Argentina Snow Adventure Tour

Argentina

Ski in Patagonia and explore unique small mountain villages on the adventure tour of a lifetime!

Arrival-Departure Flight Schedule

Our agents are happy to assist you with your travel reservations, saving you time and quite often money.

There are 2 main airports in Buenos Aires, Argentina:

Ezeiza (EZE), for international arrivals and departures.  Plus some flights to and from Bariloche.
Aeroparque (AEP), domestic flights, including some to and from Bariloche (BRC).
Day 1: Please schedule your flight to BRC so it arrives no later than 5:00 pm (17:00), where we will meet as a group to start the tour.  Flight time from Buenos Aires to BRC is aprox 2 hours, 25 minutes.

Last Day: We will have a private group transfer getting us to BRC by 11:30 am.  We suggest booking a flight to AEP departing at 12:30 pm.  Flight time from Bariloche to Buenos Aires is aprox 2 hours.
The 2 main airlines are LAN and Aerolineas Argentinas.

Important if your flights require an airport change in Buenos Aires!  Connecting between these Buenos Aires airports, can take 1-1.5 hrs in a ground transfer.   You should allow up to 4 hours total** from time your flight arrives to time you depart your next flight.  (Arrive, collect bags, clear customs, transfer cross city to other airport, check in, departure).

** lf your flight connection times do not meet the suggested 4 hour time frame, or if you simply want to extend your stay, we suggest arriving the day before/and or staying an extra day or two and we can help you with hotels, ground transportation and activities in beautiful Buenos Aires or Bariloche.  Contact us if you need assistance from our agents with any reservations.

 

 

What trips are right for me?

Intermediate or Advanced Intermediate:

You ski or snowboard with confidence and control on intermediate and most  advanced runs (blue square in North America, red in Europe) and occasionally might venture onto black diamond terrain when the conditions are right for you.  You are ready to put in more time in challenging terrain and variable snow conditions including powder.  

  • Instructional Adventures:

Take your skills to the next level with expert instructors-guides, visiting several of the best resorts in The Andes.

  • Camps, Clinics and Specialty Trips:

Once in a lifetime journeys, focused on self fulfillment and learning new skills from some of the planet's most respected teachers and athletes. 

Advanced:

You ski or snowboard well, and can control your turns in most snow, slope and weather conditions including powder and hard pack, on and off groomed terrain (off-piste). Even though you may have no experience, you are be interested in hiking or touring to explore new terrain away from the ski resorts and learn about backcountry safety from certified guides.

  • Off Piste Trips:

Guided out of bounds, off-piste adventures in Chile, Argentina via ski resort lifts and short hikes.  

  • Camps, Clinics and Specialty Trips:

Once in a lifetime journeys, focused on self fulfillment and learning new skills from some of the planet's most respected teachers and athletes.

  • Backcountry Touring Trips:

Alpine ski touring or split boarding deeper into the amazing Andean backcountry and volcanoes.

Expert: 

You have mastered all riding styles at dynamic speeds, strong in all snow conditions and terrain including steep off-piste chutes and bowls.  You are interested in hiking or touring to explore new terrain away from the ski resorts and learn about backcountry safety from certified guides.

  • Off Piste Trips:

Guided out of bounds, off-piste adventures in Chile, Argentina via ski resort lifts and short hikes.

  • Backcountry Touring Trips:

Alpine ski touring or split boarding deeper into the amazing Andean backcountry and volcanos.


Skiing and Snowboarding Instructional Adventures
Take your skiing or snowboarding to the NEXT level improving your technique and skills in variable snow conditions from powder to hard pack, plus pick up other essential ski and snowboard tips from your dedicated certified PowderQuest snowboard and ski instructors/guides, including how to ski powder. You will experience several of the best ski resorts of Chile and Argentina packed with culture, epic landscapes, delicious meals, and cozy lodging in a safe, laid back environment.

Ski and snowboard lesson tips outside of the traditional ski and snowboard lesson atmosphere:

Skiers: 

•Learn how to ski powder snow
•Snow skiing instructions including learning how to ski in powder and advanced skiing techniques 

•Specific exercises for skiers that will allow you to progress quickly

•More snow ski techniques from your all terrain ski trainer and guides
• And much more!

Snowboarders:

•Learn Advanced snowboarding tricks from the park to off-piste

•Improve your powder riding skills and freestyle snowboarding tricks

•How to read the mountain and use terrain and traversing to your advantage
• And much more!

 

Summer Snowboard & Ski Camps, Clinics, Guided Specialty Trips in Chile and Argentina

PowderQuest Specialty Trips, Ski Camps and Snowboard Clinics are unique guided adventures, with limited availability, and generally offered only once a season or even once in a lifetime.

Focused on self fulfillment, improving your skills, often with an opportunity to travel and ride with some of the most respected teachers and athletes in the business, some camps give you the opportunity to give back to the local Chilean and Argentine communities.

You will return home with new skills, new friends, and a new outlook on the world and life.  Warning, like our other guided adventures, these once in a life time PowderQuest snowboarding and skiing camps are often truly life changing!

 

Off Piste Skiing and Snowboarding Tours in Chile and Argentina

Guided snow trips mixing the best un-groomed, off-piste skiing trails and beyond, venturing out of bounds on ski lift assisted side country hikes with our certified backcountry ski and snowboard guides.  PowderQuest gets you to first tracks away from the crowds.  Enjoy your time exploring the local culture, amazing restaurants and nightlife that make Chile and Argentina so outstanding.

While this is not a backcountry ski course nor do we focus on backcountry skiing classes, you will pick up many backcountry and offpiste tips from your experienced guides.  Off piste conditions in South America rival the best off-piste skiing in Tahoe, The Rockies and The Alps.

 

Backcountry Tours.  Alpine Ski Touring and Splitboarding Adventures 

Grab your backcountry touring skis, randonee or splitboard and come join your certified PowderQuest backcountry skiing guide for some of the best backcountry skiing and snowboarding on the planet!  A typical day includes resort or hut accessed backcountry touring into the Andes, skiing and snowboarding backcountry terrain including smoking volcanic peaks, steep bowls and chutes.

Our ski and split board touring ascents are rewarded with unforgettable ski descents, fresh powder, first tracks, soaks in natural hot springs and no crowds!

If we cannot backcountry ski due to weather or other factors, inbounds skiing in South America has amazing advanced and expert powder freeriding.

 

 

Meet Our Brand Ambassadors

It is difficult to describe the feeling that you get on a PowderQuest trip to ski or snowboard in South America during the summer. You will meet people from all over the world from all walks of life that share one thing, a passion for powder and adventure. The individuals below are past clients who have volunteered to become Brand Ambassadors to help showcase how their PowderQuest experience had an impact on their lives. Take a second to get to know the PowderQuest Brand Ambassadors and feel free to contact them if you have any questions about PowderQuest.

 

Petra Neues

Name: Petra Neues  

Home Base: West Palm Beach

Ski or Snowboard: Ski

What else do you do for fun:  Ski, hike, triathlons, cycling, scuba and snuba diving, tennis, golf, travel

Numbers of years skiing or riding: 39 (on skis since age 3)

Favorite places to ski or ride in the world: El Arpa, France, Las Lenas

Number of PowderQuest Trips you have taken: 5 (2012 will make 6)

What was the best PowderQuest trip you have been on? The 2 week Chile and Las Lenas trip.

What was the strangest thing you saw while in South America? A tow lift for 5 people on a bar and the ski patrol in Nevados de Chillan wearing (donated) Deer Valley Ski Patrol suits!

What makes PowderQuest your choice for skiing or riding South America?  If you love skiing/boarding and have a huge inner child or need to find one, PowderQuest trips are for you! It's like being a kid again at summer camp, fun fun fun with totally cool people, great guides, no stress, action packed and tailored to meet your desires. Everything is top notch with a serious dash of adventure. The guides goal is to find the best snow, the best conditions, the best food and make your week or two the best experience ever. The bonding with the group is something you will rarely experience elsewhere. The guides are fun and professional and make it happen for us and with safety first in mind, they do an excellent job of assessing your capabilities and keeping everyone safe and sound and happy

Share a moment or experience from your personal PowderQuest adventure that still makes you smile:  Literally being served half a cow on a plate in Argentina, the steaks were like 500 grams!

 

Mark Dumont

Name: Mark Dumon

Home Base: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Ski or Snowboard: Ski

What else do you do for fun: Hiking, SCUBA Diving, Photography, Sample Craft Beer

Numbers of years skiing or riding: 36

Favorite places to ski or ride in the world: Canadian Rockies, Whistler, anywhere in the Selkirk Ranges of British Columbia, Argentina, Lonquimay in Chile

Number of PowderQuest Trips you have taken: 1

What was the best PowderQuest trip you have been on?  Only one (to date!) Cimarra Sur

What was the strangest thing you saw while in South America?  Dogs chasing cars.  It sounds weird but it had been years since I’d seen that and it absolutely cracked me up when I did.  I still wonder, why?

What makes PowderQuest your choice for skiing or riding South America? Experience and knowledge of the area, well connected, excellent guides, and exceptional assistance in planning all the semantics of a big trip to a foreign place, like hotels, taxis, help with internal flights.  While everything was outstanding from PQ, I have to say the help I had in organizing my trip was incredible because it was so much fun to watch all the bits and pieces that were linked together just flow like a charm as the trip unfurled.

Share a moment or experience from your personal PowderQuest adventure that still makes you smile: One meter of fresh snow during a storm at Chapelco on August 27 when most people I know were likely barbecuing on their patios back home.  I know they wished they were me.

 

Jon Hogan

Name: Jonathan Hogan

Home Base: New York City, NY

Ski or Snowboard: Snowboard

What else do you do for fun: DJ, teach English, relax with the family

Numbers of years skiing or riding: 24 years riding

Favorite places to ski or ride in the world: Snowbird, Whistler 

Number of PowderQuest Trips you have taken: 2

What was the best PowderQuest trip you have been on? both were great, but there's nothing else like the first time!   Summer Snow Escape

What was the strangest thing you saw while in South America? Taxis driven by horses.  

What makes PowderQuest your choice for skiing or riding South America? Great quality, assistance with any problem, top notch guiding.

Share a moment or experience from your personal PowderQuest adventure that still makes you smile: My first descent on the "La Chimenea" couloir at La Parva. I'll never forget that one! Thanks Phil.

 

John Barron

Name: John Barron   

Home Base: Sunny South Florida

Ski or Snowboard:  Snowboard

What else do you do for fun: Fitness and anything related to motorcycles

Numbers of years skiing or riding: 3

Favorite places to ski or ride in the world: Chile

Number of PowderQuest Trips you have taken: 2

What was the best PowderQuest trip you have been on? Snowboarding Chile Instructional Adventure.

What was the strangest thing you saw while in South America?The open air market where everything was available even in the middle of winter. Market had fresh flowers, fruits and seafood.

What makes PowderQuest your choice for skiing or riding South America?The ease of the adventure. Just show up and enjoy the culture and powder.  You will leave the adventure with a different perspective on life {Positive}.

Share a moment or experience from your personal PowderQuest adventure that still makes you smile:  Our last day after 5 cat ski runs at Arpa. Looking back at the view and knowing we covered over 12000 vertical feet of incredible powder.

 

Marc Azar

Name:  Marc Azar

Home Base: San Diego, CA

Ski or Snowboard: Ski

What else do you do for fun: Play with my kids, ski with my family and travel

Numbers of years skiing or riding: 20 years, but only 3 serious years (last 3 years)

Favorite places to ski or ride in the world: I have little experience outside the US (except skiing Chile and Argentina with PQ) so I would have to say Snowbird, UT and South America.

Number of PowderQuest Trips you have taken: 1 (2012 will make 2)

What was the best PowderQuest trip you have been on? Frontier Las Lenas

What was the strangest thing you saw while in South America? A sheep head in the middle of the street. 

What makes PowderQuest your choice for skiing or riding South America? The organization of trip booking/details by Suzi, and the incredible skill (all around) of the guides. Outstanding!

Share a moment or experience from your personal PowderQuest adventure that still makes you smile:  In general….the entire trip brings a smile.  PowderQuest rocks!

 

Dave Batchelor

Name:   Dave Batchelor

Home Base:  Jupiter, FL

Ski or Snowboard:  Ski

What else do you do for fun:  Mountain Bike, Hockey, Boating

Numbers of years skiing or riding:  4

Favorite places to ski or ride in the world:  I'm a fan of Lake Tahoe because of the town.  Being on the cali/nevada border always makes for a pretty wild trip. 

Number of PowderQuest Trips you have taken: 1

What was the best PowderQuest trip you have been on?  We were supposed to go to Argentina but ended up having to move it to Chile due to the volcano.  It ended up being an amazing experience, we got to ride some of the top resorts and the group of people ended up being a blast to hang out with. 

What was the strangest thing you saw while in South America? Deep ass powder!  That was my first time riding anything like that and I won't forget it.

What makes PowderQuest your choice for skiing or riding South America?  Being I barely speak any Spanish I couldn't imagine doing it without PowderQuest.  The last day of my trip down there I explored Santiago on my own and was having a rough time not being able to communicate with anyone.  PowderQuest does the hard work for you.

Share a moment or experience from your personal PowderQuest adventure that still makes you smile:  Only people from our trip will get it, but the “Rubirosa”.  Those group dinners every night were ridiculous with non stop laughing.

 

Tom Aaron

Name: Tom Aaron

Home Base: Seattle, WA.

Ski or Snowboard:  Snowboard

What else do you do for fun: Play with my daughter, Snowmobile, Skateboard, Motocross, Cinematography\Videography. Geek out.

Numbers of years skiing or riding: 25 years of sliding sideways, with a few years riding skinny snowboards thrown in for good measure.

Favorite places to ski or ride in the world: Alpental, WA,  Mt. Baker, WA, Washington Cascades Backcountry, Jackson Hole, WY, and of course Las Lenas!

Number of PowderQuest Trips you have taken: 1

What was the best PowderQuest trip you have been on? Frontier Las Lenas. Blowing my mind.

What was the strangest thing you saw while in South America? Wax Napkins in Argentina. I still don’t get it. No getting mustard off your face with those things, just smears it around giving you the clown face.

What makes PowderQuest your choice for skiing or riding South America? Hands down, it’s the guides. Their terrain knowledge can’t be beat and they are a damn fun guys to hang out with.

Share a moment or experience from your personal PowderQuest adventure that still makes you smile:  The elation I felt after summiting Cerro Torrecillas in Las Lenas. I was finally on top of the mountain I had seen for years in magazines and on the INTERNETS. I was gazing down this untracked spine, knowing I was about to give it the mad slasher smack down. Still stokes me out. That image is cemented in my cerebellum forever.

 

Steve LobenVanSels

Name:  Steve van Loben Sels

Home Base:  Madrid, Spain

Ski or Snowboard: Ski

What else do you do for fun:  Running, cycling, reading, and cooking/eating tasty food.

Numbers of years skiing or riding:  26

Favorite places to ski or ride in the world:  Kirkwood, CA ; Whistler, BC ; El-Arpa, CL ; Chamonix, FR

Number of PowderQuest Trips you have taken: 2

What was the best PowderQuest trip you have been on?I had a blast on the Summer Snow Escape trip…the conditions were perfect with fresh pow nearly every day, and the terrain was fantastic.  Most of all, I enjoyed cat-skiing at El-Arpa and ducking the lines at El Colorado to come down Santa Teresita.

What was the strangest thing you saw while in South America? Aside from snow during “summer”?  The Chilean drink “el terremoto” (translates to “the earthquake”): white wine with a  scoop of pineapple sherbet finished with a shot of Fernet Branca.

What makes PowderQuest your choice for skiing or riding South America?  I’ve been really impressed with the quality of the tours.  I’ve done the Summer Ski Escape and the Freerider, and both of them had fantastic skiing, good pacing, great guides, nice lodging, and tasty food.

Share a moment or experience from your personal PowderQuest adventure that still makes you smile:  Playing with the St. Bernards at Portillo.  I asked one of the Chilean army soldiers there for winter training if I could take a picture of his dog, and instead he handed me the leash, took my camera, and snapped a photo!

 

Steve Davey

Name: Stephen Davey

Home Base: Ithaca, NY

Ski or Snowboard: Snowboard

What else do you do for fun: hiking, mountain bike

Numbers of years skiing or riding: 20 years

Favorite places to ski or ride in the world: Hokkaido, Hakuba, San Martin de Los Andes and Las Lenas

Number of PowderQuest Trips you have taken: 2

What was the best PowderQuest trip you have been on? Frontier-Las Lenas Tour

What makes PowderQuest your choice for skiing or riding South America? They have such an incredibly professional team from the top on down. Suzi and her team make all the arrangements for you, they get you there and home safely. The guides are the best. They know the area, language and they find you the powder! Plus everyone in PowderQuest is fun to hang out with and have a couple of beers.

Share a moment or experience from your personal PowderQuest adventure that still makes you smile:  Every time I look at my photos I smile. I have so many great memories and stories to tell but my favorite was our hike to the Las Lenas “Pow Farm” summit and the photo of me standing on a two foot ledge looking down.

 

Manstein Family

Name: Manstein Family

Home Base: Philadelphia, PA

Ski or Snowboard: We all Ski

What else do you do for fun: Long distance bike rides

Numbers of years skiing or riding: 50

Favorite places to ski or ride in the world: Val d'Isere France

What was the best PowderQuest trip you have been on?   2011 Chile

Number of PowderQuest Trips you have taken: 2

What was the strangest thing you saw while in South America? Driving up from a dry semi-arid almost desert to a certain elevation where everything was covered in deep snow

What makes PowderQuest your choice for skiing or riding South America?  Great people, great guides, super fun time

Share a moment or experience from your personal PowderQuest adventure that still makes you smile:  Riding the 5 person sling-shot Poma in Portillo.  I am glad we have it on videotape

 

 

Ski Guides

 

David Owen: PowderQuest Founder - Assistant Guide

From the day I first stepped into a pair of skis back in 1976, I was hooked.
After discovering snowboarding with my friends Adam, Erin, and Blaise, the addiction carried beyond Dar's ski weekends and the powder at "Powerlines"; it was the soul of it all.
I carry these memories today as my passion to ride and dreams to travel have taken me on my own PowderQuest. The mountains and volcanoes of Colorado, Wyoming, Canada, Alaska, and Chile and Argentina have been my main focus.
In 1994, my wanderlust began, and before I knew it, I had explored, surfed, and snowboarded 15 Latin American Countries. After landing in South America’s outdoor adventure mecca, Pucon, Chile in 1998,  I built an adventure tourism company, learned Spanish, and established residence in this mystical country.

Home Country: Chile

Certifications:

  • Canadian Avalanche Association Ski Operations Level 1

  • Wilderness First Responder

Backcountry Experience: 12 years

Languages: English, Spanish

Favorite Places to Ride: Andes Backcountry, Jackson Hole, WY

Hobbies: Surfing, photography, music, travel


Mike Gajda: Ski Guide

Mike has been backcountry skiing since the mid 1980's and employed as ski patroller and heli-ski guide in the Whistler, BC area since 1994. He consults as an avalanche forecaster near his home town of Pemberton, BC and continues to guide for the local guides' bureaus and Canadian Heli-ski companies.
Mike's depth of experience comes from ski tours in the Alps and the Andes to a solo ski decent from the peak of Alaskas' Denali.
Mike joined the PowderQuest team in June of 2003 with strengths in customer care and emergency 1st aid.

Home Country: Canada

Certifications

  • ACMG Ski Guide

  • CAA Level 2

  • Outdoor Emergency Care

  • WCB Blasting Certificate

  • CSGA Level 2 Ski Guide

Backcountry Experience: 23 years

Languages: Spanish, English, French

Favorite Places to Ride: BC, Canada, France

Hobbies: Climbing, Reading, Travel 

 

Mo Rasiah: Ski Guide    

An Australian born and bred skier, Mo Rasiah grew up skiing a small resort called Thredbo. Falling in love with skiing during university, the mountains eventually brought him to Whistler where he discovered the bliss of powder skiing. Teaching skiing, avalanche courses, and tail guiding to pay for his travel and skiing, he has ski toured in Australia, Canada, Alaska, Europe, Chile and Argentina. He has gone almost 10 years without a summer and has become accepted to the assistant ski guide program with the ACMG.

Home Country: Canada

Certifications

  • Association of Canadian Mountain Guides Assistant ski guide

  • Canadian Avalanche Association Ski Operations Level 2

  • Canadian Ski Guides Association Level 3

  • Fully Certified Ski Instructor (APSI Level 3)

  • CSIA Freeride Level 1

  • CSCF Level 1 Coach

  • CASI Level 1

  • Outdoor Emergency Care

  • Advanced Wilderness First Aid

Backcountry Experience: 8 years

Languages: Spanish, English

Favorite Places to Ride: Las Lenas ski area, Whistler

Hobbies: Rock climbing and doing anything to get more powder face shots!



 

Pierre Etienne Gagnon: Ski Guide

Working as a ski instructor in Chamonix, opened a Pandora’s box to a new world of skiing. While he has skied since the age of 3 and alpine ski raced competitively since a young teen, it was only upon arrival in this ski-mountaineering Mecca that he truly saw the potential for the sport and consequently dedicated himself to ski guiding.
In the following years, he completed a two-year Adventure Guide Diploma from the Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia.  He now  works as a heli and ski-touring guide in BC during the North American winter months.
He discovered skiing in the Southern Hemisphere in 2005 on a ski trip where he was part of the first Canadian team to cross the Northern Icecap.

Home Country: Canada

Certifications:

  • Association of Canadian Mountain Guides Assistant ski guide

  • Canadian Avalanche Association Level 2

  • Canadian Ski guide Association Level 1

  • Canadian Ski Instructor Alliance Level 3

  • Wilderness Medical Associates  Wilderness First Responder

  • Justice Institute of British Columbia Search Manager

  • Justice Institute of British Columbia Rope Rescue Team Member

Languages: French, English, Spanish

Favorite places to ride: Roger’s pass, Chamonix, Chile

 

Owen Day: Ski Guide  

Owen started skiing at the age of 3 in the praries of Canada skiing "the Bump" behind the ammonia plants in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. After working for a discotheque in Campery, Switzerland for two years, he made his first trip to Chile and Argentina in 2000. He has since returned for the last few years to learn Spanish, guide for PowderQuest, and ski tour the beautiful Andes.
In Canada, he has worked for the Canadian Avalanche Association compiling data for the InfoEx which is used as a "daily paper" of avalanche conditions. Owen also helps teach Recreational Avalanche courses and helps organize Avalanche Awareness day in Revelstoke.

Home Country: Canada

Certifications

  • Canadian Avalanche Association Level 2

  • Wilderness First Responder

  • Canadian Ski Patrol System

  • Rigging for Rescue

Backcountry Experience: 10 years

Languages: French, English, Spanish

Favorite Places to Ride: Las Lenas, Refugio Frey, Champery, Revelstoke

Hobbies: Tree Planting, ski touring, mountain biking

 

Philippe Gautier: Ski Guide - Risk Management Project Manager

Ski racing on the hardest snow on the planet in Quebec somehow became the start of Philippe’s ski addiction. His powderquest started in the humble resort of Fernie, British Columbia (BC) where he worked as a racing coach and ski patroller.  Philippe works the winter season as an avalanche forecaster and educator at the Haute-Gaspésie Avalanche Center and as a mechanized skiing tail guide in BC. He has also worked as a tourism development consultant, a job that has taken him to places as far and remote as a military camp on the isle of Tierra del Fuego.

Home Country: Canada

Certifications:

  • Association of Canadian Mountain Guides – Assistant Ski Guide

  • Canadian Avalanche Association Level 2

  • Professional Member of Canadian Avalanche Association

  • Canadian Ski Coaches Federation level 1

  • Canadian Ski Patrol System operational member

  • Advanced Medic First Aid interprovincial level 3

  • Wilderness First Responder

  • Justice Institute of British Columbia Search and Rescue Manager

Backcountry Experience: 12 years

Languages: Spanish, English, French

Favorite Places to Ride: BC, Termas de Chillan

Hobbies: Hockey, the dance floor at 2am, Hot tub/hot spring poaching

 

Les Manley: Assistant Ski Guide

Les calls Vancouver, Canada his home, but spends a good part of the year traveling as a ski professional for Movement Skis and ski guiding in Verber, Switzerland. Recent photo shoots have taken him to Europe, where he has recently been featured on the cover of Ski Magazine France. His sense of humor, skiing and knowledge of the mountains, blends perfectly with PowderQuest. We are excited to have him back on the team this year.

Home Country: Canada

Certifications:

  • Association of Canadian Mountain Guides Assistant ski guide

  • Canadian Avalanche Association Level 2

  • CSGA Level 1

  • Wilderness First Aid 

  • Canadian Ski Coach Federation Level 1 

  • Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance Level 3

Backcountry Experience: 11 years

Languages: Spanish, French , English, Intro German

Favorite Places to Ride: Las Lenas

Hobbies: Travel, Ski Touring

 

Maxi Artoni: Assistant Ski Guide   

Max Artoni was born and raised in San Martin de los Andes, Argentina where he began skiing at the age of four at the local ski hill (Chapelco). In high school he started doing some mountaineering and skiing more in the backcountry. In 2004 he started going to Whistler, BC where he works as a ski instructor and has been living the eternal winter since then.

Home Country: Argentina

Certifications

  • Canadian Avalanche Association Ski Operations Level 1

  • Aadides ski instructor Level 2 (ISIA)

  • Wilderness First Responder

Backcountry Experience: 8 years

Languages: Spanish, English

Favorite Places to Ride: Las Lenas, Chapelco, Whistler

Hobbies: Rock climbing and mountain biking

 

Rafa Pantoja:  Assistant Ski Guide

Rafa, member and current secretary of AGAM AG in Chile started skiing at the age of 3 influenced by his father who worked as a ski patroller in the central Andes.
Rafa's passion for skiing and rock climbing has taken him around North America, Europe and Patagonia, and leading mountain expeditions throughout South America including several crossings of the Northern Ice Cap and ski descents of San Valentin, Patagonia's highest peak.
Starting with PowderQuest in 2007, recently he has worked on ski patrol at Nakiska, Canada and teaches avalanche programs in Chile and Argentina.

Home Country: Chile

Certifications:

  • Canadian Avalanche Association Ski Operations Level 1

  • ISIA Ski Instructor Level 1

  • Wilderness First Responder

Backcountry Experience: 16 years

Languages: Spanish, English

Favorite Places to Ride: Kicking Horse, BC and Pucon, Chile

Hobbies: Rock climbing, travel, surfing

 

Carolina Farfan: PowderQuest Reservations Manager and Yoga Instructor

Carolina was born in Santiago, Chile and has spent the past decade traveling, working in tourism, and living in Pucon, Chile. Carolina heads our Chile office, manages PowderQuest's reservations, and is the creator of our Yoga and Ski Tours.

Home Country: Chile

Certifications

  • Degree in Tourism

  • Dynamic Yoga Instructor

Backcountry Experience: 2 years

Languages: Spanish, English

Favorite Places to Ride: El Arpa

Hobbies: Yoga, travel, cooking, reading

 

 

Safety

PowderQuest and Participants Risk Awareness

PowderQuest strives to provide a safe experience in the mountain environment yet it cannot entirely control or remove this environment’s inherent risks,hazards and dangers. Mountain travel is exposed to dangers and hazards that can only be completely eliminated by not participating in the activity. This said, it is incumbent on each participant to assume the activity risk. To do so, each participant is therefore required to take knowledge of, understand and knowingly sign a legal waiver which is necessary to complete the reservation. If a participant is not willing to assume this risk, then he or she will not be permitted to partake in the activity. Once on location participants will participate in a rescue scenario tutorial (including avalanche and other incidents) where the guides will explain the general course of action as well as the use of rescue equipment such as beacon, probe and shovel.

Special Notice on South American Rescue and Medical Care

PowderQuest guides are equipped and trained for field rescue and primary first aid. Participants are responsible to provide their own or rent safety equipment from PowderQuest as well as present themselves with the appropriate mountain travel equipment. When a situation requires external help, the company and affected participants must rely on the local medical and rescue support teams (ski patrol, rescue team, ambulance and hospital). In South American countries such as Chile and Argentina, organized rescue, transport, medical assessment and medical treatment are determined by local social and economical realities. Thus a participant on a PowderQuest Tour cannot expect the same level of external rescue resource availability and ensuing medical care as in their home countries. This said, PowderQuest has established a network of the quality local and international medical contacts available as well as private transport agencies that can be engaged to support the companies rescue effort. Guides are trained to be as self sufficient and resourceful, yet PowderQuest cannot guarantee the competence, reliability or availability of local rescue, transport and medical support.

PowderQuest’s Mountain Safety – Guides

PowderQuest’s safety measures rests upon skilled guides and operational protocols. Lead ski guides are certified by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA), the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG), the Canadian Ski Guides Association (CSGA) and/or are professional members of the Canadian Avalanche Association. The minimum requirement for a PowderQuest assistant ski guide is to have extensive wilderness first aid training, be certified level 1 ski operations by the Canadian Avalanche Association (or similar certification from other associations in other countries) and speak English, Spanish as well as other languages.

Terrain and Snow Pack Consideration - Daily procedures

Each given PowderQuest tour utilizes a wide variety of terrain in up to six different locations.  PowderQuest has a network of local contacts that are used to gather information on specific snowpack and mountain travel conditions. Moreover, PowderQuest has an internal terrain and snowpack information exchange system that is used to capture and transmit information between the company’s guides. These sources of information coupled with the latest weather forecast serve as a basis to establish the day’s mountain objective. These objectives are then discussed by the guide team and presented to the participants.

 

 

FAQs

Q: When is the best time to ski Chile and Argentina in South America?

The season runs from mid-June to mid-October. Although every year is different, and it comes down to Mother Nature, the best time for dry powder is mid-June, July, August, and up to the 2nd week in September. After that, you should consider good Spring conditions (powder and corn snow cycles) into early October.
Ski Touring the Volcanoes in Chile is good into November. The last two weeks in July are student holidays, so resorts get crowded, but nothing like North American or European resorts over the holidays.

Q: How do I choose the best PowderQuest tour for me?

PowderQuest offers you 4 distinct "Tour Focuses" to fit your needs:

Instructional Focus, Off Piste Focus, Backcountry Focus, Self Guided Adventures

Each "Tour Focus" has different trips to choose from varying in number of days, dates, and areas we visit.

Firstly, decide what "Tour Focus" best fits what you are looking for:

» If you are looking to take your skiing or snowboarding to the next level with certified instructors,  take full advantage of the ski lifts and ski guides that know the resort and secret spots like the locals, choose our Instructional Focus Tours.

» If you want the perfect mix of off-piste, backcountry and resort freeriding using both ski lifts and hiking to get to the best snow, and do not have alpine touring equipment, choose our most popular trips, Off Piste Focus Tours.

» If you are looking for a backcountry experience and enjoy ski touring to access fresh tracks outside of the ski resort, yet still having the option to explore the local ski resorts and nearby off-piste, choose our Backcountry Touring Focus Tours.

» If you are looking for a non-guided trip, yet having most of the logistics pre-arranged for you, you should choose our Self Guided Adventures

Once you have selected which "Tour Focus" is best for you, then you have a selection of trips within that "Tour Focus" to choose.  Trip dates, costs, amount of time you will spend on your vacation, and the areas we visit will most likely be the main factors of your selection. If you have any questions, our experts are here to help you make the best decision.

Q: What if we cannot ski backcountry due to weather or other factors?

Inbounds skiing in the Andes has excellent advanced and expert powder freeriding.

Q: Are your tours more for snowboarders or skiers?

Off Piste and Backcountry trips are open for skiers, snowboarders and telemarkers.  Instructional Tours offer separate trips for skiers only and snowboarders only.

Q: Do I need to be in good shape to come on these trips?

We believe the better shape you are in, the more fun you will have!  You do not need to be an uber-athlete, but these are physically active road journeys.  It is important to us here at PowderQuest that you read over the requirements for each of our focus tours and be honest with yourself about your riding level as well as your overall fitness level.

Please do not sign up for a Backcountry trip if you find skining uphill with your touring or split board gear a grueling experience. This not only will be a disappointment to you but also to the others in the group who will be obligated to wait for you. In order to maximize enjoyment of our tours you should ensure that you are in good shape.

Please also make sure that when you fill out PowderQuest’s pre tour questionnaire you are as detailed as possible when answering the questions so your guides can give you the best experience possible.

Q: What age are most of the guests that go on these tours?

The majority of our clients are between the ages of 25 and 50, but we also have many clients who are older and younger than this. Clients 18 years old or younger need to have full parental consent and be accompanied by an adult.

Q: What type of ski should I bring?

We suggest an "all mountain" style ski with a minimum waist of 85mm.

Q: Do you offer Group Discounts?

Contact us to see what trips offer group deals.

Q: I am an expert skier, but my girlfriend is an intermediate snowboarder. Can we both go on the same trip?

Yes, we have a few trips that suit. Contact us for more details. However our Backcountry Touring Focus Tours and Off Piste Focus Tours are only open to Advanced and Experts.

Q: Is airfare to Chile and Argentina included with the trip price?

No, you are responsible for the cost of your flight to Chile or Argentina. We work with agents that are able to secure very good rates out of the USA and Canada. Should you need any assistance booking your flight, please let us know. 

 

PP/Night from US$ 570