Portillo Update ~ Don Frank Coffey

Hey amigo
Four feet of new snow fell last week in a storm that ended Thursday morning. Gale force winds created super-sized cornices on the Ojos de Aqua summit ridge. These cornices sit over 4,000 feet above the base of two surface lifts that access some of Portillo’s best off-piste terrain. See two attached photos of the monster, two story cornice that was perched above the Roca Jack and Primera Quebrada. Flying at an altitude at about 13,600 feet we dropped 12 kilos of explosives out of our helicopter onto the beast. When the cornice dropped onto the slope below it, a size 3 avalanche was triggered (two photos attached). The 20 foot lift towers at the base of the Caracara lift were buried and the avalanche crossed the Juncalillo piste below the base of the lift. Monty Atwater would have been proud. One last photo taken two years ago of “Chico Chillan” Mora and me. “Chico” was my partner last Thursday. The guy is amazing! With helicopter door open at over 13,600 feet, he can light safety fuse with a match. Take care, hermano.
Un abrazo grande
Paco

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