. Whatever sock combination you are accustomed to wearing during your training or previous adventures (whether single medium weight socks, a medium weight with a liner sock, two medium weight socks together, etc), should work just fine for this climb.


Miscellaneous Items Guides' Pick

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LIP BALM: We recommend SPF 15 or higher.


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SUNSCREEN: We recommend small tubes of SPF 15 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing.


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MEALS: See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.


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2 WATER BOTTLES: Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required.


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2 GARBAGE BAGS (LARGE): We recommend lining your backpack with garbage bags to keep items in your backpack completely dry.


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ZIP-LOCK BAG (1 GALLON): Please use the Zip-Lock as your personal trash bag.


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CAMERA


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REPAIR KIT: Bring a small repair kit with parts specific to your ski or snowboard boots and bindings.


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2 STRAPS: Voile style ski straps for you carrying your skis and poles, and longer straps for lashing foam pads and tents to the outside of your pack.


Travel Clothes

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CASUAL PANTS


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2 SHIRTS: For hotel dinners and while traveling.


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COMFORTABLE SHOES


Toilet Articles

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TOOTHBRUSH


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HAND SANITIZER(S): Personal size (2 oz.) bottle.


Personal First Aid Kit

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ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT (FOR CUTS & SCRAPES)


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BAND-AIDS


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ASPRIN / IBUPROFEN / TYLENOL


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BLISTER TREATMENT

 
Dr. Scholl's Blister Cushions and Moleskin
 
Spenco 2nd Skin

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ANTACIDS


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IMODIUM (ANTI-DIARRHEA)


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PEPTO-BISMOL (STOMACH RELIEF)


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SMALL ROLL OF ADHESIVE TAPE


Personal Medications

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ANTIBIOTICS: Broad spectrum antibiotics for Traveler's Diarrhea.


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ANTIBIOTICS: Antibiotics for upper respiratory infection.


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TYLENOL #3: Tylenol 3 for pain


Utensils Guides' Pick

Travel Documents

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PASSPORT: Valid for six months beyond your return date.


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COPY OF PASSPORT: The first two pages of your passport.


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COPY OF FLIGHT ITINERARY


Pre-Trip Checklist

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Purchase travel insurance.


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Return the Registration Packet to the RMI Office.


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Purchase airplane tickets.


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Reserve rental equipment.


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Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!


Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: tents, stoves, fuel, climbing ropes, and blue bags (for solid waste disposal).

Every guide on your climb will carry rescue equipment and a first aid kit. Each climb has two-way radios and a cell phone for emergency contact.