It’s day seven at Las Lenas for our crew of Chad Otterstrom, Stacy Thomas, Dan Brisse, Drew Fuller, and Dave Short. None of us have ever been to Las Lenas, much less Argentina before. The first three days of the trip were epic: sunshine, a couple feet of light powder, and the Marte lift accessing the gnar terrain open and running. We signed out of the backcountry gate, hiking up to the top of Cerro Martin, an air-gasping trek for the crew up to the 10,000-foot summit but worth every step for the deep late-August pow turns.
The next two days we found long lines off Cerro Los Fosiles-another hike-to zone, but along a ridge, not up it. Just about at the time that we started taking these epic pow turns, slashers, cliffs, and Brisse’s untracked “Cool-Rs” for granted, the Andes fan kicked on blowing all the snow off the mountain, leaving behind fields of scree and slopes of chalk and ice. Which brings us to the last four days. Out came the shovels and creativity. The crew got some airtime over rivers and rock gaps. Downtime was spent staring at each other in our cramped two-bedroom apartment. It was actually roomy and luxurious compared to the hardcore riders who come down here for the season, sleeping ten deep in two bedroom apartments, and choosing icicle beards and Gore-Tex wardrobes over suntans and boardshorts.
This is about when things started getting more disco. The discos open at 2:00 a.m. so the challenge is to plan your afternoon around going out that night, well for us rookies anyway. Siesta in the afternoon, a late dinner, more downtime until you feel like going to bed, and then at about 1:00, out comes the pre-party, and off to the disco until 5:00 a.m. Obviously this is a baaaad schedule to get in to if you’re here to shred. Drew Fuller is the only one in the crew to manage both the South American and the North American lifestyles-probably a first.
The last few days have featured light snowfall with flat light conditions, we moved away from the resort to our new cozy Hostel home run by Jose. Today was sunny but too windy for the Marte to open. Let’s hope the stars align for our last two days. Asado tonight at the Hostel!
Thanks to www.southamericaski.com for arranging accommodations and transfers and to Diego Lozano for hanging with us gringos.