SASS alum James “Haffy” Haffner en route to a 6th place finish in the Open Men’s slopestyle at Nationals.

So the SGT crew finally got out of the East Coast to head to the beautiful, sun, wine and snow-drenched slopes of Copper Mountain, Colorado.  With over a 1000 snowboard competitors from ages 9-62 from across the Lower 48 and Alaska descending on Summit County to compete in boardercross, giant slalom, slalom, halfpipe and slopestyle, the USASA Nationals is quite a spectacle, with every contest running every day for a different age group.

Our partners Sierra Nevada College sent one of their unsuspecting admissions officers, Aaron, along to spread the good word of SNC at our tent, and we had steady traffic coming by all week long.

SASS Argentina coach Brian Angelone, doing his signature ski pole balancing dance during a break from coaching the Loon freestyle ski team.

We got to try a few pair of Ski Logik skis during our trip, which the SGT crew loved.  Handmade wooden skis, 95% renewable materials, stiff, damp, fast, amazingly fun skis – check these out.  The designs turned so many heads at the tent we ended up being impromptu Ski Logik reps at Copper.  Here Lucas evangelizes a few people about the Ski Logik Bomb Squad, my favorite from their line.  Thanks Liam for hooking up the skis! Check out a quick video about the Bomb Squad below:

We were able to sneak out of the tent for one powder morning, a heap of soft spring laps, and even got to watch a few events.  Here SASS alum Eric Beauchemin bones one out to a 4th place finish.  Fellow SMS & SASS alum James Haffner came behind him in 7th, with a huge run in the superpipe that brought him to a surprise 4th place, with a perfect finish by airing out of the pipe and over the venue fencing.  And they say showmanship is dead…

At the end of the trip, we got to spend Travis’ birthday evening at our client & friend J Ragz’s house in Denver.  With perfect spring weather and a sturdy mini-pipe on end, it was a great way to end the trip.  Here J Ragz nails a crooked stall.

As it was Travis’ 35th birthday, it was only appropriate that we combine a birthday cake with ice cream, Travis’ favorite food.    While Lucas had trouble taking a photo, the ice cream cake reads “35 years elite,” a little bit of an inside joke for us in the office who get to hear Travis espouse on his on-again, off-again snowboard coaching career.  Happy birthday T!!

On a more somber note, we had two very difficult situations come up during our stay in Colorado.  Harry Sherman, a long-time SASS Argentina client and a close member of our extended family, crashed during his flawless boardercross run, landing on his neck and suffering serious brain trauma and falling into a coma.  He is now at a great trauma center in Denver and recovering – while he is still in a coma for most of the day and can’t speak or listen yet, he can eat solid food, sit up, and even put on his medal that his teammates brought him.

Harry pointing to one of his favorite runs at SASS.

Check out the full post on Harry here and follow his progress and read his guestbook here.  Harry has been an example of perseverance for the SASS family since we got to know him and while it will be a long and difficult road for him and his family, we know he can come back.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Harry and his family.

We are also deeply saddened to report the death, in the same week, of our friend Dylan Peters.  Dylan, a 17-year old Vermont native and up-and-coming snowboarder on the Mt. Mansfield Ski & Snowboard Club, died last week in a tragic car accident.  While we have no further details, it deeply saddens us to see Dylan go, and our thoughts and prayers are with his friends, teammates, and family as they mourn his loss.  As opportunities to send Dylan’s family condolescences arise, we will let you know about them.

-Travis, Lucas, Ryan and David at SASS Global Travel