Volcano Skiing in Chile

Packing for skiing in Chile

Chile’s Araucanía region is home to spectacular volcanoes that tower above their surroundings. In our opinion skiing is the best way to experience them.   Packing for skiing in Chile isn’t hard, but you’ll want to bring the right gear.  The austral spring is the best time to visit these giants, as the weather is stable and avalanche risk is generally low.  Therefore bringing the right gear is key to optimizing your experience.

Skiing the north face of Lliama, an 1950m run.

The Andean ring of fire is big and there are many volcanoes to choose from. Each year we like to ski different mountains depending on the conditions and the group. We’ve found being flexible with ski mountaineering is the best approach as weather and conditions can change quickly.

Primo corn on Quetrupillan

If you’re looking for a volcano ski mountaineering in Chile adventure, our Chilean volcano program is sure to deliver. Our client to guide ratio is four to one in order to ensure a positive and personal experience. We use four wheel drive vehicles so we are able to safely access the volcanoes and manage the variable road conditions.

Back roads galore

Late September and early October is prime time to ski these volcanoes. The days are long and the corn is exquisite. We’ve found this window to be the best, as the roads have melted out enough to keep the approaches reasonable while the snow line hasn’t moved too far up the mountains. Certain volcanoes do require a bit of hiking with the skis on the back—but the walks through old growth coihue and araucaría trees are worth it.

volcan lama
Lliama and 1000 year old araucaría trees

We like to plan in hot spring stops on our transfer days to restore the legs. There are a multitude of options in the region—from indoor thermal baths like the Termas Malalcahuello or the outdoor pools of Termas Huife.

hot springs Chile

Some of the volcanoes have ski areas on them like Lonquimay and Villarica and others have a much more remote backcountry feel. The mix is nice, as sometimes it’s nice to finish at the ski hill and enjoy an aprés or other times taking a moment to revel in the beautiful Chilean backcountry.

Packing for skiing in Chile
Packing for skiing in Chile

For our Ski Mountaineering on the Volcanoes of the Araucanía Region trip, we choose comfortable accommodations that serve as the basecamps of these trips. Due to the small group nature we also offer the possibility of tent based objectives of the group members are interested. That’s the beauty of small group adventures—flexibility and customization based on the group’s input.

Packing for skiing in Chile
A wood fired hot tub, deck and bbq area looking up at volcan Lonquimay.
Ski Mountaineering on the Volcanos of the Araucanía Region
Incredible seafood
Packing for skiing in Chile

Lonquimay corn

A 1200m corn run

Packing for skiing in ChileHiking up to an active Rucapillan (Villarica)

Packing for skiing in Chile

Gear List


  • Shovel

  • Probe

  • Transceiver (3-antenna)

  • Ski Touring Skis or Splitboard

  • Skins

  • Personal repair kit specific to your equipment

  • Ski touring boots/snowboarding boots

  • Ski poles

  • Headlamp

  • Goggles

  • Sunglasses

  • Personal first aid supplies

  • Toque

  • Sun Hat
  • Minimum 1L water bottle 

  • Gore-tex (or equivalent) jacket

  • Gore-tex (or equivalent) pants, though I prefer soft shell pants for spring skimo trips

  • Puffy jacket

  • Warm layers for upper and lower body 

  • Wind layer
  • Thick gloves

  • Spare gloves

  • Lightweight harness

  • 2 locking carabiners or one triple action captive eye locking carabiner 

  • 40L backpack

  • Ski crampons

  • Skin wax

  • Lightweight Crampons

  • Ice Axe

Here is a look at the gear I use for these trips.

If you’re looking for skis this trip, check out WNDR Alpine.  This code will get you 20% off FF20-CONORH  

Folkrm poles will give you 20% off with this code ARCTOS20

Raide Packs will give you $50 a pack with this code arctos-50-off

Norrona will give you 5% off with this code PROCONORH

If you’re interested in joining a trip, or would like to know more about what we offer, send us an email or check out our international trip offeringsinternational trip offerings

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