Corralco 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) 2014
    1,480 – 2,400 (920)
  • Average Snow Fall
    ?  metres
  • Lifts (6) 2014
    2 chair lifts
    4 surface lifts
  • Ski Hours
    9:00am - 5:00pm
    early June - mid Oct
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 25
    Size – 200ha

Corralco Ski Resort Corralco is a medium sized ski resort that is ideal for novices, just OK for intermediates, a bit of fun for advanced off-piste riders (when the snow conditions are good), and fantastic for backcountry riders who are happy to earn their turns. And since the new Cumbre top lift installation, the “bit of fun” for off-piste riders has changed to “lots of fun” because the lift provides easy access via traversing to many more lines.

One of the key features of Corralco is the lack of crowds (particularly after the Chile ski holidays during the last two weeks of July). On weekends it’s really quiet and on weekdays it’s absolutely deserted. This may change in the near future as more people get wind of the new developments at Corralco.

Lifts

For a resort that’s putting in new lifts, it’s a shame that they don’t install ones that run a bit quicker! The speed of the lifts isn’t too dissimilar to some low frills Chile ski resorts, but the calibre of the lifts seems out of keeping with the luxury hotel and the upscale day lodge (and the associated price tag).

The short little ropetow (El Jardin) just above the day lodge is ideal for little kids learning to ski. La Cornisa is a fixed grip double chair that ascends from near the day lodge and services a long mellow slope. Beginners will get plenty of rest on this chair due to its lack of speed!

The mid section of the mountain is serviced by a surface lift that runs sometimes only, whilst the nearby El Volcan fixed grip chair can be brutal on a cold windy day. Understandably the frequent windy conditions can necessitate a reduction of lift speed, but slow is different to snail’s pace!

Further afield is the Navidad (Christmas) platter lift. This is a fraction challenging to ride because the discs are rather small and in places it runs almost horizontally so it feels like the disc will slip out from between your legs.

The Cumbre (Summit) is another surface lift, and whilst it won’t take you to the summit, it goes up to 2,400 metres of elevation (490m from the top).

Lift Tickets

Lift ticket prices are reasonable or if you stay at the hotel they are included in the package.

Corralco Snow and Weather Conditions

Whilst the annual average snowfall of Corralco is unknown, it is well recognised that this area of Chile gets a lots of precipitation, and due to reasonably high elevation, most of this falls as snow. During June and July, lots of storms roll through and there are many days when it’s not possible or desirable to go skiing. From August onwards there are more days of good visibility to get out and explore.

The snow quality is generally pretty good due to largely southeast facing slopes, although considering there are many lava features and gullies and bowls, there are lots of different aspects so the snow quality can vary significantly.

For the Beginner

Small children can start on the little ropetow that services a short mellow area right in front of the day lodge. Other beginners can start on La Cornisa chair lift which services a long wide groomed slope that is so mellow that if you don’t have wax on your skis, you might have to pole ocassionally!

Corralco Skiing & Boarding - Intermediates

Corralco only has a handful of intermediate groomed runs off El Volcan chair. These range from easy blue runs to red runs that are pretty steep at the top before mellowing out.

Corralco Terrain Park

Undoubtedly this is something that Corralco will further develop over time. When we visited they had a little terrain park with a few jumps, but it looked like it was only maintained on the weekends.

Advanced Skiing Corralco

For advanced riders who love speed, the steep groomed runs are lots of fun. The problem with going fast is that it makes the ascent on the chair lift seem even longer!

Otherwise for advanced riders there is a small to moderate amount of off-piste terrain in-bounds. Considering the minimal traffic these are unlikely to bump up much.

Sidecountry

It’s not at all clear where the boundaries of the ski resort are, so the delineation between off-piste and sidecountry is somewhat hazy. Putting definitions and semantics aside, there are lots of great lines either side of the lifts that can be traversed to. Donning avo gear is probably a great idea because it’s unlikely that the resort does any specific avalanche control work in these areas.

Skiers’ left of the Navidad lift are lots of lines into a large bowl, or a wider traverse gets you into another bowl. Skiers right of the resort, a traverse will take you to a large gully – plenty of amusement to be had there!

The only downside to the sidecountry is that whilst the upper parts of the mountain are steep, the lower parts of the ski resort are very mellow, almost flat, so traversing back into a lift can be a little challenging (depending on how wide you go) and a little skating or hiking may be required.

The new Cumbre lift has opened up a myriad of lines and more terrain variety, as the lava flow features are more prevalent in this upper region.

Backcountry

If you’re prepared to hike or go alpine touring aka randonnée, there are lots of awesome places to explore around Corralco. Needless to stay, there’s often some avalanche concern.

The hotel activity desk can provide guiding services to suit your needs, but currently you’ll need your own touring equipment as the hotel and resort don’t have any available for rent. It is also be possible for the hotel activity centre to organise snowmobile accessed skiing and snowboarding.

A popular activity is to head up to the top of the Lonquimay Volcano, which when the new lift is installed will be a 490 metre ascent under human steam. It is often icy near the top so crampons and an ice axe may be required. Unlike other nearby volcanoes, the presence of vents near the top is not common. The climb is rewarding because the views from the top are outstanding, and some choose to ski down the glacier inside the crater for the cool factor (it doesn’t have any crevasses). Of course the steep ski or snowboard back down the volcano is particularly gratifying, regardless of what face or line you choose. The front face is somewhat technical and lines can include cliffs and other rock features, whilst the eastern side tends to be more bowl like.

Another spot to explore is around the Navidad (Christmas) Crater. On Xmas day of 1988 the volcano erupted from this vent down on the northeast flank and spewed lava way down into the valley. A reasonably short skin from the ski resort will allow you to view the crater, or with crampons and ice axes you can climb up to the crater rim for a look-see.

Colorado is the peak to the lookers left of Lonquimay which provides some fantastic lines. Or much further afield is the Cow’s Head over the back of Lonquimay.