Road Report 1: Liberty in Valle Nevado, Chile
Road Report: Liberty Skis in Valle Nevado, Chile. The storm trickles in, almost an afterthought, unseen from above, rising in a swelling tide of moisture and fog out of the valley. The clouds lift, as a solid, blotting out the landcape, the ridges, the mountains and finally the sky. Then comes the snow, tiny flakes, trickling down, slowly at first, then faster, and faster still. The storm isn’t predicted to be large, but at this point, it doesn’t matter. Liberty Skis has been here, in Chile’s best resort, Valle Nevado, for only two days. And now, our third day looks to be a powder day. Valle Nevado sprawls across an Andean landscape of rocky ridges, steep gullies and rounded peaks. The mountain seems unassuming, groomed runs spilling off of high points, with surface lifts accessing remote ridges. But looks can be deceiving. Hidden windlips offer the chance for massive airs, huge cliffs lurk just out of bounds and high traverses access steep chutes. It’s this terrain that has drawn us here: a mix of the expected and the impossible. The doable and the obscenely dangerous. A proving ground for dreams and a nightmare if you miss a turn over exposure. Valle is the real deal. But two days in, we’re still dreaming, getting our legs back, and merely scoping the more intense lines. They’ll have to wait until we work our way back into skiing shape. For now, it’s enough to savor the slow falling snow and think of tomorrow.