My teammate Drew Tabke and I dance underneath a near-full moon. Handstands. Fancy feet. Anything to kill time and stay warm while waiting for our film crew across the valley below to reposition for the next shot. It’s day two of the Eye of the Condor film and photo competition in La Parva, Chile. Conditions are, well, sporty.
Drew drops in first. Braving an icy wind, down into the abyss. I watch Drew’s headlamp disappear into the shadows. I feel alone. I’m isolated atop “La Chimenea.” It’s one of La Parva’s quintessential lines—a long couloir located a short hike from the resort.
My radio cuts in and out. It’s our photographer Jordan Ingmire. He wants to move his location again—farther down into the resort. “Where are those guys?” I think to myself, peering into the darkness. With reluctance, I give him a “ten-four.” The next 40 minutes will be brutal.
To make things worse, some chump across the valley in the tiny Chilean mountain town of Farellones starts painting my line with a green laser beam. This is a sick joke. The beam is blinding. To throw off the shooter, I turn my headlamp off. I pray he loses my silhouette. It’s cold and I retreat to a less exposed position. It doesn’t matter—I‘m freezing and the laser beam is relentless. I just want to ski.
After an eternity, my radio cuts in. The internal conversation I’ve been having with myself for the last half hour all but disappears. Jordan’s ready for my shot. I glance down the couloir wishing my headlamp wasn’t so dim. It’s too late. There’s only one way down. I call “thirty seconds,” and skate to the edge. Reluctantly, I turn my headlamp on.
All hesitation disappears. But four turns into my line the laser hits me again. Turn after turn eerie green snow erupts around me. I’m skiing by feel through lime-lit rock walls.
Finally I get a view of the exit. I dodge scree and breathe a sign of relief. Seeking shelter beneath a large rock I spot the tormenting light. It’s searching for my headlamp. I catch my breath, turn my light off, and point my skis down the fall line.
All this for a photo?
Check the green light out seen here @ 3:41 of Team WIDSIX's EOTC2 Video
For Part 1 click HERE
Stay tuned for part 3 Tomorrow. Heliskiing the Andes.