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


CHILE REPORT Conditions continue to be the best they've been all winter as we enter the final weeks of the season in Chile. It's been a largely dry week although some centres have had some snowfall over the past few days. Antillanca (40/130cm / 16/52") has the best snow depth in the county and in South America, whilst Corralco (30/70cm / 12/28") has the most terrain open in the country - 15km/16 miles of runs.

Valle Nevado (40/80cm / 16/32") has 20km (13 miles) of runs still open too. Portillo (35/80cm / 14/32"), which unexpectedly re-opened, for local skiers only, after nearly two complete closed seasons just at the start of this month, remains open for a third week. Most of the country's ski areas are likely to close this coming weekend or next.

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in Chile. Fresh snow is forecast at 7 resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 0 are reporting good piste conditions.

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Recent Eyeball Snow Reports for Chile

All resorts

Ski resorts of Chile, alphabetically

Resort
snow depth
top and bottom

on-piste

off-piste

Last Snow

Next 9 Days
0–3 | 3–6 | 6–9
snow (cm)
Next 5 days weather forecast.
Freezing level (m)
Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed

(1954m — 3349m)

snow report 3 days ago

177 cm
3 days ago
1
1
part cloud snow showers clear clear snow showers
Mid station 2652 m
2850m 2600m 2600m 3350m 2750m

(1236m — 1700m)

snow report on 18 Sep

130
40
Packed powder or groomed snow 1 cm
today
6
light snow clear clear clear light snow
Mid station 1468 m
1150m 1150m 1900m 2850m 1550m

(1449m — 1899m)

snow report 3 days ago

92 cm
3 days ago
cloud part cloud clear clear part cloud
Mid station 1674 m
2200m 1950m 2250m 2950m 2300m

(357m — 576m)

snow report today

7 cm
today
part cloud cloud cloud cloud part cloud
Mid station 466 m
650m 800m 900m 1350m 700m

(2246m — 2871m)

snow report 3 days ago

47 cm
3 days ago
clear clear clear clear clear
Mid station 2558 m
3200m 2800m 2850m 3450m 3000m

(1530m — 2399m)

snow report on 18 Sep

70
30
Packed powder or groomed snow 75 cm
3 days ago
cloud clear clear clear part cloud
Mid station 1964 m
1900m 1600m 2150m 2800m 2000m

(2340m — 3480m)

snow report on 18 Sep

50
20
Artificial 23 cm
3 days ago
clear snow showers clear clear rain showers
Mid station 2910 m
3250m 2900m 2950m 3500m 3000m

(978m — 1280m)

snow report today

3 cm
today
part cloud clear clear clear light rain
Mid station 1129 m
900m 850m 1000m 3100m 1600m

(2434m — 3333m)

snow report 3 days ago

19 cm
3 days ago
clear snow showers clear clear clear
Mid station 2884 m
3400m 2950m 3050m 3450m 3050m

(1100m — 1600m)

snow report 2 days ago

20 cm
2 days ago
2
part cloud clear clear clear light snow
Mid station 1350 m
1300m 1350m 2050m 2650m 1500m

(2699m — 3669m)

snow report on 18 Sep

La Parva webcam
35
15
Artificial 32 cm
3 days ago
1
1
1
clear snow showers clear clear snow showers
Mid station 3184 m
3300m 2900m 2950m 3500m 3000m

(1896m — 2201m)

snow report 3 days ago

opens in 288 days 29 cm
3 days ago
clear thunderstorm clear clear rain showers
Mid station 2048 m
3300m 2850m 2950m 3450m 3050m

(1500m — 1800m)

snow report 3 days ago

67 cm
3 days ago
light snow clear clear clear part cloud
Mid station 1650 m
1800m 1650m 2150m 2700m 1750m

(1540m — 2400m)

snow report on 18 Sep

95
20
Spring snow 141 cm
3 days ago
clear clear clear clear clear
Mid station 1970 m
2300m 2050m 2250m 3000m 2350m

(2548m — 3310m)

snow report on 18 Sep

78
35
Packed powder or groomed snow 12 cm
4 days ago
1
1
clear snow showers clear rain showers clear
Mid station 2929 m
2950m 2700m 2550m 3150m 2750m

(2800m — 4500m)

snow report 3 days ago

41 cm
3 days ago
2
1
2
clear snow showers clear clear snow showers
Mid station 3650 m
3250m 2900m 2950m 3500m 3000m

(2015m — 4845m)

snow report 3 days ago

78 cm
3 days ago
clear snow showers clear clear clear
Mid station 3430 m
3100m 2750m 2800m 3450m 2900m

(2690m — 3740m)

snow report 3 days ago

9 cm
3 days ago
1
1
1
clear snow showers clear snow showers snow showers
Mid station 3215 m
3450m 3000m 3100m 3400m 3000m

(2859m — 3669m)

snow report on 18 Sep

80
40
Packed powder or groomed snow 37 cm
3 days ago
1
1
1
clear snow showers clear clear snow showers
Mid station 3264 m
3300m 2900m 2950m 3500m 3000m

(1480m — 1960m)

snow report 3 days ago

opens in 281 days 68 cm
3 days ago
2
part cloud clear clear clear light snow
Mid station 1720 m
1450m 1450m 2050m 2650m 1500m

(1230m — 1760m)

snow report today

1 cm
today
12
snow showers clear clear clear light snow
Mid station 1495 m
1100m 1000m 1800m 2750m 1400m