Words by KC Deane
Photos by Daniel Rinzler & KC Deane
We each just got our first-ever mid-summer face shots this week. Looks like it will happen again for us coaches because more than three snowy feet should pile up here by next Friday for session two. What a way to end the month of July – Evolve Chile style.
It’s about time too. Those face shots were in the works for a long time. Luke from Moment skis called me back in mid-June to ask about coaching down here for the summer. While my answer was of course yes, I was skeptical I would have the chance to coach here in Chile. Days later, Dan Rinzler, Evolve Chile director, made me a deal I couldn’t refuse.
About 1 million emails and a month later it was time to grab my passport, pack the roller bag and go. I braved 100-degree Reno weather in my garage putting the cold-weather wax on my skis. Five days later I was in Chile and shredding pow.
Getting ready for Chile
It’s difficult to call this work. All our time on the clock is spent coaching and shredding with campers who are down here for the same reason we are – summer powder and learning new tricks.
Nearly 20 of these campers, ranging from 14 to 19-years-old, came here ready to bring their skiing to the next level. The charging had to wait at least a day for everyone to roll in. Dan says people underestimate the effects of jet lag, delayed flights, and missed connections. For those reasons we took some down time around Santiago.
Welcoming the campers to Chile
Everyone dropped their gear off at the hotel and rallied outside for Dan’s idea of ex-jet lagging – a city-wide bike tour. This gave everyone a great opportunity to familiarize with Chilean culture.
Stoked to be in Santiago
Santiago is the largest city in and capital of Chile, and covering it via bicycle was a great way for campers to move after being cooped up in an airplane. Our tour gave us a real-life glimpse into current and past Chilean lifestyle. While most of the city is westernized, a few buildings remain unchanged over the last 300 or so years of the city’s history. The buildings surrounding the La Moneda reflect the Spanish influence of Chile’s early colonization. The building is the equivalent of the White House back in the US – only this one is riddled with evidence of revolution just 30 years ago – bullet holes still riddle the surrounding buildings In addition to the history of Santiago, there is amazing art and graffiti that is spread through out the city.
Cruising the backstreets of Sanitago
Local eatery with the campers
Evolve Chile campers, Santiago
The surrounding buildings of the capital
You don’t need to pedal far to find western malls, cars and technology. We finished up the bike tour with some local cuisine and hit the sack for an early-morning train ride from Santiago to the town of Chillan.
Train Station in Santiago
The train to Chillan
The trip took just under five hours, leaving everyone looking for more local food. We filled up on fuel at a local restaurant and bodega in Chillan before the final bus leg on to Termas.
Trying out the local cuisine in Chillan
The road to Termas
The snow started flying while the campers were landing in Santiago two days before. That made our first day skiing perfect for exploring the mountain and adjusting to winter in summer.
Termas De Chillan
17 Inbound lines 4 days after a storm. Fresher than the States
We, the coaches, weren’t sure what to expect from the campers, but exploration quickly turned into dropping cornices and lots of talk about building jumps and pointing out the best lines.
Learning how to drop a cornice
KC Deane Handrag 3
Jon Harris dropping into summer in Chile
The campers and coaches spent the evenings exploring more Chilean culture just below the mountain in the small town of Las Trancas. The trip was easy with just a short ride. Next time you’re in Chile, or better yet Las Trancas, get some chocolate-filled Churros. They’re an awesome late-night snack!
Cruising to get some food in Las Trancas
Churros are always good after a long day on the hill
In addition to the food, the on-hill culture is a bit different as well. In the month of July most Chileans have a holiday similar to our Christmas, however down here they take up to three weeks for vacation. Even the Chilean police, “The Carabineros", come to the mountains to ski for a week.
Chilean Police. They were beyond stoked to get some shots with Harris and myself
The lines started to get a bit more tracked out by the start of day four. That means back to the park and Evolve Chile’s newest addition, the bag jump. The set up is simple – a jump with a bag instead of a landing. It’s a great tool for the campers to learn new tricks. They were working on learning backflips and frontflips, all the way up to a few campers working on double corks.
Evolve Chile Session 1 campers at the bag jump
Coaches helping the campers to get the idea. KC Deane working out some tricks on the bag
One of the great things about being here is that after learning something on the bag jump, the campers got to take their newfound tricks directly to some pow jumps. Throwing tricks in powder and not having to take things straight to the park was a huge help to campers.
Teaching a camper to land switch in powder
Dropping a 3 in the BC of Termas
KC Deane, Superfront!
The park here at Termas is also super fun. The park is backed by DC and they just built a variety of new rails and boxes. Coach Jon Harris of Ontario showed campers a thing or two.
Jon Harris pressing out a box
Jon Harris Shifty 180
The last day we got up to find the mountain getting pounded with snow. It was good to finally get some snow after waiting all week. After riding fresh lines all day we headed to the natural hot springs to soak, and bask in the glory of riding powder in the middle of July. It was a great way to end the first session of Evolve Chile.
Chilling in the Termas Hotsprings at the end of Session 1