Well, we have arrived in Chile and what a first day. After one of the mellowest plane rides down, we pulled in early morning. Cold and foggy, it was quite a bit different to the 104 degrees in Dallas, Texas. Of course my clothes bag never showed up and neither did my brothers snowboard bag. We were off to a good start.

At the airport we met everyone including our other friends from Europe. They told us that today there was a Big Air contest downtown. What a day to show up. After fighting to get 10 people’s gear in the rental van and us included, we waddled in to check out the contest. We were overloaded. Our group consisted of: Lukas Huffman, Shandy Campos, Jon Cartwright, Jonaven Moore, Victoria Jealouse, Chris Ebby, Kurtis Croy and wife Virginia, and our organizer/filmer/safety guide/driver and translator Travis Robb. Basically he was essential to be here. Chris and Virginia were skiing and Kurtis and Travis were gonna film and shoot it. The rest of us were shredding.

So at the contest Lukas, Shandy, Jon, Jonaven and I all entered and got our gear on and checked it out. The jump was pretty small and the QP at the bottom was pretty non-existent. Funny set up all the way around: sketchy scaffolding and slow snow.

There was like 33 dudes entered. Mostly Chileans and a few Europeans were in it. It was fun all around though. We had a couple qualifying runs and then they took the top 8 and they got 1 run each. The 2 best went head to head for a 1 run battle. Winner got $5000 US and they both got a Phillips flat screen TV Phillips was the main sponsor. In the end Lukas Goller won it with a sick cab 540 backside grab held all the way poked and Pascal Imhoff got second.

Lukas and Jonaven also made it to the semis but didn’t get the lucky draw of the 2 guys. After all of us were mobbed by little Chilean kids wanting any shirt, beanie, goggles or stickers, it was time to go and get a hotel.

At this point we have been up for about 30 hours so we needed a second wind or else the night would have stopped. A good shower and a change of clothes and we were ready to party. It was 1:30 AM.

After some hassle we found an area full of bars and restaurants. Pisco and Cokes were being poured and the night or morning was flying by. At about 6 AM we got back to the hotel for a sleep before we packed up again. Now we’re driving to Termas de Chillan to start our intended snowboard adventure.

P.S. from Lukas

Wow, we just got to stretch our legs after an eleven-hour trip from Santiago to Termas de Cheon. We managed to fit ten people and enough gear to start a small snowboard/ski distribution in our pint sized van. It’s my first time in Chile these are a few things that struck my attention; first, the Chilean economy and standard of living is not on par with that of North America. That means a lot of shantytowns (plywood walls, dirt floors, and corrugated tin roofs), as well as lots of trash mingling around. This was cool; kite flying is a little bit of a pastime. All along the road there are small walls of kites for sale. In the fields it was like kite fest 2000; ton’s of people letting their kites hang out in the wind. Now Chilean wine and sleep. The ice man cometh.

Quotables

“I love the fact that it is Chilean custom to kiss girls you meet on both cheeks. ” – Jon Cartwright.

I never sit on public toilet seats” – Victoria after paying 30 cents to use the can.

“Those shoes aren’t allowed in here” – said to Jonaven by a bouncer at the club we tried to get in.

“It’s quite similar to jumping over a barnyard” – Lukas Huffman in reference to the Big Air jump and hay bales lining the deck.