While most racers headed back home after the Enduro World Series in Chile, Jared Graves and Richie Rude opted to stay in the southern resort town of Nevados de Chillán for a few extra days to enjoy the local trails. After a week of high intensity racing, the laid back atmosphere of exploring new trails was welcomed. Without the pressures of racing the clock, the trails could be enjoyed to the fullest. The region boasted incredibly unique terrain that the team had never seen the likes of before. All of this added up to prime riding conditions as the crew made the most of their time in this beautiful place.
With dust still hanging in the afternoon light, Jared Graves gets a taste of the hero dirt that defines much of the terrain in Chillan. Wet or dry, the trails were simply amazing.
High above the Las Trancas Valley, Jared Graves drops in. A week prior, this trail was a hike a bike liaison stage during the EWS to begin day two.
The surface above treeline is a stark contrast to the grippy forest loam below. Foot out and flat out is the only way to ride this kind of terrain and Jared found it quite similar to what he rides at home in Australia.
The Chilean hospitality is always second to none, and I don't know what we would’ve done without the help of Felipe Vasquez and his shop MTB LAB. With bikes cleaned, bags packed, new friends and memories made, it was finally time for all of us to head home.
While this view is quite impressive, the trails hidden under all the bright fall foliage were nothing short of incredible.
The trails above the Nevados De Chillan Bike Park are too steep and too rugged to ride up and as is common with much of the big mountain terrain in Chile, the only option is to hike. Always eager to get some extra training in, Jared Graves had no problem doing a few hundred lunges in order to reach the good stuff.
There isn't a trail with more history in Chile than Parvazo. Reached only by driving up 40 mountain switchbacks to the base of La Parva, this is the place mountain biking got its start in Chile.
One shot, four seasons. Spring temperatures, winter snow, fall color and summer dust greeted us as we explored the backcountry trails in Chillan.
Simple living. We rented a small cabin in Las Trancas and our only source of heat was a very small wood-burning stove. It was a group effort to keep the fire burning during the cold morning and evening hours.
Being on the opposite side of the world means opposite seasons. While spring was blooming for most of us in North America, it was the height of fall in Chile. The vivid colors stood out in stark contrast to the raw and rocky mountainsides.
Hero dirt, golden light and Jared Graves fully pinned. What else do you need to know?
Jared Graves snakes his way through the forest of bamboo and beach trees.
No turn is safe from the force that is Richie Rude. He relished in the combination of amazing traction and loose loam, blowing up every corner in sight again and again.
It's all about flow in Nevados De Chillan. Each trail we rode seemed to get better than the last as we effortlessly twisted and turned through the forest and into the valley below.
There may have been a nice groomed run on the inside of this corner, but Richie Rude knows that to hit the real brown pow you need to go a bit out of bounds.
After two week of roughing it in the Chilean mountains, Richie Rude was finally able to grow a mustache.
Welcome to the Andes. Where Chillan was full of forest and loam, Parvazo is loose barren and unforgiving.
If you look closely you can see 3 of the 40 switchbacks that it takes to reach the top of this trail far in the distance. With almost 3500 feet of descending this is a trail that needs to be on everyone's bucket list.
So long Nevados De Chillan. A fitting view to end our last day in this beautiful place.
After about 2500 feet of descending, you reach the first tree on Parvazo. In the distance under an inversion layer of clouds lays the capital city of Santiago.
Richie Rude on his final run in Chile on a remote and rugged trail that ends nearly at the doorsteps of 6 million people in Santiago.
Riders: Jared Graves
& Richie Rude
Photos: Dave Trumpore