About the Region


There’s something majestic about volcanoes, the way they rise steeply up from the ground and culminate in deep craters at the summit. It’s no wonder than Ecuador and Chile shine so brightly in the minds of ski mountaineers. There, along the Pacific Ring of Fire, there are more than a dozen volcanic peaks with prime conditions for ski touring and mountaineering expeditions. But if you want to ski there, you’d better be in shape. Unlike other regions where the battle is fought with technical skills, the Andes are all about endurance and altitude experience. Thanks to the equatorial bulge, all three of Ecuador’s skiable volcanoes – Chimborazo (20,550 ft), Cotopaxi (19,400 ft), and Cayambe (19,000 ft) – are farther from the center of the earth than Mount Everest, despite being 10,000 feet shorter, making proper acclimatization critical.

“Patagonia is becoming a top destination for skiers because of its vast unexplored landscapes, its volcanoes, high-quality powder, and unique culture.”

- Tomas Ichaso

Since it takes a few days to acclimatize, not to mention traveling to South America, many adventurers like to make the most of their time by tackling multiple summits in one go. In two weeks, you can manage ‘Ecuador’s Triple Crown’ – Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, and Cayambe – or climb and ski 7 to 10 stunning Chilean volcanos. Top picks for Chile include Lonquimay (9,500 ft, with a 4,600 ft ski descent), Llaima (10,250 ft, with a 5,250 ft ski descent), Villarrica (9,350 ft, with a 5,250 ft ski descent overlooking Villarrica lake), Quetrupillán (7,550 ft, with a 2,950 ft ski descent), and Osorno (8,700 ft, with ocean views from the summit).

Keep Exploring