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SEASON CUT SHORT IN SOUTH AMERICA - Katie Bamber, Senior News Reporter
Thursday September 6, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

It's been a rough season in the Andes. Now, lack of snow and unusual weather means big resorts have closed early.




Las Lenas is the highest ski field in Argentina at 3,340m.

On average it receives about 6m of annual snow fall.

But this year, like many in the last decade, the ski resort closed early and its down to the high temperatures and lack of snow at this point in the season.

Up high there are still pockets and extreme skiers manage to have fun, accessing by snowcat and uphill work.

Las Lenas 5th September, 2018 @o_leepsLas Lenas 5th September, 2018 @o_leeps

But low down it's a different story - a brown one...

Also Las Lenas on 5th September, 3 days before closing. Photo @o_leepsAlso Las Lenas on 5th September, 3 days before closing. Photo @o_leeps

"Got to get sendy cat skiing at @laslenasresort!" - wrote the Jackson Hole hailing ski adventurer Owen Leeper on social media.

"Low snow down low but still pockets of soft up high!"

JH skier Owen Leeper in Las LenasJH skier Owen Leeper in Las Lenas

Committed snow-hunters spent the last day of the season finding turns up top:

PowderQuest image 8th September Las LenasPowderQuest image 8th September Las Lenas

Otherwise, it's another early close for Argentina's biggest resort:

That's all from Las Lenas 2018That's all from Las Lenas 2018

Portillo in Chile also closed for Winter 18 on Saturday, 8th September.

Skiers and riders in the Chilean resort say goodbye to winter as they 'dive into the off season':

Instagram @katiewhite135 Portillo locals say goodbye to winter'18 - Photo credit @katiewhite135

Hasta la proxima!


It has not been a fortunate season in South America.

The resorts of the Andes aren't known for consistent weather, snow and temperatures.

The Alps and the Rockies are much more dependable for skiable conditions.

Though the recent years in the US and Europe may make some of you scoff at this, the Southern Hemisphere has much more changeable conditions.

The season is shorter, the snow comes when it comes - in this case - barely at all.

But it does come, and if you're there when it comes down you've found heaven.

Anyway, Winter '18 wasn't to be and now one of Argentina's main ski resorts Las Lenas announced that it will close early.

This weekend, no less.

Las Lenas closing dateLas Lenas closing early


















Las Lenas had a projected closing date of 24th September so it's quite the shame.

It's simply too hot there.

On Thursday the ski resort posted this on its website:

"Given the exceptional weather conditions we are going through with temperatures above 20°C  high in the mountains;

The mountain team of Valle de Las Leñas is not in a position to guarantee authorised ski slopes within the ski area for our clients.

Furthermore the high temperatures do not allow for our machines to make artifical snow, despite our modern system of 40 snow guns.

For these reasons, to keep safe our visitors who choose us year after year ... we have made the decision close for the Winter 2018 season on 8th September."

Las LenasLas Lenas September 2018 - photo Informe de Nieve
















Portillo in Chile has also said that it will close 3 weeks earlier than intended after a rough season.

It put out this message:

"Dear Portillo Guests,

The storm we were waiting for did not materialize.

We didn't receive enough snow to make a significant change in the snow conditions here.

We will be open for the week starting 1st September through to 9th September with skiable conditions.

Unfortunately, we will close for the season on 9th September.

We regret the early closing but feel that it's for the best.

Your experience in Portillo and your safety are both very important to us.

Last season in 2017 Portillo closed on 10th September."

Portillo, ChilePortillo, Chile when there was snow - July 2018
















Read more about skiing in South America here:

And when the snow blessed the Andes in August:

MAIN PHOTO: Las Lenas, credit Informe de Nieve

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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