Sunny all day, though not quite as warm as Portillo. La Parva´s Tortolas chair exits just above Valle Nevado`s Valle del Inca poma, so the connection is simple if you´ve paid the ticket upgrade. Ticket upgrade is more ($24) if your Valle Nevado ticket is part of a lodging package there. No complaints. Lodging at Puerto del Sol is nice, easy access to pool after skiing, and we can use any restaurant, including gourmet La Fourchette DÒr at 5-star Valle Nevado Hotel, which we did last night.
There have been few skiing surprises in Chile, as research and eyewitness FTO reports left me quite prepared. The read that La Parva is better for terrain and worse for snow than Valle Nevado is accurate, though both margins were quite small Sept. 12.
La Parva groomed runs are narrower and perhaps thinner than VN, but since the place was empty on a September Wednesday surface conditions were comparable. On a weekend I suspect La Parva would get chewed up some and VN would be better.
With regard to challenging off-piste La Parva would be much better in a big snow year, but many of the steeper lines had burned off and much of the rest had rotten snow. There was a nice 500 vert chalk slope easily visible from the Tortola lift and some shorter shots looker´s left of the Aguilas lift. Aguilas Sur had upper intermediate ungroomed chalk, but the broader Aguilas Norte was inexplicably bare (maybe wind-stripped). The Manantiales area along the western perimeter could provide expansive off-piste, but between bare areas and cruddy snow we stayed on its groomer. Late in the day I carefully skied the Picaflor off-piste in highly variable snow conditions.
There was enough over there to keep me busy for 17,600 vertical, and it´s easy to visualize the potential when there´s more snow. Before La Parva we warmed up on VN´s Las Ballicas corn runs, and returning to VN at 4PM I hit that unnamed 1,000 vertical gully again.
I skied 24K total on both Sept. 11 and 12, which was fortunate in view of uncooperative weather the next day.
Last edited by Tony Crocker
on Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.