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Anyone ever ski Portillo?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am going in August.
Have you been?
This is crossing a big one off my master list.
post #2 of 7
Anyone ever try the search function first?
post #3 of 7

Use the advanced search capability and search on Portillo as the keyword, but select titles only and you'll get a nice list of threads including several trip reports. Don't sleep on the bus trip from Santiago to Portillo. That will be your only exposure to the local culture. Start boning up on your Spanish. You don't need to, but you'll enjoy the trip more if you can understand a little of what is going on around you. Paris says the Brazilian nannies are muy caliente!
post #4 of 7
haven't been yet but ill be there the first week of august!!! oh yeah they've gotten 100"+ so far, over 50" in the past 24 hours! i cannot wait to get there! ENJOY!
post #5 of 7
I'll be teaching a ski fitness week there in the last week of August.
post #6 of 7
By the way, if anyone is thinking of going there, whether during Lisa's Fitness Week or another time: LAN Airlines (Chile's home airline) just started flying to Santiago non-stop from both LA and NYC. Which means you can probably get good 1-stop connections from anywhere in the US on their partner American. LAN is in the same oneworld airline alliance as American, so you could earn AAdvantage miles or possibly use AAdvantage miles to get there. It looks like LAN has some good introductory fares on this route. LAN also has connections through Lima Peru.

Also Delta has nonstop service from Atlanta to Santiago. Good if you like to earn Delta, Northwest, or Continental miles (all partners in SkyTeam.) Also there are some Aeromexico routings via Mexico City which would earn miles in any of the SkyTeam airline programs.

If you plan on earning United, Air Canada, or US Airways miles (all partners in Star Alliance), options are not so good ever since Varig went bankrupt and was thrown out of Star. No cheap *A flights to South America anymore. Air Canada has good 1-stop routing through Toronto (and that's a great airport for international connections including from the US - I just transited it last week to/from London and it was less hassle than Chicago O'Hare or Washington Dulles). However the cheapest Star Alliance routings are about $1200 US

Fares seem to be well under $1000 USD which is cheap for deep South America from the USA. Not cheap in an overall sense, but not bad. I'm seeing coach fares on Delta from NYC via Atlanta for $645 all-in (with taxes and fees) on Orbitz, which is darn good. I used the dates around LM's week with a couple of days on either side (e.g. 8/22-9/4) for this fare check. The LAN nonstop is $720 all-in. Similar prices when I checked a few weeks earlier in August. Plugging in Denver as the origin, fare only went up to $897 on LAN or $903 on American or Delta 1-stops.

This is dirt cheap for those dates - when Lisa and I first planned to go and looked at fares last December for this August, the cheapest fares in coach were about $1200. We ended up using United miles for a round-about routing via Buenos Aires down and Sao Paolo back up, instead. Looks like LAN adding the non-stops created enough competition to force some of the other airlines to drop prices.

Keep in mind you do have to go to Portillo for a Saturday-to-Saturday week - there's no day-by-day lodging. Given possible road issues from Santiago and doing some sightseeing anyway, you probably want to fly down no later than Wed US departure (Thurs arrival in Santiago) and plan to fly out no earlier than Monday following your ski week.
post #7 of 7


TwoTurn, been there. Where are you staying Main Lodge or Octogon? Are you going with an organized group, if so who?

Loved Portillo, have some good on and off piste skiing. Best off piste is take the Roka Jac lift to top, climb another 70 yards go to yoour uphill left and traverse across to numerous chutes and small bowls. Good skiing Advanced to Expert, none of the locals ski this so you'll have to yourself. pretty expert traverse. If you don't know how to "auger in" let me know on PM and I'll brief you. Good food, great afternoon tea after skiing which includes: new friends, tea, coffees and every brand of cookie, scone etc. imaginable. Really good social hour plus. Dinner late European time about 9 PM, good bar and plenty of young ladies - mostly from Argentina. All in all a very enjoyable time and besides its great skiing in August.

When you see the Rokka Jac lift don't laugh its really fun. 5 person poma lift that goes up the Mt at a real good clip and stopps up on the side of the Mt. where you get off. If you aren't with someone who knows what to do it goes like this : Two outside skiers peel off 1st to the side and backwards, then next two skiers, last in the middle person let s gravity pull you in reverse throw the bar etc. up and forward and peel off in reverse down the hill (expert/advanced).

When I was there we stayed in the Octogon. Plus to this for me was the Canadian men and womens downhill team was training that week and I spent a couple eve's in the Octogon basement learned the WC way to tune and wax. A case of Corona did the trick. Learned a lot.

The main lodge has a gymnasium for workouts, basket ball etc., a swimming pool, sauna, massages the whole deal. Try lunch up on the Mt (for got name) but the only food place up on the hill, its really good and different sort of a Chilen/Argentina flavor mongolian BBQ but quite good and unique.

Have a great time, sure you will, I envy. Pete
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