Every winter growing up, I would go on family ski vacations. Some of my earliest memories are composed of me skidding down bunny slopes at mountains in the Northeast, like Belleayre and Mountain Creek, where I took my first ski lessons. My family would take trips up to Smugglers Notch, Vermont where my dad would throw me in ski school. Although I loved learning to perfect my form with the coaches, I couldn’t wait for the chance to get out of my lesson and shred with my pops. I worked my way up from level to level until I was comfortable riding anywhere on the mountain. This was a dangerous time, because now I was confident enough to want to push the boundaries of my skiing, but I didn’t have the experience on snow to back up my newfound ballsiness.
It was time to step it up. Weekend warrior trips in the winter didn’t cut it anymore. I had to satisfy my constant craving for snow somehow. Now was the time to end my usual summer vacation and devote some more time to the mountain. So, I packed up my stuff and headed for a week long camp on the Whistler Backcomb glacier. There I was really pushed by my coaches, enabling me to learn all sorts of new tricks. In an environment where everyone is skiing at a higher level than you, that is where you get pushed to try new things and improve as a skier. You can observe the other skiers technique and take not on their style. I would ask for tips on how to nail that one down rail or lock in that 360. My time park skiing in Canada was the first step of realizing my full potential as a skier.
The winter after my time on the glacier I headed back for more skiing with my family at Whistler. During a chair lift conversation with a mystery skier, we talked about how it had been a weak snow year for Whistler, and how it was going to hurt the glacier camps that summer. The skier told me that I was an idiot for going to ski summer slush when I could ski fresh powder all summer. How is that possible I wanted know. By going down to Argentina on a program called SASS Global Travel. I pulled up the company’s website and a phone call later I was all lined up to spend 2 weeks of my summer in Argentina shredding the gnar.
When in Argentina my skiing progressed to levels it never could have reached at home in the northeast. Here, I entered a new world, the world of backcountry skiing. No longer was I a park rat, hitting icy jumps and hiking homemade rails. I now had to be aware of avalanches and all the other dangers that come along with riding big mountain terrain. Argentina was so awesome that I extended my trip an additional two weeks and I came back the next summer for a month again. This time was so valuable because every second you spend on the snow you learn something new, whether it be how to build a jump or how to drop a cliff. I learned every thing I know about backcountry skiing with SGT.
After all the days I spent on the snow, I knew I could take on anything. No more ski school for me, time to crank some turns with my pops. He was the one that had to catch up with me now, as I sat waiting at the bottom of the trail for him.
Go Skiing in Argentina, it will open your eyes to new culture, new terrain and hey you just may get good enough to ski with your old man!