SASS ARGENTINA STAFF
SASS Argentina is staffed by the best people in the world. Seriously. Most of the staff have been shredding Argentina for the better part of a decade, and are responsible for delivering the experience for which SASS Argentina is famous. All of our coaches have at minimum achieved their Level 1 AIARE avalanche safety certification and are CPR/first aid certified. All of our guides have Level 2 or 3 certifications, have attended guide school and are certified in wilderness first aid.
— Blaine Gallivan, two years and counting…
SASS Argentina is staffed a select group of unique people that have a shared passion for all endeavors in adventure, snow and life. This is the crew that makes it all happen. Their reputation precedes them as the professional and fun crew in charge of your on-mountain adventures, travel logistics and good times. Get to know a little more about your new family…
SKYLAR HOLGATE – Head Guide
Skylar is the Head Guide for SASS Argentina and has been an instrumental part of the SASS Argentina experience since it’s inception. During the winter, Skylar is a senior guide at Silverton Mountain has guided everyone from expert skiers and snowboarders to film crews like TGR and Warren Miller. As a native of Durango, Colorado, Skylar knows every line in Southwest Colorado and is one of the owners of The Bonnie Belle Cabin in Silverton, CO. Skylar is the man you want showing you the way. Skylar rides professionally for The North Face, Smith Optics, The Levitation Project, Venture Snowboards, Spark R&D, Air Blaster, and Burton Boots. Oh, and he also spends his springs guiding for Silverton Mountain Guides in the Northern Chugach range of Alaska.
PETE CONNOLLY – Mountain Operations Director / Guide
Pete Connolly has had his hand in just about every aspect of SASS Global Travel at one point or another. Back in Argentina for his fifth year, “Sneaky” Pete is always down to keep skiing, hike farther and show those looking for a soul-shred mission what that really means. Now our Mountain Operations Director, he works with Head Guide Skylar Holgate to create and execute the on-mountain plan for the day and knows everyone’s name almost immediately. After guiding at Silverton Mountain for the past four years, he took a hiatus this season to launch the SASS Japan program. He is also the Brand Manager for SASS Global Travel, based in Puerto Rico when not on snow. Pete’s goal in argentina is to make sure that you have the experience you are looking for every day. Let him know your goals and he will make it happen.
ANDREW BURNS – Senior Freestyle Coach
Burns is an OG SASS Argentina character and regularly pulls off the longest days on the staff. With as much, if not more, experience than anyone building backcountry jumps, Burns will teach you where and how to build and then show you how to hit it. He is a nuclear reactor and every ounce of his energy during August goes to making the SASS Argentina experience better for our clients. Not only is he an on-snow machine, he is a media force to be reckoned with. His hands are in just about every piece of video we put out through editing, filming and concept development. Andrew rides for D-Day Snowboards, Levitation Project, Zeal Optics, 32, MyPakage, Etnies shoes, Union Bindings, Drop and SEABA Heli. Follow Burns at thepirateburns.com, or @burnshimself.
MICHELLE PARKER – Ski Coach
Michelle joins the SASS crew for her sixth season as a ski coach. Hailing from Lake Tahoe, CA, Parker is pure dynamite on skis. As a leader in freeskiing, her presence makes everyone she rides with better. Michelle lives for skiing and showing clients the best backcountry experience of their lives, drawing from her extensive experience filming big-mountain lines all over the world and attending guide school in Alaska. Michelle also does extensive volunteer work for organizations like the High Five Foundation, Alpine Initiative and I am Pro Snow. MP had another huge year in 2013-2014 while filming with MSP. Look for her video parts in the fall of 2014. Michelle skis for Red Bull, Mountain Hardwear, Atomic, Dakine, Kicker, Anon, Squaw Valley, Tahoe Teas, and Wildflour Bakery. Follow Michelle’s travels on her blog or on instagram: @myshellparker.
CHRIS COULTER – Guide
If you’re familiar at all with freeride snowboarding, then Chris Coulter needs no introduction. While he’s too humble to admit it, Chris has been responsible for countless riders getting more interested in the backcountry thanks to his years of experience absolutely crushing lines from Argentina to AK. Coulter is always leading the biggest missions and loves to get riders trying splitboarding for the first time, either for a quick tour or a multi-day mission. Coulter has been at SASS Argentina since 2005. In 2012, he started working at Silverton Mountain in Colorado as a snowboard patrol and guide and at SEABA Heli in Haines, Alaska. He is currently Avalanche Level 2, OEC & WFA certified. Chris rides for Jones Snowboards, First Ascent, Smith, Bluebird wax, CFR, Spark R&D. Follow him on his blog CCoulterShred.com.
GARRETT RUSSELL – Guide
The Garrett Russell Experience. An adventure that’s kept people coming back for years. While he wouldn’t want us to say it, Garrett inspires people to take a different view on life and how sweet it is on a pair of skis. Garrett is stoked in every moment of skiing, especially in Argentina, and approaches backcountry riding in a completely different way. You’ve seen him in the videos – now get The Experience. Learn what it truly means to have fun on skis from this SASS Argentina legend. Garrett noseblocks and pow slashes for Line skis, Full Tilt boots, Dakine, Trew Gear, Smith optics, Marker bindings, Joystick poles, Telluride, and Develop clothing. Check him out on the Line Traveling Circus series or enjoy irregular updates from The Experience on Garrett’s blog.
ROBIN VAN GYN – Guide
Robin has been a part of the SASS family for the better part of the past decade. She is back this year as a full-time snowboard coach to show anyone willing how it’s done. A veteran of the snowboard industry and long-time Whistler local, she is an unreal asset both in the air and in the whiteroom. After a number of years of guest coaching appearances we are stoked to have her back as a full-on member of the team. She will be heading up the Women’s Session this summer as well, showing some ladies how to do it in the backcountry with style. She has picked apart all of the zones surrounding Catedral and is always down to explore new ones. There are few people that enjoy the shred as much as she does. Robin rides for Roxy, Levitation Project, NOW, Whistler Blackcomb, Voke Tab and I Heart Pom Pom. @robinvangyn.
MAURI CAMBILLA – Ski Coach
“You send it man,” the classic call of our lovable local. Mauri has been a pro skier for many years and as a native of Bariloche, he knows Catedral, the history of the mountain and the town like few do. He is not only magic on his skis as he skates into the biggest backcountry features on the mountain, but knows the local scene and every person in Patagonia. Making his winter home in Whister, Mauri understands North Americans and brings his unique sense of humor and warm spirit to the SASS family for another year. What else can we say about Mauri that has not been said about oven baked cookies? He is soft, warm and leaves you wanting more. If you are lucky enough to hang out with him off the mountain just sit back and enjoy some of the best stories you have ever heard.
TONY PAVLANTOS – Guide
When Tony is not singing on a glacier or finding hidden pillows from New Mexico to Alaska, he resides in Utah. He shares his knowledge of life and mountains to enthrall his audience and motivate them to never stop searching. Tony looks forward to providing quality personal protection equipment as his line of product designs become publicly available. The mountains are his sanctuary and without them he would be lost in a desert. Nothing fuels Tony’s soul more than a fresh face-shot. Seeing and hearing a client’s excitement when they ride an untouched line forms an instant friendship for Tony, which is his motivation to spend his time guiding with SASS Argentina. An environmental activist and passionate human being, Pavlantos’ sponsors include Never Summer, Pro Bar, Verts, Petzl, Voile and Goal Zero.
PIERS SOLOMON – Ski Coach
The Semi-Swiss, Piers Solomon joins the SASS Argentina crew for his fourth year. Originally a client, he quickly rose to the ranks of intern and this is his second year as a ski coach. Hailing from Engelberg, Switzerland with roots in California, Piers has grown up shredding the Alps like few before him. He makes his aggressive line choices seem effortless with laid-back style for days. Helpful off the jumps, cliffs and in the biggest terrain possible, his knowledge of skiing and passion for it is rare in anyone, let alone someone of his age. He loves skiing as much as anyone and is eager to show you why. You can find him on screen in Sweetgrass Productions films. He spends his winters in Europe with a dash of travel thrown in. He skis for DPS Skis and Patagonia.
JEN McGOLDRICK – Snowboard Coach
Making it back to SASS Argentina for her second year on the team, Jen McGoldrick is the happiest rider on the mountain. With endless experience as a freestyle coach in her home town of Whistler, Jen knows how to turn fundamentals into confident power shredding. With a hankering for that deep snow, she is up for any mission to somewhere new. After the day on the mountain she can be found back at the lodge eyeing the windows for the first signs of new snow. On the mountain she shows us what’s up in the park, on the rails and can give you few hints on what it takes to make that perfect signature pow slash. She holds a perfect record for taking home the gold in competitions entered while in Argentina. She’s one for one.
BEN GIRARDI – Head Photographer
While he’s got enough skills on his snowboard to have earned the reputation “Sir Lands-a-lot,” Ben really creates magic when he’s behind the lens – check out our photo galleries for evidence. As Head Photographer, Ben makes sure he’s got his finger on the shutter button whenever coaches and clients are slashing pow on Nubes, getting airborne off the Condor hip, or sending cliffs in Laguna. His library of photos helps make people jealous back home while we are down in Argentina. Ben G now makes his home in Salt Lake City where he is raising a baby condor that he rescued from the Catedral backcountry. Ben loves writing heart felt letters, editing photos and eating waffles at Tage. A long-time client who made the switch to the staff a long time ago, Ben G. is the real deal. No joke. Check out is work: bengirardiphotography.
LUCAS MOORE – Program Director
Lucas Moore is pure energy. His relentless non-stop movement sets the tone for the SASS Argentina experience. His hyper focus on horrible movies, dancing, and party boy music make “The Lucas” a fan favorite and one of the reasons many of our clients return to Argentina. “El Mas Blanco” heads up site operations, systems, client management, and event planning. Even with all his responsibilities he finds a way to ski more than most, hang out with clients and add media to the vault of awesomeness. Lucas knows pretty much everything, just ask him and he may allow you to see the secrets of the world according to Lucas. Two billboard appearances at the base of Catedral and three-time Hampton Beach dancehall champion – ladies and gentlemen: Lucas Moore.
DAVID BURG – General Manager / Logistics Specialist
David was brought into the SASS Argentina fold when we met him in downtown bariloche with only the promise of a pass to Catedral almost five years ago. A self-proclaimed “nerd for business,” David ascended the ranks to General Manager for his fifth season in South America -overseeing business operations, contracts, technical development, Argentina logistics and much more. David’s logistical prowess is second to none and will make your trip to and from Argentina as simple as possible. David now splits time between his home base in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and the SASS Global Travel headquarters in Rincon, Puerto Rico. Fluent in Spanish with a flawless Argentine accent, David is also an accomplished pilot, Argentine craft beer specialist, aspiring surfer and a damn-decent skier.
TRAVIS MOORE – Managing Director
Travis is the voice on the other end of the phone at SASS Global Travel. His infectious attitude pushes the SASS Argentina staff towards our boards and skis during the day and our computers at night. Travis does not spend the whole Summer in Argentina these days as he is busy doing business in Puerto Rico. Raising his two beautiful daughters with his wife Asia and his pair of medium sized angels (Argentine street dogs). “T” has been known to catch a red eye to Bariloche and crush a few laps in Laguna. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the ambassador of excitement making unscheduled appearances in Argentina.