Yeseras, Adrenalina

My fifth day back on skis. Nothing like an early wakeup and over 1800 meters of climbing to get back up to speed. Well, at least I get to ski down all that…hopefully.

I woke to the howling of the wind at 4:45. With a long day in the office to look forward to, a delicious, traditional Argentine breakfast was prepared: cheap hot dogs, scrambled eggs, stale toast.

Scope shot through the clouds. Our line was straight down the gut.

Ready to go, we ran into a slight delay: the ski room was locked. We got lucky here. Despite both doors being locked, the window was left wide open. Only in South America. A quick climb through it to pass gear out, and the technical crux of the day was over. We woke Matthias and were walking out of town before the sun rose.

Lee and Matthias climb with Cerro Lenas in the background

Things went about as smoothly as they could for the next six hours or so. There was some boot packing over scree, light winds, great views, and of course a little getting lost.

Got wind?

Lee hiking far ahead, as usual

Sastrugi supplied some sketchy skinning

Finally at the top, we took in the view, transitioned, and got to go skiing. Cartón, powder, corn, it was a long ski down that had it all. As fun as the steeps are, I was glad our line was more flat, and provided a nice, long ski out. After hiking all morning, it was great to link together so many turns. We Canadiened after the first pitch and were walking home by four.

Turns, finally!

Matthias enters the choke

Nice and wind buffed

More nice turns

Walking home after a solid day

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The first few days of skiing here did not suck. In fact, they were pretty good. I’m not witty enough to do much aside from let the pictures do the talking.

Headed to Torrecillas

Lee reaping the benefits of switchbacks

Mike Uhrin

Spines and spires: the name of the game here


Lido, the last line of a great introduction to Las Lenas 

South America: Primera Impresión

Long gone are the lazy days of swatting horseflies and drinking beer in an Adirondack chair. The call of snow-covered peaks is loud and clear.

A couple of cracked out travel days through a country where gestures and broken inglés are the only form of communication, and somehow I found the correct apartment in Las Leñas.

Las Le?as...close enough

It was a classic hit the ground running approach to going skiing again. Weather was good and there was a new backyard to explore. Muscles that hadn’t been used since Alaska grew tired quickly and said “no”, but the brain, wide awake with a fresh taste of adrenaline, said “more”.

A rare inversion in the valley

Long days in the cold were melted away with an old wine barrel hot tub and sauna sessions passing beer amongst people that understood the universal language of a good day in the mountains. The all too familiar raspy asthmatic cough has returned. With it, the great feeling of being back at it.