We’re in the midst of another large El Niño spawned storm! We’re measuring the snow totals in feet and there’s more to come.
If you want the best ski conditions possible for your heli-skiing trip, this is the season!
We’re in the midst of another large El Niño spawned storm! We’re measuring the snow totals in feet and there’s more to come.
A huge snowstorm rolled through the Andes mountains of Chile and Argentina in early June and dropped up to 10-feet of snow in 7-days. This storm was the largest the region had seen since 1996 – that’s 20 years…
It’s not even June yet and Powder Fever is setting in! It’s time to get excited for our upcoming season. Check out the article that Snow Brains posted on Powder South.
The Andes Mountain Range in South America is the longest mountain range on Earth. It holds the highest mountains in world outside the Himalayas along with some of the best skiing and riding found anywhere. Sky-scraping 23,000-foot peaks, lava-spewing volcanoes, trenching fjords, calving glaciers, llamas, penguins, and powder during our summer. Lots and lots of powder.
Our friend Tom Winter wrote a great piece on Powder South featured in The Boulder Weekly in April 2016.
The mountains are the spine of the continent. They run for thousands of miles, in places jagged and impassible, in others friendlier, with passes guarded by large volcanoes that vent steam and spit lava. These are empty landscapes. Traveled by few, buffeted by storms. Exotic, yes, but also welcoming and closer than you think.
It’s hard to think about skiing and powder days and cold feet and runny noses in the middle of July. But when the temperature in Boulder starts to kiss 100, then perhaps it’s time to think and plan and dream a bit. To consider the unlikely journey south — south to the snow of the Chilean Andes.
We have some great and exiting news for this upcoming season. The heli-ski season in South America is less than two months away, and POWDER SOUTH Heli-Ski Guides and Owners are hard at work making preparations for the upcoming season.
We just got over a meter of snow last week in the Andes and we have more snow coming! it is only April and predictions are looking very positive for Powder South this winter.
New for 2016, we are operating out of the VIK Lodge for private heli-ski trips ONLY this first season due to the high end nature of these accommodations.
The lofty heights, scenic landscapes and futuristic designs will take you to another world.
Perched on a hill top in the midst of an 11,000 acre estate, VIK Lodge in Chile is the cutting-edge, James Bond-esque design masterpiece of Alexander Vik and his wife Carrie, along with renowned Architect Marcelo daglio. Hovering in your carbon fiber hammock-style bathtub in the VIK suite after skiing great powder all day long, you can gaze out across the Lodge own private vineyard, over the rolling foothills of the Millahue Valley and out towards the snow-capped peaks you have just skied!
We skied a bit south of our previous operation in vast and overwhelming great terrain,where we have access to thousands of hectares of unlimited terrain, most of this terrain is still unexplored, so you will be doing first descents and naming runs! This is an amazingly vast mountain region offering a wide variety of perfect heli-skiing terrain. Every run is surrounded by a breathtaking backdrop of 5,000-meter peaks.
We have the benefit of a maritime snowpack, which is light and dry due to the high altitude, synonymous with champagne powder at its best. Snow accumulation comes from the Pacific Ocean, a mere 100 miles (160 km) west of the Andes. Flying conditions are best during winter due to an almost zero thermal reduction, which keeps the cumulus clouds away and leads to an abundance of clear days.
Historically Powder South average is 5 days of skiing out of 6 days in a week of skiing.
Well, it was incredible while it lasted. The 2015 heli-skiing season has ended for us at POWDER SOUTH, and we want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who joined us in Chile and Argentina for one of the best winters in years. Late this season, that list even included world-renowned big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton, who, not surprisingly, can rip a snowboard as well.
2015 was highlighted by a handful of enormous storms that dumped multiple meters of snow on the central Andes. If you were here, you know it was one of the best sustained powder stretches on record. And now for the best part: meteorologists are predicting four more El Niño winters for South America, so chances are good that the conditions will be similar through 2019. Let’s hear it for Ullr!
Beyond the snow, 2015 was a special year for us as we opened the Uco Valley base in Argentina. The lure of unskied lines had us salivating, and although we had to fly farther and higher than anticipated sometimes, the reward was true exploration. Next year, we plan to add more hours of flight time to the Uco Valley heli packages to reflect the unique terrain around our base lodge.
On a related note, we have some exciting news to share: We are in the process of finalizing two more bases south of the Central Andes (but not too far south), one in Chile and one in Argentina. Each is surrounded by spectacular skiing and snowboarding potential. In light of their pending addition, if you book a trip for next season, we will allow you to move your trip to one of the new locations later, if you wish to explore the new terrain.
They are staying the same for now — if you book a 2016 trip, you will pay the same as you did last year. That won’t be the case forever (there will be about a 10 percent increase soon), so now is a good time to save some money if you want to fly with us next season.
That’s it from us at POWDER SOUTH. Thank you again for a wonderful season, and we hope to see you next year! And feel free to send us photos or stories from your experience this winter, at email@example.com.
The El Niño predictions of a deep winter in South America have come true: Perfect conditions exist throughout the Andes Range, with blower powder blanketing slopes in Chile and Argentina. For proof, behold these photos from TODAY, AUG. 11, in the Uco Valley of Argentina.
POWDER SOUTH guests have been enjoying stellar snow for weeks and the forecast shows no signs of slowing down as we reach the middle of the Southern Hemisphere winter.
We have had so much snow I’ve lost track!
Rodrigo Mujica – Powder South director and UIAGM guide
If you are wondering whether to join us for a week of incredible skiing or riding, we have good news for you: We still have room for some of the 2015 season’s prime weeks in both Chile and Argentina.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us anytime!
Thanks to the Internet, news has traveled around the world about the extraordinary winter storm that blanketed the central Andes in Chile and Argentina with more than 2 meters of snow this past weekend (we received 220 centimeters at our measuring station at 3,000 meters elevation, and there may be more in the vicinity). Yes, winter started slowly this year, but it is now in full swing with a suddenly deep snowpack and excellent conditions awaiting those who venture to South America for a ski/snowboard adventure of a lifetime.
The snowpack appears stable and ready to be tracked.
POWDER SOUTH director Rodrigo Mujica.
POWDER SOUTH is anticipating a busy season with plenty of soft turns thanks to an El Niño that some meteorologists are calling the strongest in many years, and as company co-founder & director Joaquin Oyarzun points out, more snow is in the immediate forecast. Only a handful of spaces remain open on PS’s schedule, so if you want to join us for a ski experience unlike anything else in the world, don’t wait much longer. Here are the available weeks with spots still available:
That’s what we have available, so give us a call or send us an email and we will take care of you and answer any questions you might have.
The Chilean national football (soccer) team just upset neighboring Argentina and won the Copa America for the first time! It has been a glorious time here in Santiago, and now that the Andes are covered in white, the energy will only get better.
The heli-ski season in South America is less than two months away, and POWDER SOUTH Heli-Ski Guides are hard at work making preparations for the upcoming season. If you believe the meteorologists around the world — and this time it seems they know what they’re talking about — South America and particularly the central Andes where POWDER SOUTH’s tenure is located, are in for a monster snow season. The national weather bureaus in Australia as well as the U.S. are both calling for an El Niño winter in the Southern Hemisphere, which means heavy snowfall and ample powder skiing throughout the high peaks of Chile and Argentina.
Their prediction stems from two main factors: sea temperatures have been increasing in a strip of the Pacific Ocean indicative of winter storms to come, and simultaneously tradewinds have been decreasing in some of the same locations, making conditions ripe for significant storms to develop and blanket the Andes. While there were rumors last year, too, that an El Niño pattern was imminent, they proved incorrect. This year, all signs point toward an El Niño for real.
Ocean temperatures are likely to remain above El Niño thresholds until at least the Southern Hemisphere spring,
– Australian Meteorology Bureau Forecaster – 4/28/15
Another thing you should know if you’re considering a trip to ski with us this year: the much-publicized and spectacular eruption of the Calbuco volcano did not occur anywhere close to POWDER SOUTH’s tenure in and around Santiago or Argentina’s Uco Valley, so our operation was not affected at all. The volcano, one of roughly 90 active volcanoes in Chile, sent an estimated 210 million cubic meters of ash onto the land surrounding the eruption, but it mostly affected agricultural areas, not the high peaks of the Andes.
All of which means this year is a fantastic year to ski powder with us in South America. In particular, our new operation in Argentina that we introduced last season is going to be even better this year. There is still space open for trips in both Chile and Argentina, but in the world-renowned Uco Valley, exploration opportunities abound.
People will have to fight to name the runs!
– PS director Rodrigo Mujica said.
For more information or if you have questions about a trip, feel free to contact us anytime. We look forward to hearing from you and hope you’ll come ski or ride powder with us this season!
More than a decade after POWDER SOUTH began pioneering heli-ski terrain in the heart of Chile’s Central Andes, we’re expanding into a new country and will be pioneering terrain in Argentina this coming season in 2015.
Our newest base, the world-famous Vines Resort and Spa, is unlike anything the ski industry has ever seen. Situated at the foot of the towering Andes range, 90 minutes from the Mendoza International Airport in Argentina’s renowned Uco Valley winemaking region, you can almost pick your line from the lodge, the view is that spectacular. The Vines is quite simply the most luxurious and stunning heli-ski lodge on the planet — no exaggeration!
As you can see from the photos, the lodge is spectacular, with exclusive villas up to 253 square meters (2,724 square feet) in size surrounded by 1,500 acres of private vineyards. The villas include private decks equipped with gas fireplaces and high-end finishes throughout, as well as an elegant main lodge, an infinity pool and hot tub, a private spa and fitness center, and a gourmet restaurant run by executive chef Francis Mallmann, one of the most famous chefs in the world. The best part? The peaks and potential for skiing and snowboarding are equally world-class.
Our terrain is just a short flight from the lodge and features runs for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Twelve years after we began naming EVERY run in the Central Andes of Chile, we are offering the same opportunity at the same latitude in Argentina. This kind of exploratory opportunity simply doesn’t exist in the heli-ski world anymore! Our founders have already scouted the peaks from the air and they are excited to introduce the bounty to you while pioneering new lines together.
We are offering everything from 3-day trips to weeklong adventures in the Uco Valley, so take a look at the options and decide what works best for you.
We are happy to answer any questions you might have as well.
Join us for the opportunity of a lifetime in 2015!
The Powder South Team is so glad to announce that we have a partnership with the most luxurious hotel in South America: The Mandarin Oriental, Santiago that enjoys a reputation for style, service and outstanding facilities. The Santiago Weekly and 3-Day Package will be based out of this … [Read More...]
Powder South Heliski strongly recommends that you enroll with Global Rescue prior to your South American heli-ski adventure.