Southern Comfort Part Five: Ah, Wine Tasting

We are really settling into things in Valle Nevado. We just got back from a delightful fondue (including chocolate for desert) meal at the Swiss restaurant located here at the top of the world. The scene is quite different from the rest of Chile. Valle Nevado plays host to the upper crust of the upper crust from around the world. Most of the guests we have encountered are English speaking and have the wealth to hang in the lavish accommodations provided.

What are we doing here? Shin and I have hooked up with the internationally flavored Nitro crew; representing Italy is Lukas Goller and Riky Felderer our group photographer. Then from France is Guillome Chastagnol along with group organizer/pervert, Regis La Bonne. Regis has many French ami’s who basically run the snowboard show at Valle Nevado, and have for many years. They hooked us with some sort of a bargain admits the fat wallets that perminates this place. We are taking some pictures for the Nitro catalog and have somehow swindled ourselves into this balling situation.

The previous two days have been chalk full of crappy weather. That leaves us to looking forward to the eating, which is the culinary equivalent of Jamie Lynn doing a backside air (real sweet). There are foreign theme restaurants, Italian, French, Swiss, and Chilean. We are talking about buffets loaded with salmon pate, caviar, chronic cheese, and oysters just to name a few; which are followed by main courses like wild boar and king crab.

Another dirtbag snowboard trip.

Last night’s activity was a wine tasting workshop. We learned how to fully enjoy a wine. Indulge all five senses; look at it’s color, smell it’s aroma, feel it roll over your tongue, taste it on your palate, and listen to the ring as you toast your amigos. We’ve been living some sort of rapper’s delight, a lot different than the shantytowns that line the road up here.

Oh, we are snowboarders on a snowboard trip. That brings us to today’s activities. Finally the weather broke, exposing a foot or so of wind blown snow. The Euros had a hip jump all prepped from the other day, so all we had to do was dust off the run in and it was on. The hip sent us about fifteen feet up, thirty-five feet down, and the best part was the steep powder touch down. (See photos). We had a sweet session with some stomped seven’s, a Mctwist, and kidney jarring slams. I even got numb fingers and snow down my longjohns. (Something for you summer burnt keeners to ponder). It’s quite a scene for the thirtieth of August. This mountain is huge and I’ll tell you it is a lung stretching sensation to be hiking a kicker at a dry eleven thousand feet.

The Valle Nevado sunset.

We ended the day with a sensational sunset. The white mountains go pink and the smog of Santiago light up like a lava lamp. We seem to have gone from rags to riches!

“We brought snowboarding to Chile”- Our French hook-ups who run the snowboard school and heliing. (Beb,Francois, and Jean Robert)

“There is happy hour in 15 minutes; Brazilian fiesta” – Regis trying to persuade us to go out yet again.

“The wind was perfect today”- Guillome after a day of kite boarding. Bad weather equals kiting.

“Jeez, we are getting fat”- Luke and Shin after another 5 star meal.