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nothin’ like a friend pointing out that you landed a magazine cover to make it feel like Christmas

Who doesn't love Canada?

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Getting the shot while Wissman Gets the shot


Argentina from a skier’s perspective is known for it’s Lomo(steak), Malbek(wine) and skiing that has the potential to be the best or worst you’ve ever experienced. Naturally then, I’ve been rolling the dice five out of the past six years in hopes of catching the legendary Santa Rosa Storm.

It’s a long way to travel, leaving the best part of a short summer for the opposite hemisphere in search of a storm that is famed to leave so much snow atop the Andes Range that people generally don‚Äôt even survive to count it all. (Or so goes the modern myth of the Santa Rosa). I’ve hit it right and I’ve hit it wrong but never regretted a few weeks of trading the flip flops for ski boots, especially this year.

The first Ascent ski and snowboard team showed up after three days of travel to a blue bird day and a tracked out mountain but our Guide Jose found us the goods none the less. My first turns of the summer were yummy and I felt lucky, but I had no idea they were only a predecessor to what would come to be some of the greatest skiing I’d ever known. Jose claimed a meter would fall in twenty four hours as the mountain shut down and the flakes began to fall. We didn’t think much of it but three days and almost two meters later we found ourselves first in line at the gnarliest chairlift in the world accessing over 3,000 feet of untracked, untouched perfectly stable POW!

It was one of those special moments even to a professional skier where you know this opportunity may never come again and in humble recognition, we put our camera equipment down and shredded the most famous line in Las Lenas, Edwardo’s, top to bottom.

We all agreed it was the best lift access run of our lives and it only got better from there. Six more days of hiking, skinning and exploring offered us unheard of descents in some of the most beautiful terrain I’ve ever known only to collapse into our rooms at the end mending our shin banged, wind hammered, frost bitten, and for one, food poisoned wounds all in the name of powder.

It will be a trip worth talking about for a long time and to paint the picture for you, I was inspired enough to sit down for three days straight to make a video about it. Enjoy.

FA Ski/Snowboard Team Gets Lucky in Las Lenas 2011 from Lynsey Ann Dyer on Vimeo.

¬†Giving a kid a bike in a developing country is the equivalent of giving him a Ferrari! Besides being one of the most fun toys ever, it offers him a means of transportation. That often means he will eventually transport his entire family on it(I’ve seen up to 5 on one bike) besides being able to travel for work or supplies.

Giving women a bike is even more empowering to them. Usually only men can someday afford a bike so the NGO’s here say it’s the most direct form of empowerment they’ve ever seen. Immediately after receiving a bike and feeling the wind on her face for the first time, powered by her own means, these “Survivors” they are called take on a whole new persona. They’ve come from lives of torture in travelling circuses,¬†or as¬†exotic dancers,¬†some cannot even walk properly or have deformed limbs, others have scars from¬†the torture or from¬†forced into up to 6 years of prostitution in the sex trade all before the age of 16(one girl was around 8). But safe in the ashram, learning trade skills and riding a bike, its as if they feel for the first time that they can do anything, that maybe there is good in the world, that they can take care of themselves and don’t have to go back to the lives they had before. Now they can ride to the store and buy supplies or take their sewing machine(a trade they are taught in the ashram to be able to support themselves and often times their entire village) to the city to make money.

It was truly an honer to work with these girls, playing games and running around chasing giant frogs like normal kids along with helping them paint a mural of what they’d like their futures to look like was a treat. We came away with huge bug bites from who knows what in the beds and a gnarly stomach ache from who knows what in the food but the expereince was a lifechanger.

I now have renewed drive to take advantage of all that the western world has to offer. To be the absolute best person I can be with the life I have been so fortunate to have been born into. These girls didn’t even have the opportunity to learn to read or write, let alone know how old they were and to them I feel an obligation to make myself as whole a person as possible, as educated as possible, and as mentally strong as possible so that my energy can add to the wholeness of the planet instead of the fear that makes slavery possible. I know trying to save all those who suffer in the world isn’t¬†the answer¬†for just one person and that as long as there are sick people who want to take advantage of others the demand slavery will persist. The answer, that India taught me,¬†laying in bed one¬†night, listening to dogs howling outside my window,¬†lies in healing ourselves, through education, dealing with our own inner battles and disciplining our thoughts (I belive through meditation) because we really are tiny parts of a bigger whole and what we do and think and feel individually really does effect the larger whole.

What can you do? Besides supporting the places and non-profits moniterily who support these kids year round(unlike a few westerners who helped for a few weeks) You can begin by making yourself whole. It may sound new age and my own friends and family will call me crazy but soon, we will learn that what we do to others really does come around, that the only authentic happiness comes from truly being in the moment and expereincing it for what it is and connecting to something bigger than ourselves.¬†True happiness¬†comes from detachment from our egos, from”winning” and gaining more money and power and the fear that there isn’t enough for everyone. Peace comes from the inside, from connection to each other, and to the energy all around us. We have so much more potential than we know. I think skiers are some of the people who will change the world.¬† We love being outside and are prooving to the rest of the world that humans can do more than most think is possible, we just do it on skis. We are¬†celebrating the mountains, and helping others want to participate. We are connecting with¬†the mountains and playing!¬†And as long as we keep our ego’s in check, we¬† can¬†create healthy communities that support¬†the bigger whole.¬†¬†Though I’m no saint and have only experienced tiny bits of what I’d call wholeness, this is what’s what I’m dedicating myself to now, for myself, for these girls, and for the world.

Thanks to First Ascent for your support in this project and thank you for reading.  Wishing you wholeness

Lyns

Shot with my trusty point ‘n shoot over a week in Interior BC. Thank you guys for making me laugh and to mother nature for making it snow! Thanks also to Ride Guide, Mustang Powder, Revelstoke, our guide and male model Chris Rubens, and my sponsors for allowing me this lifestyle. First Ascent, Rossignol, Gordini Gloves, Jackson Hole, Skullcandy, ABS packs, Vholdr and everyone else who supports!