Valle Nevado is a great ski resort in the Andes just outside of Santiago. 'Just outside' is a widely abused term in South America... as is 'one hours drive'. The mini-bus takes from 80 mins with Schumaker to 100 mins with Miss Daisy so a days skiing is a more tiring event than we planned. ( 12 hour day to get there and back)
We prefer Miss Daisy for this mountain ride as he enables us to hold-on to our lunch. He doesn't overtake 3 abreath around hair-pin bends... and is obviously the one of the more regularly attendees at this anger management class.
Travel Tip: In order to blend in with the locals at this prestigious mountain it is necessary to acquire some really leary gold earrings and turn your mobile up full with a really appalling ring (tele-tubbies is good) and then yell into it whilst walking around the cafeteria with a swagger that denotes your extreme importance.... or in our case eat your sandwiches quietly in the corner pretending not to understand the 'no picnic' signs in the expensive cafeterias.
It hasn't snowed here for 3 weeks but the mountain is still in excellent condition and Claire is definitely having a good time. Her turns are pretty good now... download the VIDEO (1MB) to see for yourself.
... the odd crash is still happening as well.... but the smiling continues!
( Beginner snowboarding tip: Stuff a scarf in your trousers to prevent too much pain when falling on bottom and ignore cocky skiers who stand with their mobiles on the slopes asking you if its your first day when you do a spectacular fall because its the end of the day and you are tired).
Valle Nevado has a terrain park so Jason is like a kid in a sweet shop.
They have the only South American date on the FIS snowboard circuit which happens to be next week so they had to rebuild the park... big.
A little Jason style terrain park VIDEO (1.1MB) is here.
This is one of the 2 big tables. No one was riding them all day so we weren't even sure if they were open. It was pretty icy in the park so we assume everyone else was in therapy that day and didn't need to ride the park.
The jump following this was enough to convince Jason to stay at home the following day and try and remove the ice from his backside. The tables were set like concrete!
Cerro del Plomo (centre) at over 5,000m provides a great backdrop for the ski field and does an excellent job of keeping the wind off the mountain whilst catching the snow.