VAMOS A CHILE,  AMIGOS !

Just when the summer days are starting to get shorter, and your mind starts to ponder the ski season 3 months away, it's time to jump on a plane and take a 9 day summer ski vacation!

We have a great depth of experience running Chilean ski vacations, and are excited to offer our a fully guided excursion in August '17.  Three of us have spent multiple seasons living, working, and guiding ski trips in the Andes, and designing this one stirs up many fond memories of the Chilean experience.

Trip Description

Fly into Santiago Wed, August 16, 2017, where your guides will pick you up at the airport.  We'll make a stop in the city for lunch, and take in a few sights as the jet lag settles.  Wandering through the central fish market is a great way to immerse yourself into the Chilean scene, and offers a fresh seafood lunch that is second to none.  Following that we'll drive 1.5 hr to the town of Los Andes, where we'll spend 3 nights.

On Thurs, Fri, and Sat we'll ski between Portillo and Valle Arpa Cat Skiing, both located just over an hour from Los Andes.  Ideally, we'll go to Portillo 2 days, and 1 at Arpa, but we'll remain flexible and decide according to snow conditions.

The American owned resort of Portillo is next to the Argentine border on a famous high mountain pass.  This rugged alpine resort of 2500 acres is in a pristine setting surrounded by towering quartzite walls extending upwards from the shores of Inca Lake.  Hopefully the lake will be frozen, and we can take advantage of the "Lake Runs" (traversing to the other side, skiing down to the lake, and skating back across it).   The resort is also unique in that there are a maximum of under 500 guests skiing at any given time.  A lot of space, and a lot of steeps!

Valle Arpa Cat Skiing is also just over an hour's drive up a gravel road from Los Andes, through San Esteban, to the humble base area.  This is the only exclusive cat skiing operation in South America, and was initiated by the Austrian American legendary skier, Anton Sponar.  Mr. Sponar bought the land from the federal gov't in the early 1970's, and has put a lifetime's worth of energy into designing and building what we can enjoy today.  It's a tough environment to develop a functioning business (understatement), and he's dealt with Mother Nature,  (or Pacha Mama), at her fiercest along the way.  Filling the horizon from the top cat drop-off is the massive Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Andes, topping out at 6961 metres or 22,838 ft.  

After skiing on Sat we'll drive back to Santiago and check in for the night.  From the hotel we'll take the metro to the Bavarian neighbourhood of Bella Vista for dinner, and those that are so inclined will be welcome to sample the night life.

The next morning we'll drive up the 68 switchbacks to the rocky village of Farallones, where we'll stay for our final 3 nights.  From Farallones, we have 3 world class resorts to choose from for Sun, Mon, and Tues.   We'll take the best of what El Colorado, Valle Nevado, and La Parva have to offer according to snow conditions.  Heli skiing is an option as well.  

After the day on Tues guests will be driven to the airport for an evening departure.

Itinerary

Wed, Aug 16 - Arrival into Santiago, transfer to Los Andes for 3 nights

Thurs, Fri, Sat - Ski/ride Portillo and Valle Arpa Cat Skiing.  Transfer to hotel in Santiago Sat after skiing

Sun, Mon, Tues - ski/ride Tres Valles resorts of El Colorado, La Parva, and Valle Nevado

Tues, Aug 23 - after skiing transfer to Santiago airport for an evening departure

Price

$4115 USD per person - based on double occupancy

$4795 USD per person - single occupancy

What's Included

-  All accommodation

-  Transportation costs after your arrival to the airport in a private van for the trip's duration

-  Lift tickets and on hill guiding each day, with options to hike out of bounds conditions dependant

-  Breakfast each morning

- Hosting to dinners and help wth the language

Highlights

- The Andes range is the 2nd largest in the world, making the skiing experience unforgettable.  The winters often see raging storms off the Pacific, lasting a few days, often broken up with long periods of sunny weather.  

- Soaring condors, and grazing vicuñas at ridge top 

- Churrasco (massive beef sandwich), and of course, the wine

- Endless restaurant options and sights to see in the city of Santiago, population 8 million

- A snowy winter trip in August!

The infamous "Roca Jack" 5 person platter lift at Portillo is designed to allow avalanches to effectively pass underneath it from the massive terrain above

The infamous "Roca Jack" 5 person platter lift at Portillo is designed to allow avalanches to effectively pass underneath it from the massive terrain above

Chalky, wind-buffed snow at Valle Arpa Cat Skiing

Chalky, wind-buffed snow at Valle Arpa Cat Skiing

A powder day at El Colorado

A powder day at El Colorado

First tracks await down the hike-to couloir, La Chimenea, just beyond the highest lift at La Parva.  Seen below are the villages of La Parva and Farallones

First tracks await down the hike-to couloir, La Chimenea, just beyond the highest lift at La Parva.  Seen below are the villages of La Parva and Farallones

Near the center of Santiago.  Palm trees and street performers

Near the center of Santiago.  Palm trees and street performers

fiery sunset over the city

fiery sunset over the city