CHILE

South America is home to one of the greatest mountain ranges on earth: The Andes. Rising to a high elevation of almost 23,000′ along a span of some 4,300 miles and bordering seven countries, there is virtually no end to these peaks and valleys. For skiers and snowboarders, Chile in particular is a powder-filled dream — and the food and wine aren’t so bad either!

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LODGING and PACKAGES: There are a number of operations to choose from for heli skiing in Chile. I choose to team up with a small, truly pro operation based primarily out of Valle Nevado, arguably Chile’s best ski area with amazing access to world class heli terrain.  The operations are very well developed, service is excellent, guide and snow safety staff is comprised of true professionals, and the pilots are top notch. There is a great selection of accommodations, heli packages and terrain. Here are some highlights:

  • In the Central Cordillera, we can choose between different hotels or condos, each with its own unique characteristics and amenities.
  • We can also base out of Santiago, Chile’s captial city. This option offers access to an international hub and all it has to offer when we aren’t skiing the nearby peaks.
  • The options for packages are many — contact me and we’ll dream up what fits best for you and your crew.
  • Length of Trips: Packages in Chile are generally 7 nights and 8 days, including options for heli, ski area and snowcat variations. Travel / airport transfer are included on either end. There are opportunities for different length stays with private custom groups; contact me to discuss this.
  • Cost: Contact me directly to talk about package costs.
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TRAVEL: Travel to Chile is straight forward; Santiago is the international hub for all options. Airport transfers are included for all packages. Flight times and options for direct flight depend largely on your home base.

SEASON: The season for heli packages in the Central Cordillera is generally July into September. There are myriad other activities at different times of the year that we can also discuss.

BOOKING: These Chile packages are amazing and the heli experience there is truly unique. When you combine that with a focus on small, intimate group sizes, the result is a pretty competitive booking process. Many prime dates book out a solid year in advance. Call me to talk about your ideal dates and what is available on the calendar for this coming season and the one following. Booking well ahead is the way to go here!

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TERRAIN AND SNOW QUALITY: The Andes are known for big mountains and deep powder. There is an endless variety of terrain and we tailor our choice of terrain based on individual group ability levels and snowpack conditions. There are terrain options for virtually all ability levels – from wide open lower angle slopes to steep faces and couloirs. The amount of terrain to choose from seems limitless – there are beautiful lines very close to the ski areas, and dizzying layers of opportunity as we move deeper into the ranges. Individual runs tend to be in the 2,000 – 3,500 vertical feet range. The number of runs and total vertical groups ski in a given day and/or trip varies depending on a number of factors. We focus on delivering the best experience we can given current conditions. July and August tend to provide great powder skiing; as the weather warms in September, conditions can transition to corn snow.

HELI / GUIDE STAFF: I work with a truly awesome team of guides and pilots in Chile. The pilots are very experienced in the mountains who take the prime directive of “safety first” very seriously. We only fly in A-Star B3s or Bell 407s, which are the very best helicopters for small group heli skiing. When in Chile, I work with a small team of other guides and snow safety professionals; together we focus on safety and delivering the best possible experiences for our guests!

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SAFETY:  Safety is always my primary concern, regardless of location, and I’m very careful when it comes to choosing who I work with! In Chile, our team has top notch pilots, the best helicopters, and a very experienced guide staff. Together, we make safety the priority all day every day. When injuries do occur, guides have basic medical equipment in their backpacks, with more advanced medical equipment on the helicopter. In the unlikely case of serious injury in the field, we stop everything and focus on getting the injured party to an appropriate medical facility. The medical facilities in Santiago are excellent and never far away with a helicopter.

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