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Ola from Bariloche, Argentina! So this was my first trip to South America! Coming from someone who doesn’t speak any Spanish, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be to communicate. I’m thanking myself for going to French immersion, because anytime I has issues ordering food, I would just start speaking french. Its almost the same….actually not really…maybe a few of the same looking words. But it helped regardless.
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Don’t go thinking I just met my bride-to-be. No, La Rosa is a van and a guy named Sebastien owns her. She is big, red, has duallies on the back, and a grained-wood interior. She has a sink, dual benches, storage, and, with a little effort, you can fit a dozen shreds and gear in her to go riding at Termas de Chillan. A worthy object of affection indeed.
Termas de Chillan lies a five hour train ride and two hour bus ride south of the Chilean capitol of Santiago and is where I spent the last three days with the K2 Snowboards crew. Despite warm weather, rain, snow, sleet, and limited sleep, we managed to find a lot of fun features to ride amongst the expansive, rolling volcano upon which the resort is built. From the dragon’s tail, a gnarled, curve tree to natural quarterpipes and gully slashers, Termas delivered in less than epic conditions. It was three fun days of riding on sketchy, curved pomas and dilapidated doubles with trees trying to hook your board off and nights gambling in the casino at the resort amongst the Chilean bourgeoisie.
But three days isn’t long and we are now back in Farellones for three more days of sun-drenched riding at the triple resorts of La Parva, Valle Nevado and El Colorado, where road runs beckon and a reasonable park keeps the jib-friendly occupied. But it feels like something is missing—riding the resort shuttles just seems to lack a bit of character after our time in Chillan.
Photo: The Crew
Viva La Rosa—and here’s to more good riding in the southern hemisphere.
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A trip into winter is the exact thing every boarder needs in the middle of August. Lucky for myself and fellow K2 team members Tim Eddy, Nick Dirks, Chris Beresford and Jordan Mendanhall we were invited to take just the trip, with the intention of shredding the Andes and shooting photos for the 2011 K2 catalog.
We stayed a few days in Farellones which serves as the “base” area to ski areas El Colorado and La Parva, and a few turns down some steeps will take you to the famous Valle Nevado.
On our third day we went to Chillan where we were greeted by the amazing Sebastian. He showed us around his mountain Nevados De Chillan or “Termas” de Chillan, definitely my favorite ski area we went to on our trip. Alpine bowls to bitchin’ trees and hot springs somewhere in between.
Well, winter turned to rain turned to spring during our time in Chile but the experience was unlike any other. From the locals and their love of a “todo bien” lifestyle to the pampered feasts of amazing array to the f***ing Andes!! to the stray dogs, Chile is a country I will not forget, and will not forget to go back to every summer….or wait, winter.
1-Extremely psyched to be on snow/in the mountains after a day of traveling
2-A short hike/traverse from the top lift at La Parva gets you to the newly named McConkey’s, in honor of thee late great legend of skiing and ski-basing Shane McConkey.
This spinal chord on the way to this “Xtreme” run reminds you (or at least me) of the sharp pepper rocks that may be lurking inches below the fresh snow.
3-Nick Dirks contemplating his addiction in the breakfast nook of the nicest hostel in the world.
4-Sebastion Goni and one of his lovers, La Rosa. Seba was the spirit of our Chilean experience; his hand-made house, his backyard, his lifestyle, his own take on the C-factor, his carve. the list could go on, he took amazing care of us…..Don’t worry, you’re with Sebastion.
5-hey TimEddy! How do you feel about dumper hits?
two thumbs up!
6-The sun sets every evening on the slopes of McConkey’s. nothing like ending a day with pink pow.
So, if you’ve been following the blogs, you know that the K2 snowboarding team is down here in Argentina. We’ve been lucky enough to be hosted by the SASS (South American Snow Session) camp, and it has been the trip of a lifetime! Joining us, just two days ago was Leanne Pelosi, along with Shaun Mckay, Eero, Robbie J, Gretchen Bleiler, myslef, Winkel, and the Joel, we have set out to find powder, eat massive amounts of steak, and stack a large amount of lifeys, and product shots. We’ve been shooting on the new products for 2010-2011, and I have to say that the next years graphics are poppin’, and off the chain this year! Here’s a couple shots from my travels…..I can’t release any a grade bangers, but these phots will have to do for now!
Farellones, Chile (August 21, 2009) – When traveling to a new country there are always adjustments to be made. In the case of Chile, you might call it the C-factor: 10 minutes means anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half. If they say you need to wait an hour, you better have a good book.
While the C-factor might be frustrating for the type-A person who needs constant stimulation, learn to embrace it and move at a slower pace and one can appreciate the local flavor. When I arrived August 19th to meet up with the K2 Snowboards team, that meant a day and a half to explore Santiago. It also means the mountains stay open until 5 p.m. leaving ample time to explore at a leisurely pace.
We didn’t get to the small town of Farellones and resort of La Parva until noon yesterday and found mellow gullies and untracked snow despite the fact it hadn’t snowed in a couple days. With a network of alpine pomas and rocky ridgelines, La Parva (which is neighbored by El Colorado and Valle Nevado), has ample terrain from mellow cruisers to untouched chutes in a side-country zone known as McConkey’s. It felt good to feel a bit of powder underfoot and get back to winter after a long, hot summer, if only for an afternoon.
Today, weather moved in and a whiteout is keeping us out of the high alpine, but Farellones is built on a hill and there are plenty of jibs to stay occupied. Tomorrow, we will board the train to Termas de Chillan down south and with storms in the forecast, pow days are imminent.
Check out Frequency Magazine for more on lots of sweet stuff including further blogs on the trip to the other America.