I guess I'd like to add to my previous post. Not all ski guides and trips to Chile are equal.
I will sum it up by stating: If you will ski with a guide in Chile, you will be much happier if you work with one of the guides who has invested time and energy into understanding the culture, weather and mountains of Chile.
This will be my twelfth winter in Chile. I speak the local language, know the mountains well, adore the culture, understand the typical weather patterns and feel as if it is a second home to me. But my service might not be right for everyone. There are other guides and services who do a great job as well. Everyone has a different angle and style, but they are still offering a good service with an authentic Chilean experience.
PowderQuest - http://www.powderquest.com/ - is owned by a Canadian, who has lived in Chile since 1999. They offer more "pre-set" itineraries, but do a great job on and off the hill.
Casa Tours - www.casatours.com - is run by an American, who goes by the name Gomez. Gomez is a good dude and his trips seem like a lot of fun. He's got a different approach than I do, but his clients have a great time and definitely see the real Chile.
Ski Arpa - www.skiarpa.com - is a cat skiing operation, owned and operated by my friends the Sponars. Anton and his dad have been going to Chile "forever" and their operation is Tony's dream realized.
Powder South - www.heliskiguides.com - is owned by two Chilean gentleman who have both traveled the world. One is an IFMGA-licensed guide. It's a heli-ski operation. It's still legitimately Chilean and well run.
Third Edge Heli - www.thirdedgeheli.com - is run by Greg Harms, who is American and has been skiing in Chile for more than 20-years.
White World Freeride - www.whiteworldfreeride.com - is newer on the scene, but owned by a Chilean with international experience. Philippe is working hard to provide a fantastic, safe experience for his clients.
It bums me out to see guides from the northern hemisphere offering a trip or two per season to ski in Chile. I realize they want to ski in Chile in August or September, but it's just not the best for the guests. The guide and services listed above do a great job in the areas they focus. None of us are getting rich doing this or overflowing with guests. We do it because we love Chile and sharing the experience.
Do your homework. Look beyond the itinerary and price of a trip. Does the provider have international experience and operate with a good risk management plan? Does the guide know Chile - from the summits to the empanada stands? Skiing in Chile is a special, bucket-list type experience. Don't ski with a guide that is just visiting as well.