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North 40 Realty 
164 E Deloney
Jackson, WY 83001
Office phone - (307) 733-4959
Cell phone - (307) 413-4959  (Andy)
Cell phone - (307) 690-8996  (Bob)

Andy Chambers
307-413-4959  (mobile)

Bob Peters
Partner/Associate Broker
307-690-8996  (mobile)

Thank you for visiting our site.  Jackson Hole is a magical place and we would like to help you own a part of it.

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Video of crazy windstorm at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on 3-30-2010

Skiing JH Backcountry 1-19-2011:

Portillo, Chile - August 2011

My First Trip to Portillo!

I guess this will be backwards in terms of chronology. Due to the way my new iPad works, I have to post the most recent stuff first. August 3, 2011: 5:45pm EDT Just sitting in Atlanta airport for three more hours waiting for our overnight flight to Santiago. With any luck, we will be in Chile in about 12 hours. Can't wait!

My wife and I and several Jackson Hole friends are going to spend this coming week skiing in Portillo.  It will be the first time there for all of us, so we're really excited.  Their season started off with practically no snow, but they've been getting some fairly good storms the last few weeks with more predicted through this week.  It could be setting up to be pretty good skiing.

I plan to update this site daily with reports about Santiago, the road to Portillo (which is closed a lot when it snows), and the resort itself.  I'll post a lot of photos and some video if I can figure out how to do it from there.

I hope you'll keep checking this page over the next ten days or so...


Well, it turned out that I couldn't figure out how to edit this site while using my new iPad, so these updates are coming after we've returned home.  Sorry for the lack of daily progress during the trip, but hopefully this will make up for it.

Sunday, August 7:  Our First Day of Actual Skiing...

Well, it's been a struggle but we finally made it. We were stuck in Santiago in Saturday because the road to Portillo was closed due to new snow.

This morning, the shuttle service called our hotel to say that we probably wouldn't make it today either. Then, we got a call at 11am saying the road was going to open for a brief window to get hotel guests in and out. We hustled our stuff together and jumped in the vans.

Here is the highway leaving Santiago with rain falling:

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

Because the road was closed to all traffic but the hotel, we passed MILES of trucks parked along the highway waiting for it to reopen.

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

Here we are coming to the exit for Portillo. We had to go through an army checkpoint and prove we had hotel reservations.

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

At the bottom of the 32 switchbacks that lead up the final pass to the resort, we had to sto and put chains on the vans. Now here is an interesting fact: that guy helping put chains in the left front tire just happens to be Mike Rogan. He is the General Manager of the Portillo resort. We thanked him and headed up the hill, amazed that the big boss would be out grubbing in the muck helping guests get to the resort. The GM at Jackson Hole wouldn't be caught dead doing something as menial (or IMPORTANT) as that.

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

Avalanche shed:

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

This is what greeted us as we finally pulled into the hotel at 4pm:

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

They have had close to a meter and a half of snow since Friday. We got checked in just in time to make four runs on the little chairlift near the hotel. The light was flat as could be, but we were skiing great, fluffy boot top powder. In Portillo! Eureka.

We don't know what will be open tomorrow as they need to do avi control everywhere. Whatever is open, it should be great.

I can't begin to describe how cool the vibe is here. Everybody - from old farts like me to little kids - is just oozing enthusiasm for skiing. There are languages and accents from all over the world. The staff is friendly and engaged, and the whole facility is incredible.

MONDAY, August 8: Our first full day of skiing:

It snowed through the night with about another 12cm of snow. Here was the view out my hotel window when I woke up at 7am:


We skied the little lift for about two hours while they did avi control. Saw a couple of fair-sized skiffs but nothing huge. Here is one of the sluffs:


They opened the quad That leads to the Plateau and Tio Bob's around 11am. It was all untracked, but I have to say it was a powder frenzy that would have looked completely at home at Alta. The lift lines were very short, but the slopes got completely clobbered within 2.5 hrs. We had some GREAT powder skiing during that time, but I didn't get all that many photos because our crew wasn't about to slow down to let me set up photos. Here are the best I could do:




About the time the main lift got totally tracked, they opened the Condor slingshot lift. It was our first time riding a lift like that and believe me, it's a hoot:


That kept us going for another hour or so. Then we did lunch,


The sun came out and this was the view from our lunch table at the hotel:


Up the quad after lunch, four pairs of Head skis on the chair...


Here is the avi control helicopter returning to the base after working most of the day on the Roca Jack side of the mountain. Hopefully that means more terrain for tomorrow.


We finished off the day with beers and Pisco Sours at Tio Bob's and skied to the bottom at 4:45pm:


I'm tired now and going to bed.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 9: Lake Run... WOW!

While all the obvious and easy powder is long gone, some adventurous traversing led to great pockets all over the mountain.

Bright blue skies and sun all day. We got some great runs on the Roca Jack/CaraCara side first thing in the morning. Then some locals told us the Lake Run was going to open, so we bolted over there and were among the very first to ski it down to the lake. That run is absolutely breathtaking in its beauty.

We skied it until the sun warmed it too much by around 1:30. Then had lunch on the deck at Tio Bob's and spent the afternoon skiing the Condor and LV slingshot lifts. Found lots of untracked (but junky) snow and skied til we could hardly move.

Karen dropping down Laguna Run toward Lake of the Incas:

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

Dave doing the same:

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

Afternoon sun-caused avalanche on the peaks across the lake. We could hear this one:

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

A fox that came by Tio Bob's:

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

Afternoon snow:

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr


WEDNESDAY, August 10: All Over The Mountain...

More sun and blue skies. Hard snow in the morning, softening with the sun.

Speaking of the sun, I have to admit that while I was able to quickly conceptualize the water turning the "wrong" direction when it drains out of a bathtub in the southern hemisphere, the whole idea of having the sun to the NORTH of you during the day is proving to be very hard for me to internalize. I'm having a very hard time standing on a ski slope with the sun at my back and understanding that I am looking SOUTH. Trippy!

Today, we did more exploring off the CaraCara slingshot. A sketchy traverse led to some very nice remnant powder on the southwest aspect of some ridge lines.

Here's a case where the camera is flattening the perspective a huge amount. It's not that these slopes are insanely steep, but the camera really doesn't give an accurate feel for how much pitch there is on some of these runs:


Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr


Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr


Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

This is the chairlift ride up the Juncarillo chair. It goes over the top of the switchbacks on the highway to the top of the pass. I've never ridden a chair over the top of major truck traffic, so I thought this was really cool:

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

Trucks under my feet:

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr


Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

Instructor and client getting ready to drop into Gargantua run. We skied this three times in powder on Monday:

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

Lunch at Tio Bob's:

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

Random afternoon skiing:

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

Slingshot lift operator:

Untitled by BobPetersJH, on Flickr

Skiing off the LV slingshot:



Thursday, August 11: Another BEAUTIFUL Day:


What a great trip!!!  I don't know how our inaugural South American ski trip could have ended up much better.


It's sad to not be skiing anymore, but I'm glad we're back in the US now and I'm at a keyboard rather than a "mobile device", so I can type and edit and post again.  


These photos are from Thursday.  We hiked up the shoulder of a ridgeline to the west of the CaraCara slingshot lift and caught some really, really good remnant powder.  Here's the group heading up the slope (and many thanks to James from upstate New York who was breaking the trail):




This hike was the point at which my camera battery crapped out.  I *thought* I had put a charged battery in the camera that morning, but halfway up the boot track I realized that the camera was incommunicado.  I could go on at great length to describe how outstanding the snow was from there, but you wouldn't believe me, so never mind.


What's really interesting about these photos is how FLAT the photos make the terrain look.  I've hiked a booter or two in my day, and this one was damned steep.  We were using our hands to help stay upright in a couple of spots.  Anyway, after the run I was able to warm the camera up enough to get this shot of what we skied.  You can make out the boot track going up to the highest skied point in the photo (and you can make out three other skiers who followed our boot), and my tracks are the ones to looker's right of the boot track.




Unfortunately, I didn't get any more photos the rest of that day.  That afternoon was the weekly ski race for hotel guests, so we all raced and just skied around the mountain in the afternoon.


Friday, August 12: Tracks and Torchlights:


Friday was another beautiful, sunny day.  The temperature was a little cooler than the day before, so the tracked-out snow seemed to have lightened up a little in some places.


By this time, we had established a bit of a pattern. We would start at 9am on the Juncalillo chairlift.  That would be the sunniest spot early in the morning, and practically ZERO people would be out on that lift before about 10:30am.  Juncalillo run was groomed to perfect corduroy every night, and it has a lot of little rolls and terrain features, so it was really fun to just fly down that run early in the morning.


One of those doing the flying was a world-famous skier.  Five-time overall World Cup ski racing champion Marc Girardelli was in Portillo hosting a corporate outing, and I'm nearly certain that this is him on Juncalillo:




Part of the overall experience of Portillo is the fact that hot skiers from all over the world come there.  The ski teams aren't there yet, but they will be there doing race training very soon (about 2 more weeks).  Big-mountain-skiing god Chris Davenport and goddess Kim Reichelm were both there with camp groups.  


There was also a company filming while we were there.  Here's some athlete being filmed dropping off the roof of the hotel right outside my room:






The company is Sweetgrass Productions. One night at the hotel they showed an incredible movie about skiing in the Hokkaido, Japan.  The movie is called Signatures and it's truly beautiful.  EpicSki member Jim, who is ski instructing at Portillo this season (and provided me with the only truly reliable beta on the snow conditions prior to our trip) is an instructor in Hokkaido during the winter.  They get more snow there than any ski resort in the world.  It looks like a place you would have to put on your bucket list.  


They are also finishing up filming and production of a new movie about skiing (backcountry skiing, snowboarding, and telemark) all over South America.  The film is titled "Solitaire" and they played the trailer for us.  You have got to check this out:



On Friday nights, the ski school does a torchlight parade down to the hotel from the top of the Plateau chairlift.  Apparently, out little group from Jackson Hole made some sort of impression on the powers that be and we were invited to join the parade.  I've done a few of those at Jackson Hole, but most of our group had never done such a thing, so it was a big thrill for everybody.


Here are a couple of playing-around time-exposure shots I took while we were waiting to go up the lift in the dark...


This one is of the pool and hot tub outside the hotel.  It's kind of neat because you can see the moonlight on the mountainside above and to the left of the lake in the background:




The base of the chairlift:




EpicSki member Jim in his Portillo Ski School uniform waiting to go up:




Our group with the hotel in the background:




Lighting torches:




On the way down, following the guy carrying the Chilean flag:




It was really a good time.


Tomorrow - our last day of skiing.

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