The rewarding randonee climb takes approximately 2-3 hours from the Lonquimay ski center base, and offers views that may rival those from Villarrica Volcano further south. From the large summit of Volcano Lonquimay, you can see 7 nearby volcanoes, surrounding Malalcahuello, and an epic view into neighboring Argentina.
The Northeast face of the Corralco ski center offers constant skiing and snowboarding with a 35-45 degree pitch, on classic snow covered volcanic terrain that can be skied well into November, Chile’s springtime.
Here are some insider tips and ideas from our ski guides and locals that know the terrain and resorts like no other.
Important: Many of the areas described involve riding in non controlled avalanche terrain. Know your stuff, carry the right equipment and be smart. If you have any doubts, or even if you don’t, come join us on a PowderQuest guided tour. We will take you to the best skiing available with nothing for you to do but to enjoy what we have spent the last 2 decades figuring out!
David Owen: This place is generally off the radar, but is quickly going to become one of the best ski areas south of Chillan. The resort and local government are pumping a lot of cash into this place with paved road, five star hotel and numerous new locally owned cafes, eateries and lodging options on the main access road, shaded by the ancient Araucaria forest. The terrain has a good pitch for some fun off-piste exploring or cruising the groomers, however the real secret is Malalcahuello’s epic access to some outstanding backcountry touring and sledding.
Phil Gautier: The summit ridge is a really cool climb and sustained pitch 1200 meter vertical run from the crater down either the South or South East faces. Corralco is much more than a few chair lifts and Araucaria Trees.
Splitboard and sled accessed backcountry near Corralco
Terrain – freestyle
Just a fews small jumps and jibs. Most people come to ride and ski Corralco for the long cruiser runs, volcanoes and endless backcountry options.
Terrain – experts
The resort has fast groomed advanced ski runs and very good off-piste and backcountry terrain expanding the expert options to nearly endless. Throw in the option to ski tour or split board to the volcano and nearby peaks or hire snow sleds to get you deeper into the Malalcahuello backcountry zones, this place will soon become a major backcountry destination.
Suggested trip for advanced to experts Chile Volcanoes Tour
Terrain – Intermediates
The terrain has perfect pitches for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. Not hugely expansive but great for a few days of exploring the resort and tends to have better snow than Villarrica to the south.
Beginners and non-skiers
A beautiful place to learn to ski and snowboard with a relaxed atmosphere and bilingual instructors.
Non-skiers that do not want to ski Lonquimay should explore the local hot springs, go snowshoeing in the monkey puzzle forest or enjoy a day at the spa in the new high end ski in ski out hotel.
Snow Forecast and Current Weather
Location: Malalcahuello-Bio-Bio, Chile, 1.5 hours from Temuco Airport
Elevation: 2,865 m (9,400 feet)
Vertical Drop: 1,235 meters (4052 feet)
Inbound Terrain: many advanced and expert classic shots off the Lonquimay crater
Ski Lifts: 5
Hotels and Lodging: Ski-in, ski-out options along with cozy cabins and bed and breakfasts in Malalcahuello, 20 minutes away.
Off-Piste and Backcountry Access: Excellent. Learn more
Ski Season: June to November
Ski and Snowboard Park: Yes
Night Life: Quiet, but there are always some fun locals looking for a party!