This trip was ten years in the coming for me. Getting the right person, at the right time in the right place proved difficult. I picked up work in Brazil this summer and travelled from there to meet Michelle in Bariloche. From there we followed the snow along with many other fellow skiers who we crossed paths with several times in both Argentina and Chile. The light, the wind, the ruggedness and most of all the friendly people made this trip one that will guarantee I go back.  Ski South America-12

Michelle walking through the steam at the top of the volcano Llaima (3180m).
Ski South America-10

Michelle riding down our first volcano together – Villarrica near Pucon, Chile.
Ski South America-19

The mythical Frey hut and Cerro Catedral. The friendly guardians created a chilled atmosphere that had me coming back again and again.Ski South America-29

Brody Levan in the North East Couloir of Lanin on the border of Chile – Argentina. SAMSUNG CSCMe riding amongst the spires of Cerro Catedral.

Ski South America-24

The primordial landscape and lava flows below Lanin.Ski South America-7

Local graffiti art seemed very appropriate at this point in the trip when planet Earth had so much to offer.

Ski South America-11This striking landscape of snowcapped volcanoes whose lower reaches are blanketed in auraucaria (monkey puzzle) forests.

SAMSUNG CSCIce skates and hockey sticks hang from the roof of the Frey hut providing the guardians with some pre-snow entertainment on the frozen lake.

Ski South America-26Sunrise at the RIM26 mountain shelter on the side of the volcano Lanin. This ex-military installation was nothing more that a basic concrete shelter but it offered much welcome respite from the wind.  We shared a night there with fellow skiers Adam Clarke and Brodie Leven. We had hired synthetic sleeping bags that were almost as big as my rucksac and weighed as much as my skis, but their warmth was welcome.

Ski South America-25

Ski South America-16Ridge line scrambling – Cerro Catedral.

Ski South America-22Michelle letting rip in Bariloche backcountry.

Ski South America-14More Patagonian powder. Michelle near Bariloche.

Ski South America-32Evening light on Llaima. Me skiing.

Ski South America-30Lanin’s North East CouloirSki South America-20

Golden spires of immaculate granite.Ski South America-27The Chilean lake district laid out below Lanin.

Ski South America-28Brody threading the rock bands on the steep North east Couloir of Lanin.

Ski South America-5Going back for more – as you can see from the tracks our first run in Laguna was pretty good. Ski South America-21More wall art.

Ski South America-9Rime ice from the volcano.

Ski South America-6Tree balls.SAMSUNG CSC

Ski South America-23Lanin.

Ski South America-18Central Couloir, Cerro Catedral.Ski South America


One of my favourite spots we got to on our trip.

Ski South America-3

We almost didn’t go this day, turned out alright.Ski South America-17Evening ski, Central Couloir, Cerro Catedral.Ski South America-4Ski South America-2Ski South America-8Ski South America-15Happy days.



  1. Wow, you got to go to Refugio Frey, I am so jealous, it’s on my dreamlist!

    Michelle, I’m Ryan’s (Van der Riet) friend… you and I skied in Morzine for the day a couple of year’s ago. Let me know if you’re in the Southern Alps this season, I’ll be knocking around La Grave and Tignes. Plus I really do need to pick your brains about Patagonia!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: