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TR: Portillo

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
This was my first time down here and it was a blast. Leaving Baltimore, our flights got messed up and we missed our flight to Santiago. It took a couple extra days to get down here, but it was worth the wait. Portillo is a one of a kind place. You are isolated in the Andes and relaxing is the name of the game. The weather was cloudy the first few days and made for very difficult visibility on the mountain. It had not snowed in 10 days, but there was still good snow to be had. Mid-week we got about a foot of fresh and the sun came out. I have skied a lot of places and a lot of good snow but this was just unreal. The lake was frozen and Lake Run was unbelievable. The snow was extremely dry and almost Utah like. Roca Jack was closed that day but the next day they opened it and I was on the second Poma up the mountain. Unreal, unreal. Since there are only so many guests here the mountain doesnt get tracked out that fast. It is different here, you wake up whenever and go ski. It doesnt matter because the snow is good all day and there is always fresh to find. This has been a life changing experience. I will be traveling here every summer from now on. There are a lot of other great resorts that must be visited. I will post some pictures when I get home. Just remember, winter never ends. And it is always snowing somewhere.
post #2 of 27
Thanks for the report! I'm leaving on the 20th to teach ski fitness at Portillo. Totally psyched!
post #3 of 27


East Coast. glad you had a good time. the Roca Jac is one of a kind, if you have any pic's post. People don't believe me when I describe to them a 5 person Poma going up an expert hill at Mach 3. Almost more fun going up than coming down.

Lisamarie, you will enjoy, great gymn, pool etc. One thing to not overlook. Over in the Octogon building they have a first rate ski tune shop downstairs. when I was there the Canadain Downhill team was training and for a 6 pak of Corona I really learned a lot hanging out with the pro ski tuners in the basement.

Also my favorite time of the day (other than the skiing) was Tea at approx. 4-6 pm. Really a great social time.

Have a great time.
post #4 of 27

Portillo Bound


Great report!
We are heading to Portillo in less than 2 weeks.
Totally psyched.

Any other recent Portillo visitors???
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
I will post a ton of pics when I get back. Still in Santiago. Hopefully I will have them up in a couple days. There are some photos of the week on their website (www.skiportillo.com).
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
can anyone help me with the pictures?
post #8 of 27
Originally Posted by eastcoastsLoPeS View Post
can anyone help me with the pictures?
I have followed these directions http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=41472

And use photobucket.com it seems to work. Looking forward to seeing your pics
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 

post #10 of 27
Verry nice pics! I'm JEALOUS:
post #11 of 27
Oh, you re killing me !!!
Those are great photos. And it looks like a great place.
Reminds me how much better mountains look covered with white instead of the green that I see outside now.
Is language a problem in Chile ?
Or do you already speak Spanish ?
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
The language barrier wasn't too big of a problem. At the resort/hotel most everyone knew some english (expect for the cleaning ladies). And if you had a problem communicating you could just bump into the person next to you and they probably could translate. Santiago was much different. Not too many people spoke english. I know a little spanish so I was able to make due. Overall though, the communication issue wasn't really a problem.
post #13 of 27
Great pics!

I've skied above treeline, and it bothered me to not have the trees at each side of the slopes. What do you prefer, US-like slopes with trees at each side, or bare, whiteout slopes?
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Is this a trick question???????........where ever the best snow is DUH. Its two totally different skiing areas. I love trees and especially when theres fresh snow. Trees typically are warmer on cold days, block the wind and also gives you depth perception, whereas alpine (bowls) if its cloudy and flat light you cannot see anything. Now getting first tracks in a huge open bowl is something special. You never forget the bluebird days with fresh snow. But whatever it may be, its still skiing and thats all that matters to me.
post #15 of 27


Eastcoast..... Great pics brings back some great memories, thanks!
post #16 of 27
Thanks for the pics!

Nice to see the pow in da middle o summer!!!!
post #17 of 27
I see they finally given the Hotel a new paint job
post #18 of 27
Just arrived today. This place is amazing. Already met up with Chris Fellows, Chris Davenport, Mike Rogan and Robin Barnes. People are really enthusiastic about the apres ski stretch and lectures. It is going to be a fabulous week!
post #19 of 27

Great to hear, Lisa! Perhaps I'll be able to join you all next season!
post #20 of 27
Blue Skies.
Warm temps
No Lift lines. No crowds.
A place where people return year after year.
A place where you meet the very people you've always wanted to meet.
Chocolata Caliente: Take steamed milk. Add a chocolate candy bar. Stir and mix.
Pisco Sours: better than Margarita.
People singing oldies with the band.
I can really get used to this.
P.S. : the skiing's great!
post #21 of 27
post #22 of 27
I think I was in Portillo the week after you, eastcoast. From the 3rd to the 11th. We had one day of about 9" fresh, and 2 days with over 1' each. UNbelievable. :

I hope to get back next year.

post #23 of 27
Sweet! Put me on the list for next year, BennyK!
post #24 of 27
Pics from us soon. Another incredible day! We got invited to a private party by David Gibson, who is starting a new upscale ski publication called Snow Magazine. Ironically, about a month ago, I had queried him about doing an article on Portillo, but he said it was already covered. Much to our surprise, we got seated at the same table at dinner!
post #25 of 27
post #26 of 27
Didn't have the camera today, so nothing new. Mid-week, same bluebird sky, people even lazier. Basically don't bother to get out there early (and by early I mean 10am).

Maybe it's different when there's fresh, but there's not a trace of new this week. Nonetheless, after the strong sun has time to warm up the snow, the off-piste crud softens up and is a lot of fun.

I think the bulk of the guests don't head out until after lunch. However, there's great skiing till about 5pm. Then it's time for tea and Pisco Sours. (Note to those who remember LM's cosmo night posts - Pisco Sour is the new Cosmo)

I'm just the non-working hanger-on charming conversationalist spouse this trip, while Sra. Lisamaria does all the work. Thus I'm having a ball. Last night's party was all the cool people (so I'm not sure why I was there). In a weird karass way, the very same gentleman from Buenos Aires who was directly behind us in the boarding line at Dulles/DC last week, not only was here, but was invited to the same party. Chatted at length with an instructor, Joan, who's now a trainer at Aspen (unless I'm blurring that from Pisco Sours) who used to be at Copper and says hi to Tsavo!

Dragged Lisamaria out onto the drag lifts today. Those slingshot va et vient lifts are quite the thrill ride going up, and a bit of a trick the first time getting off. But the snow was soft and fun and a good time had by all.

Rode the lift and chatted before lunch with some of the K2 folks who are testing out next year's skis. Lisa waxed lovingly about her Burnin' Luvs and then was found out when we were on the same chair with the very same VP of Global Marketing for K2 from lunch, while on her Dynastars.

Our hosts from the Portillo marketing department, Evan and his colleague Erin, have been great about introducing us to people.

Also have a few other Red Sox fans down here eagerly awaiting the outcome of the next game in the series with the Yanks. They won last night but tonight's a whole new ballgame. That's the one thing that's unfortunate about Portillo's no TVs in rooms policy.

For me this is also the first post-rehab (shoulder) real skiing I've done - I don't count the few days teaching beginners at the end of last season. Amazingly sometime this week my shoulder ROM went from where it had plateaued at about 80% up to 97%. I'm feeling pretty good out there. Of course, it's like the old doctor joke "Can I play the violin after the operation?" "Could you before?" So no magic improvement in my not-so-great bump-and-bowl skiing, but enough confidence and great conditions to work on it.

Must be the Pisco.
post #27 of 27
Got back last week. No new snow, but still good snow to be had. Spring-like. Took the kids this time and they took it all in. Best all-around ski vacation available.
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