33.3535° S, 70.2496° E
The Valle Nevado (definition; Snow Covered Valley).
The reason why Epic Cols exists. An epic climb to South Americas biggest ski area located just 66km from the hustle and bustle of Santiago, the capital of Chile and one which blew us away.
58 Switchbacks, 3 Valleys and from Santiago 2400m of climbing. When you get to the top of the second valley and see the Valle Nevado for the first time, you will stand there in disbelief. Nothing will prepare you for the grandeur of the Andes towering above you.
|1802m||6.3%||14.7%||CLIMBED||AVERAGE GRADIENT||MAX GRADIENT|
The first section climbing up from Corral Quernado. 16 tightly woven hairpin bends amongst the cacti.
Hairpin / Switchback paradise and this is just the beginning. Once above this section the gradient eases off before taking you upto Mirador de Los Tres Valles (lookout point of the three valleys)
In the summer the road to the Valle Nevado is really quiet. Few people live up there and the road primarily is there for the winter ski traffic going to the resorts.
A brief descent before climbing up again. At 11 KM there is a small kiosk selling drinks and snacks. Many will stop at the top of this section (Farrellones and the road to La Parva/Colorado) but you must continue. It is about to get epic.
Now firmly in the Valle Nevado and at over 2500m. The Andes another 3000m above you.
A super sweet flowing section before the final push and the final set of switchbacks. Your legs are tired, the air is noticeably thinner and you have ridden over 2000 vertical meters from Santiago. This is a demanding climb, so make sure you have plenty of food and water. Especially in the summer months; the lower sections get very hot
Fantastically the road has recently been paved as before this section use to be pretty rough. Be careful of rocks falling.
VALLE NEVADO SUMMIT
When you finish the climb at the Valle Nevado Ski resort at 3000m you stand there in awe of the Andes mountains. Nearby the peaks are 2000m above you and beyond that Aconcagua is 4000m above you. No other climb that Epic Cols has photographed/experienced comes anywhere close to this experience. It really is breathtaking.
A climb to put on the bucket list and for Epic Cols a top 5 climb in the world.
VALLE NEVADO CYCLING CLIMB FAQ'S
The road is open year round. However in winter you can experience treacherous conditions and well below zero temperatures
The Valle Nevado has 58 hairpin bends ( 10 more than the Stelvio Pass)
The Ski resort is 66km away (41 miles)
Even during the summer the conditions can be highly changeable thanks to the mountainous microclimate. During the week days you rarely see a soul so you should be self sufficient. We recommend a lightweight jacket for the descent, plenty of food, 2 large waterbottles minimum (it will take you 3 hours from Santiago if you are a fit rider), money and mobile phone. In reality 2 bottles isn't nearly enough in the summer heat and it is hard/not possible to get extra food/water in the resorts.
At 11km there is a green kiosk on the right. It is worth a quick stop (unless going for a time) to refill water.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
STELVIO PASS (BORMIO)
The Stelvio Pass needs no introduction. A legend, and the most famous cycling climb in the world. There are three directions to summit this beast, with this being from the town of Bormio.
A climb often forgetten when in the Bormio area, but this giant links onto the Stelvio Pass, and absolutely should be on your bucket list.
GAVIA PASS (BORMIO)
Starting from Bormio this giant of a climb which regularly features in the Giro d'italia will take you to another world as you climb high into the mountains.