Sunshine Daydream - La Parva Opens Andes Competition Season
There’s a saying that if you want it to snow, you hold a freeride event. That’s only partly true. Mother Nature really doesn’t care if you host a comp or not, she does her own thing in her own style, human concerns be damned.
Because of this, perfect weather and perfect snow are elusive when it comes to on-snow circumstances: you can only plan ahead for the worst and hope for the best. But it was about the best day you could image on Sunday, August 4, when under sunny skies, the Andes freeride competition season kicked off at Chile’s La Parva ski resort on the “Triangle” venue.
Just another beautiful day in the Andes. Lots of sun, a nice asada (BBQ) and plenty of on-hill action made for a perfect day for a freeride event at La Parva.
This was the first FWQ event in La Parva’s history, despite the venerable resort having a record of hosting world-class events from FIS downhill races to slopestyle and other competitions. Given the quality of the event and the organization, hosted by Freeride Chile with support from Freeride Sudamerica, it definitely won’t be the last time the FWQ comes here. La Parva is full of freeride potential, with long natural gullies full of hips and jumps complimented by steep, rocky and complex terrain sitting high above the base area. The “Triangle” sits in the middle of both extremes, and is perfect for a 2* level event.
Best of all, with easy access for spectators and the Los Aguilas lift passing directly above the playful second section of the venue, the athletes were able to show off their skills and energy to one of the largest crowds to ever watch a ski or snowboard competition in the ski area’s history, the Chilean sunshine and warm weather complimenting the on-snow heroics perfectly.
GO! A spectator cheers on the action during the first ever FWQ competition held at Chile’s La Parva ski area.
“Really fun day, a lot of fantastic riding and the athletes were all stoked,” said Freeride Chile’s Fernando Ochagavia as the dance party kicked in after the awards were given out at the Montañes restaurant in nearby Farellones. “I’m really happy with everything.”
With the party in full swing, it was hard to look forward to tomorrow or even the next week, but after the music ended in Farellones, it’s worth remembering that the party isn’t going to stop. Next on the agenda is a 23-26 of August date at Chapelco for a 3* competition on the mountain’s epic “Back Bowl” venue. In 2017, this face saw amazing conditions and riding after weather delays stretched the event organizers to the limit.
Chilean athlete Matias Doherty spends his time coaching JR freeride athletes for Ski Club Vail. He obviously practices what he preaches, taking the 3rd spot in MN ski at La Parva with a creative, flowing line that finished with a front flip.
“I’m really excited for the rest of the Andes freeriding season,” says the Freeride World Tour’s Tom Winter. “There are great venues on tap, organizers are getting their event protocols dialed in and the athletes are skiing and riding better than ever. It’s going to be an amazing year for the Andes.”