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Powder laps in August?

Leave the summer swelter behind and run for the Andes! I never realized how much I was missing out until I took my first flight to Chile back in 2013. I boarded the plane that fateful day loaded with backcountry gear and apprehension. What I found in the Southern Hemisphere changed the course of my life.


From June through October storms roll off the Pacific Ocean consistently dumping meters of snow in the Andes range year after year. The longest mountain range in the world stretching from North to South for around 7,000 km or 4,350 miles, the Andes cut across seven South American countries including Chile and Argentina. Both countries are well known for their epic peaks that beg to be skied and snowboarded.


The snowy 9th Region of the Araucanía is where I have chosen to call my home. Of all the places I have ridden and explored over the past 11 years from North to South, this place stands above the rest. We've ridden deep days from mid April until October but the month that stands as our guest favorite is August.


Going on my 9th year based in Malalcahuello I can tell you without a doubt that we get more days each year than any other zone in Chile. One of the greatest advantages to being farther South is that we receive much more snow in the valleys which translates into fantastic tree skiing and boarding opportunities. We're blessed with powder days and visibility in the trees that allows us to get out regardless of storm conditions.


August is known for its deep snowpack and storm cycles with beautiful bluebird powder days scattered between apocalyptic snowfalls. Over the years we've slashed, surfed, skied, and blasted more powder runs during this month than any other. As I look through my phone double checking my memory it is a clear FACT that August dominates the other months of the year for the beauty of the backcountry and the quality of the snow.


Unlike areas farther South where the lakes effect the humidity in the snowfall the peaks and Volcanoes surrounding Malalcahuello are draped with a dryer snow that often feels bottomless and is easily put into the air with a sharp hack. With more than 12 distinct zones within a short drive the options for maximizing pristine pow turns is tilted in your favor.


The "White Earthquake" or "Terremoto Blanco" of 1995 brought intense snowfall, cold, and winds throughout the south leaving 7,176 people "cutoff" while vehicles and buses loaded with people were trapped due to the snow. In '37 and 58' similar storms blanketed the mountains with similar effects. Last year in 2024 more than 2 meters fell over a three day period and dramatically changed the course of season.


Every year I tell our guests to book their ski and snowboard trips for August because the best conditions for snowpack and snowfall come together to open up the best lines with mind expanding landscapes around every corner.

If you are ready to get into the backcountry and experience the thrill of untouched Chliean powder, trust APEX Backcountry Guides in the Araucanía Andina of Malalcahuello. Our experienced guides will take you on the adventure of a lifetime with our customized tours that cater to your needs. Get in touch with us today to book a life enriching adventure.







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