Matt Philippi and the FullCircle Project shred the Andes, give back to a local community

March 20th, 2012 by

After assisting the rebuilding effort in Chile following the February 2010 earthquake and tsunami, the FullCircle Project took on its second community service project in South America—this time, in July 2011 working towards sustainable agriculture in Maras, Peru.

For those who are unfamiliar with FCP, the project is spearheaded by professional skier Matt Philippi. Following a knee injury two years ago, Philippi sought a productive way to pass the time, and the creation of FCP ensued. The idea? For Philippi to give back to some of the wonderful locales he’s been fortunate to visit as a pro skier.

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Photos courtesy FullCircle Project.

From the get-go, Philippi recruited a small group of skiers to join him in his endeavors. Amongst them, professional skiers Taylor Felton and Dan Marion, in addition to Jack Tolan who serves as music supervisor/associate producer for FCP.

The crew have documented their efforts in a series of videos. The rebuilding effort in Chile is showcased in a 30-minute documentary, and the agricultural project in Maras is currently being unveiled for the first time in a three-part web series; the first two episodes are posted below.

To give you an idea of what FCP is up to, we caught up with Mr. Philippi this morning:

450_1_0.jpgMATT, HOW’S THE SEASON GOING? Really well. I have been shooting with TGR all year. I am stoked, this I my first year working with them. I am currently on the sled mission with John Spriggs here in Jackson, WY. It is puking snow.

(Left: Maras, Peru.)

SO, FOR THOSE WHO ARE UNFAMILAR, GIVE US THE QUICK RUN DOWN ON THE FULLCIRCLE PROJECT. It is a community service and skiing trip. It is chance for the skiing community to give back to less fortunate mountain communities along the Andes. My crew and I have gone on two trips. Our first one was to Chile in August of 2010, and we helped out in the aftermath of a huge earthquake and tsunami. For our second trip, in July of 2011, we traveled to Peru to help out with a sustainable agriculture project.

AND WHAT EXACTLY DID THIS YEAR’S PROJECT ENTAIL? Well, our goal was to plant hundreds of apple trees. The apple tree orchard that we planted is part of a larger agricultural push that the town of Maras, Peru, has begun since the arrival of irrigation water from a newly constructed aqueduct. We spent 10 days in Maras and worked out in the fields, digging holes, sweating a lot, getting sun-burnt. It was a lot of work, and we were above 12,000 feet in elevation, but we got the trees in.

DO YOU HAVE PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR? We sure do. We are doing another farming project, this time in Ecuador. There was a huge volcano eruption that buried homes and farms under ash, and forced many to evacuate. Livestock and crops have been severely affected. We are going to plant a community farm using a self-sufficient farm model (known as a granja) which will help that community get back on their feet.

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ARE YOU GOING TO SKI THAT VOLCANO, TOO? Well, actually, we are looking into it.  It is a big ol’ volcano. We shall see.

WHEN CAN WE EXPECT EPISODE THREE? Next week.

FINAL THOUGHTS? I’ve got to thank the sponsors of the FullCircle Project: Marker/Volkl, Bollé and DNA. I am psyched that these companies have helped us give back. And also check out TheFullCircleProject.com for more. For now, it’s a sunny powder day, I’m off to Mosquito Creek with Spriggs. Oh, Lordy.

FullCircle, Peru Project Episode 1: Arriving in Maras

 

FullCircle, Peru Project Episode 2: The crew digs in, then heads for the hills.

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About the author:
Henrik Lampert loves hot dogs, the Boston Bruins and Norway. He's the Online Editor here at Freeskier.