Las Leñas

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Las Leñas
Las Leñas Mendoza Argentina by Andre Charland.jpg
Location Mendoza, Cuyo, Argentina
Skiable area 17,500 hectares (43,000 acres)
Runs 40
Verde.png  Green - 15%
Azul.png  Blue - 45%
Solid red.png  Red - 35%
Negro.png  Black - 5%
Lift system 14
Snowmaking 30 cannons

Las Leñas is one of the largest Andean ski resorts in Argentina, located in the western part of Mendoza Province, together with Cerro Catedral in San Carlos de Bariloche, Rio Negro province. It is well known for its powder snow, good climate and excellent opportunities for extreme and off-piste skiing. Construction of the ski center began January 1983, and by July 1983 it opened with a hotel of 300 beds.[1] 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 1,200 m (3,937 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.

The skiing season lasts from mid June to mid October although the lasts season they use to close in 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 commercial offer.

Being 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.

Geographic location[edit]

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.

Elevation[edit]

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

International events[edit]

Winter Pan American Games[edit]

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.
 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 4 2 5 11
2  Canada 2 4 1 7
 Argentina 0 0 0 0
 Bolivia 0 0 0 0
 Brazil 0 0 0 0
 Chile 0 0 0 0
 Colombia 0 0 0 0
 Mexico 0 0 0 0

Alpine Skiing World Cup[edit]

On August 16th and 18th, 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 1Argentina 2Argentina
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 15th and 16th, 1986. The results were as follows:

Place Name Country Total Points 1Argentina 2Argentina
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 1Argentina 2Argentina
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 also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]