Overall Rating

Nevados de Chillan

Nevados de Chillan4/513
Nevados de Chillan4 out of 5 based on 13 reviews
  • Recommend
    85%
  • Would Revisit
    85%

Nevados de Chillan - Reviews

Nevados de Chillan - Reviews

Review of Nevados De Chillan Ski Resort Aug 26 to Sep 3 2017

Tony06/09/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    September

Review of Nevados De Chillan Ski Resort Aug 26 to Sep 3 2017

Tony06/09/2017
Review of Nevados De Chillan Ski Resort
Resort dates 8/26/17 to 9/3/17.
Ski hill:
The ski hill is an ok sized ski hill. Not great, not bad.
All of the postings that mention great potential are true. If they invested in modern equipment and relocated some of the chairs to provide better access it would be awesome South American skiing during our US summer months. They could easily open up the free ride and closed areas and provide lift access with modern avalanche clearing techniques. It is just not that dangerous of an area, they just don’t maintain it. It is not going to happen though!
They do not manage this resort for skiers. It appears the main focus of this ski resort is the thermal pools. They go to normal efforts to maintain the beginner areas and that’s it. They prefer not to expend any resources on the rest of the hill and try, and I mean try very little, to open the rest of the hill on Saturdays when most of the tourists are there. They could care less about providing skiing to the guests during the week. They make no attempt to provide skiing at anywhere but the beginner’s area during midweek. The 5 snow cats sit idle during the week except to groom the beginner runs at the bottom of the hill. That’s it! No kidding!
There are 2 chair lifts that operate mainly for the beginner green run areas, and to bring guests from the lower hotel up to the main hotel to eat at the restaurant and cafeteria, and to gain access to the thermal pools. These 2 chair lifts open each day very near 9 am, no matter the weather. They are Tata and Iglu. They also always open the beginner area tbar Novatos which provides access to the hotel, bar, cafeteria, and restaurant.
The rest of the hill rarely opens! Rarely! We were there Saturday through Sunday and I got 6 runs in on the good terrain. I’ll say that again, in 6 full days of skiing I got 6 runs in! 2 runs in the freeride area, 2 runs in the closed area to the right of the freeride area, and 2 runs in the closed area to the left of the freeride area. You cannot gain access to these areas without the chair Otto and or the tbar Nono operating.
Saturday night it started snowing and snowed most of Sunday, and a little Monday morning. 30 inches of snow total. It stayed that way until Monday about 10 am. It did not snow again till the following Friday evening when they got 6 more inches overnight.
Monday am at about 12 noon they opened up the two bunny hill chairs Tata and Iglu. Tuesday, yes Tuesday, at 11 am they had the chair Otto open for a few hours which provided access to the free ride and closed areas. They closed Otto about 2pm and only kept the double tbar called Nono open which provides access to the same area, but requires even more traversing. The top never opened! Never, not once all week!
Occasionally during the day, not all day, they would open the chair called Wenche which would provide access to the run called Benno. Occasionally during the day, not all day, they would open the the tbar called Nono which was above Wenche which would provide access to the run called Chueco
They groomed one run from the top of the double tbar called Nono alongside those tbars all the way to the bottom, that’s it!
While we were there each day they would groom 1/6 of the run called Huemul. It took them from the Saturday we arrived till late in the day the following Friday to groom a 2 snow cat wide track the length of the run. That provided access to intermediate skier’s.
Intermediate skier’s were just as disappointed in the open runs as the advanced skier’s. The only group of people who didn’t mind were the novices.
We heard many, many different and varied stories and opinions about whether or not it was safe to ski the free ride area without avalanche training and gear. They get a lot of snow and make no attempt to clear an area of potential traps. There are a lot of cornices, and swales that look like they could let loose at any time. One of the cornices did let loose right next to the Nano chair one evening after the hill had closed. 2 years ago someone died below that same cornice next to the Nono chair. My guides friend, died just to the left of the Wenche chair on the steep face that you can see from the chair. A German guest skiing there saved the life of an individual seven years earlier just below the first face under the Otto chair. A slide buried him and they got lucky and found him right away. He was not breathing and he personally resuscitated him. My own personal opinion is that of an idiot without any experience. Most of the free ride area looked fine for skiing. It was intermediate level steepness and difficulty. It was advanced powder skiing though. It was obvious even to me that here were plenty of steep faces to be avoided and plenty of potential terrain traps to be avoided because they looked like they were gonna let loose any minute. Remember this was after a 30 inch dump with lots of snow anywhere from knee to chest deep. I would never venture into the closed areas without training or a guide. I would consider venturing into the free ride area if I had training, a beacon, and most importantly someone to ski with to get help if you need it. I would be very careful. I am not ordinarily a careful person but this ski hill is not managed anywhere close to a western US ski hill. It deserves much more respect than most people give it.
We only heard them dynamite 3 times on the Tuesday morning we were there. They dynamited 3 times near the Otto chair where most of the people skied when they had the area open for a few hours. I could see all 3 dynamite blasts while skiing the free ride area. Each blast was on a very steep and deep face. You could see the round black ring from the explosion. On the following Saturday morning before they opened up the hill we heard a lot of dynamiting. I get the impression they do not bother with clearing the ski area until a weekend when they have a lot of guests and then go to the trouble of opening up more chairs.
I have no backcountry or avalanche training or equipment. I hired a local English speaking guide for the day. There were so many people waiting to ski, and so little of the hill open, that within 2 runs the best faces in the free ride area were tracked up. I was fortunate to have a guide who was intimate with the hill and knew exactly where to go and when.
While I was there they were not running the snow cat ski operation.
They did put in a new chair called Refugio, but it broke early this spring and they have not bothered fixing it.
My overall impression is this ski resort does not care to cater to even intermediate level skier’s. There lift equipment is old and unreliable. The management is not geared at all to ski hill area management. The private owners of the hill have no desire whatsoever to modernize this ski hill in any way. I cannot say enough negative things about the skiing at this resort.
I absolutely do not recommend this ski resort to anyone but a novice first timer who will not venture off the magic carpet ride and they very flat beginners run.

One of the Best Ski Resorts in South America

POWDERHOUNDS.COM22/09/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    August

One of the Best Ski Resorts in South America

POWDERHOUNDS.COM22/09/2016
Nevados de Chillan remains one of the best ski areas in South America for powder hounds. It ticks the boxes for the important powder hound ingredients: plenty of snowfall; interesting advanced terrain in-bounds and in the backcountry; and very few people to compete with for freshies.

2016 wasn’t a great season for Nevados de Chillan with significantly less than average snowfalls. Despite this we managed to score a few powder days but had to keep any eye out for the many sharks lurking below the powder.

The resort has done a lot to improve the lift infrastructure since we last visited (thank god!), and a new chairlift will open for 2017. Nevertheless currently some of the chairs are still painfully slow, and as the top of the mountain is rather exposed, it is common that some of the lifts are closed for wind hold.

The casino at the Gran Hotel has closed due to some government bureaucratic silliness and a couple of other activities ceased, so the resort isn’t quite as vibrant as it once was.

Don’t expect North American standards of service, organisation or focus on safety. As one little example, there was no signage to indicate that the Tres Maria run was closed and it only became obvious a little late. Any intermediate trying to head down there in low vis wouldn’t have been too happy!

Other pros and cons are outlined on the Nevados de Chillan overview page and you can also see our South America ski resort ratings to see how Nevados compares.

Top lifts close but a lot of fun anyway!

Jean-René29/09/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    August

Top lifts close but a lot of fun anyway!

Jean-René29/09/2015
Powder day at Chillan :)
The day after the storm.
A lot of wind during the week I was there this year (last week of august). The top lift didn’t open for the week but I manage to have a lot of fun anyway. They got a big dump (maybe 65 cm) so we spend a day having first track. I recommend to check out the weather before going. They close lift if the wind is above 30 km/h. But the terrain make it up for the wind situation. The backcountry is amazing just like the runs. I will definitely go back.

Okay but not great, hampered by poor weather

Chris Deke31/08/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    18-35

Okay but not great, hampered by poor weather

Chris Deke31/08/2015
Spent a week here early august 2015. In that time we did not see any lifts open past about 2400m, which means more than half of the mountain was inaccessible. They blamed wind, but it really wasn't that bad. I spoke to people who had been there for 3 weeks and they had also not seen the top lifts open at all.

Snow report was regularly complete lies too, it would be bucketing rain and say sunshine or raining and say snow.

When we could get to it the snow was actually pretty good, best I've touched in the southern hemisphere, just getting at it was a trial.

Overall if you come here, be prepared to spend a lot of time in the termas, and bring your full waterproof kit.

La Raja!!!!!

Mark04/07/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50

La Raja!!!!!

Mark04/07/2015
I love this place! Two visits and I'm hoping for more. Heck I'd move there if I could. We stayed down in Las Trancas, which I'd recommend, but it does require some logistics for getting up and down the mountain. Like all the skiing I've done in Chile, the elements give and take away, so this place can get shutdown, but that seems to go with skiing in the Andes. Great side country options to explore, which is where we spent the majority of our time. There's even a sweet hot springs that can be tied into a ski tour. It's great! Spend as much time there as you can.

Favourite place to ski in Chile

Diane H30/06/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    36-50

Favourite place to ski in Chile

Diane H30/06/2015
My favourite place to ski in all of Chile Nevados de Chillan. There was so much snow they had to dig out the lifts in the morning, twice.

Lots of variety for beginners to expert-only runs. The tree skiing in the bamboo forest was exceptional. No lift lines, less tourists than Portillo and had a vibe all its own.

Recommend using guides and avalanche beacons to be safe, as there is a lot of terrain to cover.

Off hill the cafeteria food was less than average, but great après at the hotel lounge. Stay to watch the sun set as the views are beautiful.

Fabulous

Mark Lerch25/06/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    51-70

Fabulous

Mark Lerch25/06/2015
Without question, our favorite mountain on a trip with my son to Chile during Summer 2014. We skied at La Parva, Valle Nevado, Nevados de Chillan and Portillo and Nevados de Chillan was by far the best. While that was in great part due to the best snow conditions in late July/early August, it wasn't only because of that.

We arrived in Southern Chile and it snowed and snowed and snowed after little coverage up north. Almost four feet in all. Pretty challenging if you are an Eastern U.S. ice skier like we were, but lots of fun. The powder ranged from kind of heavy with high water content after the original snowfall, which made it challenging to ski to much lighter powder as the winds dried it all out.

Excellent lift systems, including chairlifts so you don't have to do pomas all day. On piste runs were nice and the off piste even better. Don't go on your own to this resort or any of the others unless you are an experienced off piste/back country skier or you will get bored staying on piste after a while. It's hard to know where to go off-piste and find appropriate difficulty. Going with knowledgable guides will dramatically enhance your experience. And don't go with just any guides - go with CASA Tours - they're fantastic! We would have never skied as much of the terrain as we did without them. The views are unbelievable 360 degrees.

Nevados de Chillan

meghan jones25/06/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35

Nevados de Chillan

meghan jones25/06/2015
AWESOME!!! Great mountain guides (went with Casa Tours on Classic Shortie tour), excellent skiing, good lodging and quality tasting ingredients with an authentic taste. I loved the mountain, views, terrain, storms, and mountain amenities. The room and board was comfortable, accommodating and clean.

We would have to meet and travel as a group to dinners. The restaurants had high quality food. The meals were fantastic. We all had to meet as a group and travel to a meals/food. More desserts can always be added to the adventure.

The travel down to Las Trancas (from Santiago) was efficient and broken into to a few legs that the travelers could enjoy the country. Thank You!

Nevados de Chillan

Dave Johnson21/05/2012
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50

Nevados de Chillan

Dave Johnson21/05/2012
Nevados de Chillan has some of the best terrain in Chile and does receive some epic storms. Finally the lift situation is getting better and the Don Otto is not the only option to the top.

The 3 volcanoes that rise above the lifts offer great touring potential, especially Nevados de Chillan. The Pirigallo valley is some of my favorite terrain in the Chilean Andes.

Las Trancas is a sleepy ski village but the Snow Pub and Olivas can get hopping.

Chillan does have some tree skiing if it is storming. There have been definite issues with the lifts in the past couple of years but slowly this is changing.

It is worth it. I've had some of my best days skiing in Chile here and has been CASA Tours' Chile base for 15 years.

Nevados de Chillán & Termas de Chillán for 2012...

Stuart Shea-Simonds16/05/2012
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50

Nevados de Chillán & Termas de Chillán for 2012...

Stuart Shea-Simonds16/05/2012
Termas de Chillán/Nevados de Chillán:
Firstly to clear up some confusion, the ski resort was renamed “Nevados de Chillán” back in 2008 when new ownership took over from the “Termas de Chillán” Group.
The name “Termas de Chillán” is still used due to being the name of the 5 star Hotel and Casino at the base of the ski resort, but it is not the name of the ski resort.
The ski resort Nevados de Chillán and Hotel Termas de Chillán have been in constant conflict of interest since the takeover in 2008. Due to this the ski resort has been struggling to run efficiently and to the standard that reflects its prices. This is one of the main complaints you will read about Nevados de Chillán online.

Recent News:
In March 2012 “Termas de Chillán” (the hotel and casino group), officially went bankrupt and was taken over by Scotiabank. This can be good news for the ski resort Nevados de Chillán as they can now, without the conflict, concentrate on efficiently running the ski resort.

The Skiing:
The ski hill of Nevados has a great deal to offer the powder hound.
The main appeal of the resort is really for powder junkies and backcountry skiers/boarders as it lacks the long groomers and lift systems of say Valle Nevado or El Colorado for those looking to carve it up on the groomers. But this is its charm and biggest draw for anyone looking for that “perfect” South American off piste trip.

The main lift, Don Otto, (20 min ride) will access you to some of the best off piste terrain you can find in Chile without having to hike. If you don´t mind a hike and or skin then the Don Otto will leave you at the base of the volcano which is only a 3.5 hours skin, at the most leisurely pace. Your prize for making to the top is to leave some freshies on the volcano on your way down. Or you can take a different route and hike to the natural hot springs which is only a 40min skin, (1.5hr skin out). These are both must dos if you are in Nevados.

Yes the lift systems are a little antiquated and limited, but you´ll only need the Don Otto for however long you are there.

When NOT to go:
Avoid the last 2 weeks of July like the plague, as it´s school holiday in Chile and the place will be mobbed. Accommodation is at its most expensive and the access road to the ski hill is littered with abandoned cars by novice winter drivers, or driving putting snow chains on in the middle of the road, people parking and having BBQ´s just before the “U” bends (yes this really happens!). You´ve been warned.

Accommodation:
Most people stay in the valley of Las Trancas, only 10km from the ski resort and full of cabin complexes of all kinds. There are a few pubs and restaurants in the valley to frequent if you´re looking for refreshments and or entertainment.
The other option is the hotel Nevados de Chillán or the condominiums at the foot of the ski resort.
These options are a lot more expensive but do put you in a great location.

Overall Opinion:
If you´re a die-hard skier/boarder and in Chile between July and October, then hire a car and drive to Nevados de Chillán. You won´t regret it!
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