Words: Michelle Parker
Three years ago I had the pleasure of joining a group of friends to South America to film for a local Mammoth movie company, OPP. The trip was amazing and I left knowing it wouldn’t be long until I was back again. Since then I’ve been trying to fit it in my summer plans, but it never seemed to work out. Garrett Russell was on that trip with me. He’s been going back to South America every summer since then and has developed a lasting relationship with South America Snow Sessions (www.sasnowsessions.com). I ran into Garrett this year at a Line shoot in Squaw and he was speaking spanish with some Argentines who call Tahoe there home during the southern hemisphere’s summer. I was stoked to see him getting along so well with the language and it peaked my longing for the Latin American culture. Naturally, I hounded Garrett to get me in with the camp. Shortly thereafter, I received an e-mail from the boss man John Sang in regards to a coaching job. I was stoked and booked my ticket without hesitation.
The camp takes place in Bariloche, the local mountain being Cerro Catedral. I had never been there, nor did I know more than a couple people that I would be joining. I was shuttled from the airport to my new lake front home where I would be living amongst 15 other coaches for the next month and a half. With snow in the forecast, everybody had smiles. I did a short meet andgreet with my future campers, house mates, and the head men at camp.Right away, I felt at home. There was a high level of stoke and a goodfamily atmosphere. Shortly thereafter, it all begun.
Face shots, tree bonks, powder, cliff drops, backcountry jumps, lines, happy campers, happy coaches, wine, meat, lot’s of meat, hand plants, switch backs, front flips, condors, mate, Spanish classes, and the traditional Argentine asados quickly became the norm. I got used to it and changed my ticket to stay longer. Argentina was pulling me in. The longer I was there, the less I wanted to leave. Good friends, fresh tracks, and delicious food is tough to leave behind, but my cousin was having a hoedown wedding that I couldn’t miss and that brought me back to North America.
SASS rules! They are all still down there shredding the fresh 10 feet that recently accumulated. This year they had an amazing group of skiers with the likes of Garrett Russel, Dash Longe, Pep Fujas, Jordan Seldon, Nico Alba, Mauri (sorry I never got the last name), and the guides Skylar and Alex. Skylar and Alex did a briefing on avalanches and a pit digging lesson on the hill and I gave quite a few beacon drills for the kiddies. One of the campers, Mel Yemma, brought down some handmade skis (The Bamboozle) for everyone to try out and get inspired. It was all together a highly successful first visit with SASS and I plan on going back years to come. I wish I had more ski shots to share, but I was to busy getting some one my own. Hope to see more skiers next year!