This report is thanks to from our friends at PowderQuest. PowderQuest guides backcountry skiing all over South American and they have this continent’s best snow dialed.
– Report from August 6th, & 7th, 2014
After a few days of poor conditions around the 3 Valley resorts [Santiago area], we decided to pull the plug and grab a last minute flight down to Nevados de Chillan to try to hook up with the Ingrid Backstrom Women’s Camp and hit the forecasted storm.
We could not have timed it better. The night [August 5th] drive up was an adventure with about a foot of snow on the ground and snowing close to 2 inches an hour. After dinner it was straight to bed as the snow was expected to tapper off in the morning.
We met up with Ingrid and the ladies in the morning with over 3 feet of snow on the ground and still snowing moderately. Due to low visibility and high avalanche danger, the resort only opened the lower mountain, which made for a fun, deep day in trees. The snow was a bit heavy but still one of the top 5 deepest days I have experienced here since 1999.
The snow finally stopped falling that afternoon [August 6th] with the late afternoon sun popping out from behind the last of the clouds, giving us a view of the upper mountain caked in close to 4 feet of fresh. The next day was going to be all time.
Sometime around 4 AM yesterday I awoke to howling wind. It was tough to get back to sleep excited about the powder day ahead, but nervous about what the wind was doing to the snow on the upper mountain.
By 10 AM they had most of the mountain open as we ran fast powder laps on the Otto Chair. We were still able to find some fresh tracks and deep powder in protected gullies, but by noon it was time to head higher as things were quickly tracked out or hit by the wind. We jumped on the first snowcat with Ingrid and made our way to the crater at 10,452 feet.
After a quick hike around the rim of the crater, it was time to make our descent. PowderQuest ski guide, Phil Gautier found us a good mix of powder in protected gullies and still very fun and ridable wind buff all the way down to the hotel making for an amazing day in the Chilean Andes.
Temperatures are rising quickly today and the snow should quickly deteriorate until the next snowfall moves in, forecasted for Saturday night.
Check out all of our South American snow reports here: