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Chile - Ski Mountaineering

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  • Show Trip Info

    Price
    $3400
    Deposit
    $1500
    Duration
    13 days
    Difficulty
    Level 2
    Type
    Skiing
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Chile - Ski Mountaineering

Chile - Ski Mountaineering

The volcanoes of Southern Chile's Araucania Region offer countless ski mountaineering possibilities. Our thirteen day ski mountaineering expedition takes full advantage of this incredible terrrain with multiple ski descents from four Chilean peaks.

EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS

  • Climb and ski four Andean peaks over the course of one ski mountaineering expedition: Volcán Lonquimay (9,400' | 2,865m), Volcán Llaima (10,253' | 3,125m), Volcán Villarica (9,341' | 2,847m), and Volcán Lani­n (12,293' | 3,747m).
  • Combine both single and multi-day ascents during the expedition, staying in comfortable Chilean lodges between objectives.
  • 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.

Beginning in Temuco, Chile, our Ski Mountaineering Expedition first heads to the lower slopes of the Volcán Lonquimay where we spend the day skiing the backcountry of a local ski resort to revive our legs after two days of travel and review ski mountaineering techniques. Volcán Lonquimay (9,400' | 2,865m) is our first skiing objective, and we climb and ski it with daypacks. The mountain towers above the small village of Malalcahuello and is one of the best ski mountaineering objectives in the region, offering a sustained 35° descent right off the summit.

Next we set off for a two day ascent of Volcán  Llaima (10,253' | 3,125m), one of the most visually stunning peaks of the Southern Chilean volcanoes. We climb and ski the imposing northeastern shoulder of Llaima, and incredible route that sees fewer ascents than the shorter western route. Llaima last erupted in 2009!

After Llaima we head south to the beautiful resort town of Pucon for our next objective, Volcán Villarica (9,341' | 2,847m). This volcano's classic conical shape towers above Pucon and is one of only five volcanoes in the world with an active lava lake in the crater. Similar to our first objective Lonquimay, we climb and ski Villarica with daypacks, covering 5,300 vertical feet ending at the ski area on the lower flanks.

The skiing objectives of this expedition provide significant mountaineering challenge, considerable vertical relief, and the unforgettable experience of long ski descents from high summits.

Volcán  Lani­n (12,293' | 3,747m) is our last objective of the trip, and the highest. Lani­n sits right on the border with Argentina, and offers incredible views from the summit deep into both countries. We take two days to ascend Lani­n, digging in a high camp around 7,000' on the mountain's northern flank. It is an exciting ski descent with steep turns off the top, and a total descent of up to 8,000 vertical feet!

Throughout the expedition we learn how to safely access mountaineering destinations on skis while increasing the speed and efficiency both 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, and be able to ski a variety of off-piste (ungroomed) snow conditions. Participants should be able to ascend and descend 5,000 vertical feet in a day of backcountry touring, carrying a 15-20 lb backpack, or 3,000 vertical feet carrying a 35-40 lb 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 Denali 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.

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 guide Tyler 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.

  • Upcoming Climbs

      • September 29, 2018 Guide: Tyler Reid Guide: Solveig Waterfall
    Show All
  • Price
    $3400
    Deposit
    $1500
    Duration
    13 days
    Difficulty
    Level 2
    Type
    Skiing
Table of Contents
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Day 1

TRAVEL

Depart U.S.A. Travel to Temuco, Chile (ZCO) typically takes 18-27 hours from the U.S. depending on your departure city, available connections, and flight times.

 

Day 2

TEMUCO • 1,180' | 360m

Upon arrival in Temuco, we are picked up at the airport and transferred to our hotel. After checking into the rooms there is time to explore the city or to relax. In the evening we meet in the hotel lobby for introductions and a brief orientation. Overnight in Temuco.

 

Day 3

CORRALCO 

After breakfast we travel to the Corralco Ski Center, a ski area situated at the base of Volcan Lonquimay. We spend the afternoon riding the lifts and skiing some of the backcountry terrain accessed by the ski area; a great opportunity to get our ski legs back under us. At the end of the day we drive down to the town of Malalcahuello where we settle into our accommodations on a beautiful ranch. Overnight in Malalcahuello. (B,D)

 

Day 4

LONQUIMAY SUMMIT DAY • 9,400' | 2,865m

After breakfast we drive to the base of Volcan Lonquimay and begin our ascent. In our daypacks we carry our standard ski mountaineering kit including ice axe, boot crampons, and ski crampons — prepared for all types of snow conditions. With soft snow conditions, it is possible to skin to the top of Lonquimay. With the more typical spring melt-freeze conditions we’ll encounter, crampons and an ice axe become the best tools for the job - especially the last 1,000’ where the angle ramps up to sustained “black diamond” terrain. Climbing Lonquimay typically takes 5-6 hours. The 4,500’ ski descent from the summit goes much faster. Overnight in Malalcahuello. (B,D)

 

Day 5

APPROACH TO LLAIMA • 5,180' | 1,579m

We shift focus to our next objective, Volcan Llaima. Although Llaima is right across the valley from Malalcahuello, it’s about a 2 hour drive to our starting point. With overnight packs packed, we ascend to the top of a small ski area called Las Araucarias Ski Center (Araucarias are Monkey Puzzle trees). From here we cross a broad plateau to the base of the mountain, where we setup camp for the night. (B,D)

 

Day 6

LLAIMA SUMMIT DAY • 10,253' | 3,125m

With an alpine start, we start our climb on Llaima. Looking up at this mountain from the base, the summit looks close, but it’s an optical illusion. It doesn’t seem to get any closer until we’re finally there - about 6 hours of climbing from our camp. The crater rim of Llaima is covered in ultra sharp lava rock, formed during its 2009 eruption. The ski descent off the top of Llaima is quite steep, requiring careful, controlled turns. A few thousand feet later, we pack up our camp and ski out the rest of the way to the base. Overnight in Malalcahuello. (B,D)

 

Day 7

SKIING in the MALALCAHUELLO VALLEY

The Malalcahuello Valley offers a number of great ski touring options. Depending on weather and snow conditions, this day may include ski touring on two other nearby volcanoes, Sierra Nevada or Tolhuaca, or exploring more of the terrain in the vicinity of Lonquimay. This is also an optional rest day for participants interested in soaking in the termas (hot springs) or other low land activities such as hiking or horseback riding. In the evening we celebrate our last night in Malalcahuello with a traditional Chilean asido (bbq) prepared by our host. (B, D)

 

Day 8

DRIVE TO PUCON • 745' | 227M

We leave Malalcahuello and drive to the resort town of Pucon. This busy little Chilean ski town sits on the shores of the beautiful Lake Villarrica, with Volcan Villarrica towering impressively above the town — our next objective. The afternoon is free for participants to explore Pucon. Overnight in Pucon. (B)

 

Day 9

VILLARICA SUMMIT DAY • 9,341' | 2,847

Like other volcanoes, our climb on Villarrica starts from the base of a small ski area — this one called Ski Pucon. This being our third volcano of the trip, by this point we’re starting to get in the groove of these summit days. We skin half to two-thirds of the way to the summit before transitioning to boot crampons. The 5,000’ vertical foot climb to the summit of Villarrica takes about 5 hours. In good conditions, the descent back to the parking lot takes 25 minutes! (B)

 

Day 10

DRIVE to OSORNO HUT

It’s about a 4 hour drive south to Volcan Osorno as we leave Araucania (land of Monkey Puzzle trees) and enter Chile’s beautiful Lakes District. We stay the night at a refugio (hut) at the base of the mountain, overlooking the deep blue waters of Lake Llanquihue. Overnight at Teski Hut. (B, D)

 

Day 11

OSORNO SUMMIT DAY

Similar in character to Villarrica and Lonquimay, Osorno is about a 5,000’ ascent, and we’re able to skin a for a good portion of this elevation gain. Depending on the season, getting to the summit can involve a couple exciting rope lengths of climbing rime ice, in which case we leave our skis at the base. In other years this becomes snow covered, allowing us to ski from the summit. We high five on top, enjoying 360° views of lakes surrounding mountain. This is our final big ski run of the trip. We celebrate our last evening in the beautiful village of Puerto Varas. (B)

 

Day 12

DEPART PUERTO MONTT

From our accommodations in Puerto Varas, it’s about a 30 minute drive to El Tepual International Airport (PMC) in Puerto Montt, where we bid farewell for outbound flights. (B)

 

Day 13

TRAVEL DAY

Arrive home.

 

 

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Travel Consultant

RMI has partnered with Erin Rountree to provide comprehensive travel support. We have been working with Erin for many years. As an independent agent of the Travel Society, she has booked countless miles for adventure travelers across the globe and is extremely knowledgeable about the travel needs of our programs. Please call (208) 788-2870 or send email to etravel@cox.net.

Travel Insurance

We strongly encourage everyone to purchase travel insurance which can cover trip cancellation, interruption, delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, medical evacuation, and more. Travel insurance offers the best possible protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or while traveling. You can purchase travel insurance at any time prior to the trip departure. Should you need to cancel from a program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason.

There are several things to note when purchasing trip insurance.

  • Cancellation Insurance is included in the standard Trip Insurance policy if you are injured, or have a medical or family emergency prior to or while traveling. Should you need to cancel your program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason. Most travel insurance companies provide an option to include coverage that allows you to “Cancel for Any Reason”, but the initial policy must be purchased within 15 days of placing your deposit for the program.
  • In order to cover your trip with RMI Expeditions you may need to include options such as an “Adventure or Sports” upgrade. Not all travel insurance will cover mountaineering, climbing, skiing or trekking adventures. Some will not cover due to gear used (crampons, ice axe), others will not cover above a certain elevation and/or region of the world. Check your policy carefully to make sure your activity is covered.
  • Purchasing Travel insurance is also dependent on your state of residence. If one company doesn’t offer coverage for you because you live in Washington, another company might.

TripAssureWe have partnered with TripAssure, a Trip Mate brand, to provide travel insurance for our climbers. TripAssure has created the Assure Adventure Plans to cover travelers participating in climbing, skiing, mountaineering and trekking programs.

TripAssure's Adventure Plan and Adventure Plus Plan differ only in the coverage option which allows you to Cancel for Any Reason. In order to receive Cancel for Any Reason coverage you must purchase the Adventure Plan Plus within 15 days of paying your deposit or payment with RMI. We recommend that you carefully read the Plan Document that applies to your purchase.

Travel Advisories / Warnings

Please confirm any current travel advisories / warnings as well as entry requirements with the U.S. Department of State.

Getting There

Travel to Temuco, Chile (ZCO) typically takes 18 - 27 hours from the U.S. depending on your departure city, available connections, and flight times. Flights generally arrive in the afternoon on Day 2 of the itinerary.

Departing flights may be booked for any time on Day 12 of the program.

Entry Information

A valid passport is required when traveling to Chile. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the expected return date. U.S. passport holders may stay up to 90 days without a visa.

We suggest making a copy of the first two pages of your passport and keeping them in a separate bag as a backup. A copy should also be left with your emergency contact.

Airport Arrival

Santiago: For most flight itineraries, travelers pass through immigrations and customs at the Santiago airport. This requires passing through immigrations, collecting your bags, and passing through customs. Once you exit customs, take the elevator to the third floor and recheck your bags onto your domestic flight to Temuco.

Temuco: Temuco is a small airport. Upon collecting your bags, a private shuttle will take you to our hotel.

Traveling With Skis

Pack your ski bag carefully to ensure your skis and bindings are well padded. Strap your skis and poles together and wrap your climbing skins around your bindings for extra protection. Fill any voids in your ski bag with clothing. We recommend using a TSA approved luggage lock to ensure the zippers stay closed.

Most airlines count skis as a normal checked bag however as baggage policies differ by airlines, be sure to check with your carrier. We recommend keeping your ski bag and duffel under 50 lbs each to avoid oversize charges.

A strategy that we recommend is to travel with your ski boots as a carry-on item. Your boots are arguably the most important piece of equipment, and in the event that your ski bag is delayed, you will have a workable option in the interim. Finding a pair of rental skis that work with your boots is generally easier than finding an entire ski setup.

In-Country Transportation

The provided ground transportation in Chile as stated in the itinerary is via private vehicle.

Immunizations & Travel Medicine

For the most current information on inoculation requirements and recommendations, please refer to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.

Traveler's Health

Travelers may suffer from upset stomachs when in foreign countries. There are some basic rules, however, that can help keep you healthy.

  • Hygiene - It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before meals and after using the restroom. If water is not available for washing, we recommend using a hand sanitizer.
  • Water - The number one rule is: don't drink the water, and that includes shower water and ice! Brush your teeth with purified water rather than tap water. You should check bottled water for a good seal and use a napkin to wipe excess moisture from drinking glasses. Take care with fruit juice, particularly if it has been diluted with water. Carefully clean the tops of bottled beverages before opening.
  • Food - If it is cooked, boiled, or can be peeled, you can usually eat it. Salads and fruits should be washed with purified water or peeled where possible. Be wary of ice cream and shellfish. Always avoid any undercooked meat.

Medical Emergencies

Excellent care for minor illnesses and injuries is readily available. In the event of more serious illnesses or injuries, we recommend transport to any of the Level 1 care centers in Santiago.

Chile Country Facts

Chile is a country of immense beauty, stretching for 2,700 miles along the southwestern coast of South America. Chile's fascinating geography (a thin ribbon of territory that stretches from the northern Atacama Desert to the Torres del Paine at the southern tip) and geology (the country contains hundreds of volcanoes, more than fifty of which are active) combine to make it one of the interesting destinations on earth. "Chile," wrote Chilean Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda, "was invented by a poet."

The country's high-income economy has helped produce a stable and prosperous nation, leading Latin American nations in competitiveness, income per capita, globalization, economic freedom, and low percentage of corruption.

Chile is a multi-ethnic, multicultural country whose people, subsequently, identify their nationality by citizenship rather than ethnicity. The Peruvian census does not contain information about ethnicity so only rough estimates are available. Its population can be composed of Mestizos (European-Indigenous ancestry): 47%, Amerindians (Indigenous): 31%, European: 18.5%, Afro-Peruvians: 2%, Asians and others: 1%.

Santiago, the country's capital since colonial times, was founded in 1541. The city's downtown has 19th century neo-classical architecture and winding side-streets, but the growing city also sports a growing entertainment scene, a rising skyline, and sprawling suburban growth. For those with some extra time, Spanish language courses for travelers are readily available.

Weather

For current weather conditions, check Weather Underground.

The primary ski season for volcanoes in Chile is during the months of August through October. The month of September is roughly equivalent to April in the northern hemisphere, offering some of the best snow coverage and skiing quality of the season.

September is a transitional month and weather conditions tend to be spring-like, however there is still potential for snowfall and colder winter conditions.

Cultural Etiquette

The people of Chile are generally very warm and friendly to tourists. Although it is not expected that we dress formally, we should dress modestly. Casual and comfortable clothing is suggested along with comfortable shoes. Showing expensive cameras, watches, jewelry, etc. is considered unseemly and may attract unwanted attention.

A handshake and nod show respect when greeting someone. When entering a shop or home, politely use a greeting such as buenos dias (good day), buenas tardes (good afternoon), buenas noches (good night). Similarly, upon leaving, even if you've had only minimal contact, say adios (goodbye) or hasta luego (see you later).

Chileans are typically proud of their country and culture. They are well-educated and tend to be cosmopolitan and progressive. Because a majority of Chile's population originated from Europe, Russia, and the Middle East, travelers typically have little trouble fitting in.

Electricity

Electricity in Chile is different than in the United States. Chile has standardized type C sockets and plugs. Type L plugs and power points are still commonly found in older buildings.

Both are used for 220-240 volt, 50 hertz appliances. U.S. appliances will require plug adaptors, converters or transformers. Please visit www.worldstandards.eu/electricity for more detailed information.

Money

The current currency of Chile is the Peso. Check a financial newspaper or www.xe.com for the current exchange rate prior to departure.

We suggest bringing $500 - $600 total for personal spending money including restaurant meals, drinks, pocket money, and the Support Staff Tip Pool.

Cash machines are readily available in Temuco and Pucon, but become increasingly difficult to find outside of the main urban areas. Credit cards are accepted in most, but not all, areas.

Everyone has a preferred way to carry money. Some use money belts, others have hidden pockets. Whatever you do, be aware of pickpockets and thieves in any area which caters to tourists.

Tipping

Everyone approaches tipping a little differently. Whether or not a person tips, and how much, is completely dependent upon the individual; here are some suggested tipping guidelines for your trip.

Local waiters, drivers, and other service personnel expect to be tipped. Ten to fifteen percent is standard. Some restaurants and hotels add a 10% service fee to bills in which case, no further tip is required.

Support Staff Tip Pool: We recommend that each climber contribute $40 to the Tip Pool. This is collected at the beginning of the trip and will cover group tips for all our support and mountain staff throughout the program.

Our guides work hard to ensure your well-being and success on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Amounts are at your discretion and should be based on your level of enjoyment. Tips for excellent service normally average 10 – 15% of the cost of the program. If you would rather not bring the guide gratuity with you on the trip, you can send a check or call the RMI office to pay with a credit card upon your return.

Resources

Frederic Lena's Chile & Argentina, Handbook of Ski Mountaineering in the Andes Belu Press, 2007

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Qualifications

This trip is open to all individuals in excellent physical condition, with "advanced" downhill skiing or riding ability, and previous ski touring experience. Comfort on black diamond terrain in ski areas and skiing in a variety of off-piste (ungroomed) snow conditions is required.

Qualifying Programs

Recommended experiences prior to Chile - Ski Mountaineering include:

  • Get In The Best Shape Of Your Life
    And Then Go
    Climb A Mountain

    Create A Fitness And Training Program

    Go To Fitness Resources

Physical Fitness Training

Even for the healthiest and fittest individuals, ski touring requires a high degree of physical stamina and mental toughness.

  • Start immediately. Start a rigorous fitness and training program now with the goal of arriving in top physical condition and confident in your skills.
  • Be intentional. Focus on gaining the necessary strength, stamina and skills to meet the physical and technical demands of the climb and descent.
  • Be sport-specific. The best fitness and training program mimics the physical and technical demands of your climbing objective. The closer you get to your program date, the more your training should resemble the climbing and skiing.

For Chile - Ski Mountaineering, you are preparing for:

  • Ascents and descents of 5,000 vertical feet in a day of backcountry touring, carrying a 15-20 lb backpack
  • Ascents and descents of 3,000 vertical feet carrying a 35-40 lb backpack

Nothing ensures an enjoyable adventure like your level of fitness and training. Bottom line: Plan on being in the best shape of your life and ready for a very challenging adventure!

Please refer to our Resources for Mountaineering Fitness and Training for detailed fitness and training information.

Acclimatization

Excellent physical conditioning significantly increases your ability to acclimatize as you ascend. Climbers in excellent physical condition simply have more energy to commit to the acclimatization process throughout the days and nights of the ascent, allowing their bodies to adjust to the altitude more easily.

Finally, physical performance and acclimatization are also related to how well you have taken care of yourself throughout the hours, days and weeks prior to summit day. Arriving healthy and well-rested, maintaining proper hydration and caloric intake, and protecting against unnecessary heat loss (staying warm) are all key factors in an individual's success on an expedition such as this.

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What You’ll Need

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 when they use code RMI2017 at checkout. This offer excludes sale items, rentals, meal packages, and Feathered Friends.

  • Use Code RMI2017
    To receive 10% off
    All New Equipment

Shop Your Equipment List // Rent new equipment for your climb

Equipment List

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • CLIMBING CRAMPONS

      12 point adjustable crampons which fit your ski boots and are designed for general mountaineering. If using a ski boot - a "fully automatic" clip-in crampon with metal toe bail works best. If using snowboard boots - a strap-on crampon with plastic toe and heal bails works best. These are essential-- check with the RMI Office if you need more information.

    • SKIS WITH AT BINDINGS, TELEMARK SKIS, OR SPLITBOARD

      All skis and boards need to have brakes or retention straps.

    • SKI CRAMPONS

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

    • SKI SKINS
    • 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.

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

    • HEAVY WEIGHT GLOVE

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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • SUNSCREEN

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

    • MEALS

      See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.

    • 2 WATER BOTTLES

      Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required. Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content and BPA-Free are recommended.

    • 2 GARBAGE BAGS (LARGE)

      We recommend lining your backpack with garbage bags to keep items in your backpack completely dry.

    • ZIP-LOCK BAG (1 GALLON)

      Please use the Zip-Lock as your personal trash bag.

    • CAMERA
    • REPAIR KIT

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

    • 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.

    • CASUAL PANTS
    • 2 SHIRTS

      For hotel dinners and while traveling.

    • COMFORTABLE SHOES
    • TOOTHBRUSH
    • TOOTHPASTE
    • HOUSEHOLD-SIZE TOILET PAPER
    • BAND-AIDS
    • ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT (FOR CUTS & SCRAPES)
    • ASPRIN / IBUPROFEN / TYLENOL
    • ANTACIDS
    • IMODIUM (ANTI-DIARRHEA)
    • PEPTO-BISMOL (STOMACH RELIEF)
    • SMALL ROLL OF ADHESIVE TAPE
    • ANTIBIOTICS

      Broad spectrum antibiotics for Traveler's Diarrhea.

    • ANTIBIOTICS

      Antibiotics for upper respiratory infection.

    • TYLENOL #3

      Tylenol 3 for pain

    • PASSPORT

      Valid for six months beyond your return date.

    • COPY OF PASSPORT

      The first two pages of your passport.

    • COPY OF FLIGHT ITINERARY
    • Purchase travel insurance.

    • Purchase airplane tickets.

    • Reserve rental equipment.

    • 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.

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Meals

On the Chile - Ski Mountaineering program you will need 7 mountain lunches. All of your mountain lunch items should weigh about 4 lb.

Breakfast and dinner meals on the mountain are included as indicated in our Trip Itinerary. With the exception of hotel breakfasts, most restaurant meals are on your own. You are responsible for your own bottled water and drinks.

MOUNTAIN LUNCHES

Mountain lunches are eaten during short breaks throughout the day. We continually snack to keep our energy levels up while we climb - lunch begins just after breakfast and ends just before dinner! Avoid packing any items that require preparation or hot water.

The importance of having foods that are genuinely enjoyed cannot be overstated. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength while in the mountains. In order to combat the loss of appetite at altitude we aim to have a variety of foods that stimulate the whole palate, from sweet to sour to salty.

Recommended mountain lunch items: dry salami, smoked salmon, jerky (turkey, beef, fish), small cans of tuna fish, individually wrapped cheeses such as Laughing Cow or Baby Bell, crackers, bagels, candy bars, hard candies (Jolly Ranchers, toffees, Life Savers), gummy bears, sour candies (Sweet Tarts), cookies, dried fruit, nuts, energy bars, GORP mixes, and drink mixes (Gatorade/Kool-Aid). All items should be commercially packaged.

Chile does not allow the following items through Customs: cheeses, fresh meats, dried meats, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables. Other food items may pass inspection but that decision is at the discretion of the customs inspector. Items which are generally okay include jerky and dried fruits as long as they are in their original packaging.

We will have the opportunity to purchase additional food in Chile but we recommend you take what you need and only supplement with local food if necessary.

BREAKFAST

The breakfast menu includes items such as instant oatmeal, cold cereals (granola), breakfast bars (Kashi, Kudos), hot drinks (coffee, tea, cocoa, cider) and local fresh fruit.

DINNER

Dinner at usually begins with soup and ends with dessert, followed by a round of hot drinks. Healthy one-pot meals, incorporating fresh local food whenever practical, are served as the main course. One typical main course dinner might be spaghetti with sausage and fresh vegetables. Another meal might be chicken fajitas with cheese, tortillas, onions, and peppers. There are limitations, but the menu is planned to offer good variety and ample portions.

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Payments

Deposit Payments: A deposit payment of $1,500 per person secures your reservation. Deposit payments $2,500 or less may be made via MasterCard, Visa, e-check, check, or wire transfer. Deposit payments over $2,500 must be made via e-check, check, or wire transfer.

Balance Payments: The balance payment is due 90 days prior to the start of your program. We will send a payment reminder approximately three weeks before your payment due date. If your balance payment is not received within 90 days prior to the start of your program, your reservation will be cancelled and all fees forfeited. Trips departing within 90 days must be paid in full at the time of reservation. Please note that balance payments may be made via e-check, check, or wire transfer only.

Cancellation

$750 of the $1,500 per person deposit is non-refundable. Written notification is required for all cancellations.

Once RMI receives written notification of cancellation, the following apply:

  • If you cancel 90 or more days before the start of your program, the program fees will be refunded less $750 per person.
  • If you cancel less than 90 days before the start of your program, no refunds will be issued.

Unfortunately, due to the time-sensitive nature of our business, and the difficulty in re-booking a trip close to departure, we cannot make exceptions to this policy.

Cancellation Insurance: We strongly suggest that everyone purchase travel insurance. Please see our Travel Page for details.

Land Cost

INCLUDED

  • RMI Leadership
  • Hotel accommodations as indicated in the itinerary
  • All park entrance fees & lift tickets as indicated in the itinerary
  • All group transportation in country as indicated in the itinerary
  • All group cooking, camping, and climbing equipment

NOT INCLUDED

  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance, medical evacuation insurance and security evacuation insurance
  • Excess baggage fees and departure taxes
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Rest day activities
  • Bottled water and personal drinks
  • Customary guide gratuities
  • Support Staff Tip Pool (we suggest $40 per person)
  • Additional room charges including laundry service and other personal expenses
  • Hotel accommodations not indicated in the itinerary
  • Transfer from the hotel in Pucon to the airport for outbound flights
  • Medical, hospitalization and evacuation costs (by any means)

* Single Travelers: If you wish to share accommodations, we will assign you a roommate. If you wish to stay alone, a supplemental fee will be charged for a single room.

Risk Management

Managing risk is RMI's number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent in mountaineering such as avalanches, ice fall, rock fall, inclement weather, and high winds, but they cannot eliminate them.

Please clearly understand that mountaineering is inherently a hazardous sport. You are choosing to engage in an activity in which participants have been injured and killed. While those accidents are indeed infrequent, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. We ask that participants acknowledge the risk and hazards of mountaineering, and make their own choices about whether or not to engage in this activity.

Climber Responsibilities

Mountaineering is both an individual challenge and a team endeavor. Some of the responsibility for the team is carried by the individual climbers. For this reason, we ask that each participant:

  • is physically and mentally fit, properly attired and equipped, and continues to self assess throughout the program to ensure as safe a climb as possible. If a climber's own physical fitness limits his or her ability to safely continue upward, that can have a negative impact on the summit experience or opportunity of other climb participants.
  • honestly and accurately describe themselves, in terms of fitness, health and skills, and their equipment to their guides, and that they adhere to the advice of their professional mountain guide.

Age-Appropriate Guidelines & Restrictions

In the interest of the safety and well-being of all participants, RMI adheres to the following age-appropriate guidelines:

  • Ages 15 & under: No participants age 15 & under
  • Ages 16 & 17: Accompanied by parent or legal guardian
  • Ages 18 & above: No restrictions 

An individual’s birthday must precede the departure date of the program. For example: a 15 year old who turns 16 on July 1 may participate on a program beginning July 2.

Under-aged participants on Private Climb or Group Climb programs are assessed on an individual basis.

A minor climber must be accompanied by their parent/legal guardian throughout the entirety of the program. If either climber must descend at any time during the program, both climbers must descend together.

Summit Attempt

RMI cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities, or the abilities of other climbers may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe, and you or your entire party may have to turn around without reaching the summit. Failure to reach the summit due to a person's own lack of fitness or to any of the events associated with mountaineering (such as weather, route, avalanche hazard, team dynamics, etc.), are not Rainier Mountaineering, Inc.'s responsibility and will not result in refund or reschedule.

General Policies

Any Participant under the age of 18 must be accompanied on the trip by a parent or legal guardian and both the Participant and parent or legal guardian must sign all forms.

RMI's program schedule and itineraries are subject to change or adjustment based on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, route conditions, weather, terrain, currency fluctuations, changes in outfitting costs, government instability, and many other factors. RMI has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including but not limited to increases in program fees, changes to program schedule or itinerary, and changes to guides or staff, as necessary for the proper and safe conduct of the program.

We reserve the right to cancel any program due to inadequate signups, weather or route conditions. In such a case, a full refund is given; however, RMI cannot be responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).

If the Participant decides to leave a trip at any time after the start of the trip and prior to its conclusion, he or she will not be entitled to a refund.

RMI reserves the right to dismiss the Participant from a trip or to send the Participant to a lower altitude at any time if RMI determines, in its sole discretion, that the Participant is not physically, technically, or psychologically prepared for or capable of participating in the program.

The Participant understands and agrees that RMI assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with any travel and hospitality service provided to the Participant by others in connection with the trip, including but not limited to the services provided by airlines, hotels, and motor vehicle operators, and that RMI is not responsible for any act, error, omission, or any injury, loss, accident, delay, irregularity, or danger by a supplier of travel or hospitality services to the Participant in connection with the RMI program.

RMI recommends and strongly advises that the Participant have or purchase personal life, medical, accident, travel, baggage, trip cancellation, and other insurance that may pertain to participation in the program. The Participant understands that RMI provides no such insurance coverage in connection with the trip.

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