Photos: Jeff Brockmeyer
“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to return to your seat,” was the first thing one of our filmers, who shall not be named, heard as he was so rudely awoken in his fully horizontal business class seat. “These seats cost $6,000, and if you don’t leave now, you’ll be charged upon disembarking the aircraft.” A mere 10 or so hours into our near 20-hour travel day to Valle Nevado, Chile, and things were already getting interesting. Apparently it’s frowned upon to leave economy and take an hour long snooze in an empty spot up in first. You learn something new every day.
Chile might not be on the radar of your every day rider in terms of thinking of an attainable snowboarding destination, but it should be. Combine the expansive terrain, high elevation, welcoming and interesting culture, as well as the potential for some serious pow, and you’ve got a recipe for one unforgettable trip. All it takes is a 10-ish hour flight from your most convenient hub, and then another two hours in a car, traversing around 55 hair-raising switchback turns, after which you’ll quickly find yourself 10,000 feet above sea level.
We assembled a crew of riders that we knew would be seriously stoked to take the trip. Ozzy Henning joined us from Utah, while Brady Lem made the journey with us from Southern California. Meeting up with Victor Daviet in the Santiago airport was a blessing indeed, since he was able to piece together our broken Spanish into full fledged sentences, which was incredibly helpful in terms of securing our transport up to the resort. Here’s another helpful tip: don’t eat empanadas before the drive if you are prone to any sort of motion sickness. You’ll thank us later.
Our inside man and guide to the area, Manuel Diaz, met us upon arrival at the resort and quickly took us to the goods. There were windlips and natural features galore, some fresh pow, and a park with a dedicated poma lift. Needless to stay, stoke levels were high. With the promise of pisco sours, a bit of Chilean nightlife, incredible food, wine tastings, and of course plenty of snowboarding, it was hard to convince the crew to get back on our departure flight as our time drew to a close. This journey was about taking full advantage of all the resort had to offer, both in terms of terrain and experiences, in the hopes that it’ll inspire you to dream big and send it for your next adventure.
Stay tuned for the full Valle Nevado Resort Sessions print story and video coming this December.
More about Valle Nevado: vallenevado.com
About TransWorld SNOWboarding Resort Sessions:
An evolution of our Park Sessions series, Resort Sessions brings together a group of pros to explore all aspects of a given resort. No special park features are built and no extra access is given to terrain. The goal is simply to make the most out of the same mountain anyone can ride.