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Sep 23

Chilean Powdaa W/ The Fullcircle Project

Flying into Chile was a trip. For two weeks I was in an area of Peru that had no visible pollution whatsoever, now flying Into Santiago I can see  smog close to 100 miles outta the city, and can barely see a thing coming it for touchdown. It was possibly worse than LA. I’m pretty sure I lost a few years of my life walking outside from the airport to the taxi.
Chile was having the same year Utah had, dry as hell so the resorts close to Santiago weren’t worth a go.  Instead we went onto a bus for 7 hours to ski Nevados De Chillan and hoped the luck would somehow change. We spent the first couple days skinning around the chain of volcanoes and were whoa’d by the lack of snow in what appearantly used to be jump spots now just straight rocks.  Catchy, black, hard volcanic rocks. Well we had to try to make the best of it, Matt Philippi and Jack Tolan skied some boney ass lines that I did not want any part of and I  tried to slash every loose piece of snow I could possibly find. Not long after we arrived the mountains changed their act and dumped the largest snowfall of the year right on us. We got lucky, real lucky and now suddenly we were skiing powder in august.
We went from hitch hiking at the bottom of the road in rain and mud, to hitching in over knee high snow, at the bottom.. The top was nearly waste deep, and we were finally able to get shots.  My knee was loving life being able to launch cliffs everywhere into some real snow which was nearly impossible to do this past winter in utah as everyone knows.  Big mountain ski legends Sage and Mark Abma even made it out here for the storm (and ripped the cliff line I was on top of, not on purpose) We spent the next five days trying to get all we can before the warm up would bend us over.. This storm solely made me want to move out to Chile for the summer next year, might have to happen.
What followed this storm could be some of the worst skiing I’ve ever experienced, and I grew up skiing in New York so thats bad. The warm spell hit followed by freezing windy weather that destroyed all of that beautiful snow, it was a sad sad sight. We saw it happen in 1 day, we skinned far out into the mountains  and made it back to the top of the mountain at sunset in a cold, cold wind after a warm as hell day.  The next day that snow was done for.  We were skiing an icy chopped up valley for the next few days where we were struggling to find anything to do at the top of the mountain so we resorted to some good ol mountain biking jumps at the bottom in slush.  Thats how you have fun when the skiin aint great, you can always find something fun to do if you try.
                               Biking jumps make for some damn good ski jumps
It was decided after a while of trying to turn turds into gold we would go to the Chilean coast and see if we would be able to have some luck with some surf.  The Chilean coast is an amazing site and the waves that were crashing was a scary site.  I did not have any place in these oversized waves that were surfed by the best collection of surfers I’d ever seen out.  I got my ass kicked, multiple times and they were some heavy, heavy waves, take a look for yourself.  Good thing water over sand is softer than pavement so i was able to take some good hits, and not get them teef knocked out.
The second before getting pulled under water and held.
              Saved the bird from getting smashed in the waves, like I was.  He tried to follow me to the car.
After 3 days of getting our asses kicked at the ocean it was time to head back to the mountains and see if anything had changed.  Well it didn’t, so we spent 1 of the days, where it was foggy as hell, enjoying what Nevados de Chillan had to offer.. Hot springs.  The last day we had out in Chile the winds were 130 KM and lifts not running,  Bad end to a pretty good trip.  We made the 7 hours bus trip back up to Santiago where we were welcomed with tear gas being shot at protesters in the city, a good welcome back to city life, I hate it.  Never tasted tear gas before, it leaves you with a chemical taste in your mouth, burns your eyes, and it stings the nostrils.  and they were shooting it at students protesting for cheaper school.  Fuck the police.  A day and a half in Santiago is way more than enough for me, the city sucks. good thing the rest of Chile is ill. Be sure to check out www.thefullcircleproject.com for videos of past Projects and skiing,  and in October you’ll be able to see all the ski action from this past trip to Chile, and the work we did in Peru. Keep your eyes open and pray for snow

 Stand up for your rights.
Big Fan of this image…
Chile is a beautiful country to be skiing in.  The terrain is  a style i have never seen or skied before in the US.  A string of volcano with lava flow makes for a very interesting landscape with plenty of cliffs, which in the right conditions are ill.  If you can swing the trip, go to Chile, skiing winter in the summer is something i have never experienced and really is surreal, so if you have never, save yo coins and experience it for yourself.  For now hope you enjoy some of the photos Our filmed for Full Circle Project, Eric Daft, and I took.
Hiking up da mountain
Fro is gettin large again, just wait till the winter
Hitch hiking everyday, rain, snow, or shine. we got it all.
I’ve wisened up, its funner to keep yo teeth in yo mouth.
View of two volcanoes from the lava flow of Shangri la.
Whole Full Circle crew hanging out post sesh
One of my new favorite tricks, Rodeo 3 Truck driver
Go to Chile, you need to see a Condor
Chillin with my new homegirl, Curly.. Both got the same hair.

3 comments

1 ping

  1. sage cattabriga

    Yo man! great blog post and laughing still about making it in there! sorry again about that line! :) I was also stoked to see the photos of the bike stunts that you hit, the first day out I hit that step up step down one enroute back to the hotel and was pumped to see you shred it, and I had noticed that gap over the creek too! way to go playing with the features!! be well man, and hope to run into you again out there! -sage

  2. meeks

    That was such an epic writeup, one of my life goals to make it down to chile in the summer time. Livin the dream brotha

  3. MountainLove270

    That intro is great for having to turn to Sustainability Studies at the new CMC BS program in Breckenridge. Wondering when & where a premier will be around here. Have some searching to do… can hardly wait!

    So exciting you struck luck with a sweet storm. The surf scene must have been great, too. With kayaking in CO over the summer a similar story, I was stoked to find similar surfer love on the giant river wave, Lunch Counter, of the Snake River out of Jackson Hole, WY. So fun to paddle with the surfers (not SUP boarders) chillin’ on the river. While great camping out with the gypsy fam and hearing stories about the surf scene up there from local filmers doing a documentary as well as tales from the Congo Ingca Project, what’s happening with Level 1 is a score now the snow’s just begun flying. Props on making the most of an epic trip!

  1. The FullCircle Project – Ahmet blogs about the 2012 trip

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