Ski organizers in South America announced a last-minute Freeride World Qualifier race to take place September 4 and 5 at Penitentes, Argentina, Powder reported on Monday. To take advantage of the area’s snowfall this year, the late-season Southern Hemisphere event will be open to all skiers (with a cap of 80 participants).
Tom Winter, the Freeride World Tour Americas manager, told Powder that the site at Penitentes—where South America's only big mountain skiing competition this year will take place—was chosen for its remoteness and variety of terrain. “The entire valley is spectacular, and while the ski area is small, there are tons of hike-to options, both immediately above and adjacent to the resort as well as along the highway,” he told Powder. “It’s really a hidden gem and I’m really impressed with the potential here.”
Penitentes is a three-hour drive from Mendoza, Argentina, and somewhat isolated, according to Powder. Most businesses are cash-only, cell service is limited, and travelers arriving in Argentina from Chile will have to cross the border during regularly scheduled times (between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.), which are subject to change due to weather or other concerns.