Chapelco Ski Resort is located just 19 km outside the beautiful mountain-lake town of San Martin de Los Andes, and approximately 3 hours north of Bariloche in Argentina Patagonia. Chapelco Resort is a fantastic hill for both skiers and snowboarders as it offers lots of diversity. It hosts the only annual FIS Boarder Cross event in Argentina and numerous slope-style competitions, has the best tree skiing in South America, and has varied terrain with pitches from 20º to 45º. Chapelco has something to offer everyone at all levels.

Chapelco’s base is located at an altitude of 1250m / 4100 ft and rises to an elevation of 1980m / 6495 ft offering a total vertical drop of 730m / 2395 ft Chapelco averages 890cm / 350 inches of snowfall over 140 hectares / 346 acres of skiable terrain. This skiable terrain statistic is deceiving as there is a wide variety of skiing and snowboarding on uncrowded slopes, and large areas of the gladed tree skiing is not accounted for in the skiable acreage statistic.

Chapelco skiing offers two distinct ski and board experiences between the upper and lower slopes due to its geography. The lower slopes provide wide tree-lined groomers with long rolling pitches, great for carving it up at speed or cruising. In between these groomers you have something unique for South American skiing – spaciously gladed tree runs. These glades with their generous spacing and intermediate pitch make for an deal intro for those skiers and boarders who are new or less experienced to tree skiing. For the more experienced skier or rider you can really let it rip! Invariably you will find fresh snow here after other areas have been tracked up.

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The upper half of the mountain rises abruptly above tree line and provides some great open bowl skiing with good steeps off the summit of the Cerro Teta, named for its shape translating to “tit”. The English takes away the flare of saying it but does provide a good visual as to what you have to ski. Almost 270 degrees of this rounded conical peak provides you with your 45 º pitches to challenge the experienced skier. It tends to have good snow on it and is skied less due to its difficulty.

Another great area on the upper mountain that we enjoy as it is less frequented by the public is “La Pala”. This translates to “the shovel” and is reached by traversing out from the Poma de Filo surface lift which takes you to the highest elevation at Chapelco of 1980m. This area offers a stash of fresh in its shovel shaped bowl. At the bottom you feed into a gladed forest that eventually takes you three quarters of the way to the bottom of the ski area.

From Chapelco’s upper mountain you also get to experience some of the most impressive scenery Argentina has to offer. From the impressive view of Lake Lácar, to the stunning presence of Volcano Lanín in Chile piercing through the horizon, it is a wonderful mix of geography and beauty.

Worth mentioning are the various restaurants tucked away in various locals throughout the ski area. They offer great ambiance and good home cooked food – no greasy burgers and fries here. Tasty traditional stews and hearty soups are a treat and just what you need to get rejuvenated for the afternoon.

Another big plus with skiing the Chapelco Ski resort is the town of San Martin de Los Andes itself. This charming and relaxed lakeside town has the tourist infrastructure to provide plenty for all tastes from fine dining to casual ski town pizza parlors. It is a lively place but quaint and not commercial in its look or feel. The night life is also abundant and lively if you go looking. Dancing is definitely in the cards when we ski Chapelco.