FAQ for Parents About our Argentina Ski & Snowboard Camp
We encourage you to read through the frequently asked questions below, and call us at 800.851.4660 with any questions. We can’t wait to talk with you.
[engine_accordion][engine_section title=”Send my kid to Argentina alone? Are you serious?”] Yup, we’re serious. It’s not as crazy as it sounds — SASS has been bringing clients to Argentina and returning them safely for the past eight years. Our experienced staff provides round-the-clock supervision, both on and off the hill. Better yet, it’s a crew of counselors that your kid will actually want to hang out with. Take a few minutes and read through the Q&A below, and then call us to find out how your teenager can experience the best summer snow program in the world.[/engine_section]
[engine_section title=”Is it safe down there?”]Absolutely. Argentina is one of the most developed nations in South America, and is an ideal setting for an incredible and safe experience in a foreign country. Argentina is a stable democracy, and despite recent economic challenges, still has an extremely high standard of living. Bariloche, the city we’re based, is one of the safest in Argentina. We encourage you to do your research own research on Argentina and then call us — we’d love to talk with you about why we think Argentina is the ideal place to experience an amazing culture and incredible skiing and snowboarding. [/engine_section]
[engine_section title=”Do you accompany kids on flights?”]We generally have participants (both adults and Under-18) flying on every major flight leaving North America on our transfer days, so it’s highly unlikely he/she will be alone. But, we do not guarantee the presence of SGT staff during travel. For this reason, clients are required to be able to travel independently. We have a great arrival team and procedure that we’re happy to share with you, and we encourage you to speak with other clients about their travel experiences, even in cases of delay. A list of other participants traveling on the same flight can be provided, and “Unaccompanied Minor” services are available from the airlines for an additional fee.[/engine_section]
[engine_section title=”What happens when they arrive in Buenos Aires?”]After disembarking the aircraft, your child will be required to proceed through customs. English-speaking airline personnel are available to assist in the customs area, and there’s only one way to go — no alternate exits are available. Immediately after clearing customs, an SGT representative will meet your child and transfer them directly to the domestic terminal, or to the domestic airport if needed. An SGT representative will stay with all Under-18 participants until clients clear security for their domestic flight to Bariloche. Upon arrival in Bariloche, you son/daughter will be met by SGT staff and board the shuttle for a short ride to our lodging at Cerro Catedral. The same process is repeated in reverse for their return flight to the United States.[/engine_section]
[engine_section title=”What documents does my son or daughter need to travel?”] Your son/daughter will need 3 Documents to clear customs in Buenos Aires:
1) Valid Passport (Make 2 copies and place them in separate bags!)
2) $141 in Cash or Credit Card for their Argentina entry visa (valid for ten years)
3) Parental Consent & Travel Authorization Letter[/engine_section]
[engine_section title=”Can my son/daughter ride alone?”]
No. Your son/daughter will be placed into a group based on their ability level and goals for the session. Some groups will focus on backcountry riding, while others will focus on freestyle or park skills. Their guide/coach will be responsible for supervision while on the mountain. We maintain constant radio contact with all groups while on the mountain, in addition to cell phones. SGT also communicates with the Cerro Catedral-Alta Patagonia Ski Patrol when required.[/engine_section]
[engine_section title=”What about backcountry safety and avalanche risk?” ]
Backcountry education and avalanche safety form the cornerstone of our program. All SGT guides and coaches are AIARE or CAA certified in avalanche and backcountry safety, and American Red Cross certified in CPR and First Aid. In addition, our Head Guide Skylar Holgate and his colleagues perform snow safety checks in all backcountry zones prior to allowing groups to proceed. All participants ski/ride with an Avalanche Beacon, Shovel and Probe at all times. THIS EQUIPMENT IS REQUIRED AT ALL TIMES. It is available for rental in Argentina at $100 per week, but we recommend purchasing this equipment in advance, as it will last for years to come.[/engine_section]
[engine_section title=”Are the opportunities to experience local culture?”]
Absolutely. SASS staff routinely schedules excursions to various cultural attractions or the downtown area. Supervision will be provided at all times.[/engine_section]
[engine_section title=”How will my son/daughter stay in touch?”]
SGT has a US land-line phone number that connects directly to our Argentina office at the Lodge available for free use. Although we may request that participants limit the amount of time on the phone, it’s always available for emergency use. We also have Wi-Fi throughout our facility (though don’t expect North American speeds). Parents can also call the SASS office any time, day or night. We live there![/engine_section]
[engine_section title=”I still have questions…”]
Call 800.851.4660 to speak with a staff member who can answer almost any questions about our program. If we can’t answer them, we’ll find someone who can! We can also provide a list of references so you can contact the parents of past participants.[/engine_section][/engine_accordion]
Even as our company and family has evolved and grown up over the years, we never forget that the very first clients for our original staff were all Under-18. Long before we realized that just about everybody wants to come back to camp, our program was envisioned as an alternative to traditional glacier camps in North America. Today, we’re the largest guided backcountry program in Argentina, and we’ve adapted our program to serve the needs of Under-18 clients and adults alike, but we still bring our “camp” vibe — and supervision — to our Under 18 clients.
What does all this mean to you? It means that we’ve been welcoming high school students since the very beginning — and in truth, our Under-18 clients still represent the heartbeat of our program. Our staff is committed to keeping your son or daughter safe both on and off the mountain, all while facilitating cultural understanding and improving their skills as a skier or snowboarder.