2018 FWQ Andes season in the books!
Storms and sun. Snow and slush. New friends and old acquaintances. And another amazing season in the Andes, full of memories, emotions, mountains and snow, and plenty of freeriding. That’s the verdict from the 2018 Andes Freeriding season, as the weather gave athletes a bit of everything but successful nonetheless as all competitions went off despite delays and weather challenges and the endless roads into snow-covered mountains saw new friendships formed while old bonds were strengthened.
With the Andes FWQ season now in the rear-view mirror after a fantastic finish at Corralco, there are some moments that stand out.
Photo © Freeride Sudamerica: Flipping out! Chase Samuels won the first FWQ comp of the year in the Andes, a sun-filled festival of freeriding at the venerable ski area of La Parva. His brother Holden would also end up taking the win in the men snowboard category with a run that featured - surprise - another backflip.
La Parva. It’s hard to describe this diverse and playful mountain in words. Perched high above Santiago, it’s possible to be slaying powder while looking down at the skyscrapers that punctuate the city’s center. Down there people are working hard, sitting in front of computers or stuck in traffic. Here, high above it all, La Parva hosted the first FWQ event in the ski area’s history on an interesting venue that saw USA athletes and brothers Holden and Chase Samuels take first in their respective categories of mens snowboard and ski, both runs featuring back flips. Wonderful.
Photo © Freeride Sudamerica: Meat. Vegetarians beware on trips to Argentina where "asados" (BBQs) are a fact of life and provide the centerpiece of food, wine and beer-fueled gatherings where friendships that last a lifetime are formed.
Argentina. Asados and cervezas. Snow, slush and short weather windows. All of it came together in one glorious moment at Chapelco as the Back Bowl venue hosted yet another unforgettable event during a week of storms when it seemed like the sun would never shine again.
Best of Chapelco 2018
The Crater. Antillanca served up some of the most challenging weather events organizers experienced in 2017. But in 2018 the mountain and Mother Nature decided to play nice, with the unique and amazing The Crater venue hosting its first freeride event ever in perfect conditions.
Photo © Freeride Sudamerica: A view of Lonquimay near the ski area of Corralco. Easy access and interesting terrain coupled with recent snowfall made the last stop of the 2018 FWQ competition season in the Andes a special one, with a hike-to venue that challenged competitors.
One big volcano: There are plenty of hike-to FWQ venues around the world, but none of them are quite like Lonquimay. This impressive mountain rises above the ski area of Corralco, a big beautiful freeride paradise, with a bit of everything: chutes, wide-open powder faces, cliffs, gullies, bowls. You name it, it’s there. And what better way to close out the Andes FWQ season than to hike to the top of this peak for the chance to ride down this special venue and close out the season in the sun?