Las Lenas: overrated

sgarlow

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We just got back from skiing at Las Lenas, and after having a hard time deciding where to go (Las Lenas, Portillo, Catedral, Chapelco), I figured I'd share our experience with other travelers. In a nutshell, I found Las Lenas overrated and overpriced.

To me, the only on-piste trails worth skiing are those off the Marte (I'm an expert skier, I was skiing with an intermediate the skier, who could handle all the terrain easily). The rest of the mountain is a crowded, boring beginner-intermediate resort (which I was surprised by because everything I read online makes it sound challenging). If there's good snow (which there wasn't this week) and you're an expert skier who can go off-piste (which was not most of the people there) then it might be fantastic. But if you're planning to stay on the marked trails, or you aren't guaranteed good conditions, then I thought the quality of the skiing was really disappointing.

I was also surprised how unwelcoming it is to day-trippers. Those who can afford to spend US$2200+ per person per week have access to their own hotel, so this doesn't apply to them. But there were hundreds of day-trippers each day, and Las Lenas has no sort of lodge/base area for them (aside from a crowded lockerroom as a cost of US$15/day). Definitely didn't feel worth the money (345 pesos for a one-day lift ticket).

I know there are people who are going to disagree with me, but I thought the reviews online painted an overly rosy picture of the resort, its services, and the skiing.

I wrote more here, for anyone who wants to read more about my reasoning: http://www.stephandben.com/2012/08/las-lenas-overrated-ski-resort.html
 

PhilipDT

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Every online review I've read paints it as a poorly run expensive resort which closes 95% of the terrain with the hint of a cloud. Yet that all of this is made worth it because when marte spins,it boasts the most incredible steep lift accessed terrain of any ski area in the world.

I've never seen a review suggest that it is the place to go if you want to ski groomers.
 

sgarlow

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Fair enough. I think you got a more accurate sense from the reviews than I did. I knew the off-piste was a big draw, but didn't realize how lackluster the rest of the mountain was. I was also surprised by how much of an ordeal seemed to be involved in going off-piste (not that it applied without snow) — responsibility waiver, avalanche beacon, rescue at your own cost. The previous time I skied in the Andes, you could easy venture off to the side of a groomed trail, be in fresh powder, and end up back at a lift, without risking an avalanche or having to hike.
 
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