Summer Snowboarding in Valle Nevado, La Parva, El Colorado Chile 8-2015

Summer snowboarding in Chile August 2015, leaving Boston for a 14 hour flight to Santiago Chile.  Chile is one of the safest and most stable country in Latin America, according to the “Global Peace Index”.  Valle Nevado ski resorts is one of the best ski resorts in Chile. It has very well developed skiing, might not be the best place to go on a budget, you pay for the quality that you get including huge terrain, some good chair lifts, and great food.  Valle Nevado translates to “snowy valley” and it sure was.  We landed in Santiago to sun, warm temperatures and very dry city air, until the hour drive to the mountains that have over 50 switch backs- that were insane.  As you leave the city, that almost feels dessert like and approach these mountains, you must chain up!!! Keep cash on you, there is no ATM on the sides of these hills. It’s about $50 dollars and these guys put chains on all 4 wheels in under 20 minutes.  The second day we were there it snowed 6 feet of the freshest snow, imaginable.  Six feet!!! The rest of the week it snowed an average of 1-2 inches per night, they haven’t seen that much snow in one night in a while.

Valle Nevad0 has an elevation of 983- 1204 ft in elevation.  It is part of the Tres Valles (Three Valleys) of the Andes, which include El Colorado, La Parva and Valle Nevado.  Staying at Valle Nevado you are nearly 10,000feet in altitude.  It generally has about 80% sunny days.  Veritcal drop of 2,657 feet and about 40 runs.  10% of trails for beginners, 33% for intermediate and 36% advanced terrain- so it is good for levels. So instead of chasing the sun, I decided to find snow in August.  Chile is the best of both worlds- SUN& SNOW !!

Chile is the only wine-producing country in the world unaffected by the Filoxera pest, which destroyed many grape varietals in other parts of the world.  Carmenere, a grape once thought to be extinct, still found in Chile & it’s there signature grape. Chile has the best wine and cost just a few dollars for the greatest sip of your life.  We traveled to the Tres Valles area which includes Valle Nevado, La Parva & El Colorado ski resorts.  Chain up and enjoy the ride.

Valle Nevado

Valle Nevado, translates to “snowy valley”.  It was very snowy,  second day we were blesses with 6 feet of snow.  There are 2,225 of terrain and 2,657 feet of vertical drop & 14 lifts.  Valle is largely intermediate skill level.  Powder days were epic!!! Staying at Valle Nevado doesn’t come cheap, you get what you pay for.  Valle caters to the English speaking guests much better than La Parva& El Colorado.  Amenties are very good and the lift infastrcuture is the best in Chile.  Valle has great shopping for souveneirs and great food.  The people of Chile are very friendly and welcoming.  They are very proud to use there English skills too.

Resort Stats:

  • Central Chile, 1.5 hours from Santiago
  • Elevation 9,450 feet to 12,040 feet
  • Vertical 2,657 feet
  • 41 runs
  • 10% beginner 33% intermediate 36% advanced
  • ski lifts- 15 plus new high spees 6- person gondola
  • Heli ski- YES
  • Annual snowfall 276 inches
  • Ski season June to October
  • Ski/Snowboard park- YES
  • Night life- 4 bars and pubs open nightly

 

El Colorado

El Coloado part of Tres Valles of the Andes along with Valle Nevado & La Parva.  But unlike it’s neighbors, El Colorado is not a glitzy resort and is considered more affordable to the locals.  It has 19 lifts.  The mountain has a cone-shaped peak with wide open areas that fan out from the top.  Lots of runs for beginners and an abundance of fantastic fall line groomed runs for intermediates.  Small area for the more advanced riders.  The village of El Colorado is medium sized and has a small number of restraunts and ski rental shops.  El Colorado provides the best access to Farellones chutes and back country terrain that is accessed via lifts and the road.. Well suited for families. I have to say that El Colorado was one of my favorite laid back places to ride. 

Resort Stats:

  • 101 runs
  • 2 terrain parks- largest terrain park in Chile
  • 35% beginner 30% intermediate 25% advanced 10% expert
  • Snow making
  • Ski season- June to October
  • 1.5 miles from Santiago
  • Best back country skiing& snowboarding
  • Elevation 9,022 feet to 10,934 feet
  • 19 ski lifts (4 chair, 10 T-Bars )
  • Annual snowfall 300 inches

 

La Parva

Skiing at La Parva Chile in the Andes was one of the best mountains in the world, and so worthy of bragging rights.  La Parva is a moderate sized ski area with treeless terrain and it’s mostly suited for intermediate riders.  This mountain was a very tough mountain for me, it was very cold and conditions were bad, no visibility.  75% of the trails are rated blue or red(more difficult than intermediate).  For advanced skiers& snowboarders the main joy can be found in the extensive off- trail areas.  The snow conditions are variable and are filled with powder bowls.  The amentiteis are good and the ski resort has some great places to eat that are perfect to catch some sun and soak up the views and try Chilean wine.  It’s the smallest of the Tres Valle.  Make sure you have the right equipment.  La Parva was very challenging to me. 

Resort Stats:

  • Location- above the town of Farellones 1.5 hours from Santiago
  • Elevation 8,759 feet to 11,909 feet
  • Vertical drop 3,150 feet
  • 20 runs
  • 14 lifts
  • Heli-ski- YES
  • Annual snowfall 300 inches
  • 80% sunny days
  • Ski season- June to October
  • Ski/Snowboard park- YES
  • Night life- bars and pubs open nightly

 

I  recommend stopping in Santiago at the local grocery store to stock up on wine, water and lot’s of water.  Hydration is your key to survival.  It is not recommended to drink the water.  You should always keep toilet paper on you as well as a safety kit which should include : Pepto Bismol and Immodium AD- just in case you don’t feel good.  I will now take this trip off my bucket list..

Always wear your helmet

 

 

Summer snowboarding in Chile August 2015, leaving Boston for a 14 hour flight to Santiago Chile.  Chile is one of the safest and most stable country in Latin America, according to the “Global Peace Index”.  Valle Nevado ski resorts is one of the best ski resorts in Chile. It has very well developed skiing, might not be the best place to go on a budget, you pay for the quality that you get including huge terrain, some good chair lifts, and great food.  Valle Nevado translates to “snowy valley” and it sure was.  We landed in Santiago to sun, warm temperatures and very dry city air, until the hour drive to the mountains that have over 50 switch backs- that were insane.  As you leave the city, that almost feels dessert like and approach these mountains, you must chain up!!! Keep cash on you, there is no ATM on the sides of these hills. It’s about $50 dollars and these guys put chains on all 4 wheels in under 20 minutes.  The second day we were there it snowed 6 feet of the freshest snow, imaginable.  Six feet!!! The rest of the week it snowed an average of 1-2 inches per night, they haven’t seen that much snow in one night in a while.

Valle Nevad0 has an elevation of 983- 1204 ft in elevation.  It is part of the Tres Valles (Three Valleys) of the Andes, which include El Colorado, La Parva and Valle Nevado.  Staying at Valle Nevado you are nearly 10,000feet in altitude.  It generally has about 80% sunny days.  Veritcal drop of 2,657 feet and about 40 runs.  10% of trails for beginners, 33% for intermediate and 36% advanced terrain- so it is good for levels. So instead of chasing the sun, I decided to find snow in August.  Chile is the best of both worlds- SUN& SNOW !!

Chile is the only wine-producing country in the world unaffected by the Filoxera pest, which destroyed many grape varietals in other parts of the world.  Carmenere, a grape once thought to be extinct, still found in Chile & it’s there signature grape. Chile has the best wine and cost just a few dollars for the greatest sip of your life.  We traveled to the Tres Valles area which includes Valle Nevado, La Parva & El Colorado ski resorts.  Chain up and enjoy the ride.

Valle Nevado

Valle Nevado, translates to “snowy valley”.  It was very snowy,  second day we were blesses with 6 feet of snow.  There are 2,225 of terrain and 2,657 feet of vertical drop & 14 lifts.  Valle is largely intermediate skill level.  Powder days were epic!!! Staying at Valle Nevado doesn’t come cheap, you get what you pay for.  Valle caters to the English speaking guests much better than La Parva& El Colorado.  Amenties are very good and the lift infastrcuture is the best in Chile.  Valle has great shopping for souveneirs and great food.  The people of Chile are very friendly and welcoming.  They are very proud to use there English skills too.

Resort Stats:

  • Central Chile, 1.5 hours from Santiago
  • Elevation 9,450 feet to 12,040 feet
  • Vertical 2,657 feet
  • 41 runs
  • 10% beginner 33% intermediate 36% advanced
  • ski lifts- 15 plus new high spees 6- person gondola
  • Heli ski- YES
  • Annual snowfall 276 inches
  • Ski season June to October
  • Ski/Snowboard park- YES
  • Night life- 4 bars and pubs open nightly

 

El Colorado

El Coloado part of Tres Valles of the Andes along with Valle Nevado & La Parva.  But unlike it’s neighbors, El Colorado is not a glitzy resort and is considered more affordable to the locals.  It has 19 lifts.  The mountain has a cone-shaped peak with wide open areas that fan out from the top.  Lots of runs for beginners and an abundance of fantastic fall line groomed runs for intermediates.  Small area for the more advanced riders.  The village of El Colorado is medium sized and has a small number of restraunts and ski rental shops.  El Colorado provides the best access to Farellones chutes and back country terrain that is accessed via lifts and the road.. Well suited for families. I have to say that El Colorado was one of my favorite laid back places to ride. 

Resort Stats:

  • 101 runs
  • 2 terrain parks- largest terrain park in Chile
  • 35% beginner 30% intermediate 25% advanced 10% expert
  • Snow making
  • Ski season- June to October
  • 1.5 miles from Santiago
  • Best back country skiing& snowboarding
  • Elevation 9,022 feet to 10,934 feet
  • 19 ski lifts (4 chair, 10 T-Bars )
  • Annual snowfall 300 inches

 

La Parva

Skiing at La Parva Chile in the Andes was one of the best mountains in the world, and so worthy of bragging rights.  La Parva is a moderate sized ski area with treeless terrain and it’s mostly suited for intermediate riders.  This mountain was a very tough mountain for me, it was very cold and conditions were bad, no visibility.  75% of the trails are rated blue or red(more difficult than intermediate).  For advanced skiers& snowboarders the main joy can be found in the extensive off- trail areas.  The snow conditions are variable and are filled with powder bowls.  The amentiteis are good and the ski resort has some great places to eat that are perfect to catch some sun and soak up the views and try Chilean wine.  It’s the smallest of the Tres Valle.  Make sure you have the right equipment.  La Parva was very challenging to me. 

Resort Stats:

  • Location- above the town of Farellones 1.5 hours from Santiago
  • Elevation 8,759 feet to 11,909 feet
  • Vertical drop 3,150 feet
  • 20 runs
  • 14 lifts
  • Heli-ski- YES
  • Annual snowfall 300 inches
  • 80% sunny days
  • Ski season- June to October
  • Ski/Snowboard park- YES
  • Night life- bars and pubs open nightly

 

I  recommend stopping in Santiago at the local grocery store to stock up on wine, water and lot’s of water.  Hydration is your key to survival.  It is not recommended to drink the water.  You should always keep toilet paper on you as well as a safety kit which should include : Pepto Bismol and Immodium AD- just in case you don’t feel good.  I will now take this trip off my bucket list..

Always wear your helmet

 

 v

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