Heli-skiing to bring new travel adventure to Chilean Andes

US tour operator EpicQuest will introduce its first South American tour in June with a week-long heli-skiing trip in Chile’s Valle Nevado.

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An American adventure travel outfit known for taking adventurous athletes and travelers into the highest mountains, remotest rivers, and biggest waves on earth, is expanding to South America for the first time by dropping expert skiers in the peaks of Chile’s Andes.

EpicQuest came into existence with the merger of two important heli-ski companies, Chugach Powder Guides and Sun Valley Heli Ski Guides, just three years ago. With 25 years of experience under their belts, the adventure experts from those two companies began offering skiing, fishing, hiking, surfing and safari adventures on six continents.

From 2011, these guides will bring northern hemisphere summer skiers to some of the longest heli ski runs in the world near Santiago’s Valle Nevado ski resort.

The largest ski zone on the continent, Valle Nevado sits nearly 10,000 ft above sea level northeast of Santiago in some of the highest peaks of the Andes and features about 7,000 acres of on- and off-piste skiing. After landing in Santiago, the tour will begin with the short, hour-long drive to the resort, which will serve as a base for the main event: practically endless snow-covered peaks only accessible by helicopter.

For six days, skiers will be flown high into the untouched powder on the mountains that loom over Valle Nevado and led by two private, expert guides through the freshest possible powder back to the resort.

The ski resorts poised just beyond the boundaries of Chile’s largest city and capital have long been used by professional and amateur skiers from the northern hemisphere as the world’s best base for off-season skiing, offering top conditions surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the Andes from June through August.

With easy access to Santiago, Chile’s primary transit hub, Valle Nevado and other nearby resorts Farellones, El Colorado, and La Parva offer a broad diversity of terrain and difficulty levels.

While these resorts have always been valued destinations for devoted year round skiers, the arrival of EpicQuest in this peaks will open up entirely new possibilities for snow-hungry adrenaline junkies.