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Summertime Skiing: 10 Tips For A Great South American Ski Vacation

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Garrett Russell didn’t become one of the most exciting freeskiers on the planet without a lot of year-round practice. For a man from the United States, that means frequent trips to South American snow for “summertime” skiing.

We asked Russell for his top tips to a successful South American ski adventure, which he graciously shared here. Russell is heading to Argentina this week with a film crew, SASS Global Travel, and members of The-House.com team. Smooth travels! —Sean McCoy

In airports, keep an eye on that gear! Photo by Chason Russell

Leave Your Expectations At Home — I guarantee you will have a better trip if you just go for the adventure vs. the ideal vacation you may have planted in your head.

Carry On Your Ski Boots — Trust me, you will not want to ski the gnar with rental boots.

Keep An Eye On Your Gear — If you’re traveling with a friend help each other out. Opportunists are everywhere and they are really good at getting what they want.

Bring The Hot Sauce — No, South America isn’t Mexico. People in Argentina don’t seem to like hot things so bring down your comfort food if you’re spoiled like me. Hot sauce, peanut butter and ranch dressing are some of the things that are hard to find. I also like to have meds like, Nightquil, Emergen-c and whatever else I have to avoid getting sick… cause I usually do. Going from summer straight into winter can be hard on the body and it’s nice not having to search for what you need even if you are really good at spanish.

Russell gets inverted; photo by Ben Girardi

Be Ready To Power Up — Do some research into the area you are visiting to make sure your plugs will fit into wall outlets. Know what you need for a converter or what you need for an adapter when you’re charging. It will make your host very happy.

Bring Cash — Yeah, ATMs are available, but it’s good to start out with a reasonable amount of cash in your wallet. I like to carry two wallets — one for going out and another for general travels to and from locations.

Travel Insurance — There are some terrific stories out there and you do not want to be held hostage in a hospital. I use Med Jets.

Bring Socks — Laundry is not as easy as it is here and you’re most likely going to live with a handful of people, so respect their space. Bring lots of socks.

Meet The Locals — Friends of friends can make life a lot easier. Keep an open mind and be happy. South Americans are very friendly and willing to help if you know what to say or do. At least just try to speak Spanish, it goes a long way.

Scenes from Argentina. Photo (bottom) by Spencer Cordovano

Stay As Long As Possible — It’s a big world and there’s a lot to explore. If you can stay longer, I highly recommend it. Especially with the high price of plane tickets and many hours spent traveling to South America, you’ll be glad for every extra day you can stay on the trip.

Garrett Russell ripping through the forest; photo by Ben Girardi

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