Chile has always been my favorite skiing destination in August. Since I had been there several times, I did not need much preparation or a professional kit, just a few bare necessitates and warm clothes. I had scouted for information on several places in case I felt like covering them all. Of course, I knew where I had to stay, so carried with me some more cash than usual. The best skiing spot in Chile is at Portillo, which took me two hours to reach from Stgo. I just had to cover the magnificent slopes out there, which are probably not seen elsewhere in Chile, especially in August.

My preparation included an expensive stay at the Ski Portillo resort or Hotel Portillo as it is called. I was not in the mood of sharing an accommodation or toilet at the Octagono. There aren’t too many places you would find to stay, so I think I made a wise decision. The hotel is about 9,450 feet above sea level. The air around the place is very dry and has low humidity. I wanted to acclimatize myself on the first day and went on to get my skiing kit. I consider myself an average skier and got my skis, boots, snowboard equipment, and poles for two days. I was used to the power skis which were available at the time.

Altitude sickness does not get to me, though I had to ensure that I had several glasses of water before I took the lift up to the Juncalillo slope meant for intermediates. The terrain gets rated out here. The categories include 24% easiest, 33% advanced and 43% difficult or very difficult. I had done the easy slopes earlier and wanted to check out the intermediary level. The difficult and most difficult terrains consist of natural snow pack mostly, so that was for another day. There are 12 lifts, so getting one to Juncalillo, which has a variety of rolling terrain, was easy. I was warmed up and excited after my first run.

I decided to try out Plateau, which is everybody’s favorite, especially intermediates and experts. I could try out off piste skiing which would lift my spirits, as I was now an expert who completed the run like one. After trying out some powder skiing down the Roca Jack, it was time to try the F.I.S. Downhill the next day. It begins at 50meters above the Roca Jack ski lift arrival platform and crosses the Juncalillo slope passing over the International Road tunnels before ending just before the Juncalillo chair lift. The total run is around 2,660 meters long which also includes a thrilling vertical drop of 803 meters.

Finally, it was time to tackle the Kilometro Lanzado slope, one of the fastest speed courses in the world, and I can vouch for it. The run extends to 1,034 meters, and you can generate a speed as high as 217 km per hour along 526 meters. There is drop of 426 meters at the fastest point. After my run, I was happy but tired. I told myself I would return for another trip in August some other time.

Tagged: Stuart