Our mission is to help others. Whether that be advancing backcountry skills, building confidence on and off the peaks, or helping fellow athletes pursue their dreams. Read below of two stories by SASS U18 campers who will do whatever it takes to make it back for another year.

Molly Kucher cruising in some powder!

 

My name is Molly Kucher and I am 17 years old. Born and raised in Sun Valley, Idaho, I have been skiing for past 14 years and want to pursue skiing with all of my heart. I have been a part of the Sun Valley Ski Team for five years with 3 years alpine and 2 years currently big mountain. Skiing is my favorite sport to devote all of my extra time to. 

 

“This season will be my second season competing in Big Mountain, last year I fully committed myself to the team and plan to do the same this year.”

 

Going to ski in Japan would be an amazing life experience all around. Being able to bring my passion to a new environment will make me a better skier by pushing myself into more diverse terrain.

 

“I’ve heard of stories from people who have skied Japan and they sound so epic, but I want to feel that experience too that I have only heard about for so long.”

 

Spending a week in Hokkaido with the SASS Japan U18 camp is a dream of mine. Inserting myself into a whole new culture while pursuing my biggest passion would really enhance my personal skills on and off the mountain.

Along with living the experience, it will also give me an opportunity to build my profile to present to sponsors. This opportunity would help me tremendously in reaching my future skiing goals. If you would like to help me achieve my dream in Japan, please visit my GoFundMe page and make a donation. Every donation would help greatly, thank you!

 


 

Cole booting up to the top.

SASS has been the highlight of my last two summers. My name is Cole Wettersten Aka (Skier Cole) and I did a week at SASS Argentina in 2016 and 2017. It is worth the money even if its all of it.

 

My first year at SASS Argentina I won a scholarship from SASS at a ski event and knew what my summer plans would be immediately, I was going to Argentina. I had been working since I was 14 to help my mom pay for coaching at my home mountain. At first this seemed no different.

 

I also kept all my birthday money and set up a payment plan with SASS so I could continue to pay it off working jobs the rest of the year. The next year I did it all over again.

 

That summer I worked two part time jobs, one at a pizza place at night, and landscaping during the day. Sometimes I even had to take a shower at the public recreation center in between jobs. On top of the money I made working, I also got a scholarship from my home resort to go.

 

Cole Wettersten shooting the gap in Argentina

 

I am honestly twice the skier I probably would have been because of SASS. Not just because I learned a backflip, how to skin, avalanche awareness, but because of the connections and friendships I gained through SASS.

 

Meeting all the great people there was half the fun. I now have connections no matter where I go. SASS gave me confidence both on and off the mountain.

 

Tips on How to Get There

  • Book flights Early (you can save about $1500)
  • Ask for scholarships (they’re out there you just gotta ask)
  • SASS will help you (I would have never made it w/o the payment plan and their help with booking me a cheaper flight)
  • IFSA members get a discount
  • Ask relatives for money even if they scare you
  • Go for as long as you can (I would go for a month if I could afford it
    

 

Once You’re There

  • Get a photo pack! (The photos pay for themselves when you send them to possible 
    sponsors and get free or discounted merchandise) Ben G. does a great job!
  • Meet as many people as possible and make friends with them. (Not only will it 
    impress your other friends when you know someone no matter where you go, but when 
    you see them again at their home area, they’ll take you to the powder!!!)
  • Have as many experiences as possible (even if you have to hike) I did my first 
    backflip, learned how to skin for the first time, my first pillow line made of 
    a bamboo forest, and lots of new food) “Its not bamboo” -Pedro