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Nevados de Chillan

evoTrip Las Trancas turns summer riding into a winter adventure, with its base of operations just a short drive from the massive Nevados de Chillan ski area. The 1,097 meters (just under 4,000 vertical feet) of lift-served terrain puts all but a few North American resorts to shame, and includes everything from wide open groomers to spectacular volcanic backcountry (and even a terrain park).

Weather and snow conditions at Nevados de Chillan vary enormously, from knee-deep fresh powder to spring-like corn. Temperatures and wind are also highly variable, so the best rule of thumb is to be prepared for anything and have a backup plan that doesn't call for riding if the weather forecast seems questionable. Fortunately there are ample opportunities to sample the local culture and geography close to our hotel – from natural hot springs to charming local markets.

In addition to riding the lifts, experienced backcountry enthusiasts may consider skinning to the Refugio Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat Hut), which is easily accessed from the top of the chairlift, or even a trip to one of the nearby volcanoes like Volcan Nevado. Bring along your own avalanche safety gear if this option sounds appealing to you, renting or buying it in Chile can be difficult and expensive.

Think in terms of all-mountain ski or snowboard setups that can handle any sort of snow conditions, and be sure to bring along full winter clothing, goggles and gloves including a good hardshell jacket and pants and a warm insulating mid-layer – remember, it’s going to be winter in Chile!