We had the chance to hang out and catch up with the head ski coaches at SASS to talk about their summer in the Southern Hemisphere and how epic it’s been in Argentina. These pro skiers have different agendas in the ski world, but all came to shred massive pow and coach clients during their summer at SASS. Check out what the crew had to say their about favorite experiences and why they’ll be getting SASStastic for life.
GrindTV: How long have you guys been a part of SASS family?
GrindTV: Summer with SASS is coming to a close, how has this season been for you guys?
Garrett: It’s been awesome.
Michelle: It’s been really good with the ski groups because we have a really good camper to coach ratio. We’ve just been cruising around, going at a really high pace, and it’s easy to break off and do whatever the clients want to do.
Heim: Ya, its been really good. The groups have been really well oriented with the mountain, so if some want to go hike or hit cliffs, it’s easy to send them on their way with different coaches. Most of the skiers have been really good. For us it’s been really, really fun.
Garrett: The clients are coming in ready for action. Many have never really have used a beacon, so I’ve been enjoying teaching how to use it. I’ve had a great time with that.
GrindTV: What are some highlights of this season?
Michelle: This a huge experience so a lot of kids have never done anything remotely close to this. I think just watching them jump into it and have them come out stoked with a big smile is cool to see.
Heim: I think for a lot of campers the highlights have been hiking the terrain. A lot of people come from the the East coast so they never really hike runs, and here they’re getting to ride different terrain by hiking to it. They get to travel through backcountry where there is avalanche potential and think that’s a cool experience for them.
Grindtv: What have the conditions at Cerro Catedral been like this summer? Powder, fluff, todo?
Garrett: It’s pretty much how the game is. You go places and sometimes you have to wait and that’s part of being in a weather dependent sport. You have to be patient and pay your dues and sometimes you get really good days and sometimes you get bad days.
Heim: The majority of days have been ski days because there’s been so much snow. There’s been a couple days where it’s been snowing so hard, that the upper part of the mountain is closed, but then you know that the next day will be really good.
Michelle: I think being at a camp like SASS where we primarily hike gives us the opportunity to ski good snow even after it hasn’t snowed for a while.
GrindTV: What’s the terrain like at Cerro Catedral?
Heim: The mountain here is amazing and the terrain is pretty cool. The trees here are amazing. They’re some of the most beautiful trees I’ve ever skied through.
Garrett: I think they’re better than Japan even. On the right day it’s magical in there. Super green moss with parrots flying around and when it’s good, it’s really good.
Heim: And it’s long…
Michelle: Ya, in one run you go from skiing these granite spires, to epic trees with little poppers and pillows, then down to skiing through bamboo. It’s varied terrain and surroundings but with super long runs.
Garrett: The big lines out by the Frey are very big, high consequence lines and you’re way out there so you have to teach the respect of the mountains.
GrindTV: How’s camp life?
Garrett: It’s Wiiiild.
Giggles from all.
Garrett: It’s funnier than fun and full of culture.
Michelle: I’d say personally I don’t really have that much time on my hands because there’s something to do all the time. Whether it’s yoga class, Spanish class, going into town, or even just a little bit of relaxation, we’re definitely kept pretty busy.
Heim: Ya it’s pretty fun. I’d say the difference with this camp versus a normal summer ski camp is that you do ski all day, especially when it’s good. We go out pretty early and we don’t come back till pretty late because the mountain is open until 5 o’clock everyday. By the time you get back, everyone is pretty tired.
GrindTV: But you guys are able to let loose a bit, here and there?
Garrett: Absolutely! I mean it’s the ski world, we’re wild people we live our life to the fullest on a daily basis..
GrindTV: Michelle, can you talk about the plastic bottle greenhouse and how’s the building process is going?
Michelle: It’s going super well. Mark Abama was down here for a super long time working on it, and James, aka Hiemer has been working on it and a lot of people have been helping out. Basically we just need to get it to the school and get it in the ground. It’s cool, It will give the students a good opportunity to learn about where their food comes from, how to grow their own food and to learn about recycling.
*Editors note: The greenhouse has been donated to Bariloche School 315 which is a local primary school near the base of the mountain.
GrindTV: What have been the standout moments this season?
Garrett: There hasn’t been that much skiing for me this year, so I’ve just been hanging with the crew and I’m here for moral support. I don’t have an ACL so I’m here to support the everyone and make little edits, and the nightlife is my highlight.
Heim: It’s been really cool to watch the clients go out there and have a good time. There’s been so many good days and some of these guys have never skied anything like this. That’s been one of the better things for me, just watching these kids shred. Some are hitting cliffs and stomping it and coming away so stoked which is really cool.
Michelle: Watching the kids progress and being apart of that has been awesome. Emma Landy definitely stood out to me as girl that rips and I l love seeing that. I remember one off day, she said “It’s not okay that the guys are going bigger than me right now.” She just wanted to get out there and charge. She let her skiing speak for herself and that was really cool to see.
GrindTV: What’s next for you guys? How will you be spending you’re last days here?
Garrett: I’m looking forward to getting healthy, and plan to film for the Traveling Circus in the upcoming months.
Heim: I’ll be training throughout the fall, and will be ready to film in January.
Michelle: I hope to get back on board with Matchstick (Productions) and want to get back into park. I was injured in March 09 so this summer has been the first time I’ve been back on snow skiing consecutive days, so I’m looking forward to having a full season.
Now, as the cold of winter loosens its grip and spring weather creeps into the Patagonia region, SASS ski coaches find their way back to North America. We’re stoked they let us in on on the happenings of their summer. Be on the look out for Michelle, Garrett, and James- they’ll be popping up all over this coming season, just you wait.