Skiing in Chile: 6 ways to enjoy Southern Hemisphere slopes

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Skiing, as one witty anonymous figure once said, is “the art of catching cold and going broke while rapidly heading nowhere at great personal risk.”

Yet for many the ski season is all too short. Just as you start to perfect your skills, the snow melts and you have to pack away the boards.

1. New runs, expanded operations

Two ski resorts — South America’s largest, Valle Nevado and South America’s oldest,Portillo — are within day-trip distance of Santiago.

Valle Nevado is less than an hour, just 35 miles, from the capital. “Boutique” resort Portillo (which opened in 1948) is two hours, or 100 miles, away.

2013 marked 25 years since Valle Nevado opened. The resort created a new ski run, expanded Snowpark and introduced Chile’s first-ever gondola, which deposits skiers at Bajo Zero mountain restaurant, 3,200 meters (10,498 feet) above sea level.

For a super-speedy commute to the slopes, Valle Nevado has a heli-pad, as does W Santiago.


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