Tormentas de Portillo ~ Don Frank Coffey, Avalanchista de Portillo

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Avalanchista, Don Frank Coffey right, in a momento tranquilo  years ago with Don Rōbert at Tio Bob’s, Portillo Chile

Hey amigo
They say that El Nino is weakening…..don’t believe everything you read! Portillo just got smacked by one of the biggest storms I have seen in central Chile. 3 meters(10 feet) fell in 48 hours in a storm that ended yesterday morning. The avalanche danger was extreme. Buildings and lifts in Portillo were struck by avalanches during the storm. To date we don’t know the extent of the damage. We do know that the base of the Las Lomas lift was hit by an avalanche whose start zone is nearly 4,500 feet above the base area. This was the first time in the history of the Las Lomas chair lift that it’s base station has been hit. See attached photo.

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The Ski Box, the mountain restaurant at the base area, was also blasted. The international highway that accesses Portillo is closed, probably for days. Henry and Miguel Purcell are eager to get up to the resort. We may try to helicopter out of Santiago tomorrow.
We are scheduled to open June 18. It’s going to be an amazing opening!
Un abrazo grande
Paquito

Director of Snow Safety and Helicopter Skiing Ski Portillo

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