Will Wesson in South America
This summer, pro skier Will Wesson had the opportunity to coach at Evolve Camps in Nevados de Chilln, Chile. His week trip suddenly turned into a monthlong adventure, with a week in Chile and three weeks in Argentina. Here are a few photos taken by Wesson throughout his trip.
Nevados de Chillán
Nevados de Chilln, Chile, was my first stop in South America. I coached a week at Evolve Camps alongside my friends KC Deane and Brady Perron. Nevados de Chilln has some of the most playful terrain on the planet, with natural jumps of all shapes and sizes.
Moss-covered forest and dense Chusquea culeou (a type of bamboo) dominate the lower half of Nevados de Chilln, Chile, and Cerro Catedral, Argentina. Most other ski areas in South America are above treeline and less likely to open on storm days. In Chile, Evolve coach Brady Perron (pictured) and I explored the trees looking for spaces to jump through.
Villarrica Lake, Chile, is one of the places I passed on a bus from Puerto Montt, Chile, to Bariloche, Argentina. The bus system in Chile and Argentina is very affordable compared to flying, and surprisingly comfortable. All in all, I spent about 50 hours and traveled roughly 2,200 miles on buses during my one-month stay.
My first day in Argentina was sunny and warm with no snow in sight on the lower half of the mountains. Lucky for me, weather changes extremely fast in Patagonia and a storm quickly rolled in. Three days later, we were skiing trees that were previously in dirt.
Cerro Catedral, Argentina, has amazing views in every direction. On the right, riding the Del Bosque lift, looking down to Gutirrez Lake. On the left, Mauri Cambilla hikes out of bounds to vast backcountry options. Below, my shadow and a panorama from the top of the Tage chutes.
Argentina's 12th Mountain Infantry Regiment is stationed in Bariloche and regularly trains on the mountain at Cerro Catedral. We frequently came across the regiment hiking and practicing building snow shelters in the trees.
It snowed for three days straight shortly after I arrived in Argentina. I had no idea what to expect, but luckily longtime friend Garrett Russell (bottom left) and local legend Mauri Cambilla (center) showed me (bottom right) around the mountain. Skiing powder with the SGT crew was a welcome change from my usual park and handrails.
Mauri Cambilla takes his first run of the day at Cerro Catedral, Argentina. Mauri is one of the few people I know who follow an endless-winter lifestyle. When the South American season ends, he moves to Whistler, British Columbia, and starts the North American year. As soon as that's over, he goes back south.
Murals and street art were very common in every city I visited in South America. This mural is in Bariloche, Argentina, where I spent the majority of my trip. It's just up the road from the town square that looks out on the famous Nahuel Huapi Lake.