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Ski Mountaineering in Chile

Skiing Volcan Lonquimay. 

Skiing on Volcan Lonquimay in late spring conditions, 2016.

There are several good skiing areas in Chile, from north to south we feature the following on this page.

The North

Santiago Area

Andean Lake District

Central Patagonia

Patagonian Ice-caps

 


The Andes have some great ski touring and mountaineering terrain, with everything from accessible day trips near downhill resorts to committing expedition skiing on the Patagonian ice-caps. In between these extremes are some very quiet and scenic mountain areas with excellent ski-mountaineering and ski-touring terrain.  This page concentrates on the peaks and tours accessible from Chile that we have done in the past.  See the Argentine Ski Mountaineering page for details of good ski tours accessible from Argentina.

ANDES regularly organise and lead ski mountaineering course in Argentina and Chile, for more details of the trips we are currently offering please see the Calendar  page.

There is a short chapter on ski-mountaineering and many suitable ascents are also described and pictured in the guidebook by John Biggar - The Andes, A Guide for Climbers.

 


The North

The far north of Chile has limited skiing, but the 6342m high Volcan Parinacota, right up on the Bolivian border, is one of the best descents in the area.

The far north of Chile has limited skiing, but the 6342m high Volcan Parinacota, right up on the Bolivian border, is one of the best descents in the area.

 


Santiago Area

There is some great ski-touring just outside of Santiago, at heights of 2500-4000m, good areas around the Tres Valles resorts and the Cajon del Maipo. The following pictures were taken in the area above Santiago in September 2001, when we had brilliant snow conditions and unbelievably good weather.

 

Ski Touring above Santiago

Above and below. Ski mountaineering on the peak of Catedral above Santiago, October 2001

 Ski mountaineering on Catedral above Santiago, 2001

Pulling sledges in to our high camp at Banos Colina.... sledges loaded with wine!

Sledging out from Ba?s Colina

 


Andean Lakes District

One of the best places to go for ski mountaineering in the whole of the Andes are the volcanoes of the Andean Lakes district in southern Chile. We have skied to the summits of Lonquimay, Antuco, Chillan, Villarrica and Llaima many times in the past. Several other peaks, notably casablanca, Sierra Nevada, Lanin and Choshuenco also make good ascents. A little bit further north, the peaks of Chillan Nuevo and the Nevados de Chillan Viejo are also often in good condition.

 

Ski Mountaineering on Volcan Lonquimay, August 2012

Skiing on Volcan Llaima, Chilean Andes

Skiing on Volcan Llaima, Chilean Andes

Skiing Volcan Lanin, Chile-Argentina border.

Snowboard Mountaineering on Volcan Villarrica, Chile, August 2007.

Snowboard Mountaineering on Volcan Villarrica, Chile  

Skiing on Volcan Casablanca, Chile.

Skiing on Volcan Casablanca, Chile, October 2016.

 


Central Patagonia and San Lorenzo

Further south in the area known as Patagonia there is more good skiing, and the season can be a bit later, September through to November.

David Roberts skiing a cornice above the Iba?z valley, Chilean Patagonia

David Roberts skiing a cornice above the Ibaņez valley, Chilean Patagonia.

and skiing down the peak of Glaciar Alto in the San Lorenzo group

......and skiing down the peak of Glaciar Alto in the remote San Lorenzo group.

Setting off on skis from high camp for the summit of San Lorenzo, Chile.

Setting off on skis from high camp for the summit of San Lorenzo, Chile.


Patagonian Ice-caps

The Patagonian ice-caps provide some superb skiing terrain, though the weather is not always good. We ran our first trip there in January 2000 and go back every few years. 

 Skinning up towards Gorra Blanca form Paso Marconi on the South Patagonian ice-cap, accessed from Chalten in Argentina

Skinning up towards Gorra Blanca form Paso Marconi on the South Patagonian ice-cap, accessed from Chalten in Argentina although the mountain itself is partly in Chile. Our last scheduled expedition to the ice-cap ran in November 2011. For more information on this expedition or to see more photos of the Patagonian Ice-cap please go to our Patagonian Ice-cap  page.

 

Patagonian Ski Explorer

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