5 Moments in Chile
Life is a series of moments. Cliche, but true. The key seems to be choosing the correct action at the correct moment.
A recent trip to Chile, with the K2 team, reminded me of this fact. There were more than a few good moments, some questionable decisions and a 5,000 foot shot of powder in August. All in all, Portillo was a series of moments worth recounting. Here are five to give you the flavor.
Boulder, Colorado. Freeskier offices. On the phone with Jeff Mechura, Global Brand Director for K2: Should I stay or should I go? The middle of August is, ironically, a very busy time in the ski magazine biz. Justifying an international ski jaunt was a little tough – but I decided to go. This was the correct action. I want to slap myself in the face for ever considering bailing out.
Seat 7B, American flight 945, Dallas to Santiago: Should I drink more on the plane or go to sleep? I decided to go to sleep. In retrospect, I wish I had drank more and caused a scene in First Class. It’s not often that I get to fly in style – I should have taken advantage of the free drinks. I decided to take advantage of the fully reclining seats. This was, debatably, the correct action.
Room 334 Portillo, Chile: Opening my eyes on the second morning. Not only was I horribly hungover from the night before with the K2 crew. I was sucked into drinking some heinous aquavit concoction with Seth, shots with Mechura and a bunch of other alcoholic beverages that escape my already limited powers of recollection. But inadvertently opening my eyes as Derek Taylor, Editor of Powder magazine and my roommate, made his dash from shower into his ski gear – well that was a bad decision. Getting a buddy’s full moon at the top of the morning can only add to an already painful headache. Trust me. Horrifying. I cant even read Powder magazine anymore without feeling wrong and uncomfortable. Incorrect action, at an inopportune moment.
Following Seth on a 3 hour walkabout in the Andes, above mostly cliffed-out terrain,looking for a route down. Some might say this was the wrong decision – but I think everyone involved was glad we made the effort. Apparently Anthony DeRocco, K2 VP of Product and general instigator, is famous for this type of boondoggle. I applaud his philosophy of ‘just go and figure it out.’ So even though we hiked for hours over mud, rock, long cliffed-out traverses and had mild success in finding anything good to ski – it was the right decision.
Watching Seth and Pep blow by our group on a 2500 foot climb to Super C. Call it or continue? Was it really going to be worth it? I sat at a small saddle with Tim Petrick, K2 VP of Sales, and Derocco watching Seth and Pep, with their skis slung casually over their shoulders,like they were headed for a beer, head to the top. We were debating on whether or not to hike the remaining 1,000 feet to an uncertain goal or ski what we had in front of us: 1500 feet of fun corn. We opted for the uncertainty, at DeRocco’s urging I’m sure, and were rewarded with a 5,000 foot Super C full of mid-winter conditions. Shin and knee high pow turns in August? This was the right decision and the best of the short jaunt to South America.
Awesome trip to Portillo and thanks K2!