Action Sports

Published on September 1st, 2015 | by gatsbyadmin

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Riding the Stoke to South America

If you’re a part of the snow sports community you’ve, no doubt, heard about the onslaught of pow that has been pummeling South American resorts this season. If for some reason you’re not privy to the epicness that’s occurring, let me educate you…

The month of June had many skiers and riders uneasy, as resorts in Chile and Argentina saw very little fluffy stuff. Many resorts like Portillo, Valle Nevado and La Parva had to push back their opening days to the middle of July, an entire month later than usual.

Portillo-01

Anton Sponar, a guide with Ski Arpa Cat-Skiing, was even forced to return to the U.S. when the lack of snow delayed the opening of his unique and totally rad backcountry skiing operation, 115 km north of Santiago.

Luckily when the resorts finally opened, Old Man Winter showed up in full force. Portillo rejoiced when over two meters fell in just a few days. Valle Nevado experienced even higher numbers, and although it was a rough start, the season commenced.

Portillo_Hotel-1404865511

The region was pummeled with even more snow in early August. Unable to keep up with the blizzard, several resorts were forced to shut down their lifts, a problem every resort wished they had.

The decision to venture down to South America this September came long before the ridiculous amounts of pow began stacking up. As our spring came to an end and the resorts shut down in my home state of Colorado, Curtis Berklund, my mullet-rocking, wholehearted Norwegian friend, and I traveled to Rocky Mountain National Park in hopes of extending our winter season. After a day spent exploring a zone near Notchtop Mountain, we sat, completely satisfied with our day of skiing pinner couloirs and big, exposed faces. With smiles on our faces and Fireball in our bellies, we jostled around the idea of a trip to Chile and Argentina. Berklund did a similar trip the year prior and was ready for round two, and Latin America has always been my go-to travel destination.

The next step was to persuade some lucky sonsabitches to come with us. Austin Johnson, a fellow Colorado native and certified badass skier, took about two minutes to convince. And once Lucy Higgins, associate editor at Backcountry Magazine, got her work schedule dialed she licked the stamp and sent it.

So with visions of pow and pisco sours swirling in our heads, we will be landing in Santiago on the 2nd of September and commencing our 6-week journey in search of some South American good times.

Stay tuned for updates and keep it Gatsby!

 

Written by: Jacob O'Connor @jahcobo

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