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  • Always Warm, Never Chile

Written by Andrew Marriner, Snowboard Team Manager / all around rad dude.

After a brief introduction to the locals we headed north passing through Santiago's firing sunset. Volcanic shred by day, pisco sours by night, bound the 6 of us: Wolle Nyvelt, Eero Niemela, Garrett Warnick, filmer Sean Aaron, photographer Jeff Curley and myself. Our day mission to Lo Valdes, a mining road at the foothills of the Andes lead us 60km away from civilization and refreshingly from any type of communication other then radios.

Day 1 went off without a hitch and everybody nailed some great shots including Garrett aka worm, and Wolle. We sorted out a synchronized pow slash that put Worm into the biggest white room he's ever experienced. Eero showed the boys what he'd been perfecting in the Whistler backcountry by creating the most unique lines and areas to blast off of.

Day 2 was a bit more interesting when we scarily came too close for comfort with an Avalanche! Followed by a motor blown out on one of our sleds which led us in to the gnarliest tow sessions I've dealt with to date; step by step we pulled that damn sled up over multiple massive hills into the darkest of night. I can recall getting thrown over the bars of my sled while it almost ran over Sean Aaron and myself. We each had 70lbs of camera gear on us and were heading down a 30 degree slope. A ski of the sled was stopped in it's tracks by a large rock and hucked us off just in time for it to become loose. I'll never forget those headlights of the sled heading towards our heads! A quick move with a hand hitting the brake in the nick of time. The sled made it back, totaled and so was the crew. 

Day 3 was the day of days, as if our guide knew exactly why we came to Chile. He led us to a volcanic glacier wonderland that flourished with natural features. Worm lost at "rock-paper-scissors" causing him to hit the freshly made jump the boys and he just built. He sent it to the moon and landed a Back 7 first tracks. That loss of rock paper scissor scored him an ad in Transworld Snowboarding Magazine and the cover of our Outerwear catalogue.

We said goodbye to the locals and we headed back to the ski resort town of Farrelones where the rest of the crew had been roughing it, scoring Heli runs with DCP and way more civilized accommodations at Valle Nevado

From hiking the sidecountry at Valle Nevado, to the parks at El Colorado to our sled mission along the longest volcanic mountain exposure in the world, we had a once in a lifetime southern-hemi shred trip to check off the bucket list.

Photographers: Jeff Curley & Ashley Barker