Warren Miller Stars Share Ski Portillo Memories
What’s so special about Ski Portillo? We could go on and on about the things we love. But, we figured it’s better to let others do the talking for us.
Last season, Warren Miller Entertainment brought an all-star crew of skiers—Ingrid Backstrom, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, and Ian McIntosh—down to film a segment for “Chasing Shadows.” If you haven’t seen the entire movie, we highly recommend it! CLICK HERE if you want to purchase the film.
Since we have such a great relationship with a lot of the past and present Warren Miller athletes, we reached out to hear their favorite Ski Portillo memories. From Olympic Gold Medalists and big-mountain pro skiers to Hahnenkamm Champions and world-renowned skiers, here are a few special Portillo memories from athletes who have starred in Warren Miller movies…
Ted Ligety (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter):
Portillo is like staying on a cruise ship, but in the middle of these huge mountains. You are at the end of the world and all you have to do is just walk out the door and you are skiing. The views are amazing with the lake and the mountains. For having only a few lifts there is an amazing amount of skiing and terrain and yet no crowds. But, my favorite part about Portillo is skiing to a long lunch at Tio Bob’s.
Julia Mancuso (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter):
Portillo is a special place because it’s surrounded by incredible mountains. Everyone stays under one roof, and I like to call it the high-altitude cruise ship for elite athletes. We get up there to train speed and ski incredible mountains. It’s ski-in/ski-out, and there’s nowhere else we can do that for summer training.
Daron Rahlves (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter):
The entire experience makes Portillo special. Pulling up to the yellow and blue hotel perched over Inca Lake amongst the Andes sets the tone. The resort has a great family atmosphere run by the Purcell family and their staff who really take pride in offering the ultimate winter experience in the middle of the Northern Hemi summer. Food is great, apres rocks, and it’s the Love Boat on snow. From training with the US Ski Team and prepping for the World Cup to freeskiing with friends, my wife, and kids, Portillo has provided many special memories. The incredible terrain and length is perfect for high quality DH training off the Roca Jack to Juncalillo and then skiing under the Plateau Lift or hiking to ski Super C are freeskiing gems. Step out of the backdoor with boots on, ski down to the lift, and it’s on! No crowds keep Portillo very relaxed, and all the skiing you can handle with endless terrain on a good snow year. You can have all kinds of conditions in one week—fresh pow, firm chalk, and corn snow. Kicking it at Tio Bob’s for a late BBQ-style lunch with your buds and taking it all in is a highlight of the day. Leave summer behind for a week ski trip in Portillo, Chile is a bucket list experience that comes every year.
Ingrid Backstrom (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter):
The vibe at Portillo is like nothing else I’ve experienced–it’s really remote in the Andean mountains, on a lake, surrounded by huge peaks. You feel really out there and surrounded by Andes, and yet totally taken care of in the most amazing comfortable hotel with incredible staff, and it has such character. It feels like something out of another era. And the skiing is insane–huge long wide open runs.
Sierra Quitiquit (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter):
Portillo is unique for so may reasons. Being able to ski in the middle of summer is such a special experience. Skiing in Portillo always feels like an adventure. While everyone at home is baking in the summer heat you get to be skiing. It feels like a time warp back to winter. Plus, Portillo offers world-class skiing without having to fight the crowds!
Chris Anthony (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter):
Ski Portillo is a very unique place. It’s unlike any other ski experience I have ever come across in all my travels. When you arrive in Portillo you take a step back in time. It’s like going to camp at your best friend’s big house that has a very cool backyard. It has the feeling of being home where everyone cares about you and remembers you.
Jess McMillan (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter):
There are a million reasons that Portillo is so special, but I will limit my answer to three reasons:
1. One of the most iconic couloirs in the world sits above the hotel. The Super C is a line to put on your life list. A steep couloir that runs 5,000 vertical feet from top to bottom.
2. The views: located in the heart of Andes the views are spectacular from Acongagua to the Laguna del Inca.
3. The terrain and snow quality. There is no better terrain in the Andes. Portillo is steep and if you are willing to put a little effort into hiking, it can feel endless. The wind is infamous in South America. Portillo is the only resort that is protected from the wind.
Keely Kelleher (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter):
The first time I skied Portillo it was for a training trip with the U.S. Ski Team. Since then I have been back five times because I fell in love with the people, culture, and terrain. I have great memories of skiing hard and finishing the day with a good beer and friends at Tio Bobs.
I chose to host a women’s ski camp (21 and older) in Portillo because there is a variety of terrain to master, an unbeatable cultural experience, and in my opinion, Portillo is one of the most beautiful places to ski in the world. I want to share the magic of Ski Portillo with other women who share a passion for skiing!
Marcus Caston (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter):
The relaxed and fun atmosphere is what makes Portillo special for me. You get to meet so many fun people from all over the world, and everybody is there to simply have a great time.
Caroline Gleich (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter):
Whenever I think about the time I spent at Portillo, it makes me smile and I have a strong emotional response. What I love about Portillo is that it embodies all the best things about skiing and ski culture – it has the biggest mountains with a truly alpine feel and the lodging is so luxurious. The food and drinks are top notch and you’re never bored, even during a rest day! My favorite thing is the apres-ski pool parties!