Los Penitentes Lifts & Terrain

Los Penitentes Lifts & Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

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

Our Terrain Ratings

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

Penitentes Ski Area

Los Penitentes (Penitentes Centro de Esqui) has two very distinct halves. The lower half is a flat face with a few tiny beginner runs and a handful of intermediate runs. Off-piste lines may not be ideal if the snow cover is thin.

Most skiers and snowboarders will spend their time in the upper half. It is one big bowl that is primarily serviced by a slow chair lift. The terrain is for upper intermediate to advanced riders.

Lifts

This is South America where detachable lifts and gondolas are a rarity! The main lift infrastructure consists of two super slow double chairs with safety bars and foot rests (very sophisticated!). Parallel to the top lift is a long steep surface lift that’s good for windy conditions, and the rest of the lift “fleet” consists of little surface lifts for beginners.

Lift Tickets

Lift tickets are inexpensive and thankfully they accept credit cards for lift passes.

Los Penitentes Snow

Penitentes doesn’t usually receive a huge amount of snow each season because the massive mountains to the west provide a bit of a precipitation shadow.

The snow quality varies significantly, but at least most of the slopes face south, which keeps the snow in reasonable condition.

Beginner Skiing Penitentes

Just to lookers’ right of the main base area are a few very short beginners’ runs serviced by little surface lifts. The slopes aren’t that mellow and to add to the peril, there’s not a lot of space for many beginners to learn without crashing into each other.

A more mellow beginner run can be found off a short T-bar half way up the mountain.

Intermediate Skiing and Snowboarding

There aren’t a huge number of groomed intermediate and intermediate/advanced runs, so you might get a little bored after a day (and the cat track off the top lift gets very repetitive!). On the plus side, most of the groomed runs head nicely down the fall line, and particularly the groomed red runs (advanced) are a lot of fun for some speedy turns.

Terrain Park

The Penitentes ski resort has a small terrain park, but it has a reputation for not being well maintained.

Advanced & Expert Skiing

Advanced riders can play on the steeped groomed runs or play in the upper off-piste areas. There are some rather steep in-bound lines near the top of the upper chair, but unless the visibility is really poor, you’ll be able to see a line that takes your fancy. To the skiers’ right of the upper area, there is a high traverse and lots of switchbacks so you can also drop in wherever looks tasty.

After a storm, the avalanche risk can be reasonably high and the patrollers don’t really control it, so take care.

For the Powder Hound

In the upper reaches of the ski area, there are some avi fences made of rock, which is somewhat suggestive of the problems of the avalanche risk. However when the risk is low, there are plenty of great lines around the fences or other rock features. Very short hikes lead to plenty of fun lines via a high traverse on skiers’ right, and if you head past Tobogan there’s a wide chute that’s rather popular.