Video: Colton Feldman
Photos: Tim Zimmerman
Words: Blake Paul
I remember sitting at my computer in early August, contemplating; should we go back to Chile? Is it worth it? Is there snow? Can we make it happen? Alex Yoder and I had been dancing around the idea for several months. The summer was winding down and it was time to make a decision. There’s something about just saying “fuck it,” throwing all cares to the wind, and just committing. It’s a feeling you get when you’re nervous about something you know you have to do—then you just man up and do it. It was time to commit. A Rob would go, he would already have been down there, one chair ahead.
The crew met in the Atlanta Airport food court. Alex Yoder, Gray Thompson, photo master Tim Zimmerman, all American video bad-ass Colton Feldman, and myself. Jason Robinson flew down two days later, and Sammy Luebke came at the tail end of the trip. Spirits and motivation were high. Most of the crew had never met before, and some had never been out of the country, besides Canada, but that doesn’t count. We had seen posts on the web and heard it was dumping. Boarding the plane I felt like a little kid on Christmas eve.
It stopped snowing the day we got there. We landed in Santiago. Jet lagged and weary, we picked up the rental car, some food, and headed up the curvy road to El Colorado Ski Center. The sun was setting and spring was in full effect. High in the mountains we looked down at the city through polluted clouds. We all saw the greatest sunset of our lives that night. We snapped some photos and went to bed.
The trip was in motion, the wheels were spinning, who knew what was going to happen. No plan, no responsibilities, we were down there to take what we could get and document everything that happened. The first few days in El Colorado were completely gray bird and a tad bit icy. The snow level was especially low compared to last season. We were eager to ride and shoot. Hot laps were in full effect, we scoured the mountain for any unique features to board.
At the end of the day it was time to revisit the past. I had been thinking about this moment for a while now. We took up our last chair and headed over the the ridge above the Santa Teresa road laps. This is the run that A Rob had passed away on the previous year. On the walk out to the ridge the day was replaying in my mind. The weather was erie, broken up clouds and a soft gray light shining on the brown snow and rocks. The day felt the same as my last day shredding with A Rob. I pointed out the spot where he made his final turns. We tied a cross together out of wood, carved his name in the side, and jammed it into rock. We all sat together reflecting, no photos, no words, just silence.
Continue the story on the next page. There’s a whole new photo gallery and much more!