It's amazing how much the conditions changed over a couple weeks
Valle Nevado august 26- EPIC TAG pics - Page 2
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Well, the La Nina got here in a hurry. It was still strong El Nino as recently as March. So if someone booked this spring, they didn't know.
However Andes snowfall is very volatile in any case. So I would generally advise delaying booking until June for an August trip. July should generally be avoided due to higher lodging prices during South American holidays. Patrick from Ottawa (who occasionally posts here) has a 58-month streak going and has been skiing South America since 2007. He does not commit until typically mid-July for his late August/early September trip. He's still going this year, but probably south to Bariloche and Esquel, which are having slightly above average seasons.
The El Nino/La Nina sensitivity is likely limited to Portillo/Valle Nevado/Las Lenas, which are at mirror image latitude to SoCal and Arizona. Those should definitely be avoided the rest of this season IMHO. I thought Valle Nevado conditions were mediocre in 2007, but they were stellar compared to what I see and read on this TR.
I just returned from a two week trip to Chile where I skied Valle Nevado, La Parva, El Colorado, Portillo, Ski Arpa and Nevados de Chillan. The best snow and terrain by far was at Nevados de Chillan. Finndog, if you are still in Chile, do yourself a favor and drive 6.5 hours south. There is loads of snow and plenty more in the forecast.
This is from Wednesday - my tracks on the right:
Sorry for the tease. It looks like you had a fun time. I hope you are having an uneventful trip back to the U.S.
can't complain one second. Good or bad snow it was skiing and part of the fun is hunting good lines and being out where no one is around. Perfect silence, no noise or sounds what so ever, except the sound of walking on snow and rocks that wonderful scraping sound of edges on frozen..... (not so nice is the sound of bases over rocks..)