Andes On Tap: New IFSA FWQ Events in Chile and Argentina
Catch this summer's events down in Chile and Argentina and highlights for the summer 2018-2019 Freeride World Qualifier schedule.
After a tumultuous 2018 winter season in the Northern Hemisphere, the extended Freeriding family now looks to the south, particularly to the Andes, where snow has started to fall and the FWQ calendar is beginning to coalesce. The opportunity to begin earning points for your 2019 FWQ ranking will begin in the coming months in South America.
“We’ve spent the last year learning from our colleagues at the FWT, watching our local athletes find success at FWQ events in Europe and North America and we’re now ready to launch our 2019 competition season with renewed passion, organization and dedication to the sport of Freeride,” says Freeride Chile’s Fernando Ochagava.
Ochagavia and his team will kick off the 2019 FWQ calendar in the Andes with a 2* event from August 3 to 5 at La Parva, Chile. Renowned for playful terrain, La Parva has a low-key vibe enhanced by a world-class lift system and hiking access to the challenging steeps above the resort, including the legendary La Chimenea couloir. Within easy striking distance of Santiago’s international airport, La Parva and the nearby village of Farellones are the perfect entry-point into the Andes. North American FWQ competitors can find themselves making turns less than 24 hours after they’ve departed home.
“La Parva and the nearby village of Farellones are the spiritual home of skiing in Chile; the place where it all started,” says Tom Winter, Freeride World Tour Americas Manager. “Farellones in particular is an international melting pot of Freeriders from all over the planet, many of whom consider the collection of cabins at Base Camp Farellones in the center of the village a home away from home, this will be the hub of all the action during the new Freeride Chile event."
“La Parva is also fantastic,” adds Winter. “The mountain has hosted some of the most renowned athletes in skiing and snowboarding, from Olympians to freeskiers such as Shane McConkey. I can’t think of a better place to kick off the Andes competition season than at La Parva. It’s truly a special place.”
Other stops in the schedule include dates in Argentina in August, with organizers working on developing a new 2* event at Cerro Bayo and the pending return of the now legendary Chapelco Back Bowls event which will be upgraded to a 3* level event. Watch highlights from the 2017 Chapelco event here.
“Organizers in Argentina are taking the final steps in nailing down logistics and a few other details for the new 2* competition hosted by Cerro Bayo,” says Winter. “We hope to be able to announce complete event details including entry fees, accommodation options, and other information for Cerro and the upgraded FWQ 3* Chapelco event shortly.”
After the proposed FWQ events in Argentina, the action returns to Chile in September, with two more stops on the calendar hosted by Freeride Chile: a FWQ 2* event at the hauntingly beautiful Antillanca and then another 2* competition at Corralco, a unique ski area nestled on the slopes of Lonquimay volcano, to close out the season.
Both of these locations are known for their stunning natural beauty and differ markedly from the rugged central Andes terrain surrounding La Parva. With unique flora and fauna, including ancient Araucaria (monkey puzzle) trees, many of which are more than 1000 years old, the volcanic landscapes of Antillanca and Corralco offer otherworldly venues that are unlike any other destination on the planet.
Worthy ski mountaineering summit destinations in their own right, the Antillanca and Lonquimay (Corralco) volcanoes feature long, playful ridges, wind lips, bowls, and gullies that provide Freeriders with expressive terrain that entices and excites.
“We’re excited to return to Antillanca and Corralco,” says Ochigavia. “The terrain, the vistas and the hospitality at these locations are uniquely Chilean. They’re the perfect punctuation points to close out the FWQ competition season in the Andes.”
South America 2018-2019 IFSA FWQ Schedule*
*NOTE: Currently only the La Parva, Antillanca, Chapelco, and Corralco events are CONFIRMED and finalized. The Cerro Bayo event is still pending while we work with event organizer to lock in dates and details. Additional events may be added to the calendar. The Andes are big mountains with complex weather conditions: as with all Freeride events, the tour is subject to weather, safety and snow considerations. Make your travel plans accordingly and expect the unexpected.