Termas de Chillin'

Left: This surface lift at Termas de Chillan -- the second stop of our trip after a day at La Parva -- was more like a carnival ride than anything. The attendant handed you a poma, waited for the thumbs up, then pulled a green handle. The poma then shot forward, lurching once over the first bullwheel and speeding up to a left-hand turn to access the extensive alpine and network of surface lifts that seemed to go on forever. Right: Our local hookup and shop owner Sebastien had taken me and Aaron Robinson on a whiteout tour of the backside the previous day, pointing out where not to drop in order to avoid closeout chutes and other kinds of certain doom. When Tim Eddy (pictured) and Chris Beresford said they were looking for a natural quarter, thanks to Sebastien, I knew just the spot. (Colin Wiseman )