Chile has emerged from dictatorial roots to become one of the most stable and economically powerful countries in South America. This means a burgeoning middle class and some of the creature comforts we take for granted in North America—but its culture remains distinctly Latin American. Editor of frequency TSJ Colin Wiseman joins a convoy from K2 meandering throughout central Chile chasing fickle weather patterns from Farellones to Las Trancas and finds a distinctly Chileno experience in the form of squeeze tube avocado sandwiches, a storm-scoured alpine, and a big red van to call home.

La Rosa appeared like a beacon of light in an otherwise grey afternoon in the city of Chillan. A faded red exterior, luggage racks on top, balding snow tires—two in the front, but duallies in the back—a sink, storage, lawn chairs for seats and functional heater, she was all one could dream of during cold nights in the mountains. Retractable curtains and a one-piece slab of faux wood-grain roofed the fold-out benches in the back. She was ours for four days, captained by Sebastien, who, still in his snowboard gear and sporting five days of stubble, strapped piles of board bags onto luggage racks on top. And when we climbed in eight-deep, blazing past a funeral procession and bound for the mountains, it truly felt like we were being welcomed into the world of Chilean snowboarding…

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