Overall Rating

7 Lakes Off-Piste

7 Lakes Off-Piste4/54
7 Lakes Off-Piste4 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
  • Recommend
    75%
  • Would Revisit
    75%
Wagner Custom Skis

7 Lakes Off-Piste - Reviews

7 Lakes Off-Piste - Reviews

Unique and fun experience

Irene Co16/08/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    United States
  • Month:
    August
  • Admin Rating
    4

Unique and fun experience

Irene Co16/08/2019
If you’re reading reviews, you must consider if the person expressed stand-alone opinion or the person can compare to other tours. This tour was my first tour with Powderquest and second guided tour overall. Any group tour depends very much on the group and conditions. I was lucky to have a very fun group and snow conditions were good as well.

The tour included two resorts (+ hiking/sidecountry) and Mallin Alto/snowmobile experience. We had fun times on the snow and getting together afterwards. I think it is important to have correct expectations. Conditions can’t be controlled in advance. Our tour was 6 guests and 2 guides, so if the group has people who are very different in ability to ski/ride or hike/skin, it might be frustrating because it is hard to split such small group and the group will move as the slowest person does. I recommend getting to know the tour, specifically what you will be doing, before you sign up. It is also important to have some experience in what you’re signing up for. If you plan to hike/skin, you should do it at least a few times before. If you’re signing up for tour that marked “Advanced / Expert”, you must expect that people on such tour will be in good shape with a lot of riding/skiing experience. If you ride, you must expect that skiers will not wait for you and you have to be prepared to strap in fast, extend your poles, etc.

I liked the guides, choice of food, etc. You must expect that accommodations will be less than luxury unless you sign up for a tour that includes that. My best experience was skiing at Mallin Alto. Accommodations in the middle of the mountains, far from nearest town, are less than 5-star hotel. If you must take 30-min shower twice a day, you should skip this experience. Somebody mention that the tour is overpriced. I didn’t find it in comparison to other tour I took. I also want to mention that transportation arrangements were made in a very professional manner. We didn’t want for anything. I will be joining Powderquest again.

Another year, another PowderQuest Andes Experience

DAVE ROCKETMAN24/09/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    Australia
  • Month:
    August

Another year, another PowderQuest Andes Experience

DAVE ROCKETMAN24/09/2018
Looking forward to another trip
I’m a returning client for the second year.

Just like the previous trip, 7 Lakes Off-Piste met all my expectations. Working against a very challenging 2018 snow year, the local guides from PowderQuest executed their duties professionally and have an uncanning ability when to take such diverse ability group off-piste or stay resort bounds. I finished each day on a high note.

My trip involved travelling to a number of ski resorts whereby there were no issues with ground logistics. I especially appreciated such reliability when I’m in this part of the world. Local accommodations were well chosen, coupled with authentic local cuisine. Special thanks to the staff at Las Marianas in Bariloche for repairing my ski base.

Pre & post trip support by Suzi & Dave Owen were top-notch. Their responses to my queries were comprehensive & fast turn-around time.

I’ll stay in shape & look forward to another 2019 S.American skiing experience with PowerderQuest.

POWDERQUEST ANDES: FANTASTIC LIFE AFFIRMING BREAK

IAIN MACKINNON22/09/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    51-70
  • Ability
    Intermediate
  • Rider Type
    Snow Boarder
  • Country
    UK
  • Month:
    August

POWDERQUEST ANDES: FANTASTIC LIFE AFFIRMING BREAK

IAIN MACKINNON22/09/2018
On top of the World with the PowderQuest Guest and Team (I'm in white)
I was on the same trip as Jeffrey and had an absolutely wonderful experience. I personally think what is written is unfair and probably reflects the physical challenge this demanding tour makes of one.

I decided at 61 to find my inner youth and go snowboarding in the Andes for 3 weeks - with an off piste flavour. I found PowderQuest and then the outstanding Suzi took over. First she queried my age and fitness (politely and with humour). Then having made me promise to get fitter she took on the task of building what turned out to be the holiday of a life time - life affirming, life changing, and all because this team of people I met from PowderQuest treated me as a special if at times errant guest even when I thought the challenge might be too much and I was daily and hourly out of my comfort zone.

It started and ended with the quality of staff and their focus on each and every guest as an individual with different abilities and aspirations. I felt proud to have learnt something new every day and the staff were skilled enough to talk frankly about my age, my limited abilities and ambitious goals while always encouraging me to find that inner youth.

At one point mid holiday I doubted I could start the last week because of the physical and technical challenge it presented. Max, Maxi and Suzi took it upon themselves to talk me though the alternatives and encouraged me to take it day by day. I got stronger and stronger and ended the tour on the most amazing high. I cannot thank the team enough for their outstanding generosity of spirit and care and attention when I flagged or did not quite make the grade. They carried me through with their enthusiasm and patience. These are people any organisation would be proud to employ. I will always be grateful for the experience.

I can’t miss the opportunity to thank my wonderful hosts and hostesses in the lovely hotels I stayed in - Las Marianas in Bariloche, Hosteria El Establo in Villa La Angostura and Le Chatelet in San Martin. The Argentinian people I encountered were unfailingly polite and generous with their time and attention. This is a wonderful country and while it may not have the finer piste equipment and lift facilities we take as standard in Europe and the US the challenge makes you a better skier/snowboarder. Special thanks to Max Maxi Suzi Vicho and all the PowderQuest team. See you again soon!

Not the quality experience as promoted...

Jeffrey Kurland21/09/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Age
    70+
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Country
    US
  • Month:
    August

Not the quality experience as promoted...

Jeffrey Kurland21/09/2018
If you are considering a trip with PowderQuest, you should be aware of my experience with this company. While they seemed competent and professional during the planning and booking process, the actual trip was the worse I had ever experienced. Consider:

1. They are overpriced relative to their competitors on a cost/day basis and deliver a medium/low quality tour in terms of lodging, dinners, and touring. Also, their supplement for a single is very expensive (an additional $162 per day) and charge $140 to rent backcountry safety equipment (some competitors include this in their base cost of their trip).

2. While they emphasize the primary role of their guides is to ensure your safety on the slopes, their roles for anything else was terrible. Both my guides were ambivalent to caring about whether their clients had a good time.. on and off the slopes. In fact, I was told by the lead guide that this “trip is about skiing and nothing else mattered. If I wanted to spend a few moments taking a picture, then I should have gone on a private tour.” As for taking a water break to prevent dehydration, the lead guide said I should do it while on the chair lift rather than taking time from the group on the slopes. Easy for him, perhaps, but not for me with upwards of 25 pounds of gear in my backpack.

3. Both the lead guide and PowerQuest’s owners (in support of their guides) were unprofessional. The lead guide repeatedly talked only about himself, constantly bragging about his skiing experiences and travels. He rarely spent time getting to know his clients. He repeatedly used foul language and cuss words to describe a situation or condition. He brought along his girlfriend to several dinners, and because she did not speak English, they sat together at the end of the dinner table and ignored all the clients. He shared with another touring company his assessment of my skiing ability (as being “below their standards for backcountry”) along with details of a personal medical incident that occurred on the slopes, all without discussing any of this with me beforehand to put the event in proper context (as I was recovering from an infectious disease I got from a tick bite). His unsolicited comments negatively prejudiced the owner of the company with whom I had my next ski trip and adversely impacted my experience. His immaturity as a guide led him to act without thinking how his disclosure (and wrong assessment) might be perceived by others. And worse, PowderQuest supported his action, oblivious to how it might affect me emotionally.

There are other tour operators, including several US based, offering comparable trips. I strongly suggest researching them and conducting a though due diligence and comparison before selecting PowderQuest.

Response from PowderQuest:

"Mr. Kurland, I am very sorry to hear about your negative overall experience on this trip.

There were 7 total other guests on this trip, with 2 returning from last year. Some are already planning on returning next year with us to South America and have given outstanding reviews from their trip experience. Both guides have worked with us for close to a decade, they are very proud of their jobs, love their local culture and mountains and enjoy sharing with the group.

As you experienced in our welcome and safety chat on the first evening of the trip, we highly encourage all our guests to please let the guides know if there is anything that is bothering you on the trip or would like to see changed. I wish you had brought these concerns up during the trip as many could have been managed.

1: While certainly not luxury hotels, PowderQuest hand selects comfortable, small to medium size bed and breakfasts and locally run hotels. As described on our website, most are family run with cozy beds, private bathrooms, and include breakfast. All 3 of the hotels on this trip are rated 3-4 star lodges, and have overall rankings of Very Good, Excellent and Wonderful on Booking.com. All hotels have different policies and rates for single room upgrades. Sorry to hear you did not find our hotel selection adequate. If you were led to believe you would be staying in 5 star hotels please reach out to us so we can look into this.

Dinners were at a mix of quality local restaurants and one night, a private traditional Argentine barbeque. The bbq was hosted by your lead guide’s girlfriend and childhood friends in his hometown of San Martin de Los Andes. We have received feedback from others on this trip that this experience was outstanding both from a cultural and food quality standpoint.

In addition, we dined at the gourmet Tinto Bistro in Villa La Angostura and the top ranked restaurant in Bariloche, Alto El Fuego. To mix it up a bit we do dine at a few local eateries priding themselves with their tasty empanadas, pizzas or local organic fare. Sorry to hear you found the dinners to be low quality.

Regarding a rental fee charge for backcountry safety equipment, this is quite the norm in the ski industry and our rate of $140 is standard for a week-long tour.

2: I am quite shocked to read this as our team’s mission is not only safety but to do their best so you enjoy your time on and off the slopes. Your lead guide grew up in this area, is an avid photographer and loves taking photos and sharing them with the group. I have never seen him discourage guests from taking pictures. There are situations where stopping for a photo is not ideal (in specific backcountry zones, or if the group is left waiting for long periods of time in certain situations), I am sorry you were put in this situation. It is my understanding the guide shared many photos from the trip with the group at the end of the tour. If you did not receive them we would be happy to get these to you.

Drinking water is of course very important and we encourage doing so throughout the day. I spoke with one of the guides regarding your comment and he tells me he carried your skis on one of the hikes so you could focus on drinking water and staying hydrated as you appeared quite tired. Your well being was always his concern and we apologize if you did not feel this was the case.

3: As mentioned, we have received nothing but positive feedback from the other trip guests and I am sorry to read about your disappointments. I have known and worked with this guide for years and do not recall him using foul language. Obviously this is unacceptable and I will be speaking to him and the rest of the team about this.

Regarding the guides girlfriend, she joined you for dinner for two evenings. First, at the cookout in San Martin where she spent most of the day preparing the location, the salads, and shopping for meat, wine, etc. She was a huge asset to the success of this unique dinner and was proud to share this with the group.

We thought having her there would be a nice gesture and of course add to the cultural experience. Most of the other guests seemed to have enjoyed having her there, and hence, when she came in to say hello at dinner in Bariloche, she was encouraged to stay and join.

I understand we disagree regarding the decision of our guide sending a short message to the owner of the other tour company regarding your unexpected fitness and health. However, both companies believe he did the right thing. After your medical emergency on the slopes, the doctor told you to take it easy for the rest of your vacation. It was our due diligence to follow our standards of safety. Our guide was sincerely looking out for you and for the safety of the guides and guests on your next trip.

We all hope you are feeling better and were able to enjoy the second trip. I am sure they provided a good experience and having this info beforehand helped set them up for success in providing you a safe and enjoyable experience.

If you had let us know your health situation before joining this off-piste/backcountry trip that requires a high level of fitness, we too would have been prepared and would have recommended a resort focused trip with us. I am quite confident the overall outcome would have been distinct.

With 20 years running adventures in South America we are proud of what we have built. We are very sorry we did not meet your expectations for this trip and by all means we encourage everyone to compare trips from different tour operators. We can be reached to answer questions or concerns via email or our website, powderquest.com

Thank you,

David Owen PowderQuest Tours"