Top Ten Unheralded Extreme Ski Slopes

Beyond Black: The World's Top Ten Unheralded Steeps
By Peter Oliver & Alistair Wearmouth

Portillo is located 102 miles from Santiago high in the Andean mountain range. South America's oldest resort, it is also the only resort on the continent to have hosted a world championship ski event—in 1966—evidence of the challenging nature of its terrain.

Lying in the shadow of 23,834-foot Mount Aconcagua, the Western Hemisphere's tallest mountain, Portillo is not a monster resort in terms of size or its piste offerings, nor is it the continent's best-value destination. What it does have, however, is a lift elevation topping out at 10,204 feet, some of the world's driest powder, and those spine-tingling descents that can keep you awake at night.

The resort boasts some 22 percent of expert-rated terrain, presumably a significant factor in Portillo's preeminence as a summer training camp for several Olympic ski teams, including the U.S. and Austrian national teams. Actually, for pure fear-factor, Portillo's unremittingly steep Super C couloir out-scares Primavera. But for a steep, long powder run, Primavera is about as good as it gets in South America—unless, of course, you stumble into a Buenos Aires tango salon.

Resort Facts



Season: June to October


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