Andes slammed with snow after ‘storm of the decade’

Ever dreamed of heading south for summer to ski the South American winter? Well, this would have been the one to do it…

We’re kicking ourselves here as we watch Chilean ski resorts weathering “the storm of a decade” (in the word’s of Ski Portillo), and skiers in Argentina ride fresh line after fresh line.

It all started on 19 August, with Portillo in Chile reporting 70cm in 24 hours. By 23 August, the storm had dropped 150cm, and on it snowed – a whopping 2.5m of snowfall was forecast.

And 2.5m of snow Portillo got… News is, there’s even more in the forecast with snow to restart on Sunday. Here’s the Chilean ski resort carrying out some serious avalanche mitigation work above its iconic yellow base lodge.

Four days of storming in Las Leñas, Argentina has meant 3.5 metres of fresh snow mid-mountain. Needless to say, avi control is the order of the day. PowderQuest has men on the ground and is reporting from Las Leñas and Cerro Catedral in Argentina, where “… conditions are, well… DEEP!”.

Here are the reports:

This might have something to do with the Santa Rosa Tormenta (storm), a legendary meteorological phenomenon that, they say, comes annually to the Andes mountain range to round off winter. Occurring at (or just after) the end of August, it’s caused by the first warm winds of spring clashing with the Antarctic cold fronts (read here for more).

Whether Santa Rosa blows each year, (and as we seriously consider decamping to the Andes next August, in case the myth is true) what we can say for sure right now is that it’s looking hella good down in South America…

Head over to our Instagram page where we’ll be sharing more footage of deep snow and envy-inducing lines. And we leave you with this one, of freeride skier Ignacio (Nacho) Bertona skiing Argentina’s top five (wait for the Las Leñas line…):