Ski Arpa Day Trip from Santiago - Reviews

A Chile Must-Do

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
17/10/2013
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • RiderType
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
You don’t go to Arpa cat skiing with the expectation of being pampered. Nor do you go with the anticipation of using your beloved snorkel. You go with the prospect of a great adventure and skiing or snowboarding your butt off!

The sensational terrain is the highlight of Arpa, with steep fall-line runs that will potentially destroy your thighs. Most of the terrain is well suited to advanced riders, but for experts there are great rock bands that provide a variety of lines, some of which could be categorised as triple blacks. Another great thing about Arpa cat skiing is that it provides extraordinary value for money.

Cons: it is either tricky or costly to get to Arpa; the operation is heavily weather-dependent and the road may be closed for a couple of days after a heavy snowfall; safety briefings are absent and safety strategies are not obvious to guests; the snowcats are very no-frills and one is a stand-up affair so there’s no chance to rest the legs if they’re weary; and Arpa only has an average snowfall of 5 metres per season. Like elsewhere in Chile (especially where there is treeless terrain), the quality of the snow can be incredibly variable, but at least you know that there are no crowds to track out the snow.

Staying in accommodation in the Los Andes area provides a great opportunity to get away from the ski resorts and experience some of the real culture of Chile. An Arpa cat skiing experience is definitely worth adding to your Chile ski holiday.

Unique

Adi
05/10/2013
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • RiderType
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
The most significant reason to book a trip to Arpa is that the experience is unique. Open top snow-cat rides to the tree-less peaks. Hiking up guanaco trails to get to the last run. Even the drive into Arpa is in itself a novel experience.

The guides are experienced and professional. They'll analyze the group and take you to appropriate terrain. On the day we went there were a couple skiers who had NEVER skied off piste before. I certainly wouldn't recommend Arpa as anyone's first off piste experience, but I was impressed that they could accomodate such relative beginners.

The snow itself wasn't fantastic when we went, it hadn't snowed recently. But the guides obviously know the terrain well, they found us some good snow, even if it wasn't deep powder.

I would definitely return.

Arpa

Thomas Fong
21/04/2013
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • RiderType
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    70+
We spent five days at Ski Arpa (booked through POWDER HOUNDS) for snow cat skiing in the shadows of Mt Aconcagua, highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere. We skied with the owner legendary Tony Sponar who shares the same name and background as my Australian sking icon and friend, the late Tony Sponar.

Our accommodation was at the historic Chilean Hacienda Casa San Regis and our hosts Alex & Marcella were most hospitable. Enjoyed the authentic Chilean cuisine which was great value with inclusive Chilean wine at dinner.

Unfortunately we visited in a poor season with substandard snow.

Ski Arpa

Dave Johnson
21/05/2012
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • RiderType
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
Ski Arpa is a magical place. It is a truly wild experience. Climbing out of the Aconcagua Vally, Arpa is accessed by a very adventurous 4 X 4 mining road. If this does not get your juices flowing the terrain at Arpa certainly will. The area is absolutely massive and offers magnificent views of Aconcagua, the tallest peak in the Americas, as well as the Pacific Ocean.

Run by the legendary Toni Sponar, Arpa is a ski and snowboarders paradise. 1000 meter runs with tons of nooks and crannies. There is absolutely limitless touring potential as well.

If you are visiting Chile to ski or snowboard make it a point to visit Arpa!