(I thought I´d posted this several weeks ago- turns out it didn´t quite finish uploading...)
One of the most frustrating aspects of ski mountaineering in any foreign country has got to be lugging around all the necessary equipment. On this trip I have been travelling with: one swix ski bag (2 metres long and designed to hold several pairs of skis) stuffed to capacity; a 100 litre backpack, also quite full and then my 35 litre "daypack".
Ofcourse the majority of this gear stays in a hostel in town whilst I´m out in the mountains- but whilst carrying ca. 50 kg of luggage the usually simple process of navigating a new city and public transport is transforemed into a particularly sweaty and stressful experience. On several occassions I´ve actually been turned down by taxis, unwilling to deal with all the baggage I was lugging around with me.
A few weeks into this trip I began fantasizing and the idea struck me that I might simply take a break from skiing for a few weeks, leave my mountain gear stashed in a hostel in Chile and spend some time trail-running and seeing the sights in Bolivia and Peru. The abysmal snow conditions I found on my last ski descent of Taapaca in northern Chile (video to come!) were enough to convince me to take a little break and see some new places.