ACTIVITY SNAPSHOT

SPORT LEVEL:

First timers to Advance (families ok)

DURATION: 

Winter

SPOKEN LANGUAGES:

English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish  

OPENING SEASONS:

J F M A M J J A S O N  D 

Portillo

The Portillo Ski Resort in Chile is world renowned! Portillo Chile was put on the map in 1966 when it became the first South American resort to host the World Skiing Championships. The notoriety further increased when the 200km per hour speed barrier was broken in 1978 at Portillo, and the ski resort continues to be famous amongst expert skiers who visit Portillo for the amazingly steep slopes. 

Many skiers have seen photos of the bright yellow Hotel Portillo with the magnificent backdrop of the snow covered Andes. Or if they haven’t seen a photo, they’ve at least seen the Warren Miller movie where some crazy dudes practice their ski jumping into the hotel swimming pool. Warren Miller loved Portillo so much that the resort has been included in his list of the top 10 ski resorts in the world. So Portillo Chile must be pretty special! 

It’s not just the historic yellow Hotel Portillo that makes the ski resort unique, although this is the centre of the culture of this boutique ski resort. With limited lodging on-mountain, it feels like a private club and this exclusivity provides benefits such as no lift lines and more fresh tracks. The spectacular setting of Portillo is also a major draw card. Stunning views are afforded by the combination of the craggy peaks of the towering Andes Mountains, the emerald waters of Laguna del Inca, and the steep snow-covered slopes.

The treeless Portillo ski terrain is a combination of long groomed runs and big mountain skiing. There are trails for all ability levels, but it caters particularly well to the advanced rider with plenty of steep slopes. In-bounds there are only 500 hectares of terrain, but experts also ski Portillo for the abundance of side-country areas that can be traversed or hiked to. As a result of the traversing and flat spots around the hotel, skiing tends to be more popular than snowboarding.

Some of the expert runs at Portillo ski resort are so steep and avalanche prone that they are serviced by the unique “va et vient” lifts (aka slingshot), which are like 4 to 5 person poma lifts but much more efficient. They also have standard chair lifts and other surface tows.

ACTIVITIES

Heli Skiing
Off piste skiing
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