Last week, some few inches of snow were forecasted for Las Leñas. Surprisingly, the storm was much bigger and left more than 20’’. Locals and lucky tourists enjoyed some nice powder turns for a couple of days. But heat, sunshine and wind started to melt and blew away all the good white stuff. On Saturday, the same forecast said that another snowfall was heading to the Andean resort; expected snow was of 20’’ between Sunday and Monday. This time, forecast was also wrong: the storm was very poor, and fallen snow wasn’t enough to accumulate.
Today, conditions were a little bit better than yesterday, but still not good. Specially considering that other South American resorts (Cerro Catedral, Chapelco, etc…) are experiencing an excellent season, with plenty of snow.
All lifts were opened, including the world’s famous TS Marte. Wind wasn’t bad, and sky was clear. If there is many people, it wasn’t noted in the queues.
On piste skiing was very good during the majority of the day. The Marte area (Apolo and Jupiter) was fast, allowing high-speed, carving turns. In the other side of the mountain (front side), Vulcano was acceptable. After investing a lot of money and working hard during summer months (Northern Hemisphere winter), Las Leñas is doing a great work in keeping key slopes with artificial snow.
So… what’s wrong then? As you can see in the photos, snow in Las Leñas is not enough. Lack of recent snowfalls has obliged ski patrol to close most of Las Leñas off piste skiing, including Ceñidor, Mercurio and Eduardo, some of the famous ones. The reason? Apparently, the snow is very packed, making it dangerous for skiing.
However, some few out-of-bounds itineraries are still possible. Cerro Martin and El Collar were opened for skiing today. No pow at all, but still fun.
As to conclude, conditions are far from good, but could still be worst. Snow is definitely needed in Las Leñas. Forecast (if can still be trusted) shows almost no new snow for the next 9 days. Sad… let’s see what happens. In the meantime, lets put on our carving skis and have some fun in the groomers.