Viva en Chile – Mike Rogge checks in from the bar

New Eye of the Condor III video features Chris Davenport, Ingrid Backstrom, and the teams

The 2013 Eye of the Condor competition at La Parva in Chile is a contest with six teams each producing a five-minute piece of visual art to be shown this Friday. One team will walk away with a cash prize and crowned as the winners. But really, that’s not why we are here. It’s August. Snow is piling up on our porch and the good people at La Parva have absolutely no ceiling as to how high we can push the bar tab. I mean it. Booze is abundant here and this place bleeds fun. Take the other night for example, where we were privy to an exclusive showing of a highly anticipated ski film that I swore to the producer I wouldn’t tell anyone about. She might kick my ass just for writing that sentence.

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Over fondue and red wine we had a wonderful time, swapping stories of North American summer in a South American invierno. And then there was karaoke, where things got out of control. That pro skier that once effortlessly tossed a dub ten over Chad’s Gap? Yeah, he sang Britney Spears “Baby, One More Time” – with me. You know that other pro skier that had a closing segment in a TGR movie? He’s here too and can belt out a Whitney Houston tune like the best of them. We just wanna dance with somebody. Wanna feel the heat with somebody. With somebody who loves me. That’s Chile in a nutshell.

This is my first trip to South America. It’s a bonus land of winter. Skiers are simply happy to be here, enjoying the culture, sounds, smells, and tastes of a faraway land. The Spanish language never sounded as good as it does in the Andes.

All six teams are going hard. 4bi9 turned the village into an urban oasis, TGR is steadily stacking footage, and last year’s defending champ, the all-badass-lady team of Icelantic was just seen skipping tonight’s party in favor of a headlamp-assisted night powder session. Oh, did I mention it dumped? And that the sunsets puncture a hole in your soul every evening? This place can’t get any better. Party on, Wayne.

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