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Big September in the Andes

After a successful early August 2* FWQ event at the Chilean skiing and snowboarding paradise of La Parva, freeriding action returns to the Andes with a rescheduled 3* Chapelco, Argentina event the first week of September, followed by 2* events in Chile at Antillanca and Corralco to wrap up the South American season.

Chapelco returns in 2018 as an upgraded 3* event on the “Back Bowls” venue after success at the 2* level. Last year’s competition remains a highlight of freeride in the Andes, with weather delays giving way to untouched powder and blue skies as athletes enjoyed perfect conditions. This year organizers again have faced the fickle nature of Mother Nature, with the event having to be rescheduled from an August timeslot to the new September timeframe of September 2 to 5.

With multiple line choices, playful windlips and cliffs both big and small, the Chapelco venue offers something for every style of riding and allows athletes to express their full creativity and style. The upgraded 3* status for 2018 makes this event the highest ranked competition in the Andes and a highlight of the season for both local and visiting competitors. Add in the hospitality of event organizer Pablo Torres Mash and his team, and the experience for all who are lucky enough to attend promises to be unforgettable.

September sees the FWQ Andes competition season head south to Chapeclo, Argentina and Antillanca, Chile, where volcanoes dominate the landscape and wild, remote mountains are the stuff that freeride dreams are made of.

Next, the freeride circus moves to the uniquely special charms of Antillanca for a September 7 to 9 event. Words are perhaps inadequate to describe the haunting beauty of this remote ski area, nestled on the flanks of the Casablanca Volcano. Anchored by a historic and rustic base lodge, where conversation comes easily and friendships that last forever are formed, Antillanca’s terrain is a combination of vast open powder fields, long ridges and The Crater, an interesting and flowy venue that provides plenty of room for the athletes to showcase their talent.

Antillanca is special in every way,” says Freeride Chile’s Fernando Ochagavia. “The mountain, the forest and the lodge, all in a remote and special place, the gateway to Patagonia and a landscape of changing contrasts, emotions and light. Antillanca is a place at the edge of the imagination, a unique destination for freeriders that is guaranteed to create memories that last a lifetime.”

While there is no doubt that it will be difficult for some to depart the hidden paradise of Antillanca, the final FWQ Andes event from 28 to 30 of September at Corralco beckons.

Located at the doorway to Patagonia, Chile’s Antillanca ski area is a unique destination with dramatic landscapes that capture the imagination.

Quickly becoming an important destination for international ski teams and professional athletes who take advantage of the unparalleled late-season snow and weather conditions, Corralco provides the perfect finale for the Andes freeriding season with an open, playful venue, modern facilities. The quality of the experience here is thanks to General Manager Jimmy Ackerson, a transplanted gringo who has taken this small ski area into the big time with ambitious event programming and athlete hosting, top notch customer service and an appreciation and understanding that the terrain here has great potential for freeriding.

The qualities of Corralco are easily seen from the base, where it is possible to plan off-piste adventures to the top of Volcan Lonquimay or fantasize about the playful ridges, bowls and windlips that dominate the terrain. For athletes, Corralco is a friendly playground, with endless possibilities, friendly hospitality and the perfect punctuation point to end another wonderful freeriding season in the Andes.

The final FWQ competition of the Andes season is hosted by Corralco. This special destination is a world dominated by 1000-year-old araucaria trees and the Lonquimay Volcano, which offers unique off-piste and ski mountaineering opportunities.

IMPORTANT UPDATES

It has been announced that the inscription fee for Chapelco ($130) includes a three-day lift ticket. In addition, accommodations for athletes at The Sherpa have been discounted 10%, for a rate of 450 pesos/night (approximately $14.00 USD). Contact The Sherpa info@sherpahostel.com more information and to make your booking.

Discounted accommodations for athletes at Antillanca have been announced. The rate is $60 USD per night and includes a daily lift ticket, breakfast and dinner. Contact Fernando@freeridechile.com for more information.

All photos © Freeride Sudamerica 2018