Skiing In Chile

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History of Skiing in Chile

Getting from point A to point B in the rugged Andes was a cinch in summer. Come winter, though, deep snow, howling winds and massive mountain passes meant going anywhere east or west was nearly impossible. Skiing in South America was a necessity before it was considered a pleasure. On both sides of the imposing Andes Mountains, skis were first strapped on by explorers, engineers and military trainees attempting to travel across treacherous mountain terrain, to colonize remote valleys and to guard both sides of the border. Portillo, the first ski resort in Chile, and Catedral, the first one in Argentina, were created by visionary immigrants who had a sense of the adventure potential of the amazing Andes.

Picture the poor guys laying the railway tracks beneath the tall Andes. Working in the freezing snow 3,810 m above sea level, in knee-deep snow. When their European bosses suggested strapping on wooden boards so they could head back to the work camp faster, they must have been intimidated. But after a few quick lessons on the basics of skiing, the wooden boards surely made life even a little bit more fun. When eager athletic types from...

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