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Summer skiing, NZ vs S. America?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
How do the two regions compare? Cost, snow, terrain? Other factors to consider?

Let's say a 4-6 week stay, to get the snow fluctuation out of the equation.

This is long range planning, targeting both within the next 5 years. Which region to consider first? And why?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
South America.
Better snow / bigger mountains / cheaper exchange rate / hotter women / culturally different / more of an adventure.

Though that is not to say NZ shouldn't be on your hit list...
Spent a season and there many years ago and it was magic (especially the club fields like craigieburn or broken river).
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"cheaper exchange rate"

But what about cost itself? I heard SA skiing is more of a luxury activity therefore rather expensive. (don't remember where I heard it from)

So even though the non-skiing expense maybe cheaper, what about lift tickets, lodging, transport to/from mountain etc?
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From NY, South America is way cheaper than NZ.

Can't speak about prices in-country (haven't been to NZ since 2000 and South America since 2006), but both offer great but very different ski experiences.

Visit either for an holiday with skiing and you won't be disappointed.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I'm not thinking of a short 1 week holiday. It will likely be a month long one at the minimum. So the flight cost is not as big a factor as for a short one. In country expense more significant.

Further more, with my father in Asia, flight from there to New Zealand isn't any more than from NY to Chile/Argentina. (I actually have more chance to using miles to go to NZ than to SA)

Besides, cost is only ONE of the factors. The skiing experience should be a strong focus. For sightseeing, I think I'd go in their summer instead. That said, winter maybe low season for both region? So potentially lower expense overall...
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Fair enough.

South America offers better and more consistent skiing IMHO, but there have been plenty of seasons when the snow has been rubbish.

NZ is the converse. Typically Eastern US conditions - powder, ice, rain, bulletproof, spring - with the odd season when it's pumping.

If you're looking for resort experience with sidecountry, then South America wins hands down.

Touring and technical skiing they're on a par.

In my 'not current' experience, South America was cheaper than NZ, with Chile being cheaper the Argentina.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Best Chile info (historical)

https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/303493-Chile-ski-guide-back-of-my-envelope?highlight=Chile+ski


Chile 2017 thread

https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/311481-Ski-Chile-2017
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Don't know about South America but in terms of Nz it's not like Europe. Minimal lifts minimal facilities awesome scenery great back country cheap helis and the pies are pretty good.

For passes if you get in early and bought a Nz ski three mountain pass it's about $700 for the season and that gets you the season at hutt coronet and remarkable - most commercial South Island hills. Then a chill season pass for another $1000 would get you a season at all the club fields. Then just pay for a few day passes at treble cone and it would be a pretty awesome season.

Hills usually open second week of June and close first week of October snow permitting.

The club fields are amazing on the right day.

You would need a vehicle - no gondola access - it's a butt clenching drive up mountain roads, mostly narrow gravel ones to get to the lifts but not a big deal once you get used to it.

The pies are amazing Very Happy
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Accomodation wise you can do it pretty cheap - club fields have dorms on the hill but not worth going to them if the snows no good - they don't have groomers or anything like that, but if you can get up there before a storm hits you're all on for a good day when the weather clears.

Www.chillout.co.nz is a good site to check out.

Queenstown can get a bit spendy on accomodation but it can be done cheap - avoid July school holidays.

Methven is cheap and easy to get a place to stay, as is twizel in winter for the Mackenzie hills like ohau and Dobson.

Scenery in winter on the South Island is much better than summer - best time to visit. Best snow usually august and most days it's sunny and the odd storm comes through to put snow down, usually lasts a day or two and then the weather calms down. By mid September there are more regular north west winds which will close most mountains when they get up a bit.
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If driving to the fields in NZ make sure you get 4wd as many of the "roads" up to the field are restricted either permamently or partially to these vehicles.

And buy chains. You may also need these on the roads going over the passes as well. Practice putting them on, dont want to be fumbling about inthe dark and cold when ypu really need them.
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theres no 2wd restriction on any of the roads but a 4wd makes life a lot easier if it's a bit icy. Definitely need decent chains though regardless of what you're driving.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
If it's for this year, Whitegold on the weather thread said Chile is due a big year (how verifiable that is don't know.)

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3064861#3064861

http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/2017-south-america-winter-forecast-drought-to-worry-colombia-venezuela-frequent-storms-to-strike-chile-argentina/70001718

https://www.tetongravity.com/story/ski/photo-tour-chile-after-first-major-snowstorm-of-2017
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So, essentially it's a question of pies vs steak.. Very Happy
Cos' there's good wine in both regions

For a 4-6 week stay in SA, stay in Bariloche, because it's central and has wide range of accommodation, Cerro catedral is just down the road, but you can travel to the best conditions North, South or West into Chile by long distance bus.

I thought about this too (NZ vs SA), but the jet lag for NZ put me off and I didn't have enough miles to fly biz all the way to NZ. Chile won.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

If it's for this year, Whitegold on the weather thread said Chile is due a big year (how verifiable that is don't know.)

Not thinking of this year. But that could change if stars are aligned by chance.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Do a 3-stopper over 6 weeks.

Chile = skiing and snow.
Argentina = scenery (among best in world).
NZ = heliskiing.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Have to agree with pretty much all the comments above except NZ has some very good steak as well Very Happy There is not much in the way of snow in NZ as yet. Maybe some later next week but no guarantee.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
hang11 wrote:
theres no 2wd restriction on any of the roads


Well this one seems to be

http://www.tukino.co.nz/getting-tukino

And I have known, although rare, that the road up to Whakapapa be made 4wd only when the weather was very bad. But as I said rare.
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Sarge McSarge wrote:
Have to agree with pretty much all the comments above except NZ has some very good steak as well Very Happy There is not much in the way of snow in NZ as yet. Maybe some later next week but no guarantee.

Not this year.

(I may reconsider about SA this summer. But won't decide till closer to the time. If I do, I'll ask specific questions later)

Right now I'm just feeling out what I should expect for each.
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There is always Australian Mountains... Toofy Grin
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Nah, I'll go over to Australia after NZ, in the spring
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Quote:
There is always Australian Mountains...
A vote for Thredbo & Perisher from me!! Our visit 2 years ago coincided with epic snow conditions Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

On the South America front, we skied Chile (3 Valleys, Chillan & Portillo) a few years back. Fantastic snow and great skiing. Combined the skiing with stuff like vineyard tours and sightseeing in Santiago and Valparaiso - a brilliant trip.
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mountainaddict wrote:
On the South America front, we skied Chile (3 Valleys, Chillan & Portillo) a few years back. Fantastic snow and great skiing. Combined the skiing with stuff like vineyard tours and sightseeing in Santiago and Valparaiso - a brilliant trip.

That's definitely a cool idea, a bit of sightseeing on the side. I'm even contemplating a couple of weeks of language school to kick off the holiday Very Happy

Skiing in Australia on the other hand, doesn't exactly fill me with excitement, having seen the "mountains" in summer time... Toofy Grin
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Argentina
Las Lenas, Caterdral (Bariloche)

Chile
Chillan

^^^^Best areas

Portilo, Valle Nevado .....small & crowded.

Like always SA snow can be notoriously unreliable.
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I did a 4-week South Island NZ road trip back in 2000

Started in Christchurch then drove a loopish taking in Porter Heights; Craigieburn; Methven and Mt Hutt (shut both times I drove by); Mt Dobson; Ohau; Mt Potts Catskiing; Harris Mountain Heliski; Wanaka for Cardrona, Treble Cone and Coronet Peak; Fox Glacier; Greymouth; Temple Basin; Hamner Springs.


And a 4-week Chile & Argentina road trip back in 2005

Picked the car up in Santiago then Chillan; Antillanca; Osorno; Corralco; Chapelco; Cerro Bayo; La Hoya; Caviahue; Chillan


If snow conditions were comparable then I would choose Chile & Argentina and throw in Portillo; Valle Nevado; Arpa; Las Lenas; Bariloche; and Pucon for the additional 2 weeks.
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Am off to NZ in December and you have reminded me off the pies.......amazing Blush

Did little skiing there but it was honestly not amazing. Comparable with a small field in Austria that you would not have heard of, or bothered going to. That said the touring may have potential.

New Zealand is not a cheap country as the NZ dollar is strong. You will be eating more pies than steak....
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I loved skiing in NZ - wild, great scenery, lovely people.
The club fields are a unique and wonderful experience with proper back to basics ethics.

However the snow quality is little different from Scotland in a good year.
Slightly better weather and more reliable snow pack- but felt very much like skiing at home.
They have some big mountains but the uplift is restricted to the lower ranges.
Driving thru Arthurs Pass felt uncanily like Glencoe. The 'beer and pie' culture is almost identical as well!
Plus half the place names have Scottish origins - glen orchy, cardrona, dunedin etc
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:
Skiing in Australia on the other hand, doesn't exactly fill me with excitement, having seen the "mountains" in summer time... 
But any skiing fills me and Mrs MA with excitement! Give us snow and the side of a hill and Bob's indeed our uncle!...Rope tow or no tow.....ski touring or alpine....100m vertical or 2000m vertical....powder or marginal snow....mega resort or locals' ski hill....indoor snow dome or plastic....What's not to like?

And to combine three days' skiing on great snow in Australia with a dream trip round the rest of the country made a bucket list trip just perfect. While the 200-400m vertical of Perisher is small by Alpine standards, it's on a par with what we regularly ski in Scotland and was great fun. The vertical at Thredbo is about 600m - on a par with a lot of US ski areas we have visited - in fact Thredbo has the look and feel of a small North American resort. A pretty decent area and definitely worth a visit.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Quote:

in fact Thredbo has the look and feel of a small North American resort. A pretty decent area and definitely worth a visit.

Quote:

What's not to like?

I don't like to spend an exhausting 20 hours on a plane to ski "a small North American resort" when I can do so with a easy 2 hr drive.

In fact, even in the middle of summer, I can still get to a decent size mountain with a reasonable 5-6 hr flight.

Would you get on a plane for 20 hours with the express purpose of skiing in a 100m vertical snow dome? Puzzled
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I struggle with spending 4 hours on a plane to go somewhere that's full of ozzies Very Happy

Can just about suck it up for some cheap shopping once a year.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
stanton wrote:
Argentina
Las Lenas, Caterdral (Bariloche)

Chile
Chillan

^^^^Best areas

Portilo, Valle Nevado .....small & crowded.

Like always SA snow can be notoriously unreliable.


Portillo is crowded!? It's one of the consistently quietest resorts I have ever seen. Also the pistes are pretty small, but the off piste is large.

My perspective is that I have done 4 full seasons teaching in NZ, and 6 in South America. The skiing in Chile and Argentina is much better. Bigger mountains and more snow.

If I were you, I would head down to SA and follow the snow, there are some massive distances involved so the conditions can be wildly different.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

there are some massive distances involved so the conditions can be wildly different.

Are those massive distances best covered by a hired car? Or can it be covered by long distance bus?

And if by car, how are driving (road) conditions? 4x4? Chains?
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
abc wrote:
Quote:

there are some massive distances involved so the conditions can be wildly different.

Are those massive distances best covered by a hired car? Or can it be covered by long distance bus?

And if by car, how are driving (road) conditions? 4x4? Chains?


In Chile a hire car is definitely a good option, I am not sure about taking rental cars between the countries though. The bus system in Argentina is pretty good, big comfy seats. Road conditions can be sketchy for sure, once they are clear and open they are normally okay in a regular car though, best to carry chains just in case. Here's the road up to Portillo after a storm this time last year
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Wow!
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ulmerhutte wrote:
Wow!


I think it took a week to clear!
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No problem taking a Chilean rental car in to Argentina.

We had a 4x4 with chains in the boot.

Never needed to use the chains thankfully, even in some sketchy conditions on some sketchy roads.

The diversity of skiing available on the tour I recommend above is hard to beat
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Bring your ski touring gear if you have it, loads of amazing spots to explore in SA
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@Mike Pow, a question regarding off-piste and avi control, does SA generally follow the NA model of all inbound terrain are avi controlled? Or the European model of only piste are avi controlled?
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A wide mix in my experience. Some resorts hot on avalanche control within the resort boundary, others not at all.

But that was over 10 years ago.

@Jimmer would have more up to date info.
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Mike Pow wrote:
A wide mix in my experience. Some resorts hot on avalanche control within the resort boundary, others not at all.

But that was over 10 years ago.

@Jimmer would have more up to date info.


Within resort boundaries it's generally controlled, there is some massive terrain though so sometimes I carry my savvy gear inbounds as well. This is a slide from avvy control in some of Portillo's inbounds terrain https://www.instagram.com/p/BH3RiEJjdHQ/
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@jimmer, I had a Foto´s (taken down or lost by admin) of the carnage on that trans Chilean/Argentina Switchbacks!
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