Crushing It Outside Portillo, Chile

Posted By: The Ski Channel on August 15, 2012 4:10 am

The first trip of my season in Chile is all wrapped up.  I am out of the mountains, preparing for the upcoming trips, and it’s raining in the valley.  Snow in the mountains!  Finally.  We really do need it.  But even in some of the driest conditions I have ever seen, we did manage a great trip.

I have been skiing with Nick and Chris Post for eight years now.  Nick is now seventeen, and Chris is fourteen.  The first time I took Chris up the famed, five-person poma lift called the Roca Jack his feet didn’t stay on the snow for the entire ride.  The terrain within the boundaries of Portillo was enough to exhaust both boys by lunch.  Eight years later, the resort is child’s play to both of them, and we spend our days hiking and skinning beyond the boundaries in search of the goods.  This year we really had to search; but most days we found reward! 

Here are some of the highlights:

Nick and Chris put their skins on. On this day, the lift that serves some great terrain was closed because the conditions were too hard. We put on skins and worked our way out-of-bounds, to find some pretty good snow.


This is the “pretty good snow” we found! There wasn’t a ton of it, but when you’re starving even the smallest morsel of goodness is rewarding.


Long arcs in the snow are a sign that things are going well. Here Chris shows the confidence to let ‘em run a little because he’s not worried about hitting some funny crust. This was a highlight of the trip.


The weather warmed up, and some of the snow softened. This inspired exploration by the lake. It’s amazing how pristine it feels just a few minutes from the ski resort.


This is beyond a run called Primavera. This aspect gets great corn late in the morning. This was probably our longest pitch of the trip – more than 1000 vertical of creamy, spring snow.

It was not the easiest guiding job  I have ever had.  It’s nice when you feel like you can’t lose.  This trip was certainly not that way.  But the boys get bigger and stronger every year, and are willing to go a little further and higher.  They crushed it this year!  I am proud of them for their efforts, and can’t wait to get out with them again.  Nice work boys!