Well, the best way to sum up our last day is by pasting the email I wrote soon thereafter:
The remaining days on the border went well and Scott and I had the chance to ski a bit more classic Andean alpine terrain . . . holy couloirs!!! I would love to go back to that area in the future and am so thankful for the opportunity to get to know it.
Our last day was super dynamic in classic Kellie Okonek style of seeing how much is actually possible to do in one day. We got up, had breakfast and packed, and then headed to ski. We wanted to ski on the Chilean side of the border, so we figured we´d go through customs first to be legal . . . down the road went and then did the window-to-window to get official, pay money, give up paperwork, etc. After that, we intended to remain in Chile and drive to the pass for the afternoon . . . yeah: not so much. The rules are, once you take your car through, it can´t go east again. So, I got to work on understanding the rules and ran around for about 30 minutes to get 1) approval from the Carabineros Chilean police to go skiing then 2) written permission from the International Police and then 3) passage through Control . . and then we were allowed to hitch hike. Bummer was that there was very little traffic, but I made friends with the Control guy, so he kindly made the next truck take us! We skied a super cool run, and then headed back to the pass to hitch back to the border . . . thankfully, the Control guys there took pity on us and after it became clear that nobody was going to pick us up, he offered to take us down – hooray! From there, we drove back to Santiago, stopping to have lunch in summer, and then heading to the airport. After a re-org of gear, turning in the rental car (which the border police had kindly pointed out had an expired registration and insurance!), we flew to Buenos Aires . . . I landed at the international terminal, so ended up taking a bus downtown (at midnight) to get a room, then headed to the domestic airport the next morning to fly to Ushuaia! It truly amazes me the marvels of modern transportation and how far one can go!
Special permission needed for the Bro assault of Chilean mountains 😉
Getting out of the truck we hitched to the tunnel, and ready to ski!!!
Super pscyhed after our run . . . happy for sunshine, adventure, and a safe completion to our exploration of the area!
Scott finishing his run – the area we skied is just above him . . . good times!
Overall, I have to say our time on the pass was pretty amazing – it was super fun to get to know a new area, and to learn of what potential exists out there. And, it was amazing to be in the sun everyday!!!