Chile: Day 1

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The Oakley Goggle Fall ’08 R&D Crew was up by 7am today and arrived to LAX by 10:30am. Where we were promptly met with several lines – first starting with a long line to get our tickets, then stand in an even longer line for our luggage drop off (a little over an hour), followed by another line for David Steiner and myself to pay for our over weight checked luggage, and then finally a line for security.

We arrived to our gate just in time to load onto a bus that drove us to the other end of LAX where our plane awaited our arrive. After shuffling our seats around Jamie Oman, David Steiner, Ryan Evert, Erik Leines and myself were locked in for our eight-hour flight to Lima. Within three hours the group of us had shut down the bar and enjoyed this season’s top ski and snowboard films on our laptops.

After a 40-minute layover in Lima, our plane was on its way to Santiago, where we sat down for some café and water while we waited for Seth Morrison to arrive from Jackson Hole. Seth showed up right on time, so we gathered our things and jumped into our shuttle – bound for Valle Nevado Ski Resort. The shuttle ride was slightly nauseating with an up hill two-hour drive that included about 50 plus switchback turns.

Immediately upon arrival to Valle Nevado Hotel everyone grabbed their gear and suited up to shred the icy granular of the Chilean slopes. Jamie Oman, Oakley Director of Research and Development hooked us all up with new goggles to test. We cannot go into details on what we are testing because everything is still in prototype phases, but I can say we are working on a badass new photochromic lens and goggle frame!!

“Coming down to the southern hemisphere with Oakley is a huge treat for me.” said Oakley Snowboard Team Rider, Erik Leines, “I got the phone call about 10 days ago and was on board immediately. We got off our 12-hour plane ride from the US and headed straight to some on snow shredding at Valle Nevado. Our top goal will be to test Oakley’s new goggle line, and I am definitely stoked to be snowboarding!”

Tomorrow we are getting up early to take some sleds out and see what we can find in this late winter season for the Southern Hemisphere. Check back soon to hopefully see some sick photos of the “Mule” and Seth slaying the terrain we discover.