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In the sweltering summer heat we've been enduring in the northern hemisphere, it may be hard to imagine donning heavy ski gear and hitting the slopes. Yet that's exactly what serious skiers and snowboarders are doing in Chile—and other ski destinations in the southern hemisphere—right now.
Last August I went skiing in Chile's Andes Mountains at the Valle Nevado ski resort and it was one of the most incredible travel experiences I've had.
The ski resort-village is located just 21 miles outside of Santiago, Chile. But to get there, you must traverse a stomach-churning narrow mountain pass with about 50 switchbacks that's not for those with weak stomachs or a fear of heights. And yet once you reach the resort, atop the mountain, the rewards are spectacular: breathtaking views of mountains covered in glistening snow.
The resort itself is situated on a ridge in the Andes that's about 10,000 feet above sea level, but some of the trails go up to over 12,000 feet. The trails are above the tree line, which means that after a fresh coat of snow the complex becomes one large playground just begging to be skied and boarded.
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