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Planning a ski trip to South America?

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Dave "Gomez" Johnson of Casa Tours[/caption] If you're like us, you dream about winter all summer long. Which is why maybe this year, you're seriously contemplating a trip to someplace snowy while it's balmy and humid in North America. Winter's just get started in places like New Zealand, Chile and Argentina. Here are a few suggestions if you're considering heading south for some powder this summer. 1. Consider hiring a guide. Especially in places around South America or if you're planning to head into the backcountry, it can be tricky to navigate on your own. We recommend Casa Tours, which leads trips all over Chile and Argentina for small groups traveling between resorts like Portillo, Valle Nevado and more, plus backcountry excursions. 2. Wait until late August or early September. Early-season conditions in the Southern Hemisphere can be hit or miss. If you wait till our fall, that's spring down south and you should be more likely to get it during a storm or at least sunny spring conditions. 3. Pack for variable weather. It can be bright and sunny or it can be raining or dumping powder. You don't want to have to lug three different jackets all the way to Wanaka, New Zealand, so pack light by packing efficiently. One hardshell jacket, one lightweight insulated midlayer, and a pair of pants you can bootpack in. Turns out, we've got you covered on all of that (and you have good timing: everything from this winter is on sale!). 4. Give yourself at least 10 days. If you're flying all the way to Santiago or Christchurch, the travel alone will eat up two days of your trip. And you'll want at least five-plus days to get your bearings in the mountains. If you can, give yourself a minimum of 8 to 10 days in the country (two weeks or more is even better). Tell your boss it's simply something you have to do. 5. Enjoy the adventure. Whether you get the perfect powder or not, it doesn't really matter. You're skiing in August! What's cooler than that?

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