Patagonia Backcountry Report: Touching the Sky in Volcano Land Casablanca Volcano, Chile

Aaron Rice | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

We woke up in our tents parked along the access road up to the Casablanca Volcano. The night had been perfectly clear with a quarter moon and great stargazing. The morning was crisp and clear. We had breakfast and a few cups of hot tea. South America is converting me to a tea with milk and sugar drinker.

We drove the short distance to the Antillanca ski area. The wind was nuking at 40-60kph sustained. We were a bit nervous but there was little cloud cover and no storms looked to be moving in.

We skinned up the ski area then took a summer road out to an old crater. From there we got our first view of Casablanca! What a peak!

Mark getting his first look at Casablanca

We skinned about halfway up still with crazy winds. We found a nice rock and sheltered there for a bit and had another cup of tea.

The snow was perfect corn and we were able to skin straight up to the summit. It remained windy, but eased off a bit in the afternoon and never threatened a storm.

Aaron skinning straight up

At the summit we had another cup of tea with stunning views of Tronador, Osorno, Puyehue, and other volcanoes.

Osorno and Puntiagundo in the distance
Osorno and Puntiagundo in the distance
Looking down from the top
Looking down from the top

Then we skied down! The perfectly smooth corn allowed for opening it up and making big GS turns.

Opening up and miking some big GS turns
Opening up and making some big GS turns

We skinned back up the back of the ski area and took one more bonus run back to the car!

Mark skinning up Casablanca
Mark skinning up Casablanca

Great weather and some mellow volcano skiing made for a spectacular day!

sunset across lago nahuel huapi on the way back home
Sunset across lago nahuel huapi on the way back home

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