Farellones (pronounced “far-ey-yone-eys”) is a ski town in the Andes near Santiago. It’s elevation is just under 8,000 feet.
A year and a half ago, I tried to ride there. I didn’t make it, turning back at about 70%. Not long after that, the bike I rode was stolen. I rode less for the next year and fell out of shape.
About two months ago, I bought a good bike, and I’ve been riding a lot. I’m now in better shape than I was the first time I tried, and I have a better bike (and a better lock, too!).
Last Sunday I rode all the way there. The whole ride took me seven hours, and I gained 6,150 feet in elevation.
So that you can visualize this, here is a picture taken the day after I did the ride. Note where the snow is.
When I got to the top, I was well above the “snow line”. Farellones isn’t on the mountains you see here, it’s on bigger ones that are farther east.
After getting to the edge of the city, I rode 10 miles up the Mapocho canyon and through the “doors of burnt coral”.
Then the switchbacks started.
These two photos were taken from the same location, about halfway up the switchbacks. This shot looks down at the canyon, where the switchbacks start:
And this one looks up at Farellones. It’s on top of that ridge:
Here’s the view from the top:
Just for kicks, here’s an awesome picture taken from the ski slopes. You can see Farellones (close) and Santiago (far).