International (Europe/Japan/Southern Hemisphere) 2022 Chile Trip Report - Nevados de Chillan

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Mattadvproject

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Mittens might be better?
Slytech or Shred has protection in race mittens, it’s usually for thumb and back of hand/knuckles. Don’t know about pinky.

Thanks James. My Occupational Therapist made me a hard brace that covers the little finger and goes over the gloves, so no need to buy any new gloves thankfully. I doubt I will even use that, I will start off with the support tape she gave me, that should work pretty well on it's own. I probably will be skiing pretty conservatively for the first few days, see how the ribs react to skiing with a heavy pack again. All the more incentive to look for untouched pow....
 
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Focusing on the important parts is important. The real question though is can you hold a Merquen Pisco Sour and cut a big slab of meat at Oliva's? :roflmao: Have fun Matt and hope you get pounded...by snow.

Ha ha, very good David! Hope we get at least 1 dump during the first session, it's not in the long-range forecast yet, hope that changes...... I've never been a Pisco Sour guy, I think that was more you. I've always liked the beer (the Bio Bio Brewery Hefe is one of my favorite beers) and the wine is great too. Funnily enough they tested my grip strength yesterday at Occupational Therapy and my right hand has less than half of the strength my left currently. Might have to use a knife and a fork for taking down big slabs of meat. I've done that before, so should be alright.....

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- Matt
 

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Ha ha, very good David! Hope we get at least 1 dump during the first session, it's not in the long-range forecast yet, hope that changes...... I've never been a Pisco Sour guy, I think that was more you. I've always liked the beer (the Bio Bio Brewery Hefe is one of my favorite beers) and the wine is great too. Funnily enough they tested my grip strength yesterday at Occupational Therapy and my right hand has less than half of the strength my left currently. Might have to use a knife and a fork for taking down big slabs of meat. I've done that before, so should be alright.....

View attachment 174634


- Matt
Cordless knife…
Runs on six AA batts!
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And so it begins......

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The skis are tuned, bags are packed, truck is loaded..... it's time to start the journey to Chile! Granby - Denver- Houston - Santiago - Concepcion - Las Trancas. It's been 3 years since I was last there with the www.theadventureproject.net. Time for some pow! Expect regular updates from here on in.....

- MMatt
 
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I'm a little bored sitting in Houston waiting for the next flight to Santiago, so time for a little status update.......


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FREE STELLA! Yesssss!

So far so good. The drive from Granby to Denver went fine, until I realized I'd left my skins in the freezer, so a quick turnaround in Fraser to go back home to retrieve said item and I was back underway. That added an extra 30 mins to proceedings and the heavy rain in Denver slowed me down a little too, but made it to my hotel near the airport by 830pm. Then I realized I had made the booking for the 7th Sept, not 7th August, but after 30 mins with booking.com, the booking was changed and I wasn't charged anymore and I didn't have to sleep in the carpark. Huzzah! Not sure what happened there, could be a by-product of me getting old.....

Checking in this morning in Denver went fine. All my documents were in order and the security process was a breeze. They had a dog checking people in security, so that meant that we didn't have to take off shoes, separate laptop/toiletries/etc which is a first for a long time. Bags allegedly made it onto the flight to Houston, so there's a good chance I will see them in Santiago.

It sounds like Gary made it to Santiago already, he's leading the Amazing Race so far and I have a couple of people meeting me in Houston for the flight to Santiago hopefully. It's 9 hours overnight and then we land in Santiago just after 6am local time. Then I have 6 hours before the final flight to Concepcion, then 1 night in Concepcion before the whole team should be together and we bravely forge a path into the mountains (yep, the Stella is working.....).

I'll chime in with another update when I hit Santiago. Adios amigos!

- Matt
 
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Wondering why your skins were in the freezer? Because it’s so hot before they’re loaded into the plane?

That's the best place to keep them over the summertime, so the glue doesn't get affected in the heat. The bestest place is next to the pork chops....
 
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August 9th - Flight to Santiago

The flight from Houston departed as scheduled and I was even on it, plus my bags. Awesome! It was a 767 with a strange 2-3-2 configuration, I had a window seat in the exit row and no one next to me, but the armrest did not move up so it wasn't super comfortable. Only managed 1 hour of sleep, so feeling pretty zombie-like now. There were a few Americans with ski gear on the flight, heading down for some turns.

I'll include a bit of detail about the arrival process for anyone heading down to Chile. This might help. Overall, as long as you have the correct documentation, things went pretty smoothly. Step 1 on arrival into the new Terminal 2 International is to show the C19 form. That was also shown at check-in with United in Denver (the only thing they asked to see). Masks are also compulsory for use on the flight to Chile.....

Once you have had your C19 Travel Affidavit scanned, you get a little sticker to wear that must be visible (shows that the C19 has been checked). If you are unlucky, then I think this is where you would be pulled in for random testing (I saw signs for testing but no one heading that way). Then you head to immigration and passport control. They ask you why you are here (tourism/skiing) and then you get a paper receipt that you must keep with your passport. The line might look really long, but it moves pretty quickly. Then after immigration you go collect your bags. The bags come out a lot quicker than the old Terminal 1 setup that was an absolute rugby scrum so this is a much better experience after a red-eye flight. My suitcase was waiting for me next to the carousel and then the oversize (ski bags) are between carousel 5 and 6. They took an additional 10-minutes to come out but it's a good time to chat with the fellow gringos about where they are heading to for skiing.

After that, you go to customs and have to show your SAG declaration (go through green if nothing to declare and red if something to declare). You can do the SAG form online (I did mine in Houston on my phone whilst waiting for departure, you have to do it no more than 48 hours prior to arrival) or you can do it on arrival by scanning the QR code or going old school and filling out the paper copy. You might get a secondary bag scan at this stage. Then you are heading out towards the exit, but there is a LATAM counter where you can check bags onto the next flight. Unfortunately, they only accept regular-sized bags and a ski bag has to be carried onwards with you to Terminal 1.

If you have a tight connection, then this is where you could get into trouble. You have a decent walk ahead of you to get to the old terminal and then you have to go upstairs 2 levels (look for the elevators close to the entrance) to check in with LATAM. Then you have to go through a decently long line to check in or do bag drop (depending on if you are ticketed and/or tagged for the next flight). I was ticketed and tagged and still had to see a few people before my bag was dropped off. It took some time.....

A guy did come up to me pretty quickly as I entered the terminal and grabbed my cart with ski bag on it and offered to help. He had my ticket and took off quickly. I figured that if I was going to have this guy help me and get me through quickly, then he would probably want to be tipped. This has happened to me once before in Santiago. I let him take the lead though, I was too tired to resist. I offered him $10 USD and he was very happy for that. Seemed like a good deal to me as he definitely saved me some time. My buddy Gordon who had stopped for a cigar outside Terminal 2 saw me and I told him about the porter and he was also happy to use his services as he had a somewhat tight connection. You really do need 3 hours connecting time to get to the next flight without stressing, in my opinion. Use the porter (and tip them), if you want to make it even easier. They seem to be good at spotting lost Western skiers in the crowd....

That's pretty much it. You go through a pretty easy security check (shoes, watch, belt on, laptop/toiletries still in carry-on) and then onto the departure gate. I don't recommend hanging out for long periods at the domestic terminal, there's not much there. I waited about 30 minutes for a restaurant to open for breakfast (nice breakfast of fried eggs, bacon and toast) and then found a lounge (Condor lounge) that I could pay my way into ($35 USD with 6 hour maximum). I had 7 hours to kill overall..... you do get to see some snow-capped mountains from behind the smog. We arrived in the dark so didn't get to see sunrise over the Andes as we arrived, which we would normally see (grab a window seat of the left side of the plane for best views of that).

I just have the quick, 1-hour 10 minute flight to Concepcion and then I can have a little siesta. I'm really looking forward to that. Then probably see Gordon and Gary at the Holiday Inn Express and meet Dave (whose flight from LA to Houston was delayed so he had to stay overnight in Houston) and Tim and James should be in around 1245pm tomorrow. Then we head to the mountains. The snow forecast has really turned around and there is a lot in the forecast for this first session. Hopefully pow will be on the menu....

More updates to come......


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Santiago - mountains, snow and smog! View from the airport restaurant for breakfast......


- Matt
 
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Great stuff, Matt...looking forward to the updates!!! Pow dancing for ya! :daffy:

I've got an important one for you Randy..... the boys have taken on their first slabs of meat in Concepcion. Gary successfully defeated his but Gordon's ended in a draw..... not bad for some steaks at the local Ibis hotel!


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- Matt
 
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Sweet photos, but I did not see any Pisco Sours, Nacional. Where did you stay while in Concepción? In May/June, we stayed with my daughter. Upon your return, I can suggest restaurants in Santiago.
Thanks @charlier . I can't say I'm a Pisco Sour drinker, a like the Chilean beer and a bit of wine from time to time, we'll see what the others are into. We have a nice cultural day where we visit a great winery near Chillan, stay tuned for that. Unfortunately I don't spend any time in Santiago, I head straight back to the US with only a few hours at the airport on the way back from Concepcion..... so no plans to look around Santiago unfortunately. Appreciate the suggestion though.

- Matt
 
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Looks like some massive snow heading our way, accompanied by high winds! Could be some red flag days in the forecast, but hopefully at least some great powder inbounds - https://www.meteoblue.com/en/weather/week/nevados-de-chillán_chile_3895086. Could be a few meters of snow accompanied by some high winds. Looks like tomorrow might be our best chance to see the sun with this first group......

- Matt
 
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