Flying out of Valle Nevado wasn’t my first time in a helicopter, but it was such a unique experience I felt like a complete rookie for the first few minutes of flight. Launching from the helipad perched just below the resort hotels, my stomach dropped: the ridge the resort sits on immediately plummets thousands of feet down to the adjacent valley floor. The immense relief that is the Andes doesn’t become real until you see – and ski - it from a heli, and Valle Nevado opens the door for everyone with heli-ski service that can be bought by the run or the day.
The alpine terrain around the resort of Valle Nevado, as part of the high cordillera and 18,000-foot peaks, boasts incredible views and countless faces, couloirs, and pristine powder. Our run was a leg burning, 5000-foot plus romp down into the Parreguirre Valley through perfectly pitched snowfields. When the excursion was over, our pilot dropped us right on Valle Nevado’s slopes, and it was back to lift-served skiing without skipping a beat.
Valle Nevado offers multiple runs for purchase, or you can buy just two, which makes it a nice option without committing your whole trip to the helicopter.
If You Go:
Travel: Valle Nevado Ski Resort is thirty-seven miles from Chile’s capital city of Santiago, albeit a slow trip up one of the steepest and curviest roads you’ll probably ever see. You can hire a shuttle or cab, rent a car, or opt for a 15-minute heli-transfer through the resort, from Santiago’s international airport.
Basic Package: Rates begin at $874 for two runs and a minimum of 2,000 meters.
Years in Biz: A branch of the resort since 2006.
Size of Tenure: N/A
Snowfall: 288” (24’) average annual snowfall at the resort.
Size of Group: Four skiers and one guide when full.
Guarantee: Valle Nevado is a daily and by-the-run operation. If the weather or snow is uncooperative, you can book another day. Each run you pay for guarantees at least 1000 meters.
How they Charge: From $874 per person for two runs, up to $1637 for 5 runs.