With the ski season now well and truly behind us, we’ve been getting cravings for more of the white stuff. Luckily, the heli-skiing team at Pure Powder got in touch and shared with us their top tips for adventuring to the southern-hemisphere and discovering skiing in Chile!
If you can’t bear the thought of waiting another 6 months until the northern hemisphere winter season kicks-off again then maybe you should dust off the skis or snowboard and head southwards, where the ski season is just getting going.
Long recognised as the heart of the South America ski scene, Chile has some incredible skiing and boarding options just waiting to be explored.
Here are our top picks for some fantastic summer skiing in Chile and around…
1) The ultimate heli skiing adventure… Heli Skiing from a Luxury boat off the coast of Patagonia
For the adventurous types who like standing out from the crowd how about a truly unique heli ski experience? Hop on-board an incredible exploration yacht with two helicopters at your disposal to explore the un-touched powder skiing wilderness of Patagonia! With 32 staff members on hand to make sure that you are pampered and generally looked-after at every turn, you can expect the best in private chefs, spa facilities and most importantly the top mountain guides primed to sniff out the deep stuff. With the luxury yacht as your impressive base you’ll be able to explore deep into the Patagonian Andes skiing in one of the world’s last skiing wildernesses.
2) A heady mix of Andes heli skiing by day and cosmopolitan Santiago by night
Do you love your heli skiing but don’t want to miss out on the buzz and humdrum of city life? Then this unique option is for you, staying in the impressive ‘W’ Hotel in Santiago and having the luxury of taking off from your rooftop heli-pad and being transported to your heli skiing paradise just 20 minutes away each morning. The heli skiing and boarding is characterised by long descents of glorious powder on open, alpine terrain. And because this is heli skiing in small groups, the ski programme can be tailored to the individuals in each group of 4 guests.
At the end of a long day, kick-back at the hotel roof-top pool (there aren’t many pools with a view like this one) and then explore the hotel’s own collection of restaurants and bars, before heading-out to soak up down-town Santiago.
3) Boutique Hacienda Heli Skiing in Lodge Andino in the Maipo Valley
For an authentic Chilean experience, you can stay in the luxurious family-run ‘hacienda’ Lodge Andino which is oozing with local charm and situated right in the heart of the heli skiing terrain in the stunning Maipo Valley. Just five minutes flight-time away and you’ll be skiing huge big alpine heli ski bowls and gorgeous un-touched powder. The region benefits from stable weather patterns in the winter months meaning lots of sunshine, especially in the afternoon. But if the heli is grounded, then there are lots of ways to while away the time, from horseback riding in the foot-hills to a long lunch and wine tasting at many of the local wine farms. And at the end of the day you can come home to delicious home-cooked Chilean specialities – some nights prepared outside on an open fire – and washed down with a glass of Carménère red. Magic.
4) Ski the pistes of Portillo and be part of Chile’s skiing heritage
Portillo is South America’s oldest ski area which has been drawing people in from all over the world since the 1940’s. Centred around the ski-in, ski-out Hotel Portillo, there are 14 lifts in the resort providing access to 35 pisted runs and much more off-piste terrain. This place has a really warm and friendly feel to it, and with 80% chance of sunshine at the resort and only 2 hours from Santiago it’s a no brainer! Whilst you’re here, keep an eye out for your ski racing hero as many of the international ski teams use Portillo as a training base during the northern hemisphere summer months.