Valle Navado – Road to the Sky
“If the mountain won’t come to me, then I go to the mountain.”
Valle Nevado, an epic climb in the city of Santiago, Chile
Valle Nevado (loosely translates to “snowy valley”) is a sky center situated in the middle of the Andes Mountains, 67 kms from downtown Santiago, Chile, it has an altitude of 3,000 masl and it is one of the epic climbs to do when the winter in the south hemisphere is over, mainly between the months of October and April. The route has total 45 kms length and it is not easy, in cycling terms it would be a Hors catégorie (beyond categorization) with gradients up to 17.5%.
Distance to the top = 45 kms Max Altitude = 3026 metres Elevation= 3026-854 = 2172 metres Average gradient = 5,11 % Max Gradient: 17,5% (Km 17.3)
* Start point in Mall Sport (recommendable if you haven’t done it before). You access here by Avenida las Condes street. You can park your car inside the shopping mall paying a fee.
* To take the road to Farellones, you need to turn right just in the point where there is a gas station (YPF)
* From the intersection on it is only one road with two intersections in the KM 16 (Disputada-Farellones) and KM 32 (Farellones-Valle Nevado). Tip: Always keep your right.
* It is a mountain road, with high difficulty due to the altitude and the distance.
* Hydration: You can refill your bottles in Lo Ermita (Km 11), Yerba Loca National Park (Km 23), Coca Cola Kiosk (Km 27), Farellones (Km 33) and Valle Nevado (Km 45) but if your goal is Valle Nevado and you need water then you will have to enter first in Farellones and then continue to your final destination.
* Food: You have to consider a time of 3 to 5 hours only to go. So don’t forget to carry on enough food.
* Sun Block.
* Wind stopper: For the way down. Don’t forget we will be in the Andes Mountains, and the weather is different over there.
* Cash: The key points where we can get some refill, they only accept cash with the exception of Valle Nevado, where there is a store.
* Helmet: Always!
* The road is not exclusive for cyclist, so you should be really careful with the cars on the road, especially when you are going down.
* Cross wind that in some parts can push you from the sides.
* Be careful with the pavement especially when you are going down and at the moment of taking the curves.
Valle Nevado will always be a challenge and a classic among the cycling routes in Santiago and Chile. You can make it with any kind of bike (no engine is allowed xD) and you can choose the distance more suitable for you and your training conditions. The view in the Andes Mountains is amazing and you will never be disappointed after climbing that much.
See you in the road.
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