Belén Journal - SAM WESTON

Transient

To have the opportunity to make it down to Chile to link up the Beyond Boarding crew was something I had been thinking about for 3 month, since the BB Sitka Fundraiser party. After summer riding at Camp of Champions wrapped up, I just knew I had to pull the trigger, because this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. When the plane rolled into to Santiago I knew I was in for a life changing month.

The experiences I went through were totally different then anything I had ever experienced before. Right away Chile was a big time culture shock for me. I knew not knowing any Spanish would be hard, but I didn’t think it would be almost impossible to get by. I was having major communication problems on the simplest things we do in our every day life– it was so funny. Everyone was friendly and inviting, and I met a lot of amazing people a long the way. The stories from travelling around in a mini van for 15 days with 9 people are endless, and ones I will never forget. From all the funny times, to the times we got in trouble, every time we stepped in the “toaster” (the car’s name) it was an adventure and we were all along for the ride. From the mountains all the way to the coast, Chile had a lot to offer that was incredible. To all the small towns we went through, to all of the earthquake affected areas we saw. It was really heart warming to hear the stories and to see first hand what the locals went through. It was inspirational and made me really appreciate my everyday life. From all the amazing views and sites I saw to one of the best surf sessions I have ever had, Chile was an amazing experience and the memories will last a lifetime.

Snowboarding in the Andes of Chile was unreal. All the mountains have so much to offer and there is so much terrain to explore. To be able to explore all the backcountry zones, I made a split-board at a local workshop in downtown Santiago to be able to go touring. This was my first time touring and it was so much fun. It was a lot of work but the rewards are worth the pay off to be riding fresh lines. To be able to experience climbing up a volcano, touring and using an ice axe, was one of the coolest days of my life, then the ride down made it even better. I got the opportunity to ride things that I didn’t think I would ever get a chance to experience.

This project meant a lot to me because it was an opportunity to try and give back to the snowboard community. Snowboarding has given me so much and I feel so privileged to do it whenever I want. I wanted to be part of a life changing experience that I would be able to share with others, to see the world from another point of view. This trip has put a new perspective on snowboarding and in my everyday life and I feel so special to have taken part.

There are a lot of people I want to thank for this amazing opportunity. First and foremost Tamo Campos for inviting me down to Chile to get involved with this project. Thanks to my parents for lending me money! Thank you mum and dad so much, I promise I will pay you back as soon as possible!!! Thanks to all my sponsors for my snowboard gear and your ongoing support. Thanks Myrosha Daley and Nick Walters from Ripcurl, John Minns from Saxx Underwear, Ryan Patey from Endeavor snowboards and Mike Strato from Vans. I can’t thank everyone enough for everything and everyone else that has helped me a long the way.