Chile post Chile

stars in motion over the lake in Portillo, Chile

Back in North America!

I am, after a long and marvelous trip first in Chile and then Costa Rica. Not only had I the satisfaction of getting back on my downhill and super-g skis, but I also managed to extend my summer—basking in the sun and playing in the ocean waves in the tropical lands of Costa Rica. Chile was, as it always is, a wonderfully rich skiing and cultural experience. I will never get sick of that country, despite the fact that this trip was my 8th (?!) year training in the Andes. Although the skiing in Portillo and Valle Nevado was a repeat adventure, the time spent in Costa Rica was not—it was my first time visiting any Central American country. And I certainly plan on going back for more…

More on Costa Rica later, for now I want to share some words and pictures on Chile…

in front of the Octagon, set up for some DH training early in the morn’…

We headed first, as we did last year, to Portillo. It was a physical shock to my body, once again: Winter. I must say, I do quite enjoy that particular shock…even though fall is one of my favorite seasons. It is one that I would be sad to miss: anticipation in full swing, leaves falling, temperatures changing and thoughts of snow occupying my mind. Alas! It is here suddenly and I willingly embrace it. I will surely be racing soon enough…

But I feel ready. Training in Chile and New Zealand was exceptional this year, and all of the girls are skiing strong. The speed training in Portillo was fast, fun, challenging, and exciting. I even caught some footage of it on the GoPro lent to me by the ski team (thanks!) and am making a video as I type. Check in soon for a video compilation on Chile…

Portillo from the top of the Plateau chair

Portillo was beautiful and sunny almost every day—rarely did we have to rough it in the flat light, and never did we train while the snow was falling. It was practically perfect weather for training. Although it snowed over a foot one day (on a day off, as we had planned), the snow was perfect for speed training and got harder and icier every day we were out there. Actually, the day after it snowed we not only got to train downhill, but I took a few incredible powder runs off of the Cara Cara roca jack. I couldn’t have asked for a better day; pristine powder skiing and downhill training off of the same chair. Whaaaatt?!

Heinz burning one down pre-downhill training…

Though the hill wasn’t as icy and rocky as last year, it still proved to be challenging training. The elevation always gets to me, and the intensity of training on the roca jack can get anyone’s nerves firing…but the speed felt wonderful. The terrain, exposure and surrounding geography in Portillo are incomparable to anywhere else in the world. The mountain ranges, cliffs, and aura of the place are truly one of a kind. It almost feels spooky–to be in such a special place. Tio Bob’s is one of my favorite restaurants in the world; with outdoor tables atop cliffs, overlooking the lakes and peaks of the Chilean and Argentinian Andes. It is such a surreal place to eat lunch–with unbelievable views and a feeling of freedom and flight (not to mention, the deliciously GREASY fries and cheeseburgers!).

there they are–grease-balls of delight

On our last night in Portillo I ventured outdoors in the amazing light to take some pictures of stars and mountains. Here are a few of the photos I shot…

a ghostly me in front of the Octagon…

a tri-pod, high ISO and low aperture makes for easy (yet grainy) night photos

After Portillo we headed off to Valle Nevado for another week of training. The varying terrain and seemingly endless number of ski runs in Valle Nevado makes it worth going back. I only wish we had gone a couple of weeks earlier, as the snow was diminishing quickly and we barely even had enough of it to train. Nonetheless, the ski area is awesome and so different from that in Portillo that it’s nice to change the scenery up a bit and get to experience some different styles of skiing and culture that are so unique to Chile.

skis lined up for training in Valle Nevado

The Valle Nevado portion of the trip was over before I knew it…and I was headed to Costa Rica! I am going to write another post on Costa Rica because I have many more pictures and words to elucidate on the country. For now, I will leave you with a few more pictures from Chile and work on finishing my video edits of the trip. I actually took more video than I did pictures in Chile, which is unusual but was a fun way to capture my surroundings for a change. I’ll give you a taste with this time-lapse of a day on the hill…

Now, 10 days after returning home from Chile and Costa Rica, I am back in Utah for physical testing and a conditioning camp. I am already as sore as I’ve been in months, and I still have another week of hard work ahead. But Colorado is creeping up on me, and before I know it I’ll be in the starting gate in Lake Louise! I am feverishly awaiting that thrilling moment…but I know it will come soon enough. For now, it’s time to work my buns off and get in shape so I can rip while feeling agile and fierce! Check in soon for the Chile movie and more posts on Costa Rica! Enjoy the rest of the pictures. Peace and love…

after training in Portillo…finishing off the time lapse with a blah?

the Plateau chair

bunkbeds, guitar, and sun through a foggy lens

beautiful lights over Valle Nevado

a little taste of Costa Rica…more on that in the near future 🙂



About lalalaurenne

not too much to tell. I am a very boring person.
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2 Responses to Chile post Chile

  1. mum says:

    fabulous my dear. awesome photos – you do have a good eye. xo

  2. Sarah in PC says:

    Laurenne. Your Mum and Dad surely have raised a real special young lady who has learned to use her many gifts. Loved this blog – beautifully written, great photos and video showing artistry and technical knowledge, and what I perceive to be a delightful personality. Thanks for starting my morning with a smile
    Go after it this season Laurenne. I’ll be watching and cheering

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