Snoworks still has room on August ski trips to Chile

At Snoworks they have a dream, to ski exotic destinations with richly varied cultures. In 2002, they  headed for South America and over the last 12 years have created and fine-tuned one of the most diverse ski adventures you will find anywhere in the world.

Ski Chile is a no holds-barred ski extravaganza combining amazing skiing experiences, spectacular southern-hemisphere winter scenery with extraordinary local culture – skiing Chilean ski resorts in the Lakes and Volcano District and staying in some extraordinary places.


Skiing Level
Ski South America is designed for competent off-piste skiers. (Snoworks Levels 5 & 6). Although we also can take adventurous levels 4 skiers with limited off-piste experience. If you’re an adventurous level 4 please enquire as to whether your skiing level is at the minimum level for the trip.

We’ve created an itinerary to cater for a difference in skill level and aspirations. At each destination you have the option of skiing off-piste accessed by mechanical uplift wherever possible, as well as the option of skinning, climbing and skiing from the summit of 5 volcanoes.

(For fit adventurous level 4’s there may be the option of joining the trip. Please contact our office to chat further.)

Australian ski resorts report almost five feet of new snow

Patrick Thorne files this great report with inthesnow.com:

Australian ski areas – which started their season badly on June 7th with almost no snow following a record warm May, are celebrating snowfalls of up to almost five feet (1.4m in fact) during the last four days.

The snow has now stopped leaving resorts well-covered ahead of the weekend and the country’s school holiday period.

“We expect to have over 40 lifts operating for the weekend across the four resorts areas of Perisher, Smiggin Holes, Blue Cow and Guthega,” said Samantha Hales, Communications and Media Manager at Australia’s biggest resort which now has a 102.1 cm base,

“There is a lot of work to do to get the resort open after a big storm as we need to get out there and groom out the wind drift, build lift tracks and ensure the resorts is safe for guests.”

Meanwhile at Mt Hotham called the snowfall ‘Snowmageddon 1.0’ and are expecting ‘Snowmageddon 2.0’ to follow bon later this weekend,

“Snowmageddon 1.0  started last Monday and brought the snowfall we have all been waiting for. Within 3 days we had over 70cm of snow, got 6 lifts going and are looking forward to the best school holiday skiing and riding in years.  Another front is coming in on Saturday and we will be hitting the 1-meter mark by Saturday night/Sunday morning,” said a statement from the resort, which currently has seven  lifts running.

Check it out at SNOW.

Charlotte Pass great for back-country skiing and families in Australia

Flip Byrnes finishes his tour of New South Wales ski resorts in Australian Traveller:

Charlotte Pass: Snowbound Wonderland

Best for: Back-country bandits and families.

In a nutshell: You never forget your first love, and for many of us, that’s Charlotte Pass. Nestled against the flanks of Australia’s largest mountain, Mt Kosciuszko,Charlotte’s is a 45-minute over-snow cat ride from Perisher, and a universe away. There are no cars, no roads, just a handful of lodges dotted around the magnificent, refurbished 1930s Kosciusko Chalet.

Back country enthusiasts are drawn by easy access to off-piste terrain and families love skiing the intimate five lifts over 50 hectares. In a week, you’ll know every lift operator’s name, and like us, return thirty years later with your own generation of future pro skiers.

Underrated run: A little hike goes a long way. Hike to Kangaroo Ridge Cornice or Guthrie’s Chutes for some adrenalin-inducing action.

Best spot for an après: Sink into a leather couch fire-side at Adam’s Cocktail Lounge in The Kosciuszko Chalet, or sink beers while sinking balls in a game of pool in The Cellar.

Local tip: Day trips to Charlotte’s are available from Perisher ($97 for adults and $60 for children). There are two return over-snow transport packages with either a lift pass and hot lunch, or a two-and-a-half hour snow shoe tour with picnic lunch.

More info: charlottepass.com.au

Family will love the Selwyn Snowfields in New South Wales

Australian Traveller’s Flip Byrnes continues his guide to ski resorts in New South Wales:

Selwyn Snowfields: Family Nirvana

Best for: Snow newbies who don’t want to burn gold bars trying a new sport.

In a nutshell: It’s small; with 10 lifts and 45 hectares of terrain. But that’s what renders it perfect for people who fall over when not even moving on skis. There’s nowhere to get lost, help is always at hand and the family that skis together, stays together.

It’s also great value at $82 an adult and $45 a child for a peak season day pass, and if you’re breeding future free-riders who just want park-play, a terrain park ticket accessing the two parks is a cheap-as-chips $25 per person.

It’s a day resort, meaning there’s no on-snow accommodation, but the Snowy Mountains Holiday Centre can arrange packages and hotels around Adaminaby (smhc.com.au).

Underrated run: First timers can score a great initial impression of powder skiing down The Meadows on snowfall days, running from Emu’s Chase straight to the Race Course T-bar.

Best spot for an après: The Swinging T-bar on the mezzanine is the best place (okay, the only place) to kick back with a cup of barista perfection. Alternatively, Wild Brumby Schnapps (with locally-made schnapps) overlooks the slopes. Put your feet up and enjoy the sweeping views (wildbrumby.com).

What’s new? Public barbecues were added this summer, near the Toboggan Slope – ready for winter picnics. The snow-making capacity has also been increased with snow guns being mounted on lift towers.

Local tip: Seeking a calorie injection? The Bake House in Adaminaby has a mouth-watering range of Danish pastries to refuel weary ski legs (02 6454 2092).

More info: selwynsnow.com.au

Ski all day, party all night at Thredbo in New South Wales

 Here’s another good description by Flip Byrnes in Australian Traveller:

Thredbo: Split personality

Best for: Skiing all day, partying (in ski boots) all night.

In a nutshell: In an admittedly unusual analogy, Thredbo is like a mullet: all business in the front and party in the back. Located in a valley, one side is the slopeside; deep and steep with 14 lifts in over 480 hectares; while the other is the village, where lodges cling to the switchback road, and over 30 bars and restaurants see the schnapps flow like water.

But that’s where the analogy ends, for this resort is as chic and stylish as the Sydneysiders who go there. Outside ofVictoria, this is the only resort boasting a true in-resort village, and there’s nothing like staying where you’re playing. The perennial party lasting from June to September is a winner for big kids; Thredboland and the Mission Inflatable pool obstacle course a hit for little kids. And the terrain is full of nooks, crannies and natural features to explore.

Underrated run: Point your ski tips towards Golf Course Bowl for fresh snow. If not adverse to earning turns, Thredbo’s Dead Horse Gap is back-country intermediate and advanced bliss. Access is from the top of Karel’s T-bar, requiring a car convoy to return to Thredbo.

Best spot for an après: The Bistro is the obvious choice (02 6459 4200), but follow the ski instructors to the Black Bear Inn for schnapps in a Bavarian atmosphere. (blackbearinn.com.au) Or head down during ‘Cliquot in the Snow’, a week-long party, 29 July–4th August.

Local tip: Pay the National Park’s fee at the park entry gate. It results in 90% of the cost going towards the parks – as opposed to 30% if bought elsewhere.

More info: thredbo.com.au

Freestyle paradise found at Perisher in New South Wales, Australia

I’ve never been skiing in Australia, but I knew they get snow. So I’m checking out stories by Aussie writers to learn more. Here’s a good description by Flip Byrnes in Australian Traveller:

If you haven’t been to the New South Wales ski fields lately, prepare yourself for a surprise because they have been evolving. Flip Byrnes finds out which one is best for you.

Perisher: Freestyle Paradise

Best for: Everyone – with room to move.

In a nutshell: Perisher is bigger than Ben Hur and bigger IS better. The linked areas of Guthega, Blue Cow, Perisher and Smiggins Hole create 1245 hectares of riding accessed by 47 lifts. With statistics like these, it’s no wonder winter Olympic athletes call Perisher home (gold medallist Torah Bright and former world snowboarding champions Holly Crawford and Nate Johnstone are Perisher alumni), while the five terrain parks, Rider X course and Superpipe draw freestylers from around the globe.

But even if throwing down corkscrew 580s isn’t your thing, the many pockets of the resort offer something for all, from the beginner’s Magic Carpet at Perisher to double black Devil’s Playground at Blue Cow. Perisher misses the magic of the village atmosphere of Thredbo or Victorian resorts, but if it’s downhill you want, it’s downhill they’ve got.

Underrated run: Anywhere in Guthega, the over-looked, far-flung corner of the resort. The sheltered, tree-lined runs are tranquil even on the busiest days, and on a powder day, this is the place to be. Refuel at the Burning Log Restaurant (02 6459 4692) with Main Range views.

Best spot for an après: By the fireplace at the Perisher Valley Hotel (with free wi-fi).

Local tip: The Station in nearby Jindabyne offers killer lift, accommodation and meal packages. (perisher.com.au/the-station) Pause pre-ski at Sundance Bakehouse in Jindabyne (02 6456 2951) – all goods are baked on premises and they open from 6:00am.

More info: perisher.com.au

Argentina’s Los Lenas the most challenging ski resort in South America

love2fly.iberia.com has some great summary of skiing in Argentina. Here’s another resort there:  

Las Leñas, Argentina

A thousand kilometres north of Bariloche, in the western reaches of Mendoza province, the also large Las Leñas, dating from 1983, can at times be the most challenging ski resort in South America.

But that depends on the weather and whether a particular lift is open or closed. Provided there’s stable snow and not too much wind to open the avalanche-prone Marte chair, then expert skiers and snowboarders are in for a real treat.

The lift provides the only mechanised access to some extraordinary off-piste, with plunging powder bowls and narrow couloirs.  The area is dotted with cliffs and, again, exposed to the possibility of avalanches, so it’s the kind of place where a local guide is absolutely essential.

When the Marte chair is closed, Las Leñas amounts to an enjoyable but perhaps slightly bland Andean resort – a treeless wilderness a 90-minute flight from Buenos Aires to Malargue, followed by an hourlong bus ride; there are no cities or towns in the area but some robust nightlife nonetheless.

All the accommodation here is in hotels and lodges within a short distance of a lift. The Hotel Virgo & Spa is the most comfortable place to stay, with an in-house cinema and a kids club.

Skiing in Argentina can be a sweet experience in San Carlos de Bariloche

Hey, you don’t have to wait until fall to go skiing. Just jump on a jet and head to the southern hemisphere, where winter is just beginning and the ski resorts are opening for their season.

Here’s some good information from love2fly.iberia.com:

The South America skiing season in Argentina and Chile runs from June through October, with skiing for all levels, modern lifts, some great off-piste skiing, quirky resorts and eclectic hotels. Stir in a day or two of wine-tasting at one of the outstanding wineries close to Santiago, or an evening beef-eating and tango in Buenos Aries, and you have the perfecto South America ski holiday!

L2F Jun Argentina skiing Bariloche WikipediaBariloche, Argentina

Argentina has more than a dozen snow resorts scattered around the Andes, with resorts near Mendoza, the Lake District and Patagonia in the south, and Ushuaia further south. But Bariloche (top and right) is the biggest and best known in the country, and indeed, the most prominent on the continent.

Down in Patagonia, some 17 to 20 hours by road and a 2-hour flight from Buenos Aires, San Carlos de Bariloche is a pretty, Teutonic-flavoured city not far from the Chilean border. The main ski station here, Cerro Catedral, has a modern system of 39 lifts, mainly intermediate slopes, lots of off-piste, and a vertical drop of 1,070 m (3,512 ft.).

Bariloche also happens to be Argentina’s chocolate capital (because of all its German and Austrian immigrants) and I’d highly recommend a visit to the Fenoglio Museum of Chocolate and a sweet browse along the chocolate shops of Calle Mitre, the main drag. You can stay at the Knapp Hotel, which is right by the lifts and has an in-house chocolate shop. 

Snowpocalypse gives ski resorts down under an early start

Sounds like our friends south of the equator are getting a ton of snow for an early beginning to the ski season in Australia.

Here’s a story from the Melbourne Herald Sun:

IT’S here. The megablizzard. Snowpocalypse now. This baby has been on the weather charts all week and it’s howling its way through the Australian Alps as you read this.

Experienced weather watchers are calling it the storm of the century. They’re saying it could snow on and off, but mostly on, for the next 10 days.

And now the megablizzard has arrived. The NSW resorts of Thredbo and Perisher received 40cm and 50cm respectively overnight. Hotham, Falls Creek and Mt Buller (pictured below) in Victoria all reported similar totals.

A spokesman for Thredbo confirmed to news.com.au that as of about 3.30pm, 80cm of snow had now fallen in the past 24 hours.

“It’s an incredible amount for June, I’m not sure it’s a record, but it has set us up for the rest of the season,” he said.

Check out their video and photos at MEGABLIZZARD.

Check out the best ski resorts in Australia and New Zealand

When we visited Queensland, New Zealand, we missed the end of the ski season by only 1 day. And they wouldn’t fire up the lifts for a couple late Americans. Oh well!

If you’re in New Zealand or Australia for their new ski season just beginning, be sure to check out their ski resorts.

Here’s a nice compilation by On The Snow.

Coronet Peak is the most popular ski resort on the South Island of New Zealand, in part due to its proximity to Queenstown—20 minutes away. From the summit, look left to see Gondor from the movie, The Lord of the Rings. The varied terrain offers something for everyone: beginners and intermediates have wide blue and red runs, while more advanced skiers can hit the terrain park or test their stamina on the longest run, the “M-1,” stretching 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles). The resort is known for its efficient high-speed chairlifts. The peak is one of the last ski fields to lose its snow, hence the season typically runs from early June to mid October.

When to go: Early June to mid October

Terrain: 690 acres: beginners 25 percent, intermediates 45 percent, advanced 30 percent (includes back bowls)

Lifts: One high-speed six seater, two express quads, one T-Bar and four surface conveyor lifts

Longest run: M1—1.5 miles

Après ski: Fully-licensed restaurant plus bar and cafe with sun deck at the sub-station.

Resort facilities: Snowsports school, ski and snowboard rental shop, ski retail outlet, licensed day care center and children’s programs, first aid and emergency services.

Ski pass prices: Daily lift tickets cost $97 (NZD)

Transportation: Snowline Express costs $15 and return from Queenstown Snow Centre, departs every 20 minutes during peak times with pick-ups at designated stops where space is available. Snowline Hotel Pick is $30 (Adult), $20 (Youth 17 & under) per person for a return trip. Prebook your seat by 9 p.m. the night before. Pick-ups from designated Queenstown accommodation providers.

For the top four resorts in Australia and New Zealand, see their report.