Ski Arpa Resort Reviews
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Visitor reviews for Ski Arpa Ski Resort
August 12, 2013
Chris HoneyBadger from United States
Without a doubt the best day of skiing I have ever had in the 40 years I've been at it. The views from the top made you feel like you were all alone on top of the world. Aconcagua on one side, the Pacific on the other.
The terrain was varied and accessible. The snow was a few days old and still perfect. The 5000 acres allows for fresh tracks days after storms. Our guides opened up new sections that hadn't been skied yet, one guide brought us to a safe location while the other checked stability. We left it to sit and hit it the next run.
The guides were friendly and accommodating, while still being saftey minded. It wasn't hard to tell they were loving it as much as we were. Every pre-run safety talk ended in a reminder to "have fun"; & not because we needed reminding.
The backcountry is magical no matter where you are, being able to get a ride makes it that much more fun. I'll go back to earn some turns, now that I know where to go. $15 is nothing to pay to make sure those guys keep it going. The price for the cat runs is about a 1/4 of what you'd pay anywhere else. The best bargain in all of skiing.
To sum it up, get your ass down here, you will not be disappointed.
Ski Arpa Ratings
Overall: 2.5. Based on 2 votes and 8 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Ski Arpa.
Public Transport: 1.5
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Ski Arpa, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Ski Arpa, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.0
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 2.5
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Ski Arpa.
Ski in/Ski out: 2.5
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Ski Arpa, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Ski Arpa is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Ski Arpa relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 1.0
(1) There are no snow groomers at Ski Arpa, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Ski Arpa are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Ski Arpa is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 2.0
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Ski Arpa, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 3.5
(1) Ski Arpa usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 3.0
(1) The staff at Ski Arpa are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Ski Arpa are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 1.0
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 2.0
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.5
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Ski Arpa has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Ski Arpa, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 1.5
(1) Not even a kicker at Ski Arpa, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Ski Arpa, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Ski Arpa has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 2.0
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 1.0
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 2.5
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 3.0
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 2.5
(1) Overall, Ski Arpa is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 3.0
(1) Overall, Ski Arpa is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
July 17, 2013
Ashley Holmberg from Chile
Ski Arpa is simply breathtaking! I could not have asked for a better view on my day of skiing in Chile. I was present for opening weekend and it was fun exploring different areas with the guides finding the best snow to ride. I enjoyed the journey up in the open air ski cat and had a blast meeting so many interesting and fun people on my journey. It is a drive from Santiago but in my opinion the view was more than worth it! I can't wait to return a little later this season for a righteous reunion with those awe inspiring Andes Mountains!
May 09, 2013
Kevin Chartier from United States
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!
August 31, 2012
global tomasso from Chile
- they should explain how to use the avalanche beacons, and make a drill before skiing
- they should have a "sweeper" instructor, someone who stays at the end of the group to assist any straggler
August 31, 2012
global tomasso from Chile
I just visited El Arpa for the first time on August 29.
- the view is simply amazing, you get to see the highest mountain in the world outside of the Himalayas
- it must be an incredible place with powder snow
- they should not operate (i.e. charge you loads of money) with insufficient snow, in our group were two Canadian instructors (excellent skiers) who left after two runs.
- our guide seemed more interested in finishing his job as soon as possible, which is incongruent with their advertising of Mount Aconcagua's view; I had to skip a run in order to have time to take pictures, enjoy the scenery and to stretch.
- our snowcat driver was extremely rude and most unhelpful; you almost had to beg to get help from him.
- when we finished our runs (we were all exhausted) we had to walk for 10 minutes carrying our skies, they should have had their pickup truck waiting for us.
- at the end, they told us we could buy beers; after paying so much money I guess it would be advisable to give a can of beer for free ... also, the guides & guests from the US were having their own barbecue, and I as a Chilean felt like you-do-not-belong-to-this-club
These guys are sitting on a gold mine but they have no clue how to make good use of it ... hopefully the next owners will provide more bang for your bucks.
January 17, 2012
scottishshredder from United States
Incredible place leaving the legs feeling like jelly. Riding next to the highest peak in South America - Acongagua, I was treated to riding 18000 ft vertical in 1 day, at the mere cost of $50 and dry Chilean pow - this is cat skiing at it's best. Nearby you can hit up Portillo. Los Andes is a cheap place to stay but not much night life - save it for the ride, you'll need it. Highly recommendable.
August 03, 2008
DAVE JOHNSON - CASA TOURS - OWNER from United States
Ski Arpa is a magical place. It is a truly wild experience. Climbing out of the Aconcagua Vally, Arpa is accessed by a very adventurous 4 X 4 mining road. If this does not get your juices flowing the terrain at Arpa certainly will. The area is absolutely massive and offers magnificent views of Aconcagua, the tallest peak in the Americas, as well as the Pacific Ocean. Run by the legendary Toni Sponar, Arpa is a ski and snowboarders paradise. 1000 meter runs with tons of nooks and crannies. There is absolutely limitless touring potential as well. If you are visiting Chile to ski or snowboard make it a point to visit Arpa!
July 21, 2008
Mike Taylor - CASA Tours Guide from Canada
Valle El Arpa offers wide open alpine terrain. The bowls are massive, and the runs are long. It's a very unique catski operation in that there is only one drop-off; the top. From there you have a few km's to choose from via traversing/hiking in either direction with enormously rewarding descents. In the years I've been skiing there, I don't think I've done more than 5 runs in a day. This area is still pretty quiet, but Anton and Brian have really put it on the map recently. The access is a long, windy, rough old mining road up to the base that keeps you 'very alert', with the odd blockade of random goat herds. I've had a few amazing powder days here, but a lot of high speed corn snow days in the spring when everything gets nicely filled in.