It’s Friday, September 15, 2006. I’m in Termas de Chillán, Chile, about six hours south of Santiago. Got in late last night, and rode half-day today (for 30 bucks). There’s still some good snow and powder on south-facing slopes (remember, Southern Hemisphere), but the rest of the mountain is set up, textured snow, or slush (papa in Spanish).

A little hike can get you to some deep slashes and most of the cornice landings are shady and soft. I’m staying at the MI Lodge in Las Trancas, about ten minutes down the road from the Termas base area. Spring is here, and the valley is turning green. Tomorrow I’ll hike for more turns—maybe to the crater of the volcano.

If you’re still planning to come down this season, you’ll be riding late spring conditions. There’s no real park or pipe here, so plan to hike for some lines or ride corn snow on the mountain.

This weekend is a big one in Chile. The eighteenth is Chilean Independence Day, like the Fourth of July. It’ll be hard to find a place to stay anywhere in the resort areas and even in smaller towns.

Still pretty fun riding down here, though. The snow is quite a bit better than at the Santiago-area resorts.