Las Leñas Argentina
Las Leñas ski resort has amazing jaw dropping vistas of big mountains with dramatic peaks. Anyone can appreciate the spectacular views at Las Lenas Argentina, yet for expert skiers and boarders, they’ll start salivating over the steep big mountain lines that are waiting to be ripped. The Las Lenas Resort has fabulously gnarly terrain, so it’s not surprising that it attracts pro-skiers from around the world.
There’s been an avalanche of hype associated with Las Leñas Argentina as an extreme skiing destination, but sometimes it doesn’t quite live up to the hysteria. If you can hang there all season you’re likely to score the full joys of the resort, but if you’re just going for a week-long vacation you’d better pray really hard to the weather gods that you’ll be able to access all that sick terrain.
If you are not up for throwing yourself off cliffs and straight-lining narrow chutes, don’t despair; Las Leñas ski resort also has runs for beginners, intermediates, advanced riders, and your average expert skier or snowboarder that’s not a pro.
Las Lenas Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Las Lenas ski resort is massive and on a fine day you can ski forever. The resort cites the size statistic as 17,500 hectares (39,000 acres) and it’s hard to know where they consider the in-bounds terrain to start and stop.
What’s clear though is that a huge proportion of the stat includes off-piste gated expert terrain that is serviced by the Marte chairlift at the top (which is frequently closed). If you exclude all that off-piste terrain, Las Lenas ski area is rather small with only 29 piste. Not surprisingly, Las Lenas skiing is particularly good for families because it’s easy to keep track of the little powder puppies.
The resort also has the impressive statistic of a 1,190 vertical metre drop (3430-2240), but once again if you exclude the Marte area, the vertical shrinks to only 530 metres. LL has 14 lifts: two quad chairs; 6 double chairs; and 7 surface lifts. The lift names have a gods/outer space/astro theme, although perhaps a few of the lifts could have names like slow, ancient and museum (OK that’s an exaggeration – the lift infrastructure is slowly improving)!
The piste statistics are green (15%), blue (45%), red (35%) and black (5%), so the ski area is very well suited to intermediates who want to either rip or cruise on the corduroy.
Las Leñas Snow
The ski resort generally doesn’t get huge amounts of snow with only 6 metres on average per season, and the variation in seasonal snowfall can be significant. However the quality of the Las Lenas snow is often superb and part of the huge drawcard for powder hounds.
Where is Las Lenas Argentina?
The Las Leñas ski resort is situated in the southern part of the Mendoza province of Argentina on the eastern side of the Andes Mountains. Las Lenas is located 77km (48 miles - 60 minutes) northwest of the town of Malargue (Mendoza Province), 419km southwest of Mendoza (260 miles - about 4.5 hours), and 1,179km (732 miles) west of Buenos Aires
The options for travel to Las Lenas
can be rather clunky, time consuming, or very expensive.
Las Lenas Accommodations
The village of Las Leñas is located at the base of the lifts providing lots of ski in / out accommodation options. There are several Las Lenas hotels, and many packages are based on Saturday to Saturday stays. A couple of the hotels are 5 star and include services such a ski valet who takes your ski boots off for you. And in keeping with the astrology and space theme, hotel names include Virgo, Piscis, Escorpio, and Aries.
There are a number of self contained apartments in the village that generally provide more flexibility in the number of nights stay and the days you can arrive and depart. The Las Lenas apartments also provide a more affordable form of lodging.
Las Lenas Accommodations Listings
Las Lenas is one of the quintessential Argentina ski resorts
where the only thing you can expect is the unexpected. The ski resort probably won’t run like clockwork, things occur on “ish time”, lifts may not run for no justifiable reason, occasionally the power might go out, and you definitely won’t get the level of service that you’d receive in Aspen or Vail. Just relax and enjoy, because experiencing this is all part of getting into the swing of being in Argentina!
Ski Las Lenas - Cost
The cost of Las Lenas skiing all depends on whether the Argentine peso is going downhill skiing or not! When the peso is travelling well, it can be an incredibly expensive ski resort. The well heeled folks from Buenos Aires that swarm there have got the budget for it, whilst others may be willing to pay the extra dimes to get to access to all that fabulous terrain.
Summary of Pros and Cons
- If the Marte chair is open, Las Lenas provides some of the best lift-accessed terrain for expert and pro riders in South America.
- The Marte chair also provides the initial access to some phenomenal backcountry touring terrain.
- The resort offers cat skiing tours so you can score even more virgin powder.
- The quality of the powder in the upper reaches of the ski resort is generally some of the best in South America.
- There are lots of beginners and intermediates at Las Lenas and it’s very popular with families. One of the advantages for competent powder hounds is that you mostly only have to compete for freshies with the gringos and a handful of locals.
- If partying is your thing, Las Leñas has a very vibrant après-ski scene and nightlife.
- The village has various lodging options that are ski-in ski-out or very close to the slopes.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
- Las Leñas is geographically remote so it takes major commitment to get there!
- If the Marte chair is not open (which is often), the ski area will not hold the attention of powder hounds for very long. If the Marte chair is open, the lift queues can be horrendous.
- The Las Lenas hotel packages can be very expensive (depending on the exchange rate). And considering some of the hotels haven’t been renovated since they were built in the early 80s, they don’t provide great value for money.
- Particularly when it’s not blanketed in snow, the Las Lenas village looks a bit sterile, but it doesn’t really matter because the mountains are beautiful!
- Other than skiing or snowboarding, drinking and eating, and gambling in the little casino, there’s nothing to do at Las Lenas. There is no program of off-slope winter activities.
- Las Lenas is a bloke fest! It’s a bit like many ski resorts were 20 years ago when all the girlfriends and wives were left at home.
- Las Lenas attracts lots of pros. This is great if you like to rub shoulders with ski/snowboard celebrities, but not so good if your ego regarding your own riding ability is fragile!
Tours That May Include Las Leñas