10 Top Off-Piste Resorts in South America
October 4, 2018
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Go off-piste skiing all summer long in South America

Picturesque, family friendly, breathtaking, and adventurous! These few words describe the ski resorts in South America. The snow season begins from June and lasts until October every year. Each season brings some of the best snow and weather conditions for skiing in the majestic beauty of the Andes mountain range.

The ski resorts in South America are a paradise for powder hounds! Each year’s hundreds of skiers and powder fans rush to the Andes to enjoy some of the best ski terrains. Chile and Argentina offer some of the best powder although sometimes the powder could get slightly wet, it’s still perfect for those who love a challenging thigh-burning off-piste skiing. Here’s a list of top 10 off-piste resorts in South America.

1. Cerro Catedral

Cerro Catedral is one of the most extensive ski resorts located in Bariloche Argentina. The resort rubs shoulders with the Nahuel Huapi National Park. The Cerro Catedral is a well-connected resort with over 40 lifts and a massive 1,200 hectares of terrain.

Being a mega ski resort, Cerro Catedral is well developed, and it has a vibrant village at the base of the resort. Cerro Catedral has a very steep 1,150 meters vertical drop, with over 120 kilometers of slopes are comprised of 15% beginner terrain marked green, 60% of the terrain is marked blue, 20% is black, and 5% is double diamond black slopes for expert skiers. The best of the resort is that it has one of the best off-piste slopes in South America. Powder hounds will surely love the off-piste at Cerro Catedral as half of its skiable area is off-piste, including the four peaks; Cerro Challhuaco, Cerro Ñireco, Cerro Lopez, and Valle Van Titter.

2. La Hoya

La Hoya ski resort in Argentina is a small resort that packs a big surprise for off-piste skiers. La Hoya has the best powder in the region, and its treeless terrain is around 148 acres. Although the resort is rather small in comparison with other resorts, the resort has good options for those who want to try the uncrowded and untamed off-piste of the La Hoya ski resort. To get to the off-piste skiers must take the top lift that will take them straight to the off-piste slopes. Enjoy some of the best off-piste skiing in the Andes with plenty of sunshine and powder to satisfy every level of skiers. The south facing off-piste terrain gets most of the powder each season from June to October.

3. Valle Nevado

Valle Nevado is a gem of ski resort thanks to its spectacular off-piste skiing. Valle Nevado is an international and modern ski resort in Chile. The resort is a popular destination for powder ski fans seeking an off-piste skiing experience like no other. Valle Nevado has off-pistes for all ski levels. The ski season in Valle Nevado begins in June and lasts all the way until October. July marks the winter and ski season peak time; this is the time when the resort is crowded with skiers. Valle Nevado, one of the most celebrated ski resort is a vibrant part of Tres Valles (The Three Valleys) of Chile. The resort is located near El Colorado and La Parva, the other two segments of the Three Valley resorts. Valle Nevado ski resort has around 2,200 acres of the skiable area. The resort offers gigantic off-piste exploring to experienced skiers and snowboarders. Advanced riders will encounter different bowls and chutes with incredible powder buildup after a blizzard. There are endless options for the off-piste terrain. For exceptional off-piste adventures, the skiers must try the terrain that offers astonishing opportunities for steep chutes, and long powder runs leading back to Valle Nevado from La Parva. The resort is a favorite place for advanced skiers looking for challenging leg-burning adrenaline pumping off-piste.

4. La Parva

La Parva is a major Chilean resort included in the prestigious Three Valleys or Tres Valles. With over 520 hectares of skiable area, La Parva is a resort offering off-piste to intermediate and expert skiers. La Parva is equipped with one of the best lift systems in South America. Most of the La Parva off-piste is located in a treeless terrain that offers speedy runs on the steep dry powder runs. Advanced skiers have to take a small hike to reach the off-pistes locations in resort namely the Sector Parva Chica. The off-piste locations are dependent on the amount of snowfall the resort receives every year. The La Aguilas area is a location for advanced skiers seeking some of the best off-piste skiing in South America. Skiers have to take the new chairlift to reach the Valley of Fabres where plenty of chutes and cornices are available for some thigh-burning skiing. The La Chiminea run the biggest challenging run in the off-piste terrain of La Parva.

5. Las Lenas

Las Lenas is a popular ski resort in Argentina and one of the largest ski resort in South America with over 39,000 acres of skiable terrain. The Las Lenas resort has 14 lifts which take skiers to the various locations around the resort. Las Lenas offers a unique off-piste skiing experience for advanced and experienced skiers on its steep and tall runs. The giant and very steep slopes can challenge some of the best skiers in the world.

6. El Colorado

El Colorado is a part of the Tres Valles. The resort has around 1,100 hectares and a massive vertical drop of 1,090 meters. Connected with 19 lifts the resort offers access to its various terrains and off-piste. The resort can become very crowded due to its limited power supply but off-piste is usually not that crowded to enjoy a speed run on the steep slopes.

7. The Cerro Bayo

The Cerro Bayo is an ultimate ski resort in Argentina. By size, the resort is tiny with only 494 acres of the skiable terrain. The small resort is well-connected thanks to the 16 lifts that provide access to different slopes and runs including the off-piste. Cerro Bayo is an ideal ski resort for advanced and experienced skiers looking for the ultimate dry powder off-piste experience. Plenty of fresh lines in the off-piste areas are necessary to visit for powder fans. Skiers for more off-piste has to take a hike to the terrain located on the shoulder of the mountain. Skiers can then take a gondola to the best off-piste runs in the resort. Enjoy skiing in the ungroomed powder rich terrain with spectacular views of the Nahuel Huapi Lake. Skiing in the off-piste near the lake would make any skier feel like they would drop into the lake at any minute.

8. Portillo

Portillo, Chile, is a popular ski destination for skiers coming in from around the world. Many skiers visiting the resort for the first time have made the mistake of underestimating the size of the resort. The resort is not big by any margins, with skiable terrain standing of 500 acres and 35 marked trails. Take the Poma lift and head to the Roca Jack for an off-piste skiing adventure on steep runs. Traversable off-piste offers some deep chutes including the incredible Super C Couloir. Skiers are advised to proceed with caution as the off-piste skiing locations are not patrolled or maintained by the resort administration. Expert skiers will love the challenging unmarked obstacles and dangerous terrain of Portillo. Most expert skiers proceed with caution in the backcountry, as there is a constant risk of avalanche and ski guides are reluctant to venture into the off-piste.

9. Cerro Chapelco

The Cerro Chapelco is a popular spot for off-piste skiing. The Chapelco ski resort is located near the mountain village of San Martin de Los Andes. It is one of the most highly ranking resorts in Argentina. In 2015, the resort successfully won the Best Ski Resort award by the World Best Ski Awards. Chapelco offers an abundant assortment of steep open bowls, easy to access off-pistes, fun tree skiing and some of the best off-piste runs for expert skiers in the Andes.

10. Nevados de Chillán (formerly Termas de Chillan)

Last but not the least on the list is the Nevados de Chillán, a small ski resort in Chile packs extraordinary off-piste skiing. With nine lifts and 24700 acres of skiable terrain offers sufficient skiing options for every skill level. Considered one of the largest ski resort in Chile, the ski resort is located on the Chilean Volcano. The resort is famous for its hot springs. The resort has over 32 runs with a 700m vertical drop and a supreme elevation of 2500m the rural style of the resort will to excite and surprise the off-piste skier's thanks to its annual average snowfall averaging at 10 cm per year. Plenty of powder on steep slopes is ideal for off-piste skiing.
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