PATAGONIA

Patagonia is one of the most amazingly remote adventure zones on the planet. The high Andean chain stretches all the way through South America and terminates in the deep South of Patagonia. This is where well over a million acres of essentially unexplored mountains on the Chilean side of the border await you (and your helicopter, and your skis!)

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LODGING and PACKAGES: The magnificent Mitico Puelo Lodge couldn’t be more stunningly situated. This will be your home for the week, right where the renown fly fishing river Rio Puelo enters the depths of Lago Tagua Tagua, a magnificent turquoise lake surrounded by mountains. This classic Chilean fishing lodge provides you a luxury retreat on the Patagonian frontier. Packages are generally all-inclusive, though certain side activities may cost extra.

  • Length of Trips: Packages are generally 7 nights and 7 days, running Sat-Sat. There are opportunities for different length stays with private custom groups; contact me to discuss this.
  • Group Size: We keep this trip private–only 8-12 guests per week! If you have a larger group, contact me to discuss how it might work.
  • Cost: Contact me directly to talk about package costs.
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TRAVEL: Travel to this Patagonia adventure is via the Chilean capitol of Santiago (SCL) and then a short regional flight to Puerto Montt (PMC). I recommend having a day or two on either end of your trip to explore. We will work with you to identify the best flight to coordinate with your week at the lodge. We can arrange airport pickups and booking hotels in either Santiago or outside Puerto Montt in the beautiful town of Puerto Varas for the night(s) before your lodge experience begins. From Puerto Varas on Day 1, weather permitting, we can heli ski from Varas to the lodge. If the weather isn’t flyable, we will take the 2.5hr drive and 15-min ferry ride to the lodge.

VISA: Chile does not require a visa for US visitors.

SEASON: The heli ski season in Patagonia is essentially August and September.

BOOKING: These packages are amazing and the heli experience there is truly unique. When you combine that with a focus on small, intimate group sizes, the result is a pretty competitive booking process. Many dates book out a solid year in advance. Call me to talk about your ideal dates and what is available on the calendar for this coming season and the one following. Booking well ahead is the way to go here!

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TYPICAL DAY: When it’s time for lift-off, our helicopter will take you from the lodge base elevation of only 200 feet to high peaks pushing 8,000 feet (elevation of the peaks is much lower here than near Santiago). Your flight will take you through deep canyons, over lakes and glaciers, past rugged ridgelines and rocky spires. Upon touching down on your first run, you will be in awe of the scale and beauty of your surroundings, a sea of untouched mountains as far as the eye can see. Many areas will allow you the opportunity to claim first descents, as we pioneer new ski terrain in the unexplored expanses of Patagonia. As the day continues, we will name runs as we go, leaving a legacy that will outlast your photos and video footage.

TERRAIN AND SNOW QUALITY: The terrain in Patagonia is as good as it gets. We’re talking about well over a million acres of shapes made for skiing. We tailor our choice of terrain based on individual group ability levels and snowpack conditions. The terrain offers a bit of everything, from massive alpine bowls, seemingly endless glacier runs, steep technical descents and couloirs, to rolling powder pitches through subalpine meadows and some of the most exceptional tree skiing in South America. The amount of terrain to choose from seems limitless – there are dizzying layers of opportunity as we move deeper into the ranges. Individual runs tend to be in the 2,000 – 3,000 vertical feet range. The number of runs and total vertical groups ski in a given day and/or trip varies depending on a number of factors. We focus on delivering the best experience we can given current conditions.

HELI / GUIDE STAFF: I work with a truly awesome team of guides and pilots in Patagonia. The pilots are very experienced in the mountains who take the prime directive of “safety first” very seriously. We only fly in A-Star B3s or Bell 407s, which are the very best helicopters for small group heli skiing. When in Patagonia, I work with a small team of other guides and snow safety professionals; together we focus on safety and delivering the best possible experiences for our guests!

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SAFETY:  Safety is always my primary concern, regardless of location, and I’m very careful when it comes to choosing who I work with! In Patagonia, our team has top notch pilots, the best helicopters, and a very experienced local and North American guide staff. Together, we make safety the priority all day every day. When injuries do occur, guides have basic medical equipment in their backpacks, with more advanced medical equipment on the helicopter. In the unlikely case of serious injury in the field, we stop everything and focus on getting the injured party to an appropriate medical facility.

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