One month-long expedition in Patagonia is now successfully completed. It ws not just the numerous skirides but also we have in our minds a bunch of great experiences of fabulous nature, and of the authentic, warm-hearted atmosphere created by the happy local people. The first thing about the skiing there, which comes to my mind, is the challenge that we faced by finding the new places to ski and scouting the accesses to snow. We found only small pieces of information by searching in internet the pictures and videos of the pioneer trips to this area. They all placed the same in safe places, where the access is relatively easy for Patagonia. As stubborn Finns, we had an exrta portion of exploring spirit and decided to look for new places first just by seaching them from Google Earths satellite images. This turned out to be a good technique to have a rough idea of the unknown places.
We just chose suitable looking areas from computer screen and started driving around the country side in the way that we know it from ski-scouting in Norway. We drove countles kilometer on bumpy dirt roads and we looked for potential locations. If there was something suitable to see, we droe to nearest house parked the Toyota Hilux pickup and released the white Viking, Juho Lukkari to confuse the local people's daily life with his very weird questions. People were just wondering what on earth are we planning with our skis and mountain gear, when Juho was with his fluent spanisch triying to find out the access to snow. At the same time the neighbour was herding sheep with his dogs on horseback like maybe 50-60 years ago in idyllic country side settelment in eastern Finland.
These moments were memorable. Sometimes we returned back to the farm after being on tour and told the locals that we got up to certain point and then “the bush just won us” and that we had to come down again without skiing any meter. Then we just laughed all together watchig the videoclips that we took during the “fight” in the jungle.
Perhaps the finest memory of this kind was when we asked the local guy named David to show us the way to the mountains. We drove a damn bad road towards a mouth of one valley and in the end of the road we got on foot to enter deeper into that forest. David said that if you want to see more, have to walk that path somewhat. "All right, let's have look!," we said. David was moving like lightning on that barely visible path in that Patagonia forest. We long haired skiers were really sweating and we had to haft run to keep his rhythm while he was just going really easy between the trees towards the mouth of the valley.
After one and a half hours of running we were staring at one of the finest valley and mountain group that we saw on this trip. We asked David if he had ever had been up there, as we saw the same the spark in his eys that we had in the same moment. David said immediate that he occasionally makes a short cut over the mountains to the other sheep pasture. We got good laughs when we realized that, fortunately atleast some of these locals are curious enough to see the sunset from their most beautiful home mountains. As a final statement, I can say that I will certainly go to Patagonia again: the potential of that place is insane. It takes a lot of time to get everything under control there, but once you do, you have just reach something really unique and pure!
Arto Majava - Freerider