Ci Ski Chile

One of the four leading ski areas in the southern hemisphere, there are just over a dozen Chilean ski centres stretching along the Andean mountains from north to south in the country.

The ski season here typically lasts from early June to late September.

Chile’s ski resorts have built a reputation for great powder and spectacular heli-skiing with several resorts marketed particularly heavily in North America as summer skiing destinations.

One difference from other southern hemisphere ski nations is that there are several major ski areas within a comparatively short drive of the capital, Santiago so visitors can combine skiing in Chile with a city break or business.

Most of Chile’s ski areas were established after the second world war, but the oldest, El Colorado, still the closest to Santiago (45km/28 miles), built its first lift way back in 1936 – one of the world’s first dedicated ski lifts. People had however been able to ski Chile for more than four decades before, using the then newly-built Argentina-Chile railway line in the 1890s as a ‘ski lift’.

At the other extreme, although linked to El Colorado by lifts and piste in Chile’s version of the famous French ‘3 Valleys’ is Valle Nevado, which has a more cutting edge design very reminiscent of the more stylish French purpose built ski areas. It opened in 1988 and has been arguably the most innovative Chillean ski area over the past few decades and continues to expand both on the slopes, quite frequently adding new lifts and runs, and resort facilities.

The third ski area in this ‘3 Valleys’ is La Parva which was built by Europeans in the 1950s before being commercialised by Americans and then run by Chileans since the late 1980s. Originally Chile’s highest resort it was also home to the country’s first quad chairlift.

The most famous of Chile's ski resorts, its original ski area and later destination resort, is Portillo in the north of the country. Particularly popular with North American guests, it has a kind of private club ambience from the early years of ski vacations, although with all modern conveniences. All catering and facilities are focused primarily in the resort’s main hotel complex. Today there's one employee for every guest resulting in high service standards.

Host of the 1966 World Alpine Skiing Championships, Portillo has easy and intermediate groomed slopes plus some of the toughest skiing in the southern hemisphere, with heliskiing an option, giving views of the Western Hemisphere's highest mountain - Aconcagua.

In the south of the country Termas de Chillan mixes a five star hotel and warm thermal springs with one of the country’s six leading ski resorts. On the downside the area has had problems with seismic activity including earthquake damage in the past decade, on the upside there are 10,000 hectares of heliskiing terrain around the main resort.

Villarica-Pucon located on the slopes of the still active Villarica volcano which gives it the highest ski area in southern South America, has similar problems. Lift towers incorporate rubber bungs to absorb minor quakes from volcano, and ash which sometimes issues from the summit tends to drift away from the ski slopes on the prevailing winds.
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Chile: latest snow conditions round-up

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in Chile. Fresh snow is forecast at 6resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 4 are reporting good piste conditions.

All resorts

Best piste conditions (4)

Ski resorts of Chile, alphabetically

Bottom Mid Top
Resort Webcam Top
snow depth
top and bottom
Good piste
on-piste
Powder
off-piste
Fresh snow depth
last snow
Fresh snow depth
next 9 days
0–3 | 3–6 | 6–9
snow (cm)
Weather Next 5 days weather forecast.
Freezing level (m)
Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

(1954m — 3349m)

62
2
clear
partly cloudy
light rain
light snow
heavy snow
Mid station 2652 m
3650m 3750m 3250m 2900m 2150m

(1236m — 1700m)

snow report yesterday

390
190
Packed 29 days ago
33
30
clear
partly cloudy
light rain
light snow
heavy rain
Mid station 1468 m
2050m 2850m 2900m 2150m 1750m

(1449m — 1899m)

39
1
clear
partly cloudy
rain showers
moderate rain
moderate snow
Mid station 1674 m
3000m 3400m 3000m 2500m 2100m

(357m — 576m)

1
light rain
rain showers
partly cloudy
light rain
rain showers
Mid station 466 m
800m 900m 1550m 1800m 1550m

(2246m — 2871m)

25
rain showers
partly cloudy
rain showers
light rain
snow showers
Mid station 2558 m
3750m 3800m 3450m 3250m 2500m

(1530m — 2399m)

snow report yesterday

330
260

Excellent
Spring
21 days ago
53
59
clear
partly cloudy
light rain
light snow
moderate snow
Mid station 1964 m
2600m 3300m 3000m 2450m 1850m

(2340m — 3480m)

snow report yesterday

El Colorado webcam
90
40
Spring snow
Varied
10 cm
15 days ago
52
light rain
light rain
heavy rain
light rain
heavy snow
Mid station 2910 m
3800m 3800m 3450m 3200m 2350m

(1025m — 1826m)

19
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
light snow
rain showers
Mid station 1426 m
1000m 1450m 2500m 1950m 1750m

(2434m — 3333m)

22
light rain
light rain
light rain
rain showers
heavy snow
Mid station 2884 m
3950m 3900m 3550m 3450m 2750m

(2699m — 3669m)

snow report yesterday

La Parva webcam
190
100

Good

Varied
38 cm
15 days ago
10
49
light rain
light rain
moderate snow
light snow
heavy snow
Mid station 3184 m
3800m 3800m 3450m 3200m 2400m

(1896m — 2201m)

opens in 263 days
16
light rain
partly cloudy
light rain
light rain
moderate snow
Mid station 2048 m
3850m 3850m 3500m 3250m 2500m

(1500m — 1800m)

68
22
clear
partly cloudy
light rain
light snow
moderate snow
Mid station 1650 m
2500m 3200m 3000m 2400m 1850m

(1540m — 2400m)

snow report yesterday

165
165
Spring snow
Varied
10 cm
17 days ago
49
12
clear
partly cloudy
light rain
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1970 m
3150m 3500m 3050m 2600m 2050m

(2548m — 3310m)

snow report yesterday

2
45
rain showers
light rain
moderate rain
light rain
heavy snow
Mid station 2929 m
3700m 3850m 3450m 3100m 2200m

(2800m — 4500m)

22
76
light snow
light snow
moderate snow
light snow
heavy snow
Mid station 3650 m
3800m 3800m 3450m 3200m 2350m

(2015m — 4845m)

5
61
snow showers
partly cloudy
light snow
light snow
heavy snow
Mid station 3430 m
3650m 3750m 3300m 3000m 2300m

(2690m — 3740m)

23
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
snow showers
partly cloudy
heavy snow
Mid station 3215 m
4000m 3950m 3650m 3450m 2700m

(2859m — 3669m)

snow report yesterday

387
387

Excellent

Varied
20 cm
15 days ago
11
61
light rain
light rain
moderate snow
light snow
heavy snow
Mid station 3264 m
3800m 3800m 3450m 3200m 2350m

(1480m — 1960m)

snow report 27 days ago

350
260

Good

Powder
20 cm
28 days ago
79
52
clear
partly cloudy
cloudy
light snow
moderate snow
Mid station 1720 m
2350m 3100m 3000m 2250m 1750m

(1230m — 1760m)

41
27
clear
partly cloudy
cloudy
light snow
moderate rain
Mid station 1495 m
2000m 2750m 2800m 2000m 1650m