Snow stacks up in the Andes

Fourteen days of non-stop snow has brought 567cm (18.7 feet) of snow to Chile’s Ski Portillo. The ski resort hasn’t even opened for business yet, and it’s already surpassed its season average snowfall total of 510cm.

But how much snow is too much snow?

Originally scheduled to kick off the season on 20 June, the resort near to Santiago has been forced to delay its opening until 29 June with no relief in the weather to clear up road access to Portillo or make the resort safe.

It’s the same story over in Argentina’s Las Leñas, which last night received an overnight metre of snow. Like Portillo, the resort has also had to delay its official opening to 29 June, with what’s currently totalling 7.5m of snow at its 3,400m top lift elevation and 3.5m at village level.

Winter has been full on throughout the Andes, but with better results for some resorts managing to open for skiing and riding up to three weeks early, thanks to record snowfall in May.

Chile’s Valle Nevado opened last month due to storms bringing metres upon metres of early season snow to its 3,000m village location.

El Colorado and La Parva opened unseasonably early on 31 May, while Argentina’s Cerro Catedral saw 2.5m of snow fall by mid-May allowing a 7 June opening.

If you’ve been waiting for a sign to book that Andes ski trip, this might just be it, with Ullr bombing the mountains with snow with no sign that it’s to let up any time soon. Predictions are already in for October skiing (- seasons usually run June–September this way).

Check back in with us for Andes season updates…