No más! Traveling to Chile is now $160 cheaper than it was last year – for U.S. citizens. As of February 2014, Chile stopped charging the fee for U.S. citizens.
The reason for this is that the U.S. government decided to extend visa-free travel privileges to Chilean citizens. Now, Chileans may visit the U.S. with the same ease that citizens of the E.U. and other "trusted" nations enjoy. This is good news on many fronts. Of course, it's nice to be able to travel to Chile and save a little money. It's also a sign of the stability and relative safety of Chile.
Traveling to Chile just got a little easier. As we say in Chile: "la raja!"
It looks like I will have my busiest season in Chile since starting Chile Powder Adventures. I am thrilled that people want to ski in Chile and get away from the standard fare. While I still have a couple open weeks in my calendar, I know they will fill. When I think about the prospect of "selling out" a season, I think about when people ask me if I will ever hire other guides or allow the operation to get bigger. The answer: Not in the foreseeable future. Why?
The short answer is that I love to guide and want to share the experience on the mountain with each client. The longer answer is that once I hire another guide I have to hire enough guides so that I can afford to be a full-time manager; because I can't manage other guides and still work on the hill at the same time. And I don't spend three or four months a year in Chile so I can sit at a desk and run errands.
Guiding in Chile is still my favorite because it feels like hosting people in my home. Sure for several hours each day we are out on a mountain and I am using "hard" skills learned through courses, exams and apprenticeships. But for the rest of the day, I am sharing my favorite place on Earth. I can't imagine missing out on this.
Chile Powder Adventures will be a very small operation for as long as I can get out into the mountains and inspire people to explore. This means I will only be able to accommodate a limited number of guests each season, which means I may be losing some money by some accounting. Well, that's the way it's going to be. I still want to provide the highest level of service and share this place on a very personal level. And because of this, I am still a one-man show. I hope to see you down there some day.