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 19resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 1 are reporting good piste conditions.

All resorts

Best piste conditions (1)

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)

22
moderate snow
light snow
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2652 m
2350m 2200m 2700m 3350m 3000m

(1236m — 1700m)

snow report yesterday

210
15
Spring 14 days ago
75
30
heavy snow
light snow
light rain
partly cloudy
snow showers
Mid station 1468 m
1550m 1500m 1750m 2200m 1700m

(1449m — 1899m)

63
light rain
heavy snow
rain showers
thunderstorm
clear
Mid station 1674 m
2050m 1850m 2100m 2800m 2100m

(357m — 576m)

light rain
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 466 m
900m 650m 1200m 2050m 2200m

(2246m — 2871m)

8
light snow
snow showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2558 m
2650m 2600m 3000m 3400m 3250m

(1530m — 2399m)

73
2
light snow
heavy snow
rain showers
rain showers
snow showers
Mid station 1964 m
1850m 1650m 1900m 2650m 1900m

(2340m — 3480m)

snow report yesterday

17
moderate snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 2910 m
2850m 2700m 3150m 3550m 3250m

(1025m — 1826m)

6
2
snow showers
light snow
light snow
cloudy
snow showers
Mid station 1426 m
1100m 1000m 1000m 1500m 1700m

(2434m — 3333m)

2
light snow
snow showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2884 m
2900m 2850m 3250m 3600m 3500m

(1100m — 1600m)

67
16
light snow
light rain
partly cloudy
snow showers
light snow
Mid station 1350 m
1500m 1700m 2300m 1800m 1450m

(2699m — 3669m)

snow report yesterday

17
moderate snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 3184 m
2850m 2700m 3150m 3600m 3300m

(1896m — 2201m)

opens in 242 days
moderate rain
rain showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2048 m
2750m 2700m 3200m 3550m 3400m

(1500m — 1800m)

83
4
light snow
heavy snow
light rain
rain showers
snow showers
Mid station 1650 m
1800m 1650m 1850m 2600m 1850m

(1540m — 2400m)

snow report yesterday

76
light snow
heavy snow
partly cloudy
thunderstorm
clear
Mid station 1970 m
2100m 1950m 2250m 2900m 2250m

(2548m — 3310m)

snow report yesterday

6
light snow
snow showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2929 m
2800m 2550m 3050m 3550m 3200m

(2800m — 4500m)

29
moderate snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 3650 m
2850m 2700m 3150m 3600m 3300m

(2015m — 4845m)

36
heavy snow
light snow
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 3430 m
2450m 2400m 2800m 3350m 3000m

(2690m — 3740m)

2
light snow
snow showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 3215 m
3000m 2900m 3350m 3750m 3600m

(2859m — 3669m)

snow report yesterday

22
moderate snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 3264 m
2850m 2700m 3150m 3600m 3300m

(1480m — 1960m)

snow report 12 days ago

120
65

Excellent

Powder
15 days ago
92
10
moderate snow
moderate snow
rain showers
rain showers
snow showers
Mid station 1720 m
1700m 1550m 1750m 2450m 1800m

(1230m — 1760m)

60
26
1
heavy snow
snow showers
thunderstorm
clear
snow showers
Mid station 1495 m
1550m 1400m 1700m 2250m 1750m