Hometown Mountain Shoutout: El Colorado, Farellones, Chile

Sebastian Opazo | | Industry NewsIndustry News
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El Colorado, Ski Resort in Farellones, Santiago, Chile. www.facebook.com

In the corner of the world, there is a country that was born from the wide Pacific Ocean, it walks through desert and forests and finally rises on the high peaks of the Andes mountains. Chile is a long ski of 2,672-miles (4,300km) located in the South East of South America and it’s considered one the best places to do any kind of outdoor sport.

In a basin in the middle of the country and crowned the capital, lies Santiago, surrounded and protected by the huge Andes mountain. Hidden in a gully at 8,038-feet (2,450m) above the sea level, appears a little ski town called Farellones, founded back in the early ’30s by a group of national skiers called The Pioneers. The potential of Farellones brought a lot of people who wanted to share the snow fever and have a piece of that white cake.

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The map of the front face of El Colorado, Farellones, Santiago, Chile. www.elcolorado.cl

Farellones covers three different ski centers, “Los tres valles” or “three valleys”, but the heart of them is El Colorado. The first ski lift was built in 1952 and known as “La Gran Bajada” or the Big Descent, later became the ski resort, El Colorado. The mountain has a cone-shaped peak with wide-open areas that fan out from the top, opening to a large treeless ski area. It has over 1,300 acres across 3,609-feet (1,100m) of vertical with good access to different levels of terrain and steepness.

El Colorado offers a fun ride for the people who like old school, the resort still works with T-Bars that can take you to the highest points of the ski area at 10,935-feet (3,333m). However, if it is not your style or not worth it to try you still can use our chair lifts! It can also give you a family environment on the lower zone of the mountain, where you can find activities like tubing, canopy, or even riding big wheels mountain bike. It also offers good nightlife with restaurants, bars and some pubs around Farellones.

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The Summit Drop of the FWT, Santa Teresa, Farellones, Santiago, Chile, 2013. www.lugaresdenieve.cl

El Colorado is popular for the snowparks and has hosted a number of different national and international freestyle circuits. But is even more popular for easy and good access to one of the best backcountry playgrounds of South America, Santa Teresa. In 2013 the Freeride World Tour was a witness of the imposing and steep pitches that the mountain range of Santa Teresa shares with incredible chutes to hit and rocks to jump. Nevertheless, you will want to have a guide to access to the backcountry, do not try it if you don’t know the zone, it’s out of boundaries, that means no ski patrolling controlling the area, please play safe.

El Colorado and Farellones had been affected by the drought spread, decrease of the precipitation, and significantly the rise of the temperature. The wrong administration of the municipality, the increase of disinforming tourists, and the late actions of the snow community have taken Farellones and El Colorado to the lowest points of snow precipitation in the past ten years. Climate change may not be reversible, but you can make it delay.

Even so, Farellones will continue to be an icon ski town, infallible for the backcountry skiers who still wants that piece of white Andes cake and a great place to gather and share around the mountain people and the snow community.

Resort Stats

Location: Farellones, Santiago de Chile

Nearest major city: Santiago, Región Metropolitana

Vertical: 3,609-feet (1,100m)

Top elevation: 10,935 ft (3,333 m)

Base elevation: 9,022 ft (2,250 m)

Skiable area: 1300 acre

Runs: 101 total

  • 15% beginner
  • 40% intermediate
  • 45% advanced

Longest run: Kilometro Lanzado “KL” 1.1miles (1.8km)

Lift system: 18 total (4 chair lifts, 10 T-Bars, 4 Ropetow)

Terrain parks: 2

Website: www.elcolorado.cl

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