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Valle Nevado Opens
Valle Nevado opened this past Friday, the same day a storm-front moved into the mountains. By Saturday evening, the wind abated, and snow started to fall more moderately. All told the storm dropped a foot of fresh powder. Sunday's forecast had called for mostly clouds with some afternoon sun. Fortunately for me that forecast was off. Sunday was a bluebird powder day and great for snowboarding.


  byBrian Passikoff, June 15, 2003

The powder was phenomenal. With the mountain open to the top of the AndesExpress chair, the majority of runs were open. Given the superb conditions and weather, a large number of Santiago residents made the short drive to the mountain. Valle Nevdo has such an extensive and efficient lift network, and so much terrain was open, that crowds and lines were not a problem.

My initial itinerary was to the top of the aforementioned AndesExpress high-speed quad. By the time I made it to the summit at 11 am, there were already some tracks in the powder. It was nothing to worry about, however, as fresh powder lines were still everywhere. After snowboarding some new tracks under the lift, I traversed to the ridge on the snowboarder's right. There I found even more freshies!

By late morning the patrol opened the backside gate. The powder, like under the AndesExpress lift, was excellent. Unfortunately I missed the catwalk back to base of the Prado lift. That, though, was not a problem. The new white stuff was worth the 20-minute hike with my board back to the Valle Nevado base. After lunch I headed back to do loops under the AndesExpress. This I continued until the lifts closed at 5pm. The powder was that amazing!

Before the latest storm, Valle had already received approximately 80 cm of snow. For opening weekend, this makes for a good base. Snow-wise the front side of the mountain is in good shape. The backside (Tres Puntas) has taken the brunt of the wind, and therefore will have a delayed opening. Nevertheless, I would expect Tres Puntas to open soon. Valle Nevado is off to a great start this season!


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