The season is Chile is underway and if you’re after culture and powder, you should probably get your ass down there. If you’re brave, use this guide and do it on your own, or if you’re smart, hit up Steep and Deep Powder Tours, the purveyor of which, Ian Gil, is about to give you the details.
The Three Valleys: La Parva, El Colorado, Valle Nevado
Live: Farellones, Santiago
Work: Spanish is a must. If you’re looking for work probably the best place to start would be at the mountain. From there you’d have to look at some of the local hotels/lodges and if that fails there’s always Santiago.
Park: If you’re into park this is by far the best region to chill at. All three mountains have parks with El Colorado claiming king. But watch out for La Parva’s new park opening up this season, park designer Pepe Martinez is claiming big things for this season!!
Party: There’s always a Brazilian party going on at Valle Nevado! Your other options are the two bars located in Farellones or get in with the locals and hit up a house party.
Terrain: All three resorts are a little bit different. With La Parva having the best backcountry, El Colorado has the best park and Valle Nevado a combo of the two.
Local knowledge: If you’ve got your avalanche gear and a guide Santa Teresa is one of the best runs on the planet. But beware many have fallen on this epic backcountry run…
Nevados De Chillán
Live: Las Trancas
Work: As Always start with the mountain and work your way down the road through the town of Las Trancas. The town is small but has several hotels, lodges and restaurants. No Spanish equals no job-o as well-o here-o.
Park: Although they do have a “park” we’d rather say the entire mountain is one big park. There’s a couple small rails, boxes and small jumps…in our opinion don’t waste your time and go enjoy the natural park that is the mountain.
Party: Las Trancas has a couple different bars to party at with the most historical one being the Snow Pub. If you get in with the locals enjoy a local “asado” or as gringos call it amazing BBQ party.
Terrain: In our opinion this mountain has the best terrain of all the resorts in Chile. So vast it would take us a month to show you all the goods.
Local knowledge: Pirigallo is one of the easiest and most accessible sidecountry runs Nevados has to offer. Beware though as it often avalanches and that’s one deadly ride you don’t want to take to the bottom.
Work: Probably the easiest of all the zones to get a job in. The town of Pucón has plenty of restaurants, hotels, hostels, and just about everything.
Park: A little bit better than Nevados de Chillán the park is full of small fun features with Lake Villarica as an amazing backdrop.
Party: Pucón has a ton of bars and even a couple clubs. Mamas y Tapas is a local favorite, has been around forever and even has awesome food to eat.
Terrain: The one thing Pucón lacks is its terrain on the actual resort. If you’re willing to hike there are a ton of backcountry spots where you can build as big a jump as your little heart desires.
Local knowledge: If you have the guts and want the glory there’s the 4-5 hour hike to the top of the active volcano. Make sure you have a local or a guide with you, as the last thing you want to do is end up frozen and dead in a crevasse.