South America — every North American skier envisions one thing when he thinks of that place: summer pow.
I’m lucky enough to be headed down there on August 1st for five weeks of adventure travel and backcountry skiing with my good friend Skyler Mavor. This winter I was focused on school, and as a result didn’t ski as much powder as my pow addicted self would have liked (three times between March and May– unbelievable!). Needless to say, I’m excited. I’ve been dreaming about summer skiing in South America for years. Due to a tight budget, and because it’s fun, we’re going to try to human-power tour for most, if not all our turns. I’m hoping to explore many of the famous areas, and maybe head down further south into Patagonia if conditions cooperate. I haven’t done much of this type of travel before, so it will be a big learning experience.
I’ll be testing some gear down there as well, and will file reviews documenting the effects of the southern winter on carbon fiber, plastic, and skin glue. Expect some trip reports and gear reviews.
We’ll be landing in Santiago, and then quickly heading out to do some ski mountaineering from there and then moving south towards Patagonia if springtime conditions appear. The weather and legendary snow snatching winds will force our hand I’m sure. I have some rough plans and ideas, but I don’t know whole lot about the backcountry skiing options down there as well as general ski/adventure travel.
Esteemed Wildsnowers, any tips or ideas for backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering in South America? I’m sure others are interested as well.
Louie Dawson earned his Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design from Western Washington University in 2014. When he’s not skiing Mount Baker or somewhere equally as snowy, he’s thinking about new products to make ski mountaineering more fun and safe.