Lonquimay Volcano South-SouthWest Access
Araucanía Region, Southern Andes. Malalcahuello National Reserve.
S -71.6048526763916 W- 38.38963888059368
If a longer approach and skiing South face oriented slopes sounds like a good plan, don't skip this route. This area is not visited by many skiers during winter, however, it's remarkably known by its snow cross loading due to the usual winds in the area. Whereas the powder in the east face gets more sun radiation and higher temperatures throughout the day, south facing aspects can keep those stashes in excellent quality for longer and this is the place where you might find it. Ideal for experienced backcountry travellers, watch out for windslabs. From Corralco, traverse to the NW to the saddle between the volcano and the North End of "Sierra El Colorado" also known as "El Coloradito". Once there gain more elevation towards the volcano before removing your skins and begin the West traverse on the skirts of the volcano.
You will slowly loose elevation, crossing 2-3 wide gullies (formed by ancient running lava) depending on your conditions/traversing skills you might even cross 5, 60% chances that you will find icy patches in the windward side of those gullies, however if you are lucky and the snow is icy and grippy you might even get just a few hundred meters below the saddle by “Cerros de Huamachuco”, from here put those skins back and complete the crossing of Huamachuco towards the beginning of the uphill.
In case of EMERGENCY (or if your GPS or satellite phone does not work) you can go try to get Movistar signal with your mobile phone from:
Cerros de Huamachuco (aim for Latitude -38.4084, Longitude -71.6081)
… or if you are closer to the West shoulder as seen from this south face climb up (aiming to Lat -38.3867, Longitude -71.6102) where if in direct signal with Curacautin (next city to the West) you get 3G connectivity.
Always ask the local guides for conditions, every once in a while we get that rain event that freezes overnight + wind cycle that turns the traverse in mix of ice, some snow and thick volcanic rocky-sand not really enjoyable for such approach.