Santiago de Chile 18 Agosto, dos mil once; What sort of warped mind would leave the comforts of a Colorado summer for the dead of Chilean winter? I can name several of them. For when your mind is warped as ours are warped, travel is not travel without some defining obstacle. And for our little crew, the trust-tree is skiing. Andean skiing. Mean and I have been here for two days already. A little early getaway, the calm before the storm. We fooled ourselves into a smooth transition to unseasonable winter by heading for the coast. A nice getaway, until we headed back inland. And even reconciling the student unrest on the gran plan of Valparaiso, the white majestic towers lurking beyond 68 East lead us to know that we have nothing to fear. We are in our element. So tonight we hunker down, waiting for Zip-Loc, Chevalier and DiPaola, who arrive via a red eye in a few short hours, checking the snow reports, modifying the age-old mantra set in place by the Knight himself. Todo que necesitamos es un meter. Verdad. And tomorrow the last remaining hints of August will be shaken free as we head upward into the heart of our favorite season, an Andean bloom of white that has lured us from the sleepy haunts of summer’s long day-dream. Even as we sat idly at a picturesque Chilean vineyard today, engaging in the customary social dividends that go hand-in-hand with adventurous mayhem, our eyes were peeled on the cumulus clouds growing inland from us. Tomorrow we find December. En Agosto.