great mountain, but run like a cruise

by: bhsnyc - Dec 31, 2010

  • Overall Rating 4
  • Family Friendly 5
  • All-Mtn. Terrain 4
  • Terrain Park 3
  • Nightlife 4

    Pros: lives up to most of the hype, great staff, good maintenance

    Cons: dated, isolated, expensive, forced to stay 1wk, scary drive up!

    Recommended For: Family Friendly

    Date Visited: Aug 1, 2010

Full review

echoing a lot of other reviews about the cruise ship vibe. to avoid this you can catch a roundtrip day bus from Las Condes in Santiago but it is a long ride (~3+ hours each way).

the staff is great and the terrain is pretty much well maintained (especially for Chile) and the snow is said to be the best (although I think it's at La Parva). the views and environment are the most stunning of all the Chilean resorts, and the terrain the most severe in appearance - bring your camera. also a heads up that this is definitely kidville, although there's a lively party scene at night in contrast.

but to be honest the whole facility is really dated-feeling, not as glamorous as expected. it's also very, very expensive for chile - not a great value at all considering the state of the facilities and on-mountain nickel and diming. overall the food's pretty lame, which normally wouldn't bug me but is important to know when as you're stuck for a whole week. there are also very few Chilean skiiers (although we did ski with the Chilean ski soldiers stationed at Argentine border) - we met mostly Brazilians.

things to keep in mind:
-ski the lake run in the morning and the back run in the afternoon to maximize vs sun/melt
-wear a lot of sunscreen or cover up, the sun is brutal
-in this part of Chile - try to ski straight through 10-2. any earlier is crusty, and at 2 it becomes slush o'clock
-trails are barely marked - usually only a single metal stick with the color of the terrain difficulty
-lodge is fine but a bit dated and very vertical, several levels to climb before you get to base lift
-skiing above the treeline means goggles with good contrast are hugely important