Zion National Park
Metres of powder – elevation 4000m 13,000ft Coordinates -33 21′ 4.24″, -69 59′ 46.42″ Andes, Chile
Helicopter rotor sound, “the mountains are speaking to us”, followed a sentence describing an aerial shot flying over the mountain. If you put enough work in, places that everyone sees as dangerous, become normal. “Let me take you to the mountain, 5,4,3,2,1”
Riding steep spines in the Andes, dodging exposed rocks, carving down a 40 degree slope with 30cm of fresh snow.
The latitude is 10° N. to 57° S. The longitude is 70° W. to 80° E. The Andes Mountains are the longest and one of the highest mountain ranges in the world. They are located in South America and stretch 4,500 miles from north to south, along the west coast of the continent.
All that could be heard was the whirring rotor sound of the helicopter as we ascended Ritacuba Blanco to 5,000m. We were now only 410 metres short of the summit, as we were above 13,000 feet now avalanche warnings had been put in place by the local Andes authorities. The combination of high altitude and a slope of greater than 40° poses what most would view as a threat, I simply saw it as another hurdle to leap in order to reach the ethereally famed powder on
Myself and Isana dropped in first, and, one by one, we each followed, descending into a kind of dream state of the perfect snowboard run that never ends. The jitters of dropping into such a steep couloir subsided as we entered three narrow couloirs descending towards the mountains basin. The white, soft powder pillows dissipated as we entered the Northern afternoon shadows. They say that, true adventures have a calling from within, in moments like these I believed this.
Among the peaks, pillow and powder it became easy to forget the societal expectations.