The plan today was to go snowcat-skiing high atop the Termas volcano. Word came early in the morning that all 6 of Nevado De Chillan’s snowcats were broken (translation from Chilean Spanish – the drivers either didn’t show up, or showed up but didn’t feel like working).
A half-dozen snowmobiles were hastily arranged to ferry people up into the untracked powder above Nevados De Chillan, but I smelled a goatfuck (skiers towed uphill behind snowmobiles with ropes?), so I got permission from the guides to alpentour alone. I rode the chairlifts up to the highest lift-served point on the mountain, slapped my G3 skins onto my 188 Coombas, and headed for the top of the volcano using Skunk Power.
I climbed almost 3000 vertical feet to the top of the “new” Termas Cinder Cone, which included navigating around an active volcanic vent spewing noxious steam.
Took me from about 10:30 until about 2 PM. Sat in the sun at > 10,000 feet, enjoyed some tea, ate a few bikkies I’d brought along in my backpack, enjoyed the views. I had the entire top of the volcano to myself. Didn’t see another soul the entire afternoon, and the snow was completely untracked. Nobody had been up on the cinder cones since at least the last time it snowed, 3 days ago.
I was soaked through with sweat and really tired from blazing my own tracks for almost 3000 vertical feet, so as I sat there in the sun, I pondered whether to savor the untracked powder all the way back down to the Nevado de Chillan ski lifts pitch by pitch, or to bite it off in one chunk. Either would have been really, really fun.
The snow was perfect. I cruised through 50 identical turns in the virgin pow.
I stopped to take a photo. It was getting close to around 3PM, but as I stood there evaluating my 50 turns, suddenly a 3rd possibility popped into my head. An evil thought. My decision was made. I took off my pack, put my skins back onto my skis, and climbed about 700 vertical feet back to where I’d started my descent.
TIME FOR POWDER-8’s!!!!!!!!!!!! YEEEEEEEEEEE HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
I arrived back up at the top, took off my skins, pointed my skis downhill, and made 50 more identical turns, 180 degrees out of phase with the original 50, on the exact same piece of real estate.
Known worldwide as “Powder-8s”. There’s even a Powder-8 World Championships.
Like sex, Powder 8s are normally done with a partner but hey, doing it alone isn’t so bad, either.
Then I made another 50 turns.
And so on……