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Major Expansion
Cerro Catedral in Bariloche, and La Parva in the Three Valleys of Santiago, have made multi-million US$ investments for 2005. Skiers and snowboarders will see fast lifts, major snowmaking installations, and new real estate this season. Also, Termas de Chillan, Caviahue, and Cerro Bayo have added new chairlifts.

  by Brian Passikoff, May 22, 2005

Cerro Catedral is putting finishing touches on a major new gondola, two chairlifts, and a Portillo-style va y vient lift. This construction is part of a three-year master plan. For the 2004 season the resort installed a major new snowmaking system that ensures good cover on the lower and mid mountain. For 2006 Cerro Catedral plans the installation of five new lifts, including a high-speed detachable quad.

Near Santiago, La Parva is in the midst of an 9.5 million US$ expansion project. Half the investment is in real estate. The remaining is the installation of a modern-snowmaking system for the lower and mid mountain. The installation includes a 45,000 square meter resevoir, 65 connections, and 13 portable cannons. In total, La Parva will have snowmaking coverage on 40 hectares of terrain. This represents 60% of lower mountain in-bounds slopes, and 25% of total inbounds.

The La Parva village has a lower base elevation than the other major Three Valley resorts, Valle Nevado and El Colorado. In recent years, both La Parva's neighbors, as well as Portillo, have also made multi-million dollar investments in snowmaking, thereby ensuring consistent June opening dates.

La Parva’s upper mountain, with the highest lift served terrain of the Santiago resorts, has consistently good snow cover throughout the season. However, La Parva has sometimes had to shorten the season because of scarce base depths on the sunny lower mountain. With the new snowmaking system, this will no longer be a problem

Termas de Chillan has installed a double chair that is parallel to the Chueco surface lift. The new El Huemul chair has a length of 1700 meters, a 500 meter vertical drop, and reaches an elevation of 1800 meters above sea level. The lift has a capacity of 1050 passengers an hour

Caviahue's new quad chair begins at mid-mountain and reaches the current highest point of the resort, Cerro Mesa. For future seasons, plans call for additional lifts that will eventually reach the top of the volcano. Cerro Bayo has installed a single chairlift with a capacity of 400 passengers an hour.



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