Chase Josey is a member of the US Olympic Men’s Halfpipe Team from PyeongChang 2018 and a long-time SASS Family member. After finishing 6th at the Olympics this past winter he will be joining us for his 5th year at SASS Argentina – this time as a Guide Intern. We here at SASS could not be more proud of Chase and it truly gives us goosebumps to hear what he had to say about his years with us and the influence it has had on his snowboarding. This is what we do and why we do it. Check out Chase’s experience in his own words below…
I first traveled down to South America to meet up with SASS Global Travel in Argentina in August 2011. At the time I had no idea how influential the experience would be in shaping my concept of snowboarding. I flew down there with the idea of enjoying some powder turns with my friends on a nice little summer getaway. We certainly shared in some pow turns and good times. However, that first trip to Argentina truly shed light on a path I never imagined possible for myself within snowboarding. That path, now laid out in front of me, was the kindling I used to ignite my love and passion for snowboarding. This fire within now guides me through my career as a Professional Olympic Snowboarder.
One of the best parts about SASS is that it provides a practical and safe atmosphere for anyone to explore the reaches of backcountry skiing and snowboarding. Aside from the platform for backcountry education, there was also time to bring my freestyle past into a new world while taking my riding into the natural big mountain powder terrain. It was as if the fresh blanket of snow was a cure helping to reverse the burnout from constant halfpipe contests throughout the busy season. As I was connected to some of the most elite, professional, and talented guides and staff from around the world, I was able to refine my skills and defined a new vision for my snowboarding. The SASS Family truly encouraged my growth as an individual and as a snowboarder. I believe it to be these key moments which set into motion a passion and direction in snowboarding I never thought possible.
During my first year at SASS Argentina, I remember hiking toward the outer ridge of a zone called Laguna. As we passed the gate going from in-bounds at the resort, to the powder oasis out-of-bounds, our guide pulled out his avalanche beacon and proceeded to do a receiver check on everyone in the group. As I walked passed him, double checking my beacon was on and working, I tried to remain as calm and collected as possible trying to pretend like avalanche safety protocol was nothing new to me. However, it was! I can still recall the feeling and moment when we finally gained the ridge and looked down onto the untracked terrain of the incredibly scenic Patagonian Andes. It was a powerful moment of nervousness and excitement as I was completely immersed in this new universe and fully at Mother Nature’s mercy. I felt out of place as I was in unfamiliar territory, yet right at home with my new family and a snowboard on my feet. I felt safe with our guide leading us down the open face of this raw mountain, but after reflecting on a long day slashing some of the best turns in my life, I made a conscious decision to attain the necessary knowledge of backcountry safety and education. Now, all of a sudden, I found myself pursuing a whole new sport that was so far removed from my comfort zone within snowboarding. It was a humbling and rewarding feeling committing to this decision, knowing exactly what I wanted for myself.
As I packed up my bags at the end of my fourth consecutive summer at SASS in 2014, I knew I had experienced something very special. Maybe it was my newfound love for the Argentinian culture or the plethora of amazing memories with new friends, but what I think I really walked away with was my redefined and refocused spirit and intensity toward snowboarding. I really had an eye-opening moment where I was able to see just how much snowboarding allowed in life. With my newly formed view, I could see that there was a lifetime of snowboarding to be found in the backcountry. That, coupled with a recent boost of confidence in my riding from my time practiced landing new tricks in the soft powder, I realized I was eager to take my riding to new heights in the competitive halfpipe scene as well.
The 2014/15 North American winter season was just around the corner. Soon old man winter was upon us and as a participant on the US Halfpipe Snowboard Team, I was competing in many elite and pro level events and I quickly set my sights to the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games in South Korea. The Olympics were still a few years away, but I was more eager than ever to dedicate myself to the training and time necessary to ready my talent for the Olympic stage. It was with the fire I found in Argentina, that instilled that desire to succeed in the halfpipe. I ended up taking a three-year hiatus from SASS’s program in order to travel and train with the US Snowboard Team. In a crazy series of events this past season in 2017/18, I ended up gaining enough Olympic points and was named one of four guys to the Men’s Olympic Halfpipe team to compete in South Korea.
As I return home 6th place champion from the Winter Olympics in my discipline, I really have a ton of people I could thank for helping me to get to the position I’m in today – my parents, the US Snowboard team, my sponsors, my community and supporters etc… However, I truly would like to acknowledge my time with SASS Global Travel as a driving influence for my success and love for snowboarding; halfpipe and the backcountry.
— Chase Josey
Check out some shots of Chase from over the years and INQUIRE NOW below…
Want to join Chase this summer at SASS Argentina and open up the world of skiing / snowboarding in ways you never thought possible? Bring your freestyle to the backcountry while exploring a new culture with a crew of like-minded travelers. JOIN US…