Caviahue Lifts & Terrain

Caviahue Lifts & Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

  • Vertical (m)
    1,650 – 2,068 (418)
  • Average Snow Fall
    6.7 metres
  • Lifts (12)
    1 Quad
  • Ski Season
    Mid June to late Sept
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 22
    Size – 325ha
    Advanced - 30%
    Intermediate - 40%
    Beginner - 30%
The Caviahue Ski Resort has 3 zones. The lower half of the ski area has various lifts that fan up from the base area, providing access to mostly beginner trails and an intermediate run. The lower part has lots of monkey puzzle trees as well as shrubbery that aids with visibility on poor weather days.

The upper half of Caviahue Ski Area is accessed via a narrow trail that heads down to the café. From there, a long quad chair lift provides the main access to the slopes, which are mostly intermediate.

A decent distance away to lookers’ left is the Del Agrio area, although when we visited this hadn’t been open in some time because the prevailing winds had dumped a load of ash on it.

Crowds

With the exception of peak holidays in July, the Caviahue Ski Resort is not very busy. On weekends there may be lots of families hanging out at the base area, but the upper area is generally very quiet and lift queues non-existent.

Lifts

The lift infrastructure is reasonable considering it’s a ski resort out in the middle of nowhere! There are no fancy chair lifts - mostly slow double chairs, and there’s a quad chair in the upper half that’s somewhat speedy despite it being fixed grip. It even has safety bars and foot rests! Otherwise there are magic carpets and other surface lifts that are ideal for those learning to turn.

Caviahue Snow

Caviahue receives 6.7 metres of snowfall per season on average and the quality of it is somewhat similar to Nevados de Chillan. However this is South America where the snow quality can vary significantly from revolting to epic, so anything can happen. And like most South American ski resorts, the ski resort is mostly above the timberline so there are negligible trees to protect the snow from the wind and sun.

The snow quality in the upper zone is much better than the lower zone. Elevation obviously plays a part, and the upper area is mostly southeast facing and less sunny compared to the lower area which is east facing.

Beginner Skiing Caviahue

Beginners are the main market of Centro de Ski Cerro Caviahue. Right near the base are magic carpets that service very gentle novice trails which are easily viewed from the deck of the cafeteria.

Other surface lifts provide the next progression and then confident beginners can head up the Nirantal chair.

Some beginners have a crack at the short intermediate trail off the parallel Pehuen chair lift before it transitions into a green run. The carnage that occurs on this steepish narrow trail makes for a great spectator sport!

For the Intermediate

Intermediates have a couple of piste in the lower half on which to play and enjoy the views across the lake. However on fine days most intermediate riders will want to escape from the danger of the beginners and head to the upper zone. There are a couple of piste runs that are officially rated as “intermediate” but the “difficult” rated runs are mostly groomed and not very steep (except for one short pitch), and would be ideal for intermediates too.

Caviahue Skiing & Snowboarding - Advanced

The advanced runs that are marked as pink on the trail map (now there’s a unique colour for a trail rating!) can offer a bit of speedy groomed fun, particularly at the very top of the ski resort where there is a nice steep-ish pitch.

If you explore off-piste you can find some very steep (and very short) lines at the top before it mellows out rather quickly. Short hikes open up fun steep lines, but there’s really not that much on offer for experts.

Of course, on a powder day powder hounds may not care about the shortage of steep challenging terrain. With minimal competition, the fresh powder lines are likely to last for a while.