In order to boast that you have been to the end of the world to ski or snowboard, you’ll need to visit between late May and early September – June to August are the most reliable months. Most runs are for beginners and intermediates, but several companies, such as Gotama Expediciones (
02901 1560 5301,
gotama-expediciones.com) offer guided back-country skiing for the more advanced. Equipment rental is reasonable and there are a couple of downhill (esqui alpino) pistes close to Ushuaia: the small Club Andino, 3km from town, and the more impressive one up by Glaciar Martial, 7km away.
Better runs are to be had, however, in the Sierra Alvear, the resorts of which are accessed from the RN-3. These include the modern Cerro Castor centre (
cerrocastor.com), 27km from Ushuaia, with 15km of pistes in runs, including a few black ones, up to 2km long. The Sierra Alvear is also an excellent area for cross-country skiing (esqui de fondo or esqui nórdico). In addition, there are several winter-sports centres (centros invernales) along the Valle Tierra Mayor where you can try out snowmobiles, snowshoes, ice-skating and dog-sled trips (trineos de perros), including Valle de Lobos and Nunatak. Bear in mind that winter this far south entails short days, and it can be bitterly cold.