Sneak Preview: La Parva

Sneak Preview: La Parva

While the season is still going fairly strong in Europe with many resorts open until mid-May, and a smattering of North American operations still spinning the bullwheel, it’s time to start thinking of whiter slopes.

How white? Consider mid-winter powder conditions on uncrowded slopes with all the BBQ you can eat. Throw in some exotic dark haired beauties and fine red wine. Sounds good? Well that’s exactly what you’ll get if you head down to La Parva, Chile.

Chile is a beautiful country and the ease of access for North American skiers is amazing. Most flights arrive in Santiago in the morning, meaning you can end up on the snow at La Parva and the nearby resorts of El Colorado and Valle Nevado with your skis on by noon. With minimal jet lag to contend with, ending your first day on the slopes with a night at the disco is simplified. And then there’s always the BBQ. Vegetarians should stay home, as meat is a central fixture in the Chilean diet and few other cultures can match the country’s wine and grill fests.

La Parva sits high above Santiago. The resorts’ mellow, unhurried way of life is reflected by the fact that you can score ample untracked snow here after storms. A variety of mini-golf lines hang above the ski area, accessed via a short hike. Longer excursions take you to more serious objectives. La Chimenea “the chimney” is a worthy objective. A classic coulior, it’s an easy excursion from the resort. The coulior is always fun, and it’s also worth skiing the walls that flank the tube, one of which has been named McConkey, in honor of the late great Shane McConkey, who skied in Chile often. “We wanted to tell the people that McConkey´s legacy is also here in the south point of the globe,” says La Parva’s Rodrigo Medina.

While La Parva will be opening soon, for North American skiers it’s best to be patient and look for tickets in the latter part of the southern winter. That’s not to say that early season skiing at the resort isn’t epic. Andean storms are known for the ferocity, and single weather events can dump meters of snow in two or three days. But patience can pay dividends when it comes to spring touring outside area. Besides, Chile’s most renowned storm, the Santa Rosa, comes in September. Catch this one and you’ll enjoy some of the best skiing in your life.

Details: La Parva

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