Las Leñas is a ski resort in Argentina, located in the western part of Mendoza Province. It has reliable powder snow and climate for extreme and off-piste skiing. Construction of the ski center began January 1983, and by July 1983, it opened with a 300 bed hotel.[1][2] The ski area has a good diversity of slopes ranging from very easy to extreme, including a good range of off-piste areas apt for extreme skiing. The skiable area base starts at an altitude of 2,240 m above mean sea level (7,350 feet) and goes up to 3,430 m (11,253 ft) for a total drop of 1,190 m (3,904 ft). The skiable surface amounts to 2.3 km2 (1 sq mi), with 27 runs and a maximum non-stop skiable distance of 7 km (4 mi) (not including off run alternatives). The total ski area reachable by land is the largest in South America.[3] It currently houses Piscis Hotel, the highest casino by elevation in the world.[4][5]

Las Leñas
View of the valley
View of the valley
LocationMendoza, Cuyo, Argentina
Coordinates35°08′49″S 70°04′52″W / 35.146888°S 70.081139°W / -35.146888; -70.081139
Vertical1,190 m (3,900 ft)
Top elevation3,430 m (11,250 ft)
Base elevation2,240 m (7,350 ft)
Skiable area17,500 hectares (43,000 acres)
Runs40
Verde.png  Green - 15%
Azul.png  Blue - 45%
Solid red.png  Red - 35%
Negro.png  Black - 5%
Longest run7 km (4.3 mi)
Lift system14
Lift capacity9,500/hour
Snowmaking30 cannons
WebsiteLas Leñas

The skiing season usually lasts from mid June to mid October; however, recent seasons have ended as early as mid-September. The center is also open during the southern hemisphere summer for mountain activities including mountain biking, horse riding, climbing and other activities.

The ski center includes a ski and snowboard school for all ages and childcare facilities. Specific workshops are also offered at the school to profit from the huge expanses of off-piste runs offered by the area.

The accommodations available on-site include hotels (mostly up-scale), apartment hotels and sleep houses. There is a small shopping center that includes a bank, ski-related shops, chocolate shops, souvenir shops, and a supermarket. Coffee houses, restaurants, and night clubs complete the town's commercial center.

Far away from large cities, the center is seldom crowded except during weekends, making the lines on the lifts usually shorter than in other ski centers of Argentina.

Las Leñas hosted men's Downhill events for the 1986 and 1987 Alpine Skiing World Cup, women's Downhill and Super-G events in 1990 and the only Winter Pan American Games in 1990.[6]

Geographic locationEdit

Las Leñas is located 1,200 km (750 mi) from Buenos Aires, and can be reached by car, bus or airplane. Aeroplanes make use of the Comodoro D. Ricardo Salomón Airport close to Malargüe, some 95 km from Las Leñas, and the Suboficial Aytes Germano Airport near San Rafael (regular domestic flights) where buses make the connection with Las Leñas.

The road to Las Leñas is paved and seldom blocked by snow, although bad weather or poor surface conditions can sometimes lead to its being temporarily closed by the Gendarmería (border guards). Vehicles are required to use snow chains unless they are equipped with appropriate tires for snow and ice.

ElevationEdit

  • Base: 2,240 m
  • Mid-mountain: 2,835 m
  • Top: 3,430 m
  • Vertical drop: 1,230 m

ClimateEdit

The climate in Las Leñas is Mediterranean Highland (Köppen Dsb), with very dry summers and very snowy winters.

Climate data for Valle Hermoso, elevation: 2293 m (1961–1976)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 28.5
(83.3)
28.0
(82.4)
27.7
(81.9)
24.3
(75.7)
22.0
(71.6)
15.9
(60.6)
17.0
(62.6)
18.8
(65.8)
20.1
(68.2)
19.8
(67.6)
28.0
(82.4)
27.1
(80.8)
28.5
(83.3)
Average high °C (°F) 21.0
(69.8)
20.7
(69.3)
19.0
(66.2)
16.0
(60.8)
9.1
(48.4)
3.4
(38.1)
3.3
(37.9)
3.5
(38.3)
6.2
(43.2)
8.3
(46.9)
13.8
(56.8)
17.5
(63.5)
11.8
(53.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 14.0
(57.2)
13.3
(55.9)
11.1
(52.0)
8.3
(46.9)
3.2
(37.8)
−1.4
(29.5)
−2.2
(28.0)
−2.0
(28.4)
0.4
(32.7)
3.0
(37.4)
7.9
(46.2)
11.2
(52.2)
5.6
(42.1)
Average low °C (°F) 6.6
(43.9)
5.9
(42.6)
3.7
(38.7)
1.6
(34.9)
−1.7
(28.9)
−5.3
(22.5)
−6.7
(19.9)
−6.6
(20.1)
−4.7
(23.5)
−2.2
(28.0)
1.8
(35.2)
4.4
(39.9)
−0.3
(31.5)
Record low °C (°F) −1.0
(30.2)
−2.9
(26.8)
−9.6
(14.7)
−9.0
(15.8)
−17.8
(0.0)
−17.0
(1.4)
−22.0
(−7.6)
−21.6
(−6.9)
−19.5
(−3.1)
−16.6
(2.1)
−8.2
(17.2)
−9.1
(15.6)
−22.0
(−7.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 6.6
(0.26)
10.1
(0.40)
13.5
(0.53)
27.3
(1.07)
162.9
(6.41)
249.6
(9.83)
185.3
(7.30)
93.1
(3.67)
65.1
(2.56)
55.4
(2.18)
14.6
(0.57)
5.7
(0.22)
889.2
(35.01)
Source: Servicio Meteorológico Nacional[7]


International eventsEdit

Winter Pan American GamesEdit

In 1987 members of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) determined that the first Winter Pan American Games should take place in Las Leñas, Argentina in 1989 and be held every four years thereafter, but the lack of snow forced the inaugural Games to be postponed until 1990. The first Winter Pan American Games were held from September 16 to 22, with 97 athletes from eight nations participating: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and United States. The Games consisted of six events for only one sport, Alpine Skiing, with three disciplines: Slalom, Giant slalom and Super-G.

 
The participant nations of the first and only Winter Pan American Games, held in Las Leñas.
RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1  United States (USA)42511
2  Canada (CAN)2417
3  Argentina (ARG)0000
  Bolivia (BOL)0000
  Brazil (BRA)0000
  Chile (CHI)0000
  Colombia (COL)0000
  Mexico (MEX)0000
Totals (8 nations)66618

Alpine Skiing World CupEdit

On August 16 and 18, 1985 Las Leñas became the first Argentine ski resort to host an event for the International Ski Federation's Alpine Skiing World Cup. The first two Men's Downhill races of the 1985-86 season were held in Mendoza and the results were as follows:

Place Name Country Total Points 1  2 
1 Karl Alpiger    Switzerland 50 25 25
2 Markus Wasmeier   West Germany 25 10 15
3 Helmut Höflehner   Austria 24 15 9
4 Doug Lewis   United States 21 20 1
5 Bruno Kernen    Switzerland 13 8 5
6 Daniel Mahrer    Switzerland 11 - 11
Franck Piccard   France 11 11 -
8 Rudolf Huber   Austria 10 - 10
Peter Müller    Switzerland 10 (12) 20
9 Gerhard Pfaffenbichler   Austria 8 - 8
10 Stefan Niederseer   Austria 6 - 6
11 Pirmin Zurbriggen    Switzerland 7 7 -
Todd Brooker   Canada 7 3 4
13 Atle Skårdal   Norway 5 5 -
14 Giorgio Piantanida   Italy 3 - 3
15 Harti Weirather   Austria 2 - 2
16 Werner Marti    Switzerland 1 1 -
17 Anton Steiner   Austria (2) (2) -
18 Peter Wirnsberger   Austria (3) (9) (12)
19 Franz Heinzer    Switzerland (4) (4) -
20 Marc Girardelli   Luxembourg (13) (6) (7)

The following year Las Leñas held again the first two Men's Downhill races of the 1986-87 season, this time on August 15 and 16, 1986. The results were as follows:

Place Name Country Total Points 1  2 
1 Peter Müller    Switzerland 40 25 15
2 Leonhard Stock   Austria 31 11 20
3 Franz Heinzer    Switzerland 30 15 15
4 Marc Girardelli   Luxembourg 18 12 6
5 Peter Wirnsberger   Austria 16 8 8
6 Pirmin Zurbriggen    Switzerland 15 (10) 25
7 Karl Alpiger    Switzerland 10 20 (10)
8 Sepp Wildgruber   West Germany 9 9 -
Igor Cigolla   Italy 9 2 7
10 Erwin Resch   Austria 5 5 -
Helmut Höflehner   Austria 5 - 5
Markus Wasmeier   West Germany 5 (6) 11
13 Atle Skårdal   Norway 4 4 -
Anton Steiner   Austria 4 - 4
15 Danilo Sbardellotto   Italy 3 3 -
Alberto Ghidoni   Italy 3 - 3
17 Gustav Oehrli    Switzerland 1 1 -
Stefan Niederseer   Austria 1 (1) 2
19 Daniel Mahrer    Switzerland (16) (7) (9)

The Alpine Skiing World Cup was once again held in Las Leñas for the 1989-90 season. This time the events that took place in Argentina were the Women's Downhill (Race 1), on August 8, and Women's Super G (Race 2), on August 9. Once again both races started the season. The results were as follows:

Place Name Country Total Points 1  2 
1 Michaela Gerg   West Germany 31 25 6
2 Anita Wachter   Austria 25 - 25
3 Michela Figini    Switzerland 22 12 10
Petra Kronberger   Austria 22 7 15
Cathy Chedal   France 22 2 20
6 Regine Mösenlechner   West Germany 21 9 12
7 Heidi Zeller    Switzerland 20 20 -
Veronika Wallinger   Austria 20 15 5
9 Carole Merle   France 14 10 4
Karin Dedler   West Germany 14 6 8
11 Catherine Quittet   France 12 - 12
12 Maria Walliser    Switzerland 11 11 -
13 Deborah Compagnoni   Italy 9 - 9
14 Barbara Sadleder   Austria 8 8 -
15 Edith Thys   United States 7 - 7
16 Sabine Ginther   Austria 5 5 -
17 Stefanie Schuster   Austria 4 4 -
Claudine Emonet   France 4 4 -
18 Vreni Schneider    Switzerland 3 - 3
19 Heidi Zurbriggen    Switzerland 2 - 2
20 Lucie Laroche   Canada 1 - 1
Kristi Terzian   United States 1 - 1

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Times, The New York (7 December 2012). "12 Months of Skiing, From Chile to China". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  2. ^ "Overview page for Las Leñas". OnTheSnow.com.
  3. ^ Nelson, Janet (20 August 1989). "Choice of Slopes in South America". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  4. ^ "Las Lenas Ski Resort -- Argentina, South America". laslenasvacations.com. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  5. ^ Gross, Matt (2006-07-09). "Chasing Snow South in Argentina". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  6. ^ Lochner, Bob (1989-03-25). "Skiing : Skiers Are Running Out Before the Snow Does". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  7. ^ "Características de las precipitaciones orográficas de invierno sobre los Andes Subtropicales Centrales" (PDF) (in Spanish). Servicio Meteorológico Nacional. Retrieved March 13, 2018.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 35°08′51″S 70°04′58″W / 35.1476°S 70.0828°W / -35.1476; -70.0828