In early 2015, Poor Boyz Productions launched Poor Boyz Undiscovered: a month-long search for the best unknown skiers out there. Athletes were invited to submit a 90-second edit, and, based on online voting and a panel of judges, three athletes won a $5,000.00 cash prize and a trip powder skiing Chile’s Andes Mountains with Poor Boyz in the summer of 2015. One of the three winners was Ian Hamilton. Take a look at Ian’s edit reel below, and then check out some photos and read Ian’s quick take on the whole experience.
Revision Skis: Do you want to start out with the basics of the contest itself? When you decided to enter, everything it took to drum up votes, etc?
I originally saw the contest on Facebook and didn’t pay it much attention until a bunch of people encouraged me to enter. After I looked at the judging criteria and rules I knew I had a pretty good shot at winning so I got together all my best shots and sent them over to my buddy Zach Falen to get them into a 90 second piece. I was super pumped on my edit and really wanted to go to Chile so I went all out. I contacted all my friends, family, and sponsors to help spread the word and I was absolutely blown away by the response I got. A huge thanks to everyone who watched, shared, and voted. I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support.
Revision Skis: On the trip itself, emotions heading into some powder skiing in Chile? Were you stoked, anxious, a little bit of everything? Did you guys have a smooth trip there?
It was weird winning the contest and knowing the trip was going to happen but having a huge period of time before we actually went. It didn’t really seem real all summer so when the time actually came to go to the airport I was almost in shock. I had no idea what to expect, just a ticket and my gear. It was an easy trip there though, I left Montana around 1 pm and was in Atlanta by 7:30 where I met up with most of the crew before the overnight flight to Santiago. We arrived in Santiago the next morning by 7 and after we got through customs we filmed packing up the van before taking off to Valle Nevado which was an hour north. We ended up going skiing right when we got to Valle Nevado so it was a crazy two days and I slept like a rock my first night in Chile.
Revision Skis: How about the lodging?
The lodging was incredible, we partnered with Valle Nevado and then Rocanegra Lodge when we skied outside of Chillan. It the best I have ever stayed and eaten on a ski trip hands down. It was a crazy experience not knowing enough Spanish to communicate and having to do a lot of learning through observing and testing. There was a lot of food that wasn’t familiar but was delicious, and I still don’t know exactly what it was.
The best down time was definitely at Rocanegra Lodge, it is an absolute paradise. Located one valley over from the ski area Nevados de Chillan, Rocanegra is almost a nature retreat. You are surrounded by awesome mountains and the lodge looks like a medieval castle. There are also hottubs, a sauna, a pool and a yoga house. Not to mention the 5 course meals were delectable. I can’t wait to go back someday.
Revision Skis: Culture?
Honestly I was surprised at how little culture shock I had. People are people no matter where you go, just trying to live their lives to the fullest. The language barrier was a little strange but everyone was super friendly and stoked on what we were doing. It made me want to travel way more and experience as many places as possible.
Revision Skis: Terrain?
Ian Hamilton: The Andes blew me away. Never before had I skied such giant alpine peaks. I grew up skiing steep tree runs so having a completely open face was a bit disconcerting. It was totally a learning experience being in those mountains and I am undoubtedly hooked. There were so many options for jumps and cliff hits that we didn’t even scratch the surface. I really want to go back for a longer trip and see more of the terrain.
Revision Skis: New friends made?
Over the course of the trip the entire crew became great friends. I can’t thank the PBP crew enough for such an incredible experience. One of the best parts of the trip for me, however, was spending time with our guides. Having passionate skiers and boarders show you their home terrain is so awesome. I was blown away by how similar-minded a person who lives in a different hemisphere could be. The owner of Rocanegra and also our guide, Ruben, thought about the world in exactly the same way I did. We had great talks about how interconnected everything is and how interaction with nature is a crucial component of a live well lived. I made friends that I will never forget and I hope to see them soon.
Revision Skis: Thoughts on the performance of the skis?
I was so pumped on how the Subtractions skied. We had a lot of variable conditions because we arrived a couple days after a storm. Most places were either wind or sun affected so you had to adjust your skiing every time we changed aspects. The Subtractions handled everything we encountered perfectly, from punchy jump landings to blower faceshots. I can’t believe how well they perform for both jumping and skiing, they are the most playful ski I have ever skied on.
Revision Skis: What was your overall experience while powder skiing Chile?Â
The trip really gave me a whole new perspective on both skiing and traveling. Skiing has really become a vehicle for me to travel and experience the world in a way that would otherwise be impossible. My life has been so positively affected by not just skiing but the people I have met through skiing. It is incredible to share such a burning passion for sliding down a mountain with people from around the world. I truly believe that connecting with nature and other people through something as simple as skiing is one of the best parts of life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
CONGRATS again Ian on winning this sick contest and opportunity!