Portillo sits in a wonderland of knife-edged peaks and turquoise lakes, where Chile’s Andes Mountains climb 19,000 feet into the sky. Yet despite the stark vistas and the distance from civilization, this mountain outpost breathes elegance and polish, a living tribute to what skiing used to be. And, to the guests who return year after year, what it still is.
When people think of Chile, they think of wine. But like the country’s diverse vintages, Chile serves up a wide variety of skiing experiences, from tiny local areas to the international destination that is Portillo. With so much on tap, how do you choose the experience that’s right for you? We’ve created a non-inclusive A to V primer on the best that Chile has to offer. But don’t forget that there are other options that we’re not telling you about. Because, as every skier knows, sometimes discovering your own secret stash is the best part of making turns. By Tom Winter.
PowderQuest, a US-based company that runs guided ski tours in Argentina and Chile, recently launched an initiative to donate $100 from each tour sold to coastal Chilean towns hit by the earthquake and tsunami. Brigid Mander spoke to owner and founder David Owen about how winter is shaping up down south.