Kevin Chartier from United States writes:
Ski Arpa is simply an amazing, adventurous place! I spent the South American summer guiding at Arpa and while it was a significantly low snow year, there was still tons of fun to be had!
First, to counter the previous reviewer who didn't enjoy his time here, I would suggest it has a lot to do with attitude. One can go for a ski with horrible snow conditions (which they were not on his day) and still have a great time if he adjusts his expectations and makes the most of it and just laughs it up and has fun! This is what skiing is about. The elusive powder day is great but real skiing is not always perfect and it's the ones who are having fun on those days that I admire. This guy just had a bad attitude. Additionally, he was offered to join the barbeque (which was not something offered by Arpa but was arranged and paid for by the other guests) but since he already had such a bad attitude...well, you get the point. As for having to carry his skis, OMG, god forbid! Ski Arpa is not Beaver Creek! You come to Arpa for the adventure, for a backcountry ski experience and for absolutely mind-blowing terrain options! You ride the snowcats to access almost all of the terrain but a few small hikes required for even better terrain and maybe to and from the cats depending on the day or run!
The road up is quite "adventurous" but don't be scared, as all of the drivers are excellent at dealing with adverse/complex road conditions. I rode up and down maybe 50+ times and it was always safe.
The guides are professionals but are not stuck up. They are there to have just as much fun as you! They are laid back but are very concerned with safety and will lay down the law as needed if situations become unsafe. Listen to your guides, respect them and follow their directions and they will respect you and be more likely to take you to the really cool stuff! On the other hand, if you don't follow directions, complain about things, etc., they might not be able to trust you enough to take you to the bigger, steeper, more exposed lines! Trust me, you won't even know what you might have missed!
Finally, the facilities are very rustic. Trust me. I lived here for 60 or so nights with no electricity and loved every minute (well, almost every minute) of it. They have clean, functional bathrooms, inexpensive beer always on hand and even some snacks for purchase. Arrange it ahead of time and you can even have an apres barbeque!
Additionally, there is terrain for everyone! There are mellow runs, powder bowls, tight chutes, mandatory airs, double fall lines, cornices, steeps, couloirish type lines and big, long runs. Occasionally, you might even find three or four mogul turns off the summit after a little while without snow ;)
Okay, I think that's about it! This place is rad, the guides are awesome and the clients come to have fun and laugh a lot. I can only hope to spend another SA summer there someday or at least be a "visiting guide" for a few weeks each year - wink wink Anton!
Enjoy the adventure - there is nowhere like it in the world!