Saturday, June 12, 2021

World's southernmost ski resort

 

What might be the world's southernmost ski resort? Internet claims that the answer is Cerro Castor, outside Ushuaia, on the southern end of Argentina. But, that is actually NOT the right answer. Glaciar Martial, a small ski slope in the city of Ushuaia is actually south of Cerro Castor. But wait, even that is NOT right. There's an even smaller ski slope, Club Andino Ushuaia, south of Glaciar Martial. Or is there?

Cerro Castor (website, wikipediaskiresort.info page) is a great, large ski resort with slopes covering high alpine region to the east of Ushuaia. They have 29 km of slopes. The resort base is at S 54.723416 W 68.018205, and the southernmost slope point appears to be S 54.724527 W 68.008713 on the "Avutarda" trail. See the trail map.

Glaciar Martial (website, skiresort.info page) is a one-lift operation right in Ushuaia. They have 5 km of slopes and 190m vertical. Although the 5km seems a bit suspect, I remember them having just one slope, which the trail map also seems to confirm. Eyeing the slope from the satellite map it seems like a bit over 1km. The base is at S 54.798732 W 68.370889, which is also the southernmost point on the one slope it has.

When Tero and I did our big Argentinian ski tour, we visited both Cerro Castor and Glaciar Martial. When we were departing Ushuaia, on our way to the airport, we saw. a third ski slope on the mountains, Club Andiano. And were bummed! 

Club Andiano Ushuaia (website, skiresort.info page) is even smaller than Glaciar Martial. Per skiresort.info they have only one 0.5 km slope and 190 m vertical. There's a sort of a trail map (maybe) here. The south end of lift track appears to be at S 54.812530 W 68.351065.

So the right answer is Club Andiano. THAT is the southermost ski resort or slope in the world! And I have not skied there, despite being in Ushuaia. Grr!

But, skiresort.info says "The ski resort has shut down and skiing is no longer possible". Hmm. So is it still open? The Club Andiano website does talk about this year, but... it is difficult to see evidence of them actually operating the alpine ski parts of their operation. All information about skiing classes seems to indicate Cerro Castor as the location. So what's the story?

Google maps pictures seem to indicate a ski slope next to the lift towers, but growing with trees. So maybe that's the conclusion, then? But it would sure be nice to know what the actual situation is. Does someone know? Any locals?

One could perhaps claim that Cerro Castor is the southernmost ski *resort* while Glaciar Martial is the southermost ski *slope* or local ski hill. And that Club Andiano *was* the southernmost ski slope but is no longer.

And Tero I have visited what appears to be currently the world's most southern ski hill. But at the time we visited it, we missed visiting the one that actually was the most southern one back then. Hmm. Well, if I ever get to go to Ushuaia again, I will make sure to climb the Club Andiano slope just for safety's sake :-)

Note: Obviously, there's skiing more south, all the way to the south pole. But there are no ski resorts, organized ski slopes, or ski lifts.

Pictures from Cerro Castor:









Pictures from Glaciar Martial:





Pictures from Ushuaia:






This article has also been published at TGR. Read the full Planetskier series at planetskier.net, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2012 and 2021 by Jari Arkko and Tero Kivinen.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Solamäki tour

Kari Vierinen organizes nature appreciation walks in Siuntio, and he called me to join their walk to the Solamäki caves in Siuntio. It was a very nice experience, particularly with the new information about paintings in the cave that Kari was able to tell us about.

I was here to look at the cave, and meet others interested in the cave. But the Solamäki caves were one of the early cave maps that I had drawn, and the map needed an update. I was able to take a few measurements to update the map. And, armed with the new iPhone LiDAR, I also recorded a 3D model of the cave.

The caves are in coordinates N 60.28260 E 24.29597. There's actually a main cave, a side crack cave few meters to the side of the main cave lower entrance, and few smaller caves around the cliff. There's also a separate boulder cave that we discovered on this trip, and previously discovered small shelter cave and boulder cave in the forest at the top of the cliff. 

Kari introduced us to the cave paintings in the cave. They are reportedly 100-200 years old, not ancient, but still very interesting! I had not seen them before:

The new map can be seen below, or in more high resolution in PDF here.

The 3D model of the main cave be downloaded here or rotated on your browser screen here. Below is a snapshot of how the model looks like (as a static picture).

The 3D model of the arcing crack cave be downloaded here or rotated on your browser screen here. Below is a snapshot of how the model looks like.

We also passed by a boulder cave, maybe 1.5 meters long, downhill from main cave in coordinates E 60.283138 E 24.295684.



Main cave entrance:

This article has also been published at TGR. Read more urban exploration stories from theurbanexplorer.net, and other underground stories from planetcaver.net. Read the full Planetskier series at planetskier.net, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos and text (c) 2021 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

June and the Grani hill is still going strong

 

It is June 6th, and Grani ski hill *still* has snow! Thanks go to the ski hill maintenance team who made and piled a lot of snow during the season.

This is definitely the most snow there ever has been in June, but quite possible the only time the snow has lasted until June. Not sure...  need to check that.




This article has also been published at TGR. Read the full Planetskier series at planetskier.net, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2021 by Jari Arkko.