South American Ski Resorts Open
6th July 2021
Last modified on July 9th, 2021
For the first time in two years, skiers and snowboarders have been able to hit the slopes in Chile as ski areas open with strict Covid-19 rules in place. Resorts in Argentina are also starting up. UPDATED
It’s not by any means back to normal.
But at least locals are able to enjoy themselves in the mountains for the first time since 2019.
The season began at the beginning of July after the authorities moved to relax lockdowns.
About 12 of the 19 resorts in Chile are planning to operate this season.
Some restrictions are still in place, including rules on group gatherings, a limit on numbers on the slopes and mandatory facemasks.
News reports from Chile say scores of day trippers from the capital, Santiago, headed for the slopes of nearby Valle Nevado on day one, 1st July.
“Skiing is a sport that is naturally socially-distanced,” Ricardo Margulis, manager of the ski centre told Reuters TV.
“You can’t go near someone who is skiing or on a snowboard or you would crash into them. So there is no risk of contagion.”
Nevados de Chillán also opened some of its ski area on 1st July, as did El Colorado.
La Parva was up and running on Monday 5th.
Francisco Sotomayor, head of the Chilean industry body, Aceski, said returning to normal would be very difficult but he hoped to reverse the decline of 2020 when activity was down by 91%.
“We expect between 600,000 and 700,000 visits, instead of the million we had in 2019. People are anxious to get out of the house after the quarantines,” he told Efe.
In Argentina, resorts are slowly beginning to open.
Among them, Cerro Castor, which opened on 2nd July.
Cerro Catedral has been able to open some areas at the base of the resort.
The Play Park is open and the resort says that “as snow conditions improve we will be enabling the middle and high mountain tracks and services.”