We’ve been getting hit hard down here – the storm they call Santa Rosa. It’s hard to say how much snow has fallen over the past ten days. It came with a lot of wind. Probably three meters at the base, twice that at the summit. Not much riding going on. Got to the top one day, but it was a white out. Clearing slightly today, enough to see the debris of a slide that swept the whole face of the resort. Two are dead this morning and at least two, maybe three, lifts are down. Such a beautiful day, too. Another storm off the coast of Chile could be even bigger. Don’t expect to ride much; it will take a while to stabilize. I will try to send photos, but not much to see, really. Everything is buried.

9/9/99


A better day today, in weather and spirits. High pressure came in last night and it was clear all day. People coming out of their holes. Amazing what a bit of sun can do. So, nice views, but not much else. The resort is basically a wreck, trying to get it together. I thought about leaving, but the road to Portillo is closed. A 400 meter by eight meter deep avalanche took it out. There were no buses in or out of here anyway. We made the most of it, though. Hiked a little pitch at the base, maybe 300 vert. They’re bombing again and I didn’t see anything big come down. The top could be open in a day or two – its a different aspect than where the big slide was. We’re all on our toes, even moving around the base of the resort. Met this guy who survived the “Alive” plane crash, scars to prove it. Amazing place to be all considered. Spectacular mountains. It’s 9 p.m. same day as you. I’m going to get some soup. Write again tomorrow.

The Saga Continues

It was a small window. Snowing again today. Went for a short hike before breakfast, just a few turns. Wind-packed and variable. The guy IÕve been traveling with started out at 5 a.m. and made it to some good snow at sunrise. The weather didnÕt really come in until 9 or so. Lots of new people in town, mostly for the South American Extremes that (are supposed to) start this week. The high lift hasnÕt been open, they were working on it today. Who knows when it might open. ItÕs hard to get any good information about anything. No one knows the weather. I wanted to go to Portillo on my way back to Santiago, but word is the pass wonÕt be open Ôtill next week. I guess the airport in Buenos Aires is somewhat open since the plane crash. IÕm not too excited to fly back over the AndesÑa seriously rugged flight. Evan during the good weather itÕs tough to hold down the milanesa (South American version of chicken fried steak). Hoping I can get a bus out tommorow and start the multi-day mtion sickness test. Everyone who has been here is ready to bail after seeing the snow again. The one day we had we couldnÕt ride. WeÕve been caged for two weeks. IÕd actually like to get down to La Pampa and just check out something different. This is my last message.