Monday, February 24, 2014

Pete's Portillo Adventure

I was fortunate enough to visit Chile for the second summer in a row in 2013.  I spent three wonderful days at Portillo.  After a comfortable flight into Santiago I was met a very friendly driver, Manuel from Santiago Adventures.  We chatted about Chilean history, culture, and geography on the three hour drive up to Portillo.

I checked into my room at the Hotel Portillo just long enough to shed my travel attire and get into my ski clothes and hit the slopes around 2 PM.  The conditions were sunny spring like with plenty of coverage.  Portillo is one my favorite ski resorts on the world.   Not just because of the amazing skiing and scenery but also because of the wonderful overall experience you are presented with when there.  It’s like coming home to your family after being gone for years.  From the staff to the fellow guests everyone is very friendly and inviting.  Not to mention the food and service.  Now back to the skiing.  Portillo has a series of sling shot lifts that consist of 4 or 5 pomas that access the very steep terrain at the resort.  There is a trick to getting off these lifts as the first person on the left gets off in the order of left to right after it backs ups and stops.  Let’s just say it took me a few tries.  The most famous of these lifts is the Roca Jack lift.   It accesses some the most epic terrain at the resort.

Many of the North American and European ski teams train at Portillo during August and September.  I was lucky enough to watch the Austrian team train while I was there.        

Pete will share some additional tidbits from his trip "way down south" in the coming weeks. Thanks Pete!

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