SNOW FALLS AS SKIING IN CHILE STARTS
27th June 2019 | Katie Bamber, Senior News Reporter
Last modified on December 19th, 2019
Snow has arrived as the main resort of Portillo opened at the weekend. Fancy an adventure this summer?
As the temperatures soar over here in Europe, the winter and ski season has kicked off in the Andes.
“WE ARE OPEN! With 30cms dropped in the last 24 hours, opening day is underway and couldn’t be better,” said the resort on Saturday.
It was a bit murky but the main thing for most was that snow was coming down and the resort was open.
Here is the view from one of the resort web cams on Saturday:
An on Sunday the weather lifted.
The snow has come late, but it has come good.
It’s winter 2019.
Portillo is a two-hour drive from the capital, Santiago.
It is on of South America’s premier ski destination in the heart of the Andes.
What defines it?
Craggy peaks of the towering Andes Mountains, emerald waters of Laguna del Inca and steep snow-covered slopes.
It sits at 2,880 metres above sea level – which is high.
Many European ski resorts don’t even ski that high.
Lift assisted skiing in Portillo reaches over 3,300m.
Even more impressive, it’s surrounded by some seriously high peaks, the Aconcagua reaching to 6,960m.
These are the highest in the world after the Himalayas.
Average annual snowfall over here is around 5 metres.
However, when the snow comes in, it comes big.
So much so that Portillo has to have its own uniquely designed Poma lifts.
We’ll have to go and check this one out in person as it’s a confusing one to work out.
You take the classic button/drag lift.
Complicate this, by adding 4 extra buttons to each tow.
These lifts serve the steep slopes.
It’s the gradient and the big snowfalls that call for this special Portillo design.
“In the southern hemisphere many resorts in Australia and New Zealand are getting swallowed up by the Epic Pass or the Ikon Pass from the USA. Not so here in Portillo,” said Maureen Poschman from Portillo to PlanetSKI this week.
“We remain a fiercely and proud independent ski resort. We do not have long lift lines and crowded slopes – we offer character, charm and adventure. Skiing at it’s purest and best.
“Portillo is free of commercial expansion – there’s no town, no shopping centre – just one big yellow hotel, one beautiful ski mountain and with just 450 guests per week guests feel as if they are skiing at their own private Andean resort.”
Near to Portillo are the resorts of Valle Nevado, El Colorado and El Parva.
The mountain area reports 40cm of fresh snow from the recent storm already, with another on the way.
90cm – 1.5m of snow could arrive.
It was snowing last week.
LIVE WEB CAMS
Snaps taken from 12pm Thursday 27th June
Located two hours from Santiago and accessible via direct flights London cities, Portillo is perhaps the perfect South American ski destination for UK skiers and snowboarders wanting to adventure to the Andes this (northern hem) summer.
The resort is based on the gorgeous Lagunadel Inca and is encircled by the Andes’ highest peaks.
There’s world-class skiing and snowboarding catering to all abilities, and excellent service with a 1:1 guest to employee ratio.
Portillo is not commercial.
It’s a real treasure in the mountains.
There’s no town, no shopping centre – just one big yellow hotel and one beautiful ski mountain.
Just 450 guests per week visit, making it feel like your own private ski resort in the Andes.
Ski Portillo looks like a reasonably small mountain, but it skis huge.
If the lake freezes, ski touring and backcountry skiing options become endless.
And if not, you can ski the western side in the morning, heading over to the eastern side through the day, following the sun.
Practically everything in between the huge marked inbound runs are skiable too.
Another great thing about skiing in Chile?
Portillo hosts a wine week too.
Wine week includes complimentary tastings with different Chilean winemakers hosting held every day at apres ski – heaven.
The 2019 ski season runs from 29th June to 5th October.
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