This summer I ventured far down south to the land of the Andes. My friend Leo Ahrens and I boarded a plane to Santiago, Chile on July 10. After three days of canceled flights and sleeping on airport floors we were greeted with lack of luggage. Luckily Leo was randomly sitting next to his highschool janitor who offered for us to stay at her nieces apartment for the night. She fed and watered us and in the morning our bags made it and we hopped on a bus headed to Pichilemu to catch some surf for a few weeks. By the time we made it, it was dark and we realized that we had forgotten to make any reservations for a hostel. With no idea where we were walking we started down the road with a full ski bag and duffel bag each. Looking like two lost gringos a lady took pity on us and invited us into her house and offered for us to stay the night. With her lived her brother and his boy, her two daughters and one of her daughter’s daughter. ’twas a full house but it felt like a good home. Leo and I stayed up late with the younger crowed and had a conversation via broken spanish and google translate.
Three weeks later it was time to hit the road and we headed to La Parva to meet up with fellow Dubsatch crew members Carston Oliver and Eliel Hindert to partake in the Eye of the Condor film and photo contest. The Eye of the Condor is a contest that is five-day long and you have to make a five-minute edit and produce five photos. Amazingly we swept the thing winning the photo and the video aspect. Next on the trek was the Redbull Powder Disorder in Las Lenas, Argentina. The Redbull Powder Disorder is a Big Mountain competition that has man-made features involved in it. Conditions were extremely tough from high winds but the comp was pulled off. Props to Jim Jack for another great time. The road continued back to Chile for the Chilean Freeskiing Nationals at Ski Arpa. I had a near miss with a boulder on my second run but i managed to pull off 12th place. Making our way back to Santiago we parted ways after our month and a half log trip and I flew back state side to switch gear and pick up my hiking boots and backpack. After five days at home I got on a plane again and flew to Cuiaba, Brazil and started a three and a half month-long trek thru the Amazon Basin. Using canoe and foot power and battling bugs, fungus, infection and disease our twelve man group made home in the jungle. Two weeks in I got bit by a spider and the bite got infected with staph infection. Luckily I caught it in time and healed up in a month with two little scars.
December rolled around and the snow was dumping in Alaska so I called up my friends Leo Ahrens, Sam Cohen and Nate Cahoon and we set off on a camping trip in the woods of Turnagain Pass. I was all going as planned with the food and equipment packing but the morning we were planning on setting out the winds and snows picked up and it was blowing 100+ mph. We decided to press on anyways. The temps were cold, -20 Fahrenheit. It was a tough trudge in with 50+lbs sleds but after a few hours of switching off breaking trail we made it to a sheltered area and put up tents and made a snow cave. It was home for a few days. We battled the avalanche conditions for a while but ended up calling the trip off due to horrible avalanche conditions and lack of stove fuel. Back in my home town, Girdwood we thawed out and arranged a bush plane flight. The next clear and sunny day we took to the air. It’s amazing to look at the mountains from the air. The snowpack settled and became bomb proof and we got to ski all the peaks I’d dreamed about for a few years. It was a great weeks. Leo and Nate took off back to the lower forty-eight but Sammo stayed for a while to enjoy the great snow with me.
The road started to call us though so we packed up the truck and went to Mt Baker, WA to shred some epic side country. We then rolled up to Nelson, BC to stay with a few homies (PJS founder) and shred Whitewater; but then we caught wind of a comp going on at Kickinghorse so we continued north to Redbull Wrangle the Chute. I ended up taking second and Sammo took third. Stoked! We then drove back to Nelson and then continued to Montana. In Montana i caught a flight to Seattle and met up with the Tecnica/Blizzard team for a fun week of shooting powder shots. Now I am still in Seattle working on building a purse seiner fishing boat that I am working on this summer. We plan to finish in a few weeks and head of the port on the 4th of May. Its going to be a two-week motor to get to port in Whittier Alaska. Its been a great season!