I flew out of Vancouver on July 8th, and arrived in Santiago, Chile. When I got to our house in Farellones, which was literally 50 feet from the lift, I discovered I'd be sharing the 3 bedroom house with 8 other people. The house had below average heating, and very faulty hot water system, lets just say " hit two birds with one stone: shower fully dressed in your dirty cloths...". I was officially a ski bum! Not a lot to report for the first two weeks, some sort of flu, difficulty getting passes; on a higher note, one 90cm completely bluebird day! Towards the end of July, El Colorado hosted the "Lippi freestyle big air"; however, it was in fact a small air. Not letting the ridiculously small jump dampen my spirits I was able to bring in my first win for the season with a couple of corked 5s.
The following week Kieran Nikula, Parker Blackstock, and I decided to meander over to Valle Nevado, when 270'ing on to a box my fresh edges did not agree and I ended up breaking my collar bone. So I was officially demoted to film bitch :(
2 weeks later was the Big Air Master at La Parva, even though I was not able to compete I still have to tell you about it! This is supposed to have been the biggest jump in south america, 6 international invitees, 6 local invitees, helis flying around, lots of prize money, and 2 days of sick riding! Kieran was able to pull in a 2nd place and Parker rounded out 3rd, I was super stoked for both of them! The next day was the first of 2 days of "king of park", a really fun contest in which i finished in 2nd place, Kieran in 1, and Parker in 2. I fell in my 2nd slope style run and hurt my collar bone again, I suppose 3 weeks was too early to be back on the skis; back to the couch, I wasn't missing much though as the next week brought really poor weather. In Chile the majority of the mountains have no trees... flat light + no trees= no fun. At least the poor weather brought snow, and of course lots of rain to santiago area. Floods and mud slides shut the road down, and killed 4 people. This sad event was cutting into our skiing needs, so at the first opportunity we evacuated and headed north to Portillo. Portillo turned out to be the most amazing mountain I have ever seen. Massive cliffs, steep chutes and incredible snow.
After two days of shredding lines in Portillo we all jumped on a red eye bus to Temuco. When we arrived in Temuco the next morning, we were greeted by an all you can eat buffet at a really fancy hotel, internet, hot showers, and camera crews. After stuffing our faces, facebooking, showers, and interviews we were on our way to the resort (which is at the base of an active volcano called Araucarias). Your probably wondering what is going on... We had told the good people at Araucarias that we were a big deal and they let us have a cat for a day to build a big jump, gave us free meals, and a place to stay in return for a "night show" on the jump.
Of course we ended up staying at Araucarias for a week, they had super rad terrain: natural half pipes made from lava creeks and such things.
That was the end of living large, it started to rain in Araucarias and we realized that it was time to leave. Next stop was Termas De Chillan, where there was supposed to be a big air comp. After running around for an hour trying to get registered we found out that they had ran the comp two days ahead of schedule, wtf? September 18th is the Chilean national holiday, and in Chile that means a week of partying, so of course we headed to the beach to party. Sipping chicha on the beach was all good but i had some more tricks that I needed to get on film, so we made our way back to El Colorado. Turns out that while we were away, the park crew had figured a few things out: the jump was now a decent size and pretty sick! I was able to learn a bunch of new tricks, and had a really great couple of days. That brings me to September 26th for the slope style at Valle Nevado. This time the park was far from impressive, ridiculously small jumps that had way too much kick and really flat landings. Unfortunately the fog rolled in before they could run the finals, the placing was determined from the qualifying rounds, and Emma squeaks in another win. The day was far from over, and things kinda just turned into a rail jam, everyone sessioned the crap out of a flat box and had so much fun just messing around. It was wrapped up with an open bar party, the chileans might not be good at running events and building parks but they sure know how to party! I think i made it to bed at 6 am for a couple hours of shut eye, it had meanwhile been puking all night and was of course blue bird in the morning! What an incredible way to wrap up my 3 month ski trip in Chile!