As i mentioned a while back, we got the little sis a day skiing for her birthday. Part of the reason was because I wanted to go skiiing. It's school holidays here in Chile so we're got the little sis staying with us for a few days. Yesterday was the big day-her first trip to a ski resort and the first time actually touching snow.
Unfortunately, because of my back-knack, i was unable to ski. This was really, really annoying. Hopefully in a couple of weeks i'll be able to go but yesterday wasn't worth the risk...
We were going to go to Portillo but when we phoned to ask for information we were attended by 3 of the most obnoxious and downright rude people ever to work in tourism. We decided, instead, to go to Valle Nevado. The staff there were much nicer on the phone.
Valle Nevado is about an hour from central Santiago or about 3 hours from Reñaca. We set off at 6am, avoided rush hour in Santiago and arrived, after a long and twisty climb to over 3000m, bang on 9am.
If you've skied in Europe then Valle Nevado is probably the equivalent of a small and backwards resort in Bulgaria. But more expensive. And with crap, overpriced food. It costs 39,000 pesos for a day pass, ski hire and a 2 hour group lesson. In Chile, that's really a lot of money. Actually, a 10 days pass at Valle Nevado is exactly the same price as in the 3 Valleys in France. That is simply absurd. The 3 Valleys is one of the best ski areas in the world with over 600km of runs and some incredibly good restaurants and spectacular apres-ski. Valle Nevado has about 2km (ok, i made that up) and an extremely poor cafeteria serving such culinary delights as Spinal Baps, chicken nuggets and soggy chips. Just look at the difference between Valle Nevado
and the 3 Valleys
It might explain why at least half the people there were wealthy Brazilians. Still, the snow was decent and it's about as good as you get in Chile and South America.
The girlf and little sis hadn't skied before and had a beginner's lesson in a large group. The instructor was actually pretty good and taught the basics well. He was Brazilian but spoke Spanish with exactly the same voice and inflection as the father speaks English in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Funny. I hung around and helped the girls with things. We then went for (the overpriced) crap lunch and then the girls went off to the scary world of ski lifts and slopes that were not virtually flat, like where the lesson was. I went back to car, put the seat flat and went to sleep in my -45c sleeping bag, all toasty and warm. Not the day i originally had in mind but it was cool to see the girlf and the little sis have fun.
Here are a few photos:
The sisters waiting for class to begin
Learning to ski...not particularly downhill but you've got to start somewhere