Ski Mountaineering on the Volcanoes of the Araucanía Region of Chile

Chile’s Araucanía region is home to spectacular volcanoes that tower above their surroundings. The austral spring is the best time to visit these giants, as the weather is stable and avalanche risk is generally low.

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 explore different mountains depending on the conditions and the group. We’ve found being flexible is the best approach as weather and conditions can change quickly.

Primo corn on Quetrupillan

If you’re looking for an an 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 for these trips. 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.

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.

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.

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.

A wood fired hot tub, deck and bbq area looking up at volcan Lonquimay.
Incredible seafood
A 1200m corn run
Hiking up to an active Villarica

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 offerings

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