Valle Nevado Ski Resort
One of the Tres Valles resorts along with El Colorado and La Parva, that together offer South America's most extensive and varied ski area.
Valle Nevado means snowy valley in Spanish. It gained this name due to the annual 7m of snowfall it receives. This is aided by the high altitude of the resort which has a high point of 3,670m! The slopes form a small network of well-groomed, mainly intermediate pistes that share links with those in El Colorado and La Parva. Together they offer South America's most extensive and varied ski area, but there is no joint lift pass - you have to buy daily extensions to the local pass. Beginner slopes only form 10% of the total pistes in Valle Nevado but there are ample slopes to allow beginners to progress. Beginners can work their way up from the beginners slope by the base of the resort to the Camino Bajo green that runs from the top of the Mirador chairlift. Confident beginners and intermediates have a great range of pistes available to them. Heading to the top of the mountain via either the Ancla or the Valle del Inca lifts opens up an excellent range of blues and reds that take you right back into the centre of the resort. Advanced skiers will also not struggle to find challenges. The Ancla or the Valle del Inca lifts can also be used to access two moderately challenging blacks or you can head up the other side of the valley using the Tres Puntas lift to access two further blacks. There is some good off piste and a well equipped terrain park but for the most difficult challenge head to the backcountry from the Valle del Inca lift.
Valle Nevado is a high-rise, purpose-built resort in the mode of Les Arcs - not surprisingly as it was designed by the Chilean architect Eduardo Stern who helped design the Les Arcs project. The village is 60km from Chile's capital city Santiago, at the top of a winding approach road. There are three hotels, a small communal outdoor pool, a selection of shops, hotel bars and a nightclub. As with the other Tres Valles resorts, the best way to access the resort is via a flight to Santiago airport, followed by a roughly one and a half hour transfer.
Resort website: www.vallenevado.com