For many, gliding across the snow at high speed while overcoming the natural challenges imposed by the geography and characteristics of the Chilean mountains is synonymous with experience, courage and adrenalin.
This would make the sport seem inappropriate for younger children. The winter sports centers in Chile, however, work on the basis of a different philosophy: skiing is a discipline to be enjoyed by the whole family, including the children. To achieve this aim they have available the appropriate infrastructure and guides that will make this an unforgettable experience for everyone, regardless of age.
The following services are available for children:
A majority of the winter sports centers in Chile have specially conditioned ski schools for teaching the smaller children. At El Colorado there is the Colorado Mini-School, the first in Chile, which works with children from 3 to 11 years old.
Children are selected in accordance with their skill level, dividing them into those who have never put on a pair of skis up to those who already ride chair lifts to the green (easy) slopes, providing them entertaining, efficient, fast and safe classes.
To ensure the safety both of the minors and their parents, the ski school staff is highly experienced. The school also has appropriate infrastructure, including its own lift and a spacious and exclusive closed-in area where only the children and their caretakers are allowed.
There is also the Los Zorros Mini-School, which offers an exclusive snow garden and slopes specially designed for children to learn, guided by expertly trained teachers. In addition, and as part of the course, the children are entitled to have lunch at the Andinista restaurant.
In Farellones there is the Farellones Mini-School that caters to children between 5 and 10 years old, where they learn to ski through games and exercises in a warm, caring and fun atmosphere.
In turn, at La Parva children can also enjoy the emotions linked to skiing, guided by a group of top-level professionals who work with children from 6 to 12 years old. After establishing the skill level of each child, the teachers separate the children into groups identified by different colors in order to provide a personalized and effective learning experience.
Thus, beginners are placed in the red group, whereas yellow is assigned to children who can perform snowplow turns on the green slopes and use rope tows. Green is for children who are capable of skiing parallel on the slopes. Finally, blue is for children who are skiing parallel, are beginning to use the red (intermediate) slopes and ride chair lifts. The program includes a meal.
Valle Nevado is no exception. At the Jardín de Nieve (Snow Garden) the safety and entertainment of children between 4 and 7 years old is the primary objective of the service. To this end, the garden has professional instructors specialized in working with children, thus providing speedy and enjoyable learning, allowing the children to adapt to the snow and lifts with complete confidence.
To attend these classes the youngest children must be fully equipped with skis, boots, thermal clothing, dark glasses or goggles to protect their eyes, gloves or mittens and UVB protection cream. The full day includes lunch.
Finally, Portillo has Kid Camps that work with children from 4 to 6 years old by means of private classes. From 7 onward children can join group classes, and for snowboarding a minimum age of 13 is required.
Unlike the other children’s centers, the full day at the Kid Camps does not include lunch. At the end of the day, the parents are responsible for collecting their children.
Snow games are another of the options offered by the ski centers to allow children to interact with nature.
At the Farellones school, children can enjoy making snowmen, playing on slides and in the igloo, making friends and enjoying having fun together. For the parents’ peace of mind, the area is near to one of the restaurants where they can sit on the terrace and watch their children progress with their ski lessons and enjoy the games.
At La Parva, children can ski in the company of the Yetti, a warm and fun-loving character that is the mascot of the place and whose entertaining story will be revealed to the attending children.
At Valle Nevado, apart from the traditional snow competitions and entertainment, children can also have access to the Kids’ Zone corner where they can enjoy Nintendo Wii and the best movies in a cinema reserved exclusively for them.