Of course best start in South America in 10-20 Years

ChrisC

Active member
If there was a season to plan a trip to South America......

In 2016, I went to Chile for a couple of days before going onwards to the Rio Olympics - decent year snow-wise. Felt Portillo did not quite live up to its reputation (1 day), I skied some good backside corn in Valle Nevado (2 days via Mountain Collective), and had a great powder day at La Parva (1 day).

I would have pulled the trigger to ski Las Lenas and Bariloche this year.

https://www.catedralaltapatagonia.com/webcams.php
 

ChrisC

Active member
Portillo
 

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Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Likely the best since 2005, when I booked Las Lenas with Extremely Canadian after it got 100 inches in both May and June.

Portillo's website normally shows its season-to-date snowfall, but there is no snow report page at all since the area isn't open.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Portillo will not open in 2020, per press release August 20:
https://www.skiportillo.com/en/noticia/ ... ronavirus/

Season snowfall is now 217 inches; that's only 25 inches in the past 6 weeks. It is not a foregone conclusion that 2020 snowfall will surpass the 1970-2007 average of 254 inches, as snowfall incidence in South America tends to decline significantly in September vs. the prior 3 months.

La Parva opened Aug. 18, very limited: https://www.skiportillo.com/en/noticia/ ... ronavirus/
The interesting twist around Santiago is that ski areas cannot be open on weekends, which is the main reason Portillo didn't open. El Colorado opened, but Valle Nevado did not. There's still a good base from late June/early July dumps, but surface conditions aren't great with only 10cm new since then.

Corralco will open this Saturday at 30% capacity: https://snowbrains.com/ski-corralco-chi ... 0-season/; I'm guessing the weekend restriction doesn't apply down there, but I'd guess it's limited to the local population like Cerro Castor when it opened a month ago.

On a bit of a tangent, SnowBrains has a write-up about the proposed Cerro Punta Negra ski area above the Uco Valley SW of Mendoza: https://snowbrains.com/the-long-awaited ... argentina/ I heard about this from locals in Las Lenas in 2015. I have no idea whether it's any closer to being financed now.

While we're fantasizing, Patrick drew my attention to still another Argentine ski area proposal on the drawing board: https://snowbrains.com/large-new-ski-re ... el-azufre/
This one is as remote as it gets, beyond Las Lenas to the SW, near the Chilean border, though there is a pass that could be upgraded to allow access from the Chilean side. The big plus of El Azufre is that it is upwind of Las Lenas and gets more snow.

From what I can find, Catedral, Chapelco and Cerro Bayo are open, though probably only to locals.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Portillo's season snowfall is now 224 inches. The decade long drought continues. Sept. 17 was probably the last day at La Parva.

So far it's not looking good for getting into Chile or Argentina for the December 14 total solar eclipse either.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
ChrisC":3f0fixst said:
... it looks like after a great start, snowfall just tapered off.

Fell off a cliff is more like it: 192 inches before July 12, 32 inches since then at Portillo. These areas make California snowfall look consistent by comparison.

Standard deviations as percent of average snowfall:
Western Canada and I-70 Colorado: 20-23%
Northeast and other Rocky Mt. regions: 23-27%
Pacific Northwest: 28-30%
The Alps: 27-35%
Sierra Nevada, Arizona: 38-42%
Southern California: 51%
Portillo: 56%
 
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