Chilean Ski Resorts Get 2021 Ski Season Underway

Nic Stathos | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
Andes Opening Day
Catching some air on opening day at La Parva, Chile. Image: Facebook

After a mostly non-existent 2020 ski season, several ski resorts in Chile have opened for the 2021 ski season.  El Colorado, Valle Nevado, Corralco, La Parva and Nevados de Chillán are among those open.  These late-June/ early-July openings are a bit later than normal, however, locals are stoked to be back on snow. Currently, conditions are mainly machine groomed trails at most resorts, although a few off-piste pockets exist.  Yet to open is Portillo, who has a mid-July opening in mind.

Late June SUNSET
A late June sunset at El Colorado, Chile. Image: Facebook

Luckily for Chile, the country has had over 67% of the population receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This has lowered COVID-19 transmission in the country and allowed for more relaxed restrictions. Currently, at Valle Nevado, masks are required at all times, along with temperature checks when entering the resort.  Although these ski resorts have opened, traveling to Chile is still restricted to foreigners until July 14.  Hopefully, restrictions can be loosened soon, so powder-hungry folks from the Northern Hemisphere can get their summer powder fix in.

Conditions looking thin at La Parva
Early season groomers on opening day at La Parva, Chile. Image: Facebook

It is worth mentioning that Valle Nevado, La Parva, and El Colorado make up the Tres Valles resorts of Chile. It is possible to ski between all three of these resorts in a day.

Currently, conditions appear to be a mixed bag. To date, Valle Nevado has only received 50cm (20″) of snow, according to their website.  La Parva reports a base of 10 inches at their base elevation of 2670m (8855ft) and 20 inches at their summit elevation of 3630m (11,909ft). As a result of the low base, skiing is mostly reserved for groomed terrain at the moment.  As of July 7, It appears that no new snow is forecast for Valle Nevado in the next five days.  It is always tough to have a slow start to the season after a summer of anticipation.  However, the pure joy of being back on snow for the first time since 2019 is surely enough to appreciate the joy of the mountains.

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