South American Pow. Photo: Ben Girardi
F#$king sick of summer? Yeah, ’cause summer sucks. So, you’re thinking about a trip down to the Southern section of our world to slash some soft stuff in the middle of the sweltering summer? Well, when ya gonna do it? I mean, when is the hands down, best, snowiest, coldest, sickest time to be in the upside down part of ze world? We’re here to tell you it’s August 15th to September 15th.
Why August 15th to September 15th? Here’s why:
1 – THE SANTA ROSA STORM:
The legendary time-stamped Santa Rosa Storm comes around the 30th of August and is said to be the biggest storm of the winter, occurring +/- 5 days from the end of August (this thing really does happen, last year in Bariloche we got 6 feet of snow in 2 days starting Sept. 2nd, 2010).
2-BETWEEN ROCKS & SLOP:
In June there is literally no snow, in July the snowpack is filling and getting ready for your pilgrimage, by the end of September spring has sprung and you’re looking at cooked snow and slush and you want pow, right?
3 -WHEN “THE BOYS” COME OUT TO PLAY:
This is when “the boys” always come down and “the boys” don’t f#$k around. We’ve seen Mark Abma, Pep Fujas, Eric Pollard, Ingrid Backstrom, Seth Morrison, James Heim, everyone…all within this sacred window of optimal South American summer snow.
4 – LOW SEASON, LOW PRICES, LOW PEOPLE:
High Season prices end in July saving you some cash as South America charges more for lift tix, bus tix, plane tix, lodging, and even food during July’s “winter vacation high season.” And it goes without saying that crowds are down as well after the July vacation rush.
When considering the logistics of this time frame, it’s a no-brainer. By the time August 15th rolls around all the kids have returned to school, the tourist populous has been driven back to the world of work, and the resorts have become empty and devoid of people once again.
This is also when winter is finally kicking into full gear. Sure, it’s possible for it to snow in June, and you could get lucky with some deep storm days in July, but it’s not until the end of August and into September that things really start to pop. This is the time that, when the clouds clear, you know you won’t be dry-docking, hitting buried sharks or having to worry (too much) about the base’s of your skis, the pow won’t be turned to mank by midday, and quite simply, you’ll be having the most fun.
Coverage is at its best and more often than not things will head down hill quickly after the midpoint of September, or earlier. The Optimus Prime Time is more likely an even smaller window of August 15th – September 8th. In a season that lasts a mere three months, you need to get on it when the gettin’ is good. Things deteriorate fast and burn off even faster. October sol definitely doesn’t do any wonders for the snow-pack down here. So do the smart thing and book your next trip for the end of August/first part of September!!