The 2019 ski season in the Andes mountains of South America had got underway at half a dozen smaller ski areas over the past few weeks but most resorts in the Andes have been waiting a big snowfall.
That has arrived over the past week with a number of resorts reporting up to 40cm (16 inches) of fresh snow in 48 hours, transforming thin cover to deep powder.
Nearly all of the continent’s biggest resorts including Portillo, Valle Nevado and Nevados de Chillan (pictured top) in Chile and Catedral and Las Lenas in Argentina, along with several others, have opened with fresh powder this weekend.
Argentinian ski areas including Caviahue and Las Lenas have reported the biggest, 40cm, snow accumulations and both have opened with at least a metre of snow already lying (115cm or nearly four feet deep in Caviahue’s case).
These are the deepest bases in the southern hemisphere so far this winter.
Cerro Castor (60/100cm), above on Sunday, has the most runs open in the country though, and the greatest percentage of its terrain already skiable with 20 of its 28 runs open already.
In Chile up to 25cm of fresh snow has been reported at La Parva and Valle Nevado. Portillo has the deepest base at 80cm with 24cm of fresh snow so far.
Although most areas enjoyed blue sky days on Sunday, conditions are expected to be snowy again over the week ahead in some parts of the Andes with Argentina’s Cerro Castor, which has already had 20cm of fresh snow, expecting another 50cm of snowfall over the first few days of July.
In Chile the biggest falls are forecast for Antillanca and Pucon.