Another Annual Summer Thread- South America
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Roger Z
July 17, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Wow, I was gone for the weekend- back in DC for my birthday- and boy did I miss some flaming threads. Doesn't exactly break my heart... I got to go sailing on the Bay instead! Sometimes I'll stand up when the chop waves hit the boat and ride them- they feel a little like moguls. Had a great day out on the Bay, much greater than reading about... well, I won't go there.

Anyway, I realized today that we haven't brought up another annual summer discussion yet- anyone been to South America to do any skiing? Or Australia/New Zealand? Anyone heard how conditions are down there right now? Anybody heard of any good deals to go skiing down there?
July 17, 2006
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
Rog, it's a solid 20-24hrs of flying, transfer to get there from here... maybe 18 if you are lucky.

We stayed near one of the ski hills one weekend, Coronet Peak I think ... I can't say it look all that interesting but ... no idea what Chile would be like or SA in general in comparison.

LONG WAY TO GO, nice place though... would be a great trip, perhaps not so much for the skiing. In australia I think its the "blue mountains" for skiing ... never saw them myself though.

Now where did i put that pesky ring again...

July 18, 2006
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,539 posts
Color me vacation time challenged. I'd luv to fly to Chile or Argentina, but summer is the time of year for building up the leave balance. Plus I need a boat drink long weekend or two...
July 18, 2006
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
I did check flights and American had flight to Santiago for $500 right after Labor Day. However, Portillo and the other resorts have not lowered their rates.
July 18, 2006
Member since 10/18/2004 🔗
45 posts

Color me vacation time challenged. I'd luv to fly to Chile or Argentina, but summer is the time of year for building up the leave balance. Plus I need a boat drink long weekend or two...

Not only leave balance but checking account balance needs to build up for those long winter afternoons on the back trails at WG. The only luxury that gets me through these triple digit days is a G & T in the pool.
July 18, 2006
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
Forget SA!!! SKI NZ! Here Rog, I looked this up for you:

You will want to: FLY to LA, SF or maybe Hawaii, and then from there fly to Aukland, or maybe Christchuch. Figure 6 hrs across the country and solid 12 hrs to NZ. If you go another direction expect LONGER FLIGHTS...

From either of those cities you COULD FLY to Queenstown which where at least 2 of the 3 locations are on that map. Mt Hutt or whatever I do not recall but the Remarkables come right up out of the glacier fed lake, whereas Coronet I think I back a bit but still you should get some FABULOUS views, spectacular mind blowing views - this is WORTH IT.

The skiing is probably somewhat marginal -- i am just guessing. I have never been there in the Winter, but I don't think its all that great. Those peaks are pretty jaggy and look kinda like the Alps but not nearly so high and i don't think they really get THAT MUCH SNOW...

Still they have vastly MORE SNOW than we have here! :-)

What I would recommend is forget the SKI vacation and make it a multi-week, multi-activity trip.

Fly into the NORTH island AND DRIVE around it, then drive around south island. The terrain, forest and fauna vary greatly -- hit the coast, then the mountains, the jungle and plains... Then one or two days go skiing when it works out, rent some skis...

I'd say go for 3 weeks if you can or longer.

Careful, you may not want to leave...
JimK - DCSki Columnist
July 18, 2006
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,822 posts
The intrepid Connie Lawn and her husband plan to spend a good chunk of August '06 in NZ. She promises to file reports for DCSki on a number of places she plans to ski, hopefully to include some images of the amazing ski/volcano scenery down there. Told me that so far they've had a real strong winter for snowfall.
Roger Z
July 18, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
I'm looking forward to seeing Connie's report!

Thanks for the link Kev and yes, since I have absolutely no vacation time yet (well, one day's worth) I can understand the desire to "build it so I can go" attitude. I do have a dream, however, of someday skiing on my birthday, which is in the middle of July, which is rarely below 70 degrees at night. And yes, I realize I could go to Mount Hood but I'd like the 36 inch powder dump type skiing, the IN-YOUR-FACE SUMMER experience of thousands of acres of terrain and 35 degree temps under clear blue skies, just once... is that too much to ask?

New Zealand is supposed to be spectacular. Connie better bring back photos!!!
July 20, 2006
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
NZ is very beautiful, i'm not sure that it is necessarily any more beautiful that other beautiful areas but its compact and also somewhat "untouched". Actually it been terriformed with lots of "euro" plants, some indiginous stuff is still left however in the more remote parts.
It's a fairly small island(s) with a fairly small population that closely allies itself with britain at least in terms of cultural morays (that's my take). You may be tempted to think you are in some part of britain at times.

The high mountains and glacer fed lakes are stunning. Vast swatchs of land are just -- well used to raise sheep i guess.
Lakes here that would be filled with 1000s of high price vacation houses here are -- well empty, devoid of anything but a view.
On the coasts the terra may be near tropical like, well but not that warm, -- you can start in what seems like the jungle and at the end of a very long trek be at the top of a glacier! The ocean laps against the shore, heads into the dense foliage and then straight up to craggy peaks! cool stuff.
The first NZ'ers, the maori are kind of interesting -- a polynesian people from maybe 1000 yrs ago?(not even i think) Related to the hawaiians and other polynesian boat peoples. They were incredibably war like but didn't get past wooden clubs, nearly destroying themselves when the euro-boys showed up and gave them guns (not to mention disease)...
The forest and fauna, a lot of of it cut for timber, and a lot of it cleared for agriculture -- but a lot saved too. The native species suffered, some are gone forever... now they are under attack from imports -- you know flightless birds don't have much of a chance against rat like things that like bird eggs to breakfast... But they are trying to save them.
So, its a great place to visit. Civilation is never too far away after that trek in woods. A hot cup of tea and biscuit await, the inteprid explorer...
And unlike Australia, there's not something every square meter that can cause instant death from some toxin or big teeth!
July 21, 2006
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
In about 10 months I will gladly give you guys some feedback....if I get hired.
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