South America 2023

ChrisC

Well-known member
Saw this on Facebook - early winter storm at Las Lenas with decent starting base.

We will see how the season progresses….

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El Nino is supposed to be good for these places. The actual positive El Nino readings are not there yet, though I would not be surprised to see them by July/August. In 2005 Las Lenas had over 100 inches in both May and June so I was confident booking my first trip there. Average snowfall declines significantly in August vs. June/July and even more drastically in September. So booking decisions should be made on the basis of snow on the ground by mid-July, or earlier if there's a lot as in 2005.

The last above average season for Portillo/Valle Nevado/Las Lenas was 2009. During the last El Nino in 2015 May/June were dry but I booked after a 6 foot dump in early July. There was one more big storm early August but not much else that season.
 
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Interesting. Did not know the Andes were front loaded snowfall-wise. Will have monitor season progress for Las Lenas.

In 2016, the snow was front loaded - especially in July. Not too much snow in August when I skied for 5 days (Portillo, El Colorado, La Parva, Valle Nevado) before the Rio Olympics. Although I did get one down day where it snowed 6”.

Places like the Dolomites, Andes, New Zealand….you have to ski them when they are ready/dictate.
 
Hope is gone. Nothing is open and barren ground is everywhere for the start of winter. The big resorts all look quite sad.

Give up on this continent. Time/effort/money spent better elsewhere.

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I might have spoken too soon. Looks like there is a significant storm coming.

Rain in Santiago. Four feet+ in the Chilean mountain.

The pictures were just startling - like those coming from the Alps after New Years.

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Is Patrick booked there for streak turns in July? :eusa-think:
Patrick is on the DL after an elbow dislocation at Mammoth May 29. He remained at Mammoth for a couple of follow up doctor appointments and to ski on June 4 before coming down here June 8 and flying home June 10. He might need surgery. I'm guessing at least one of the next 3 months will be in New Jersey.

All of Patrick's southern hemisphere trips have been for August/September except a year ago to Australia for September/October.
Four feet+ in the Chilean mountain.
Typical pattern, if anything a little low. The central Andes have by far the highest volatility of any ski region in the world.
 
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Is Patrick booked there for streak turns in July? :eusa-think:
I haven’t booked SA since 2012. Somewhat disappointed with weather on that last trip.

Anyway I did 5 trips in 6 years (2007-2012); I wanted to explore elsewhere.

Never needed a big trip for July turns… even if I did a few trips west over the last 18 years.
 
I might have spoken too soon. Looks like there is a significant storm coming.

Rain in Santiago. Four feet+ in the Chilean mountain.

The pictures were just startling - like those coming from the Alps after New Years.

It’s still very early for the Andes. One advantage is that the weather / snow can vary between regions.
 
It’s still very early for the Andes.
Not that early for the central Andes. On average Santiago has seen 47% of total rainfall by June 30 and 68% by July 31. It's very different from California in average incidence.

Portillo/Valle Nevado/Las Lenas are closely correlated with Santiago and each other. You need to get south to Corralco/Chillan for different weather patterns.
 
We are now at mid-July and Portillo's season snowfall is 62 inches. That's much less than half of the 1970-2007 average considering that we're approaching 60% of the snow season.

The best source of local info is CaseyE on TGR and he confirms that it's not good in the central Andes. That storm ChrisC mentioned on June 23 rained to about 500 feet above La Parva's base and caused in flooding in Santiago.
 
We are now at mid-July and Portillo's season snowfall is 62 inches. That's much less than half of the 1970-2007 average considering that we're approaching 60% of the snow season.

It looks like another bad season in South America. I am not sure how this guiding operation Powder Quest stays in business with Japan, Chile, and Argentina tours. Especially poor snow in South America for many seasons.
 
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We are now at mid-August and Portillo's season snowfall is 72 inches. Furthermore there was a heat wave in late July with freezing level about 15,000 feet. There is minimal natural snowpack left below 10,000 feet in the central Andes according to CaseyE on TGR.
 
Portillo and Las Lenas both got hit with a ton of snow from this last storm

Las Lenas - 11 ft at mid-mountain
Do not think much is open now.

Portillo - 9 ft as Tony noted.
The resort has been cut off, and little avy work done.

Valle Nevado - 5/6 ft

Lesser amounts at Bariloche and further south.

This could have been the year to go to Las Lenas, but the storm came rather late in the year - and logistics are tough.
 
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