Txema skiing from 4000 m. on Cerro Yeseras.
Las Lenas this season was fun, strange, difficult, great and terrible. In general there was not a lot of snow, and some of us became a little unhappy during some of the times with bad weather, or bad snow. One Friend who has unshakable motivation and incredible stoke for all things skiing, Jordi Tenas was happy, and was always the go to guy for best ski partners. We became freinds last season when I met him, Txema Trull, and Adri Millan, the Catalans, some of the best people ever.
During my first few days skiing, we were met with fairly good ski conditions I would say. We found great snow in the shady and cold areas, and soft spring snow in the sunny spots.
Skiing the first day in a cold spot.
Jordi Tenas skiing in a sunny spot.
The mountains and the skiing in Las Lenas is amazing, and I usually follow Jordi around, because he has the best technique and is one of the best skiers I’ve seen. Highlights of the next 6 weeks included some of these things:
-Skiing Cerro Yeseras in the sunset, turning into full moon with Txema.
-1 Eduardos run with Jordi in amazing snow was really really fun.
-Watching the movie ‘Step Brothers’ with Adri Millan.
-Celebrating YaYa’s birthday, a big event in Las Lenas.
-Going on a long distance camping mission to look at some incredible and
unexplored terrain with the strange young German kid, Moritz.
-Eating medialunas every day.
-Catching some vibes.
-Skiing some with Alejo, and visiting his house in Mendoza.
-Being rich guys in Mendoza with Eike Poppelmier.
-Getting to chill with Adria Perez, YaYa, Alfred, Maru, Mary Jo, Alejo, Matthi, Eike Poppelmier, Lee Lyon, everyone else in the family, and all the new friends.
Surfing some windlips (self portrait).
Riding with Alejo Sanchez.
Looking at some new terrain.
After me and Moritz returned from our expedition, we found it strangly quiet. It was the first time I’ve hung out in Las Lenas without the Catalans, and being alone in the appartment. Me and Moritz chilled out and the next day a big storm rolled through, with super high winds blowing everything over and away. We found it strange that Txema and Jordi hadn’t returned, so the next morning we walked up to the Pisteros (Ski Patrol) office and asked if they had heard anything, and said we were a little concerned about our friends. They hadn’t heard anything, so we decided to hike up to the spot were they were camping.
Txema and Jordi had been camping at a nice ski zone, Torrecillas, and we knew that they should be there. After hiking about an hour and a half, we were able to get our first close up look at the cirque of mountains were they were. It was surprising to see no ski tracks in the whole area, and a really big avalanche was very obvious, covering a big portion of the mountain. Still another hour and a half walk away, we ran as fast as we could toward the avalanche area, feeling really really bad and scared. Upon arrival, we found 2 debris feilds that were fairly big, but saw no signs of anything. At this point, a snowcat with 2 Pisteros showed up, and saying there was more help on the way. After searching through the first debris field, we found nothing and were somewhat hopefull that maybe they just were camping in a different zone. With the arrival of the second snowcat about 8 more Pisteros showed up, a dog, and one guy, Ticiano, who had been with them and seen where they had put they’re tent a few days earlier.
Upon arriving at the next debris field, we saw one of Txema’s skis sticking out of the snow, and it became obvious that they were camped there, and that since they were probably in thier tent, they might not have beacons on. We all immediatly started probing the area, and Ticiano showed us and the Pisteros the spot were he thought the tent was buried. After positive probe strikes the dog jumped in and further confermed that this was the place to dig. We dug about a meter or a meter and a half deep, and then came upon the top of a yellow tent. With a knife, a pistero cut the tent open and we saw Txema, really dark skinned and kind of purple. His hand was sticking out, and surprisingly I saw him move his fingers a little, which was really unreal. He was pulled out of the tent, concious and with his eyes open and immediatly loaded onto the snowcat and removed from the mountains. I tried to wake up Jordi, who was also lying there, but he was not alive. Me and Moritz tried our best to say goodbye to Jordi, and then skied down after the snowcat with Txema inside. It was a really unreal ski down from the scene, and really hard to believe the reality of what was going on, because Jordi was the safest, best skier, and this was the farthest thing away from what I could have pictured happening. They unfortunately put their tent in a bad spot.
Txema recovered quickly and within a day or 2 he was all better, which I am really gratefull for. It turned out the tent was hit by an avalanche in the night, and Txema had been buried for something like 15 hours before he was found.
Jordi was the best ski partner ever, and one of the best people also. Super generous, and huge part of Las Lenas for all the people who went there to ski rad lines. He was for sure the best skier I knew there, with incredibly perfect ski technique, which I immitated a lot and I think lots of others tried to ski like him too. He ate tons of medialunas everyday for breakfast and was more phsyced about skiing than anyone I’ve seen before. Just talking about skiing he would get really excited, and If you watch some of his gopro footage you will understand because he is always yelling and screaming about how stoked he is while skiing. At the end of good runs I’ve never seen anyone so happy and this made skiing with him super special, because he would get so stoked, that you would always remember those lines, and be really happy.