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Argentina/Chile Skiing

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Has anyone skied in Patagonia before? I'm going to Cordoba soon and would like a recommended ski resort to jet over to. I was looking at Valle Nevado near Santiago.

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 11
Valle Nevado is great, but you need to check if they're still open, and if so what are the conditions? After all it's late March down there, and the SA ski season isn't nearly as long as ours.
post #3 of 11
I've skied Portillo and Las Lenas, and from what I understand Valle Nevado is not as good of an area. In addition, its proximity to Santigo makes it close enough for day trips and therefore much more crowded. The advantage is that if you are flying in it is the closest to a major airport.
post #4 of 11
Yeah, I think you forgot the old winter=summer/summer=winter gig -- I skied Termas de Chillan, which is about 4 hours south of Santiago in September last year and it was just after the last major snowfall of the year.

Unless there are any glaciers I don't know about, you're probably SOL.
post #5 of 11
I was in Valle Nevado in August. On piste is incredibly easy bordering on boring. However if you go off piste with a guide or by Heli then it is truly amazing.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm goingdown there next June-Not now. Does anyone have any resort recommendations?
post #7 of 11
woops... misread "soon" as something like, next week

As for places, I wouldn't recommed Termas unless you were looking for a place to get some good backcountry. The recommendations seem to come in almost universally for Portillo/Las Lenas.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleph Null View Post
woops... misread "soon" as something like, next week

As for places, I wouldn't recommed Termas unless you were looking for a place to get some good backcountry. The recommendations seem to come in almost universally for Portillo/Las Lenas.
Why not? The sidecountry off the Don Otto is excellent at Chillan. The on-piste is far more interesting than the Valle Nevado/La Parva/el Colorado complex. It's far more acres than Portillo. You also have the option of livin' large at the Gran Hotel or going dirtbag a couple of miles down the road in Las Trancas. The Gran Hotel is the best lodging I've experienced in Chile. Good rooms. Good food. Well trained staff. You have the additional benefit that it's actually possible to ski the lower mountain when things are whited out since it has trees and you have bushes for contrast on the midmountain lift.

I haven't skied in Argentina yet. The connections and transfers to get to the ski areas from Buenos Aires always looked a little painful to me. I think Nevados de Chillan (the new name since the hotel lost the operating rights to the ski area) is the best of the lot in Chile.

There are a few down sides to the place... The Don Otto is the world's slowest diesel powered double chair. The new operator doesn't seem to want to spin the lifts when the weather is bad (from personal experience). The new operator is said to have been having troubles with lift breakdowns (hearsay from others). The lower part of the mountain is also rather low elevation and you can hit marginal cover. The up side to that is you're sleeping at 4500 feet instead of 10K so there are no altitude adjustment issues. It's also a little painful to get there. It's a 5 hour train ride from downtown Santiago and another 90 minutes to the ski area from Chillan. The train is comfortable but it's not my favorite thing to do after an overnight flight from the US of A. A minor nit: The Gran Hotel somehow lost the water rights to the mineral hotsprings that feed their indoor/outdoor pool. It's just a heated swimming pool now.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Had anyone skied near Mendoza? I will be visiting Cordoba and cab justify a side trip pretty easy.
post #10 of 11
I flew into Mendoza from Buenos Aires when skiing Las Lenas. It is a stop over on the flight to Malarque, which is the closest airport to LL, and if I remember correctly it was about and hour flight from Medonza south to Malarque, and then about a an hour and a half bus to the ski resort. I believe the flights from Medoza to Malarque were only about once a week. Mendoza is the wine country, so you can get excellent vino for about $2 a bottle. Don't know about any skiing near there unless you go over the Andes towards Santiago, which means you have to deal with their winter driving conditions.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Why not? The sidecountry off the Don Otto is excellent at Chillan. The on-piste is far more interesting than the Valle Nevado/La Parva/el Colorado complex. It's far more acres than Portillo.
Seems like you know the area better than me -- but I thought the on-piste was a little uninteresting, thought the sidecountry was great. It was late season so the bottom part of the mountain was in ugly shape -- maybe there was more down there that was interesting, but I pretty much just used it to get down to the road. If the Don Otto's the same lift as I think it is from your description, then yeah, it's got some stuff worth skiing, but in a few days that'll get boring if you're not willing to hike a bit.

I stayed at The Hotel Mission Impossible in Las Trancas, which I loved and would recommend to anyone who doesn't mind staying at a French hotel in a Latin American Country.

I haven't skied Nevado or Portillo so maybe they're all just of a smaller scale than I was expecting.
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