A large storm front currently battering the south of Chile and Argentina is bringing snow to the Andes just in time for the July 1 kick off of the South American snow sports season, according to the U.S. travel company PowderQuest.

South American ski resorts are starting to open with good bases and continuing snowfall forecast throughout the week, according to David Owen of PowderQuest.

“The prize for the first ski resort to open in South America for the winter 2012 season goes to Las Leñas, Argentina,” says David. “It was the first to open yesterday with snow falling throughout most of the day.”

The resort, high in the Argentinean Andes, is waiting for a break in the weather to operate its new Dopplemayr lift, carrying 2100 more people an hour to its renowned Minerva area to sample some of the best terrain around.

Opening today is the closest resort to Santiago, El Colorado, with a 70cm base, and its sister ski resort, Farellones, with 50cm. David says that the El Colorado team has assured them that the resort will be 100 percent operational at low season prices as of today, weather permitting.

This Friday marks the start of the season for the big hitter Valle Nevado. With a good 80cm base and fresh snow yesterday, the Valle Nevado team has high hopes for a big season of skiing in Chile.

La Parva resort announced today they will partially open this weekend offering a 25% discount on lift tickets to the public.

Just north of Santiago, the stylish Portillo opens some of its terrain on Saturday 23. While its beginner and intermediate slopes are good, off-piste and expert pistes are still off-limits until the team has reviewed the conditions.

“With the snow falling from Santiago, through Chillán and all the way down to Bariloche, the team at PowderQuest is waiting on all the latest updates and expecting a powder-filled start to the shredding season in South America,” says David.

Since 1999, PowderQuest has been the world’s leading provider of Ski & Snowboard adventures to both Chile & Argentina. A US-based company with full time offices in both the US and Chile, PowderQuest offers a wide variety of trips using certified guides through the Andes to ski and snowboard during the months of July through October.