Road Report 2: Liberty Skis, El Colorado
Liberty Road Report 2: El Colorado
Snow. One of the most interesting and complex natural materials on the face of the planet. This is the stuff that formed the iceberg that sunk the Titanic, killing 1490 people. But it can also be lighter than a feather, ethereal in nature. And it’s why we are here, camped out in a tiny condo in Chile’s El Colorado, while the folks at home turn up the air conditioners during a sweltering August in the Rocky Mountains.
We’ve been enjoying the luxurious charms of Valle Nevado, but with the hotels sold out at that resort, we’ve migrated to the low key ambiance of El Colorado, a neighboring resort that’s characterized by a distinctive cone-shaped peak. Some make look at this snow cone and think that – based upon what’s visible – that El Colorado is pretty vanilla flavored. But like the snow that made the ice that sunk the Titanic, there’s teeth here. You just have to look under the surface, deeper. El Colorado hosts some of the best lift accessed steeps in South America. And, unlike that other Mecca of steep, Las Lenas, Argentina’s Marte lift, the terrain at El Colorado is rarely closed due to winds or mechanical problems with the resort’s lifts. We’ll avoid the obvious comparisons between how things function in Chile’s organized, well run society and the chaotic politics and culture of Argentina here, but rest assured that you’ll have a much better chance of skiing the intense terrain at El Colorado versus the roll the dice and hope for the best with Las Lenas’ Marte lift. The only catch is that you’ll want to have a rental car, because the terrain at El Colorado empties out onto Valle Nevado’s access road.
So, my friends. Rent that car. Drive to El Colorado and ensconce yourself in any kind of accommodations you can find – from humble to luxurious – and don’t forget your cajones. Because when you drop off the side of the cone that dominates this resort, past the ropes and into the wild, discontinuous terrain that’s hidden from obvious view, you’ll feel the adrenaline flow and the fear in your throat. And you’ll plunge down, like the Titanic, to the bottom.