EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › Trip Reports  › Chile: Valle Nevado/Portillo and some helli.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Chile: Valle Nevado/Portillo and some helli.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My wife and I hit Valle Nevado and Portillo in August. While planning this trip I really found a lack of good information, and I figure I should probably share what I learned as some of it was pretty uprising.

Valle Nevado and Portillo are two ski areas that are connected, but which do not share a ticket. An addon can be purchased at either resort for the other (and/or El Colorado which I did not ski). Moving between the two areas is fairly straightforward, but it can be uncomfortable in high wind conditions. Mistakenly ending up at the wrong base area would be hard if not impossible.

The Skiing: Its easy. Really easy. I don't mean that it is predominantly intermediate or begginer, I mean that there is nearly a total absence of inbound expert terrain. Maybe one or two marked trails would be considered to be steep enough to warrant a diamond at a major American resort. Maybe.

Skiing off piste is a bit intimidating without a guide. As far as I could observe nearly all routes that could terminate near the base area were considered in bounds. Going out of bounds would have meant a long hike at least, or getting cliffed out. However by day 3 I was so bored with the terrain that I opted to hire a guide to go off piste. This was pretty cheap and a great deal of fun. He had a friend pick us up on the road at various points in the day and shuttle us back to the lifts. This reveal the true potential of the Andes, great snow and great lines.

The entire time I was on a list for the heli. Waiting for weather to clear and hoping to fill an empty spot. On day 5 i got my chance. I really can't compare this to anything else. It was by far the most challenging and most enjoyable skiing I have done. The night before we saw 40cm of snow. Basicly, if you are going to heli ski then Valle Nevado is totally amazing. If not, it will dissapoint.

Some shots from heli skiing:








However witness the flatness of Valle Nevado proper:





One last thing. Don't spend on the nice hotel at Valle Nevado. They charge a massive premium, but its really not very nice or much better then the mid-range options. Service is universally poor by U.S. standards.

post #2 of 10
good report. thanks.
post #3 of 10
You must have meant to say Valle Nevado and some other resort are connected. Portillo is nowhere near V. Nevado.
post #4 of 10
I was there in august as well...I'll have to post my report sometime too
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunValley View Post
You must have meant to say Valle Nevado and some other resort are connected. Portillo is nowhere near V. Nevado.

You are right, Valle Nevado is connected with La Parva and El Colorado
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Sorry I meant La Parva. I constantly confuse the two names.
post #7 of 10
good report! thanks.
What are those black skis??
post #8 of 10
Portillo has universally awesome service (by any standards) in contrast.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Good to know. How was the terrain?
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosen View Post
Good to know. How was the terrain?
The in-bounds terrain at Valle Nevado, La Parva, and el Colorado is very intermediate. At Valle Nevado, the only terrain with much pitch is off the Tres Puntas surface lift at the very top of the resort and the first few turns directly underneath the high speed quad. At La Parva, there's a little bit of interesting terrain to looker's left of the quad at the looker's left far edge of the resort.

I've been to Valle Nevado a number of times. I caught a day there the last Saturday in August after skiing Chillan for a week.

Here is a shot of the first few turns underneath the Valle Nevado high speed quad:
http://www.killingtonzone.com/albums...QuadUpper2.jpg

This is the other spot underneath their high speed quad with some pitch:
http://www.killingtonzone.com/albums...NQuadLower.jpg

This is the Tres Puntas surface lift at the top of Valle Nevado:
http://www.killingtonzone.com/albums...TresPuntas.jpg

This is the La Parva quad:
http://www.killingtonzone.com/albums...ParvaQuad2.jpg

This is looking over the base of the Valle Nevado high speed quad to the T-bar going up the back side of el Colorado. The out of bounds off the cornice down to the Valle Nevado access road is quite challenging but you need the right snow and slide risk conditions. It was crust the day I was there:
http://www.killingtonzone.com/albums...doBackside.jpg

In my opinion, Chillan has the best terrain in Chile. I got unlucky on this trip and hit high winds for much of the trip that had much of the upper mountain closed. It snowed twice and the surface was pretty good if you like windpacked powder but it kind of sucked riding surface lifts and not being able to get to the good sidecountry. The sidecountry off the Don Otto double chair is fantastic skiing but that lift only ran for a few hours while I was there and there was way too much wind loading to consider ducking the rope and skiing off the cornice at the top.

Here's a shot of me skiing in the windblown:
http://www.killingtonzone.com/albums...illanDay4d.jpg
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Trip Reports
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › Trip Reports  › Chile: Valle Nevado/Portillo and some helli.