Endless Winter

It all started some time in late March early April when I sent an email to the owners of a heli ski company in Chile. As a skier it's hard to make plans much past the end of one ski season never mind trying to continue it in the Chilean Andes.

The reply came back as a, “maybe we could use you for operation and ground support.” After a few more back and forth emails explaining to the owner I would practically work for free to spend my summer (their winter) heli skiing, I finally got the response I’d been looking for.  I had the job!!! I would need to be in Santiago July 11th through September 14th.

Having not finalized my own summer plans, which could have included anything from sailing from Seattle to Haines for a ski story, working on my buddy’s marina in Cape Cod, or keeping my part-time job as general manager of a small recycling business, I decided to pursuit my dreams of the endless winter. I would put aside making money, beach time with friends, and the security of a home to journey and listen to my heart’s desire.

Once I made up my mind to travel South, July 9th came sooner than I could have expected.  With some freshly mounted Liberty skis, Leki adjustable touring poles, and two Deuter packs, I was ready to go.  I took the Cruise 30 (my go-to ski pack) as my carry on and checked the Futura Vario 50+10, which was full of all the goods a skier could ever need.  The endless winter would now commence.

photo 5The skiing between 8000 and 12000 ft was like nothing I had ever experienced.  Full of huge 30 degree pitch runs that seemed to never end, filled with the lightest, yet deepest powder one could imagine, it was a dream.  Just when you were certain you’d found the most epic pitch, you’d discover a new zone that was even better.  Each ski zone had its own reward, constantly exceeding even my greatest expectations.  Just as this winter was, these incredible runs were endless.

Every so often I would pause from the endless ski runs and venture into Santiago to explore the city.  The public markets put the biggest grin on my face.  The colors, the sounds, and the sights were incredible. Every day was as if a National Geographic photo gallery was unfolding before me.

Besides having the chance to heli ski, I also wanted to venture about the local ski resorts and see what kind of terrain and conditions could be found via a lift.  Valle Nevado and La Parva are two of the closest ski resorts to Santiago.  Both require taking one of the windiest switch back roads of your life – goodluck! - but once you arrive, you will be greeted with vast open bowls and steep rocky chutes.  Throughout the resorts are gondolas, T-bars, and plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy a cold cerveza while sunrays soak your face. Skiing these resorts allowed me to meet many other Americans and Europeans who find such great joy and excitement for the mountains as I do.

My endless winter has left me with a new appreciation of skiing in the Southern hemisphere.  It has also left me feeling a bit confused about which season it is.  I want more summer, but I have winter ski stories on my brain, and all the while, the Aspen leaves outside my window are changing golden yellow.  But regardless of the time of year, one thing is for certain: I would do this trip again in a heartbeat.  I hope to stay in touch with my new friends down South, and I highly recommend to all to find a way to experience your own endless winter.

Author: Chris Roy "Royski" Core Ambassador


Find your endless winter with the Futura Vario 50+10

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