Patagonien, rough, wild and pristine. It offers great opportunities to draw your lines into untracked faces in stunning nature, getting to know warm hearted people and enjoy the best meet in the world.
"The guy from Into the Wild would have died here in Patagonia on the first day ." This quote from the locals on my splitboard trip to Patagonia hits the nail on the head. Because if I should name this region in the Argentinean and Chilean Andes, i would call it wild. On my splitboard trip in Patagonia I was able to experience this more than once, at temperatures around -30 ° C, howling winds and heavy snowfall. Once the wind drops, the clouds open up and you can see the freshly fallen powder, you forget everything and the pristine wilderness of Patagonia shows its beauty. That alone makes worth the long journey to the southern hemisphere.
Martin Seiler, getting prepared. pic by Grego Campi
Patagonia mountain Wildness Undetermined possibilities pic by Grego Campi
Ciao Seili, with whom you were in Patagonia? What did you do down there?
I was with Grego and Martin Campi in Patagonia. The two film for ESPN and have asked me this summer if I would like to shoot with them in Patagonia for a multi-part series about splitboarding in ESPN. Of course I didn`t think twice, I checked a suitable flight, heading to the southern winter, to Bariloche. In addition to the films for ESPN, we have also produced a few more stories for the Völkl catalog and one or the other product video. The other riders who have been there were Thomas Orol and Matti Raedelli.
The Crew pic by Grego Campi
Cool and how was it ?
All in all we had a great time. The scenery and wildlife in Patagonia is simply breath taking and worth the trip. Unfortunately the weather in Patagonia during my stay was very rough. Overall we had 5 days to shoot somethng in a periode of one month. On the other days we had either too strong wind or it was even raining. I would have certainly wanted a few more splitboarding days, but all in all it was good fun and a pleasure beeing out there.
The patagonian Pow pic by Grego Campi
What have you done during all the down days?
It's really difficult to stay focused at all those down days, because it may well happen that you just sit around for two weeks, waiting for good conditions. The mountains and the weather decide what you can do or what you cannot do. Then we stayed up going fishing or having amazing barbecues. The meat in Argentina is probably the best in the world and the barbecues are legendary. A friend of Grego has a boat on the lake in Bariloche and we have been fishing trouts for houres and drinking maté.
Down Days pic by Grego Campi
Do you have any tips for splitboard trips down there?
A visit to the Rifugio Frey is definitley worth it. The remote hut can be reached in about 2 hours splitboard hike from Catedral Ski Resort.
Hiking to the hut pic by Grego Campi
„Up there, you have the perfect base for further splitboard touring. The hut is just beside a frozen lake in winter and surrounded by a Bowl with 1001 Lines, all waiting to be shredded. For stying in the hut it is absolutely neccessary to carry a good sleeping bag, because you do not have a heater and the teperature is just a bit above zero degree.
The hut on fire pic by Grego Campi
What was your favorite line at this trip?
We did a few lines in a face called Zebra. The name comes from the many snow- filled gullies and rocky ridges which give the whole face a kind of zebra look. The lines in it have really been fun, even if you had to memorize the course just as there is a steady rollover due to the steepness. This means that if you stand at the top of the line, you could just see the next 10 yards. The rest of the gully was not visible because of it`s steepness. We all hiked this faces several times on that trip and everytime we had an amazing run.
Seili steep and precise pic by Grego Campi
What do you have in mind thinking back to this Patagonia trip?
Definitely the unspoiled, and natural landscape. The lakes and mountains are somewhat reminiscent of New Zealand and are just beautiful. Also the people are to be remembered, all I met are very warm and open hearted and of course the world-class meat and Asados (barbecues). Splitboard technically, the whole trip was also worth it, even if we did not have the best conditions.
Seili on Top pic by Grego Campi
Thank you Seili for the interview and the great shots from your splitboarding trip in Patagonia.
Copyright : Martin Seiler
Sponsors: Völkl, Swany, Marker, Penguin, Deeluxe, Flux, Hä?, Different
Photos by Grego Campi