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Local man chases Chilean snow

Powell rider to shoot film in South America  

Ryan Berchtold is truly heading south for the winter.

A professional snowmobiler from Powell, Berchtold will leave for Chile on Sunday for five weeks of riding and filming.

Berchtold, along with two other riders, will hit some of Chile’s remote slopes as they make a film for Burandt’s Backcountry Adventure, a snowmobiling company based out of Buena Vista, Colo.

“We’re just going to do a bit of filming and riding,” Berchtold said.

The trip will be Berchtold’s first international riding excursion. Snowmobiling isn’t big in Chile just yet but other snow sports are becoming increasingly popular.

“Snowmobiling isn’t big but snowboarding and skiing is,” he said.

Berchtold and his fellow Burandt riders will meet up with a group of Chileans at a mountain lodge near the center of the elongated country. One Burandt rider is already in Chile and will show Berchtold and another rider the ropes before returning to America.

“There’s a group of guys that have a lodge and do backcountry snowmobiling and snowboarding,” Berchtold said.

Some Chilean winter sport enthusiasts operate in the reverse of Berchtold’s plan, he said. They come to the U.S. during the American winter and head back to South America when their winter picks up.

Berchtold lives in Powell most of the year but spends four or five months in Crescent Butte, Colo., for the snow.

Berchtold plans to return home Sept. 3, giving him plenty of time to prepare for the next snow adventure.

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