Publish date:



Skimming down the billowy bosom of Chile's high Andes, the two skiers shown on the opposite page are enjoying their sport at its superlative finest in a breathtaking high-altitude landscape that normally only experienced mountain climbers ever see. This is Portillo, Chile's Andean ski resort, 10,000 feet up in the loom of snow-capped peaks that tower 20,000 feet or more. It is an area where eternal snows form a base for seasonal snows which, from late May to August, provide another six-or seven-foot layer topped by 18 inches or more of the finest powder. It is a place where the sun blazes hotly in a deep-blue sky and all the visible world is asparkle and aglitter in its radiance; and also, when it storms, a place where the awful majesty of wind and driven snow can be safely viewed from the windows of a luxury hotel (see page 44). Cupped in the rocky embrace of its surrounding peaks, Portillo's skiing is truly phenomenal—from beginners' slopes to every type of glacial and Alpine skiing. And it all reaches the peak of its perfection in July and August, which is the time when most skiers just sit back and ski in their dreams. Here, for a lucky few, these dreams have become reality, as shown in the color photographs on the opposite and following pages.

Grandeur of sky and snow at Portillo dwarfs two skiers winging down mountainside trailing swirls of powder.

Sunning on terrace of Hotel Portillo, Mimi Mills (left) of Middleburg, Va., Sally Deaver of Whitemarsh, Pa. and Alfonso Diez-Hildalgo of Lima, Peru relax between runs.

Riding up from Hotel Portilio, Sally Deaver takes first stage of 3,800-foot chair-lift system to top of open slopes at El Plateau.

Swinging down through light dusting of powder, Kalle Hakkinen (left), Former Olympic Star Stein Eriksen and Sally Deaver make rhythmic descent to Lake of the Incas.