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South America’s 2021 Ski Season Starts

The 2021 ski season has got underway in the Andes mountains of South America.

Three ski areas are reported to have opened in Chile in the past 24 hours and most of the rest of the continent’s main ski areas are expected to open over the next 10 days.

So far it is a much more promising picture than last year when only half-a-dozen or so ski areas managed to open from August after the first wave of the pandemic, most only having a 3-6 week 2020 ski season.

Corralco, El Colorado (pictured top) and Valle Nevado have all opened over the past few days. More Chillean ski areas are set to follow with Nevados de Chillan targeting Thursday July 1 and la Parva (below) July 5th.

Argentina’s 2021 ski season should start on July 2nd with La Hoya and southerly Cerro Castor opening, then Chapelco,
Las Lenas and Cerro Bayo a week later on July 9th. It is not yet clear when the continent’s largest ski area, Catedral near Bariloche will open.

For some of the continent’s leading areas including Valle Nevado and las Lenas this will be the first winter opening in two years, as they decided not to open late last winter when eventually permitted to and some smaller areas did, as it wasn’t viable for them to do so for a few weeks at the end of the season.

With international transport still off the cards it is unclear if they’ll be able to break even this winter, Portillo has delayed its season start to at least July 17th.

As to the weather, that wasn’t great for skiing for much of the continent either, but it has been cold and snowy the past week or so, allowing areas to open, with pandemic operating restrictions in place of course.

The start of the season in South America means that ski areas are currently operational on six continents simultaneously.  Around 50 ski areas are currently open worldwide, although its only one each for Africa, Asia and North America.

It’s the first time in two years that areas have been open on six continents at once, last year the final area still open in Asia closed for the season before the first in South America opened.

  1. Baz

    30th June 2021 10:34 pm

    Well if the situation in the UK is anything to go by there will be no hope for these places, since project fear about COVID is still alive and well, and being reported relentlessly by the hopeless excuse for journalism in the halls of The BBC News et al. Utterly pony the lot of them on this issue, they have been nothing but a mouthpiece for the latest Government controls, literally could’ve seen them getting lockdown bunting out for Broadcasting House…. You can easily spot the people this makes absolutely no difference to. It is why they are so in favour of it. Spectacularly selfish, and they are completely oblivious to it. And to get back non point, they’re telling us right now it is “freedom day” Jul 19th apparently, while having absolutely no plan to remove the need for testing or quarantine for international travel…. and the cost of testing, at least 200 notes per person, with QT likely to add another 2k to your bill each, and zero prospect of insurance for this crap….. So for me this is not freedom day, and the poor people that used to work in tourism related sectors and travel are just getting battered as are these resorts all over the world. And nobody seems to care about it at all. I find it spectacularly selfish. Particularly when there is no need for any restriction in the UK anymore… remember when it was lockdown to save the NHS? No risk to the NHS currently, and that has been the situation for 3 months. Not to mention the fact we halved the number of beds compared to 30 years ago, while we’ve doubled our population over the same period with loads more sick old folks… so its not too hard to see why a winter seasonal disease caused a problem, as it has done several times before COVID came along…. but who cares eh. You can still go to work every day assuming you’re an essential worker, go home and repeat…. what a life it is to be free.

  2. Russell Hartwig

    4th July 2021 2:17 am

    Ski areas were one of the major vectors in spreading the virus to Europe. It’s wise to be cautious.

  3. Baz

    24th August 2021 9:27 pm

    To be fair it made no significant difference to anything dude, as it is a very small %age of the population that undertake ski holidays. The virus was out and about long before people started trying to pin the tail on the ski resorts for areas of high transmission, most of the time you are outside all day, which actually reduces transmission. But for sure it was another way for the narrative of international travel being banned because it was “dangerous”, or “to prevent the spread of variants” and other such rubbish. I recall sitting in France in my apartment there in March last year, thinking hmm. I’m going to have to go from a small town, being out skiing all day with no known cases back to the UK with 10s of thousands of documented cases and that was when there was basically fuck all testing, and go back to work with lots of people every day….. make sense at all? Not really, not that I was in any way concerned about “my safety”, since COVID is about as bad a flu if you’re not very old and or frail beforehand. The idea that the UK for example in Dec last year with about 60k new cases a day was “concerned” about “safety” because a few people may enter the country with a small spot of COVID was absolutely hysterical. It makes about as much sense as a dead parrot…. and is just about as ridiculous. It mattered not a jot if a new variant came along, and still doesn’t. The only thing that would matter would be if it changed its precise demographic hit list, which it hasn’t. So none of the strains are any different in a sane reality. But we have been anything but sane the past couple of years. Mass hysteria has ruled the roost completely. And the continued prevention of international travel for all but the rich list is demonstrating this was never about the problem of a case or two moving round the globe.

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