Freeride Competitions in South America
Let’s go to a place with the most earthquakes and volcanoes to hike a volcano in the snow and compete down the face!
That’s exactly what happened when myself Nicholas Acord & Nicholas Pajor decided to attend two competitions in Chile this past August. We took three flights and drove 13 hours to get to the first destination Nevados De Chillan. The Chillan Competition was canceled due to weak snow layers and bad weather conditions. The peak we were supposed to ride was a smoking volcano not a lot of smoke more like steam but still the smell of sulfur and frost in the morning was a reality check. Nevados De Chillan was an amazing resort from steep volcano peaks to jungle tree runs we rode it all.
We stayed in a hostel with our hostess Maria she would make us breakfast every morning which came with a Spanish lesson before we rode each day. Once she took us on a hike through the jungle to visit her favorite nearby waterfall. We would frequently go to a nearby city called Chillan to shop and explore the culture of Chile. After a week of riding Chillan and staying at the hostel we waxed are boards, packed our gear in the car and said our goodbyes.
It was a six-hour drive to the next destination Antillanca Ski Resort “Entrance to Patagonia”! We stayed in a nice private cabana right on Lake Puyehue. From the cabana we had a thirty-minute drive around the lake through the jungle on a dirt road to reach Antillanca. There was going to be two events at Antillanca because of the cancelation in Chillan. Back to back competitions in the same week!
We had every type of weather you could imagine in Patagonia rain, snow, sleet. With the mixed conditions, weak snow layers and limited visibility on the face, the judges were frantically trying to find a location within the perimeter of the Antillanca to host the event. The whole week was bad weather the event kept getting pushed back every day, the location changed every day, but we stuck it out!
The competition finally happened, and we were stoked! The event took place inside the resort on a very low angle run with multiple cat tracks cutting through the face. Again, with low visibility we sat at the top waiting for the clouds to press back. We all made it down to party that night and the local drink was the pisco sours.
With one day of rest/ inspection runs we were competing again. All the riders began to gather at the top lodge, the location was announced and we all started to hike the ridge line. The venue was smaller than we usually ride but still fun. We all made it down the mountain to meet in the lodge for awards. We said are good byes to all our new friends in Chile and flew back to the United States the next day.
Chile is a great place to visit especially for a winter trip, the people are great, the food is amazing and the riding was all time. Plus, it was snowboarding in August.
Thanks for reading!
All the best,