Photo Gallery: Moss Halladay & Charlie Hoch shred the south
When Moss Halladay and I first proposed the idea to go to South America to shred for a month, we thought it would be a fun, exciting adventure. Soon after we landed in Argentina, the few hundred dollars in our pockets seemed to have vanished. From visas to bus tickets and food, we found ourselves almost out of money before the trip really started. But this didn’t set us back as a feeling of excitement quickly kicked in; and though we were nervous about the month ahead, the dreams of riding deep powder during the summer kept us motivated. Roughly fifty hours of travel had passed from when we boarded the plane in Dallas to when we arrived in Bariloche, Argentina. Immediately, both culture shock and jet lag set in, but our motivation and stoke levels were high as we were ready to take on the foreign land. We were lucky enough to be invited to stay with the Sass Global Travel crew (SGT) for the first five nights in Argentina. They were super hospitable and made the transition into another country an easy one. SGT’s camp is located at the base of Cerro Catedral and is the perfect place to wind down and mellow out after a long day of shredding, or, in our case, traveling across the globe. The first night we were there snow started to blanket the slopes of Catedral, and the daunting fact of having no money left over for lift tickets started to set in. With the little Spanish that we spoke, it was difficult to score some comped lift tickets, so our splitboards became our only option to shred. If you’re going to South America on a budget the splitboard is an absolute must have in your quiver. Most of the locals won’t bother hiking away from the chair lifts and the splitboard is the essential tool to seeking out sick, untracked terrain. Over the next two weeks, Moss and I absorbed the local culture while exploring the vast terrain of Cerro Catedral and Cerro Bayo. The views throughout Patagonia have a somewhat eerie, prehistoric feel to them. The tall, rugged peaks along side massive, tropical-looking lakes make for a dramatically unexplored atmosphere. We were in search of first descents and big lines but due to the dramatic weather changes in Cerro Bayo, we weren’t able to reach all the goals we had set for this portion of the trip. But now we know were these areas are, which makes us that much more prepared to go back and really attack the region. Sad to leave our Argentinian friends, we boarded another bus for a twenty-hour journey to Chile. This last minute and final adventure of our trip landed us in Portillo, Chile for a week. Portillo is a magical little place embedded within 13,000-foot peaks right on the boarder or Argentina and Chile. Big lines were in sight but unfortunately we were plagued with low snow (38-inch base) and nothing promising in the forecast. Not letting 50-degree weather or the lack of snow deter us, we pushed on to see what Portillo had to offer. Three hours later we stood on top of Super C, Portillo’s most famous line – a 3,000-foot couloir that stands at 13,500 feet. Despite the challenging conditions and little snow, we took initiative and had the time of our lives by immersing ourselves in the South American culture.