Las Leñas Ski Center lies in the Andes mountains in the western part of Argentina’s Mendoza Province, and offers a climate, a topography, and a double chairlift that define some of the world’s best big-mountain freeriding.
Simply put, from the moment you arrive, Las Leñas is sure to make your jaw drop and your head swivel. Long, wide-open lines and towering, dramatic peaks abound in the “Valley of the Yellow Firewoods” (named for the low, golden shrubs that dot the landscape in the summer).
Las Leñas’ Marte chair is an icon of the freeskiing world, and it provides access to some of the best terrain on earth.
Marte allows visitors to access most of the area’s ~60,000 acres of backcountry skiing, much of which won’t require any skinning or hiking to reach. If you do happen to bring your skins or are willing to hit up a bootpack, the terrain options are practically endless.
The terrain alone is enough to set Las Leñas apart, but the ease with which you can access it makes it truly unique.
When you reach the top of the Marte chair, Cerro Entre Rios stands before you. A two-and-a-half-hour skin from the top of Marte will get you to the top of Cerro Entre Rios and 1,700 vertical feet of gorgeous, big-mountain lines.
Las Leñas’ terrain is a lot to take in, and it’s almost certainly more expansive than anything you’ve skied.
What’s more, wind plays a huge role in where the very best snow collects, so if you know where to go, a great pow day can turn into an epic one. For that reason, we recommend that you hire a guide for at least a day (Las Leñas has an excellent backcountry & mountain guide program) to ensure that you get the most out of your visit.
Las Leñas’ season typically runs from mid June to mid October. Mild temperature variations mean that the region often enjoys a stable snowpack, permitting skiers to go beyond the ropes surprisingly quickly, even after a two-meter Santa Rosa storm.
But Las Leñas isn’t only for experts; the resort offers plenty of long, wide groomers to rip—or merely enjoy—while you take in the scenery.
Families roll into town for the weekend from Buenos Aires, but for the most part the vibe at Las Leñas is “core.” You’ll meet skiers from around the world and likely a few pros—either on the mountain or after midnight in the nightclub UFO Point. But with a newly added lift, you aren’t going to run into mega-resort lift lines.
BLISTER Trip Reports from Las Leñas: