Montana State University Bobcat Chase Samuels (center with red HH bag) stands atop an international podium in La Parva, Chile. Chase and Holden’s father Chris Samuels said he’s, “Super proud of both of the boys.”  The older Samuels added in an email to the Lookout, “Chase has been a Free Ride competitor his whole life. He has only done one other FWQ (this past winter he took 5th at Targhee’s FWQ event). Don’t know what the future holds for Chase competing. I would imagine he will do some.” The Samuels brothers faced a talent-rich field of riders from around the world on the snow at La Parva, Chile. Before he heads off to the University of Colorado-Boulder, recent LPHS grad Holden Samuels threw this backflip to claim victory during a recent Freeride World Qualifying event in Chile. Chase Samuels airs it out in La Parva, Chile, where he took first in a Freeride World Qualifying event. The 20-year-old is a junior at Montana State University studying business and son of active Lone Peak High School boosters Chris and Acra Samuels.

For Samuels family, the ski-snowboard season never ends

Big Sky locals claim top spots in South America

The first Freeride World Qualifying (FWQ) event of the year in the Andes was hosted by Chilean ski area La Parva recently, with Montana’s Samuels brothers making a big statement by winning both the men ski and men snowboard categories.

      La Parva sits high in the Andes above Santiago (you can see the skyscrapers from the ski area), but is a world away from the urban charms of Chile’s biggest city. Here, on the edge of the Andes, the snow is cold and the air crisp and clear. The mountain—featuring open rolling terrain punctuated by hike-to steep, cliff studded zones above the lifts—was hosting the first FWQ event of the season for the Andes and the first FWQ event in the history of the ski area.

      The competition was held on the “Triangle” venue. With a steep, hike-to zone opening, followed by a bowl with a variety of cliffs and rocks, the terrain was ideal for a FWQ 2* level competition: challenging but friendly enough for athletes competing for the first time to have fun and get up to speed.

      Holden Samuels, 18, took the top spot in the men snowboard category with a fast, fluid line featuring a big backflip. The flip was enough to put him ahead of Argentina’s Tomas Castelli, with Swiss rider Walter Brughelli rounding out an international podium.

      In the men ski category, it was older brother Chase Samuels, 20, with the win, edging out Chilean athletes Santiago Aparicio (2nd) and Matias Doherty (3rd) for the victory.

      The international flavor of the event, which attracted athletes from eight different countries including Spain, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Great Britain and Australia along with Chile and Argentina, was also reflected in results for the ladies.

      Austria’s Bettina Pickl ended up with the win for the women snowboarders, ahead of Chile’s Macarena Bravo, while Spanish rider Maria Soares completed the podium

      For the skiers, it was Austria’s Birgit Ertl with the win while Argentine skier Dana Toso finished in second. Chilean athlete Sofia Clement came in third. 

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