Entre Rios, Las Leñas, Argentina

Las Leñas has some of the best easily accessible backcountry terrain in the world. You take the Marte chairlift and so many opportunities await you that it can keep you busy for years. At the back of the resort there are three very prominent peaks begging to be skied; Cerro Martin, Entre Rios and Cerro Torrecillas. For many Entre Rios is their favourite. I skied it in the summer of 2013.

In 2009 I had visited Las Leñas as well and skied Cerro Torrecillas together with Bert, a Dutch guy I had met in a hostel in Mendoza. While I took a day rest the following day, Bert skied a line down Entre Rios. I thought I would ski it somewhere the coming days but that never happened. Ever since I kept thinking about skiing down from the top of Entre Rios. I simply had to go back to Las Leñas!

In 2013 I was traveling for a long time with my skis as best friends. Of course I visited the freeride capital of the Southern hemisphere. It was one of the worst snow seasons they had ever witnessed in this part of the Andes. However, I still managed to find an opportunity to ski one of the best lines of Las Leñas: E-dream. In my dreams I would ski it in deep powder, in real life I had to settle for second prize: good corn snow!

beautiful Entre Rios is right in the backyard of Las Leñas, E-dream is the red line

beautiful Entre Rios is right in the backyard of Las Leñas, E-dream is the red line

E-dream is named after a guy who had a dream too. According to Thomas Perren, the author of a book about offpiste skiing in Las Leñas) this run was first skied by Esteban, the guy who skied the line of his dreams. Therefore the name, E-dream. Now it was my turn to ski the line I had in my mind for four years after seeing it for the first time in 2009. I skinned the first part and hoped for a free chairlift later on since they usually don´t check your lift ticket on that lift. After one hour I arrived at the Marte chairlift and managed to get the free ride. I quickly skied to the bottom of Entre Rios where I put on the skins again. Halfway up Cerro Negro (the mountain on the left side of Entre Rios) my skins turned out to be useless. An intense bootpack awaited me. Around 1,5 hours later I arrived at the top of Cerro Entre Rios at 3800 meters. I was exhausted but the views made everything worthwhile and the skiing had yet to come!

E-dream as seen from the top of Entre Rios

E-dream as seen from the top of Entre Rios

Once I was sort of recovered from the ascend, I walked around on the ridge to both enjoy the view and look for my entry into the chute. The snow looked good and time had come to enjoy some of the best skiing Las Leñas has to offer. The entrance is 45+ degrees so concentration was needed. After maybe 100 meters the angle decreases a bit before it steepens in the final corridor. The left side, as seen from a skiers´point of view, is mostly in the shadow and therefore consists of relatively hard and compact but still skiable snow whereas the right side had some great springsnow. Because of the inclination snow followed me all the way down. This is referred to as sluff. I had to be careful everytime I made the transition from the compact snow to springsnow or vice versa. Considering it hadn´t snowed for two weeks I couldn´t complain at all about conditions. It must be an absolutely amazing run in powdersnow though. The P-dream…

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