I publish a magazine here in Santiago called South Pacific Review. My skiing ability is intermediate. I can go down the expert slopes but do not go off track yet. I learned to ski in North Carolina and have never skiied out west in the USA but skied once in Austria. So my experience is limited.
That said I went to El Colorado three times this year and Valle Nevado once. I always went during the week except last year I went on the weekends.
Regarding snow this is just a bad year due to lack of snow. Early this season there was plenty of snow but now in late July there is a severe drought. The snow has melted completely on the Northern sides of the mountains here. But there still is enough snow to go skiing. The termperature at this elevation is maybe 2 celcius at most while down in Santiago it gets up to 23 celcius making quite warm winter days.
Last week I went to El Colorado and spent all my time at the highest elevations. There were literally only four people on the Los Pioneros Slope. The view is fantastic. You can see over to El Plomo whose 5240 meter summit is in Argentina. This slope is steep at the top an easy going down. From there you can head back around the mountain to the next set of slopes where there were maybe 30 people skiing. You can take some very long runs and see no one at all. On this day not many people were skiing the steepest run because the snow had some thin patches. They make snow at the bottom of the resort but not way up there.
Other people have written that the chair lifts here and at Valle Nevado are slow and there are too many T-bars. Well maybe so but at least you are not going to freeze like you would in Pennsylvania or Vermont as it is not cold here. And since there are not much lift lines it does not matter if you go up slowly.
I said at the top that the road is bad. On the weekends when it snows people stop in the middle of the road to put on chains and this causes a three hour delay going up. Plus there is no guardrail in all places. The guy who actually built the road plumged to his death there when he went over the side in his vehicle. So the Chilean government is starting a two year project in 2014 to take out most of the curves and widen the road to three lanes.