Corralco ski area in Chile (below) has now reported a 3.8 metre (nearly 13 foot) base of snow on its slopes at what should be approaching the start of the main ski season in South America.

However all ski areas in Argentina and Chile remain closed as both countries continue their lockdowns with no clear end in sight.  Argentina’s Las Lenas resort has already said it wont open this winter whilst Portillo in Chile has delayed opening ‘indefinitely’ until they have some clear indication they might be able to open.

But the situation for skiers is ironic, to say the least, with a month of almost constant low temperatures and heavy snowfall leaving most ski areas in the Andes with what would be the best early season conditions in years, particularly after some fairly lacklustre winters in recent years.

Nevados de Chillan

Whilst posting images of the deep snow on social media however, all are stressing the importance to stay home and stay safe until it’s possible to hit the slopes once more.

For South America the coronavirius is just the latest, if arguably the most devastating, of a long list of issues over the past few decades to impact different resorts which have included outbreaks of the Zika virus and volcanic eruptions with resulting ash clouds at others.

For those tempted to hike up to enjoy the powder some resorts have been warning that avalanche prevention measures including blasting setting off avalanches might take place without warning, whilst other resorts say their usual avalanche prevention initiatives aren’t happening at present, and that the danger is at its highest level. They also warn that mountain rescue teams may not be operating.