As a full moon rose over the Andes last August, remote Portillo, Chile, might have been the quietest, loneliest resort on earth—if it weren’t for the club music blasting in the downstairs discoteca. As wind howled in the surrounding peaks, the skiers I’d met in the outdoor Jacuzzi—among them heli-skiing powder hounds from Japan, a trio of Ralph Lauren models, and recruits from the High Mountain School of the Chilean army—shook their base-layered booties to Cardi B. Soon enough, someone brought out the shotski, a ski adorned with six shot glasses for group guzzling.
And why not? Skiing in South America while everyone I knew was swatting mosquitoes up north was worth toasting. For me, it was the fulfillment of a lifelong fantasy, a pilgrimage to the end-of-the-earth summer home—at least by Northern Hemisphere standards—for the U.S., Austrian, Canadian, and Norwegian ski teams. But the reality … Read the rest