South American resorts

Everything you need to know about Portillo’s crazy slingshot lifts 

portillo slingshot lift

Portillo’s slingshot lifts or Va et Vient (French for ‘come and go’) lifts were built by the Poma company for Roca Jack, Condor, Las Vizcachas and El Cara Cara runs. These runs are steep avalanche chutes, making the use of lift towers illogical. The slingshot lifts are comprised of pulleys anchored to the mountain above […]

South America’s ski season starts with great conditions 

South America's ski season has started

South America’s ski season started earlier this month when Valle Nevado opened two weeks ahead of schedule on June 10. This early opening was made possible by a few storms, most notably a system that dropped more than nine feet of snow on Chilean resorts in early June. While Valle Nevado was able to get their […]

Up to 9+ feet of snow hits South America 

snow in Valle Nevado Chile

Summer skiing in South America is shaping up to be one for the books! Last week and into this past weekend, the Andes were pounded with yet another big early-season snow storm. Some resorts saw more than eight feet of snow fall! See who made out best: This time, Portillo, Chile received a staggering 118 […]

The legend of Portillo’s Inca Lake 

Lake of the Inca

Legend has it that Portillo’s Inca Lake or Luguna del Incas is enchanted, and on some nights you can hear eerie, mournful cries across the Lake. The origin of these cries is fabled to come from the spirit of an Incan prince who lost his beloved bride. When the Incas ruled Northern Chile, they performed […]

El Nino expected to have positive effects on 2016 Chile snowfall 

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Two weeks ago, several Chilean ski resorts, including Portillo and Valle Nevado, were blessed with uber-early snow storms. Usually, premature snow isn’t cause to get all excited for an especially powdery ski season, but that’s not the case here. According to Direccion Meteorologia de Chile, Chilean ski resorts can expect more snow in 2016 than […]

Add an Atacama adventure to your Chile ski trip 

Dieter Titz

Red and rust-colored rock formations contrast with white salt flats while volcano peaks rise in the distance, making the Atacama Desert in northern Chile seem otherworldly. As one of the driest places on the plant, the Atacama has little human development, save for the small, rustic town of San Pedro de Atacama. For those who […]

Photo Gallery: Ski Country from Space 

Alaska's snowy Aleutian Islands from space. | Photo: Scott Kelly, NASA

NASA’s Scott Kelly returned to Earth today after 340 days in space, the longest voyage by a U.S. astronaut. While aboard the International Space Station, Kelly captured—and tweeted—intriguing images of Earth’s mountain ranges from the Aleutian Islands down to Patagonia. Alongside pictures of frozen lakes, ice fields and snow-capped volcanoes, here are Kelly’s most striking […]

El Nino 2015 could be even bigger than 1997-98, experts say 

1997vs2015

NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) latest El Niño update on their ENSO blog details data showing that the 2015 El Niño is shaping up to be an all-time climate event—and suggests it could be the “Bruce Lee” of El Niños. Putting something on par with Bruce Lee—especially when it’s coming from a government agency—is not to be taken lightly. […]

Snow report: where did it snow in South America? 

Looking up toward the Roca Jack at Portillo

Snow forecasting websites as well as skiers and snowboarders were buzzing late last week as weather models pointed toward a massive storm heading to Chile and Argentina. The predictions were colossal with some sites forecasting 100-plus inches at resorts like Portillo. South America’s ski season has been slow to start this year, but skiers and snowboarders who frequent Southern Hemisphere […]

Three adventures to add to your Portillo ski trip 

Tierra Atacama Hotel and Spa

In addition to world-class skiing among spectacular Andean peaks, a Portillo ski vacation also provides opportunities for tack-on trips to unique regions. From Santiago’s Airport, which is just two hours from Portillo, you can easily hop on a regional flight to spectacular destinations, like Patagonia, the otherworldly Atacama Desert and the stunning Chiloé Archipelago. Conveniently, Portillo […]

El Nino 2015 is here 

1997 El Nino Chile

Great news, powderchasers: El Nino is here. Forecasters speculated that El Nino could have arrived during summer 2014 and perhaps make an appearance during winter 2014-15, but—as you skiers and snowboarders know—that didn’t happen. In March, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed we are in an El Nino cycle, and just last week, […]

Top ski types for tackling Valle Nevado’s terrain 

Rossignol 2015

When skiing an unfamiliar resort, advanced knowledge of the terrain and conditions will enhance your ski vacation and give you the intel needed to select proper equipment. To help you determine which schuss sticks are best for tackling Valle Nevado and the interconnected Tres Vallees’ 7,000 acres, we tapped our friends at Rossignol to help […]