Friday, September 24, 2010

Refugio Frey

I wrote an article about Refugio Frey in Bariloche for ESPN. Click HERE to check it out!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Home Again

Feels good to be home again.

Traveling home.

After two short months in Argentina, my trip was coming to an end. I extended my stay three times secretly wanting to stay forever. I had some amazing adventures, made a ton of new friends, and skied mountains I dream of.

It was hard to leave. My heart was sinking the farther we drove away from the mountains. Watching the snow disappear behind the desert like hills outside of San Carlos de Bariloche tore me apart. Being injured an taking the winter in North America off really makes you appreciate skiing.

On the 20 hour bus from Bariloche to Buenos Aires we caught up on some much needed sleep and reminisced about the summer.

Thinking of all the good times brought a smile to my face and I knew that I'd be back in Argentina in ten months time. Bariloche is like a second home to me. I feel a sense of stillness when I'm there. Life slows down, but time seems to speed up.

Before you know it, two months has passed and it's time to head back to reality.

Driving through B.A. at the end of our bus ride I took a ridiculous amount of photos trying to capture my last moments in Argentina. They don't do the trip justice, nor do they represent the side of Argentina that I experienced, but they made me realize that I was trying to hold on to every waking moment in this country.

When we finally made it to the airport and said our good byes to campers, coaches, and people of South American Snow Sessions, a small group of us sat around for another ten hours waiting for our flights home to the U.S. and Canada. I ate my last milanesa, chugged water before heading into security, and got my passport stamped for leaving Argentina. It was time to head home, on to the next adventure.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Retallack 2009 With Nimbus

Retallak from NIMBUS INDEPENDENT on Vimeo.

Soooo much snow on this trip it was crazy!! We skied 4 days and got snowed in because the road was covered in 70 feet of avalanche debris. Good times were had. Thanks K2 and Nimbus!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lunch at the Llao Llao

Down days here in Argentina aren't that common. With campers biting at your heels to ski from open to close, it's important to take advantage of rest days as much as possible. We headed to the infamous Llao Llao Luxury Hotel and Resort on our last down day for some lunch and relaxation.

The surrounding views of the Llao Llao are amazing. The mountains stand tall in the backdrop and the water's edge is a stone's throw away from the patio and golf course. The interior was rich with classic Argentine detailed wood.

The security at the Llao Llao is top of the line. As we wandered the halls trying to get a feel for the place, there were eyes on us from every angle. We were consistently reminded that we weren't allowed in certain parts of the hotel unless we were guests. Made me feel unwelcome at times, but we made up for that at lunch.

Among the animal heads on the wall, there were also photos of the President of Argentina and Eisenhower.

After getting kicked off the patio, we eventually decided it was time to eat. The buffet below was hard to pass up. The price was much more steep than that of your traditional lunch in Argentina, but still fair considering what it would have cost in the states.

It was maybe the best buffet I have ever been to.

I only eat heart of palm in South America. I don't even see it in the states, but it is one of my favorites.

Thinking of my mother (who is a dental hygienist with a huge sweet tooth) I sampled two of the five desserts. Both were mouth watering and left me stuffed. It was a good down day and a nice break from the typical meat and wine option.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

No campers on a powder day!

After snowing for a week straight and cruising the mountain for the goods, Pete and I decided to venture further out to get some untouched snow. From the top of Laguna (a commonly hiked zone in Cerro) you can see this face known as Zebra Spines. I've watched Skylar and Coulter crush lines here all season and decided I had to jump on the opportunity to get out there whenever it came up. With four days off in between session 3 & 4 at SASS, it was on.

I ran into Seth and Pep out there filming and was pretty excited that I was just soul shredding sans cameras. After skinning up and shredding Zebra Spines we had a small lunch and skinned up the backside of Laguna to hit the adventure line. We've taken campers down this many times. You ski by huge granite spires, into trees that are perfectly spaced apart, and finish the run hacking your way through bamboo.

We had fresh tracks on both our 2,500 vertical foot runs the entire time. Pete was stoked.

I was stoked.

The previous days were absolutely amazing as well. Endless pow turns for days.

Every once in a while I have to remind myself to look up while I'm hiking. The views never get old. I'm inspired and in awe everyday.

I'm also inspired by my campers. On days when I would probably be sitting inside reading my book and drinking tea, they want to ski. There time on the hill is valuable since it's summer and they're only here for two weeks. When the lifts are spinning we're on the hill all day until 5 PM rain or shine. Obviously with all this snow it was easy to keep them entertained. Here's Maryanne deep in a bamboo trap.

If you're a mouse on a bike take a left.

After these powder filled days there's nothing better than an asado. The timing is a bit rough though with the late dinners and early mornings. Good thing I'm learning to embrace the siesta!

Down Day

It's been a wild past couple of weeks here in Argentina. Santa Rosa hit hard and dumped nearly 15 feet at the top of the mountain. The power was on and off. Sometimes the lifts ran and other times we hiked. It was what we've all been waiting for and after skiing, skinning, and hiking everyday my body needs a rest. I woke up this morning to the sound of wind whipping at the loose doors and windows in our apartment. Today will be a much needed down day.