Trip Report: La Parva, Chile – Visiting the Neighbor

Sebastian Opazo | | Trip ReportTrip Report
La Falsa Parva, La Parva
La Falsa Parva, south face, resting between clouds. Credit: Snowbrains

Despite all the years of skiing a few feet away, I had not been given the opportunity to meet my neighbor, La Parva. Chile is in quarantine, even so, certain communes of the Capital are allowed mobility and the practice of sports with their corresponding measures. Among these communes is Lo Barnechea, which the mountain town Farellones belongs to.

The ski centers are closed, but not the mountain. On Tuesday, August 4th with the crew, we coordinated to return to the sports air conditioning after several months of quarantine, so we set out to tour the center of La Parva and if time warranted, reach the summit of La Falsa Parva.

The energy and light allowed us to reach the Aguila summit at 12,204, very close to Falsa Parva, which is at 12,755. However, there is no way to not enjoy a vertical drop of 3,149 feet that ends at your car door.

Farellones  – La Parva, Chile Details:

  • Summit:  12,204′
  • Car:  9,022′
  • Vertical From Car:  3,182′
  • Vertical skied:  3,182′
  • Max Pitch: 35º 
  • Avg Pitch: 32º 
  • Distance: 5.5 miles  
  • Time From Car to Summit:  7 hours (lazy walk)
  • Recommended Equipment:  skins or snowshoes  
La Parva, Town, Farellones
The town of La Parva to the distance from the last curves. Credit: Snowbrains

We started our trips at 7 am into the direction of Farellones. With document and papers in hand, we passed the police control, we met with the band on the way before the curves for a short briefing to made the decision to head towards La Parva.

Among valleys, extensive vegetation and wild animals welcome you before entering the respected 40 curves towards Farellones, making it a magical and intimidating landscape at the same time.

Farellones is a town located 36 km from Santiago, Chile. Nestled in the Andes mountain range and the cradle of three ski centers, including La Parva.

Farellones, Curvas, Santiago
Part of the curves of the road to Farellones seen from above. Credit: Ridechile

We leave our cars at the base of La Parva and start our journey towards its top at 9 am. It felt like spring, a bright sun, clear skies, and a little breeze that accompanies you as you go up.

With all the tranquility of the world, we headed towards the top of La Parva, with the aim of knowing its terrain and its landscape.

Golondrina, La Parva
Looking west before heading towards the Barros Negros base. Credit: Snowbrains

It looks like an abandoned center, but with excellent maintenance. The center is in active operation, many work roads, tracks, and parking lots were cleared. However, the ski center doesn’t have permits to open to the public and make use of lifts, restaurants, or rentals.

The mountain calls to be visited, but in turn, it shows you that it enjoys its tranquility and harmony. Going through the different corners that La Parva offered us, it took us to take different paths of long distances but with gentle steps.

La Parva, Golondrina, Barros Negros
The team on the way to the Barros Negros base. Credit: Snowbrains

With the sun in our faces, we headed northwest through the Golondrinas sector, excited about the first steps in the winter Andes in 2020. Slowly and without haste we were evaluating the touring towards the top, taking different planes and slopes.

The snow in the morning felt like stepping on cardboard. Strong winds lift the snow and throw it on the gully that La Parva hides and the rest in the mid-zone of El Colorado. Still, we knew it wasn’t the same story upstairs.

We arrived at the Barros Negros base, and it was time to choose. 

La Parva, Touring, Chile
Moving away from Barros Negros. Credit: Snowbrains

Calm is the key to success and enjoyment. We decided to use the service road to complete this route, however, the road had a surprise ready for us that we didn’t know. It led us to walk much more than expected.

The long road got longer. When we completed the zigzag of the path of the machines we took the first break to contemplate where we were and what was around us.

The winds increased with the altitude and so did the temperatures with the passing of the day. We decided to head south and continue around the summit, but this led us to deviate significantly from our destination on the north, leading us to descend a couple of feet.

La Parva, Nevada, Chile
Traversing through Nevada trails. Credit: Snowbrains

It was already past two and we were still far from the Falsa Parva. The relaxation, the calm, and the good vibes were stronger. The tranquility of the team led to the trip having another approach, rather than capturing its summit or the Falsa Parva.

The detour had brought us to the Nevada base. This track is far from its center and has a unique charm in what can be seen from it.

The ascent from Nevada to return to the original route was not going to be short and the light was quickly lost in the east.

La Parva, Falsa Parva, Chile, South face
Looking at the south face of our goal with hope but without time. Credit: Snowbrains

The easy route took us at least a mile away from our destination. It was time to start engines in straight tune through the snowy slopes and connect with the Muela route on the way to the Piuquene summit.

Quarantine effect; the road to the summit was close but the hour passed fast and the energy was no longer the same.

Having reached the Águila peak through La Muela, we decided to start the descent of our trip, suspending the summit of Falsa Parva due to the light.

La Parva, La Falsa Parva
The south face of La Falsa Parva. Close, but not enough time. Credit: Snowbrains

Around 4:30 p.m., the moment that we had all expected began, touring off, riding on. We skied Manantiales and La Pared and then connect with the last part of the Barros Negros tracks.

Being able to make up most of the miles traveled on the descent was attractive enough reward for everyone. With a sun that was hot enough to deliver a delicious snow soup in certain sectors and hidden pow on slopes facing south, La Parva left an excellent experience in our memories.

It lasted a few minutes, but each turn was timed. I think the whole team did their job of connecting deeply with the situation, and thus not only enjoying the trails, but the landscape that Mother Nature was offering us, the company, and the beloved snow.

La Parva, La Pared, Manantiales
To the right La Pared and where the shadow falls, the beginning of Manantiales. Credit: Snowbrains

Closing the day with the sun almost set, we reached the base feeling joy and happiness, but without being able to feel our legs. The team was exhausted, but we were all enriched by the experience and by the timeshare.

The climate and studies tell us that it could be a shorter winter for the central valley, but we hope through the snow dances that we can prolong it.

Many people are looking forward to being part of this experience this year and I hope they do, however, we must be empathic with the environment and with what surrounds them. That way, we can achieve the same harmony that the mountain gives and invites us to conquer.

Photo Tour in Chronological Order:

Farellones, Chile
In the curves of Farellones Road. Credit: Snowbrains
Farellones, Chile
Entering the town of Farellones, Santiago, Chile. Credit: Snowbrains
Farellones, Chile
Part of the town of Farellones, Santiago, Chile. Credit: Snowbrains
Farellones, Chile
Village cabin, Farellones, Chile. Credit: Snowbrains
La Parva, Curves, Farellones
In the lasts curves of the Farellones Road. Credit: Snowbrains
La Parva, Golondrina.
Going up through Golondrinas to get to the base of Barros Negros. Credit: Snowbrains
La Parva
Golondrinas from above and the town of La Parva. Credit: Snowbrains
La Parva, Farellones
Isidora and Monica going up the service road to get to Barros Negros. Credit: Snowbrains
La Parva, Barros Negros
Rado and the base of Barros Negros. Credit: Snowbrains
La Parva, Chile
Moving away from Barros Negros, with slow and sure steps. Credit: Snowbrains
La Parva
Moment of rest and appreciation. Somewhere between Camino Bandera. Credit: Snowbrains
La Parva
The top of Nevada and the base of Piuquene. Credit: Snowbrains
La Parva, El Colorado
Facing south watching Nevada and El Colorado. Credit: Snowbrains
La Parva, Chile
Facing north watching how the shadow covers the summit. Credit: Snowbrains
La Parva
Cris watching as we move away from the top and the False Parva. Credit: Snowbrains
La Parva
Monica heading up to Manantiales. Credit: Snowbrains
Farellones, Chile
Thank you La Parva, it was great to meet you. La Parva Cabins. Credit: Snowbrains
Farellones
Sunset on Farellones. Credit: Snowbrains
Farellones
Good vibes, good turns, good trip! The sun says goodbye to the crew. Credit: Snowbrains.

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