Saturday, August 27, 2011

Termas De Chillan

After 2 weeks of competing I was a mentally ready to go home, but I still had 4 days in chile so why waste it. My two girlfriends that were committed to traveling with me bailed, so I was not totally sure what to do. I just knew I needed to ski more, because I felt that I had spent 2 weeks in chile with very little skiing. I headed to the bus station to see if I could get on a bus to Las Trancas, which is where Termas De Chillan is an amazing little ski resort in southern chile. I caught the 2 o'clock bus and started my 6 hour journey south. I knew I only had 2 full days to ski, but I figured it would be better than hanging out in Santiago. As soon as the bus left chillan and I was the only person still on the bus I knew I had made the right decision. I got to Las Trancas  around 9 pm checked into the Chillin Hostel which is where I stayed last year and I felt right at home in my same room from the previous year. Compared to Santiago this place was so quiet barely a person around. As I arrived it was dumping rain so I hoped that meant it was dumping snow up high.
I awoke to bluebird conditions and hopefully some new snow. I had to hitch hike to the mountain, which is pretty challenging because about a car every 15 minutes goes by so it took me a little while to get to the mountain.  When I arrived I loaded the old 20 minute chair and decided to do a few runs before I skied my volcano. I should have paid more attention to the names of the runs (not sure the names), but I cut right off the chair and had first tracks down about a 2000 foot run. Yes!!! Finally I was skiing continuously. I took four of these runs and then decided to go on my trek up the volcano. I was the only one around as I toured upward, so beautiful. I started at about 8,000 feet and I topped out at 10,252 feet in about 1 hour 45 minutes. The volcano was steaming around me and I had an awesome view of the Andes in the distance. Also i was stoked about my run down. I had about 3000 feet of untracked wind blown powder that made my day. So fun!!! I skied right to my favorite bar The Igloo and enjoyed an Escudo and some good food outside on the deck. Life could not get much better! I was so happy I came, but as I sit in the airport I could not be happier to go home!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Second podium in South America, 20th podium of career psyched!!!

The last couple days in Ski Arpa have been pretty unique. Ski Arpa is an amazing little cat operation in the middle of the Andes. To get there you drive an hour and half from Los Andes up a very windy road where chains are mandatory on a 4 wheel drive car. A few of us rented a truck so we drove up to the mountain for the three days of competition, Arpa received about 2 feet of snow which made the conditions pretty ideal. It turned blue on our first inspection day and as we unloaded the cat at the top of our venue you could see Aconcagua very large in the distance. The Andes stretched along for miles. It was so beautiful, I felt so lucky to be here. We had the entire place to ourselves which was a new experience. The venue that we were given for day one was pretty small and did not have a lot of options. I found a line that had two 15 foot airs with fast fluid skiing in between. 

The North Face Chilean Freeskiing Championships -- Finals Day Highlights from Subaru Freeskiing World Tour on Vimeo.

        I felt that I had some confidence after the las Lenas , but as always I was Still really nervous in the start gate. I only was able to do 4 turns before my first air which is always a little hard on the legs with no warm-up. I came out of my top air with a lot of speed and skied fluidly into my second air and had no problems with the landing. As I skied through the finish I was psyched with my run, but not entirely sure how it would score. A couple of the other girls skied some more unique lines and even if they were easier  i had a feeling they might score higher. I was in third place after day  one and was ready for another run. The second day venue ended up being to rocky for us to compete so as athletes we decided to go back to the day 1 venue. To make it fair the judges decided to do best out of 2 runs. I decided to ski the line that had won the previous day to see if I could better my score. For some reason it did not score that high and I was not able to better my 3 rd place finish. In the end I was stoked to be on the podium again and am now leading the tour going into the season. That also marked my 20th career podium. I am off to Termas De Chillan for a few days of skiing and then back home on Friday.

Subaru FWT Day One Highlights Ski Arpa from Subaru Freeskiing World Tour on Vimeo.

Here are 2 videos with highlights I will not be able to post photos until I am home! Thanks everyone for all the support, I feel very lucky!!

Monday, August 15, 2011


Thursday I  woke up to rain pelting the windows of the room.  The visibility was not looking good and the organizers called a weather day. Las Lenas has no trees so the visibility needs to be good to be able and compete. I was okay with them calling a weather day even though I really wanted to be able to ski and be done with the nerves. We met again Friday morning and the weather looked a little more promising but  the winds on the top were blowing 100 mph. Since the event was a Red Bull sponsored event they wanted to at least try to have a big air event and they had spent all week making a jump for the event.

 They loaded us in a cat around 2 in the afternoon as the weather seemed to deteriorate, I was not sure exactly why they were trying so hard to pull off this part of the competition when we arrived at the jump it was a crazy feeling because it was just our little freeskiing family in the middle of whiteout blizzard conditions and a a big Red Bull jump. I was excited to hike up and ski some pow, but was not really feeling the jump since I could barely see 5 feet in front of me. The skiing was really fun and I watched as a few of the guys went for the big air, it was pretty cool to watch them spinning through the air in these conditions. It was getting late and they finally had to call the event. It was a bummer because the organization worked so hard to the get it off.

That is when I realized that I had won the competition, I was so stoked it has been a while since I have won, I have had a lot of seconds in the meantime so I was so happy to win especially against a strong field of women. It was a little bittersweet because I would have loved to get another run, but at the same time a first place finish is awesome. Saturday we woke up and it was one of the most
amazing bluebird powder days I have had in a while. I realize why people love Lenas, because when it turns blue there is some amazing terrain. This day would have been perfect for event, but mother nature did not cooperate. Off to Chile  for the second stop!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Red Bull Powder Disorder Day 1

Since I have been skiing in Lenas I have been having a hard time with my leg, the muscles are just incredibly painful.  It has been really difficult on my confidence. I woke up this morning feeling a little more nervous than usual, but was excited to compete. I could not believe that we were actually competing. The snow was incredibly challenging and during inspection I changed my line to fit the new snow conditions. The bottom half of the venue was frozen ice chunks which was  difficult to ski. I knew my line really well and just hoped I could ski strong to the bottom. I started to get really nervous at the start because I had not skied  since I broke my leg and definitely had not taken any air since Fat Bastard. ( the air I broke my leg on) Four turns into the competition there was a mandatory man made air that the athletes had to hit. As I left the start I told myself I could do this, I can ski. I threw a small spread eagle on the kicker laughed at myself and then gained some confidence when I did not feel the pain in my leg. I skied fast into my first air and continued to try and keep my speed through the rest of my features to the bottom of the venue. As I approached 3/4 of the way down my legs started to burn. I just wanted to stay strong and on my feet.

As I approached the finish I was greeted by a cheer of people and my other competitors that had skied  before me. Being done was the greatest feeling and I realized why I love this sport because it is always so humbling physically and mentally. I felt that I was in contention, but it was in the hands of the judges and it is always hard to tell. When the results came out I was so nervous to look. When I saw that I was in first by 2 points I could not believe it! There was an amazing group of female skiers and I was sitting in first. It has been a really long time since I have been in this position. I hope I can hold onto it through tomorrow. Psyched!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Finally made it Las Lenas after 3 days of traveling a day in Mendoza and very little sleep. Sleeping on the plane is always tough and then the hostel that we stayed in was in the middle of party central on a Saturday night and I went to sleep with loud beets vibrating the bed until about 6 am. Sunday was spent in Mendoza which was pretty relaxing and got to try some nice Malbecs from the area.  There was quite a crew from the tour staying in Mendoza and it was great to see the ski family again. It is always fun to see everyone after the summer break and running into them in South America is always pretty cool. We all come together from all over and meet in Argentina to do the sport that we are all very passionate about whether it is the organizers or the athletes. 

I headed to bed for about 2 hours and then woke up at 130 am to take the night bus to Lenas there were 7 athletes crowded into 4 tiny cabs with skis hanging out the window. It was quite the site, we made the night bus and arrived in Lenas around 8 am with very little sleep. The Marte that accessed our venue was closed by the time we were able to ski, I have not skied laps since my broken leg so it was a great day to get back on my feet and feel my skis. My leg is definitely a little sore, but I just need to work my confidence as a skier and believing that I can ski even with a small injury. I hope with some sleep that the day of skiing will go better tomorrow. Also it is supposed to snow and my leg loves the powder! Day one starts wednesday!