Friday, October 17, 2008

Portillo Big Mountain Telemark Camp - Part 1

Shralping Portillo Chile with Backcountry.com athlete Nick Devore
Epic conditions and high spirits characterize the first annual Portillo Big Mountain Telemark Camp
by Kayo Ogilby

Nick’s head pops up over the edge of my top bunk and I know there is no more ignoring the 7:00 alarm. He cranes his neck out of the narrow window of our room in the Inca Lodge and gives the report: “Bluebird”.



We drag our selves to the Yoga room, and Danny Pylman, a 17 year old camper from Vail Colorado begs for Nicks mercy and pleads him to let us do _ hour of child’s pose followed up with maybe some of the head stands he has been teaching us. Nick smiles, and we begin. The Yoga has been a twice-daily gift to stretch our aching thighs, sore backs, and battered bodies. It has also provided critical time to absorb and visualize technique, warm up and cool down, and prevent injuries.

Nick wraps up the _ hour morning practice by bringing us back to telemark posture and allowing the group one more opportunity to connect the mind to all that must come together to rip fast powerful telemark turns. “Step forward into your turn, watch your back knee and make sure it stays in the same track as your front, feel both feet plant into the floor, engage your pelvis and push it forward, stand tall, drop your shoulders back and notice what happens to your back foot as you pivot your hips”.

Breakfast is leisurely and our stares are glued to the Andean peaks and purple/blue sky. The plan for the morning is to hike and traverse into remaining patches of untracked powder from a storm three days ago and then pack up the backcountry gear for the legendary Lake Run. We divide up into two groups, the juniors with Nick to hit some airs and begin thinking about competition lines and the adults with me to work on wide open super-G turns.


Check back for the next installment...

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