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    Cat skiing at Arpa

Resort Scorecard

Snowsure


Beginners


Intermediate


Advanced


Snowboarders


Après Ski


Families


Base elevation: 2,700 metres

Top elevation: 3,740 metres

Number of lifts: 0 (two cats)

Number of runs: 4,000 acres of terrain

Access: Road from Santiago Airport (SCL) and Portillo.

The strap line for Ski Arpa says it all - "unbelievable vistas, unbelievable amounts of vertical and unbelievable snow". There you go, you'd better believe it! The two valleys of Ski Arpa, “Valle el Arpa” and “Valle la Honda”, are just about perfect in every way and from the summit you will see east to “Cerro Aconcagua”, the highest peak of the Americas, and west to the Pacific. The premise for the skiing is simple - take the cat up and then follow a ,000 metre fall-line descent in virgin powder. There are no pistes, no snow-making, no boundaries.

Skiing or boarding at Arpa get's you to wonderful backcountry terrain, similar to what you'd expect from heli skiing. However, the difference is the amount of bang you get for your peso - in a helicopter the same amount of vertical would cost five times as much (literally - we've done the maths!).

Skiing in Arpa

A full day at Arpa consists of four runs, though you can then take additional runs and pay for them locally.  Guides are  compulsary and, indeed, hugely enhance the experience by helping you pick the choice lines. They do also offer some multi-day packages, if you are staying down in the valley bottom in one of the hotels.

The terrain is treeless with huge powder bowls, steep slopes and chutes. We'd call most of the runs equivalent to double black diamonds, with some optional lines taking it to the next level beyond that even! What's unusual for a Cat Skiing operation is that the really steep pitch continues all the way down to the day lodge at the bottom, with no major traverses or gentle run-outs. It can be tough going and at Arpa it is - obviously - all about the natural snow. Therefore, their season might not open as early as other ski areas in the region. T

Taking all the above in to consideration, it's fair to say that they only welcome competent and experienced skiers and boarders. They can not and will not accommodate those who are making their first forays in to the backcountry.

This is not a place for beginners.

For those who have pushed the boundaries and have some experience off-piste, then you can consider Arpa. Upper-intermediates only.

As long as you have the experience off-piste, then Arpa has been created just for people like you.

That's what it's all about.

Decent snowboarders who have ridden backcountry and can keep up with skiers are very welcome.

Adults only. If you have kids who are experienced and competent off-piste then talk to us and we'll see what we can do.

Back down in Los Andes there are a couple of hotels.

This is not a place for beginners.

For those who have pushed the boundaries and have some experience off-piste, then you can consider Arpa. Upper-intermediates only.

As long as you have the experience off-piste, then Arpa has been created just for people like you.

That's what it's all about.

Decent snowboarders who have ridden backcountry and can keep up with skiers are very welcome.

Adults only. If you have kids who are experienced and competent off-piste then talk to us and we'll see what we can do.

Back down in Los Andes there are a couple of hotels.

Getting There

Arpa is on the road north from Santiago to Portillo, Just one hour from the town of Los Andes.  From the town you continue to San Esteban then Lo Calvo and then turn right to El Cobre and finally Campos de Ahumada. The last eight miles are not yet paved and can be tough going.

Arpa makes for the perfect extension to those en route or coming back from the big yellow hotel in Portillo. Indeed, with most international flights departing after 8pm there is plenty of time to return you to the airport on Sunday for your flight.

Resort Scorecard

Snowsure


Beginners


Intermediate


Advanced


Snowboarders


Après Ski


Families


Base elevation: 2,700 metres

Top elevation: 3,740 metres

Number of lifts: 0 (two cats)

Number of runs: 4,000 acres of terrain

Access: Road from Santiago Airport (SCL) and Portillo.