a Ski Run of a Lifetime In the Andes Mountains.


New York (AirGuide - Inside Air Travel) Tue, Nov 3, 2015 - I was struggling as I reached the top of one of the most famous ski runs in the Andes Mountains: the Super C Couloir. At the end of Portilloas surface lifts, we still had a two-hour hike. Iad snapped one of my lightweight backcountry skis when Iad collided with some avalanche debris a couple of days earlier and was now ascending with a pair of borrowed boards easily as big as waterskis. Kalen Thorien, my friend, the 27-year-old professional skier and adventurer from Salt Lake City, high-fived me at the top, as did five new friends wead made at dinner the night before. It was the culmination of one of the best ski weeks either of us had ever seen, and it was about to get better. From Aug. 6 to 11, a single storm system had dumped seven feet of snow, and then the skies cleared to blue. We stood at the entrance to the Super C three days later, the first people to complete the hike to the top since the storm. The run a a basement-stairs-steep chute that descends more than 4,000 feet (from 12,729 feet to 8,398 feet above sea level) through a 30-foot-wide hallway of rock a was packaged in a nearly nine-foot-thick, untracked blanket of white. aI tore a picture of Super C out of Powder magazine and had it in my locker when I was a kid,a said Thomas Laakso, 44, who works for a snow-safety start-up called Avatech in Park City, Utah. He had been trying to ski the fabled couloir, or gully, for 10 years, but the conditions were never right for him. Just two days earlier, head tried and failed to reach the top. But he made it this day. Himay Palmer, a dreadlocked bus driver from Telluride, Colo., also was among the five. aYou just canat plan for something like this,a he said. For Kalen and me, these comments validated a plan wead devised the previous Friday, booking plane tickets and a week at Hotel Portillo on a dayas notice. In an age where climate change is making it harder to rely on previously consistent adventure destinations for anything from surfing to fly fishing, thereas a huge upside to hanging back, waiting for the perfect forecast and then enduring economy middle seats on a red-eye flight. No, itas not budget-friendly to travel on short notice, but it feels better to spend too much on a great trip than get a bargain on terrible snow. So the coup wasnat that wead lucked into prime conditions but that wead ambushed the storm of the decade from 5,700 miles away. Three weeks earlier, on...

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