Photos: Armelle Burk and Thomas Finsterbusch
SASS VIP Session 4 wrapped on Monday, September 7, after ten days of epic lines through the steep and deep terrain at Cerro Catedral in Bariloche, Argentina. Innumerable memories were made during this trip of a lifetime, as SASS campers and coaches got it good under bright blue skies slaying through what many claimed to be the best lines of the season. The last day of SASS's final summer session coincided with the Rip Curl Pro, which was an open slopestyle event for men and women that went down in the Nubes terrain park created by SASS's Josh Lempert of SnowGrind Parks.
SASS's head coaches dominated the course showing their ability to ride any type of terrain. The course was comprised of a down-rail, a 25-foot banked booter, a double hit with launch points ranging from 50 or 30 feet, and a c-box that led into a butter-box ender. SASS's own Andrew Burns nabbed second place by dominating the course with sleek style, and impressive spins. Thomas Materi, a Buenos Aires local and Rip Curl pro rider, nudged Burns from the first place spot by displaying tech tricks through the rail features. On the ladies side of things, SASS's Robin Van Gyn owned the course in qualifiers showing her skills on the big booter by stomping stylie threes on the bomb proof and unforgiving landing. After tweaking her back in the qualifiers, Gyn opted out of the finals, leaving room for the local girls to shine. Bariloche loc Chani Nichauk took the first place spot after laying down a boosty backside 3 on the course's middle jump.
In similar fashion to other Argentine shred contests, the local brewery, Berlina, sponsored the event offering up tasty "lomo" sandwiches and dark brews for all. Finals started after the mid-mountain fiesta, and despite the trepid conditions that rolled in because of dropping temperatures, riders continued to throw down showing hunger for a chunk of the 3000 peso prize purse. After two runs from each competitor, the judged made their decision and everyone headed to the base of the mountain for the awards ceremony. Free pizza and beer were supplied for all as everyone eagerly awaited the results. Upon hearing the winners, Burns was stoked on his outcome, and said that this contest was "fun and scary," and he was excited to have won 1000 pesos for his efforts through the perilous course.
While the contest closed down the SASS VIP session, campers and coaches spent the earlier part of the week "soul shredding" through the infinite terrain at Cerro Catedral. The spring like weather created conditions perfect for sending it in the backcountry through the famed area known as Laguna. Accessible only by hiking, this area offers endless terrain with cliff jumps, couliors, and
steeps immaculate for all types of shred. Some SASSer's built booters, others opted to needle it through tight chutes, but classic pow slashes were sprayed by all reminding everyone of their true love for the sport.
During the middle of the session, 5 SASSer's skinned into the backcountry haven known as the Fray to take full advantage of the sunny skies, and untouched pow in this remote area. This group was led by SASS's ski guide Kim Grant who toured the crew through the 2 day adventure, to untouched lines in the outdoor splendor, undoubtedly creating an experience the crew will remember for a lifetime.
The perfect conditions during session 4 were an amazing way to end the exceptional season SASS ha
d during the Argentine winter of 2009. As the last of the campers say adios and trek back to states, SASS staffers and coaches are planning a trip to Ushuaia, Argentina. This is the southern most point in the world, just a stone throw away from Antarctica, and SASS is excited to check out.
Full coverage from this southern oasis will be coming soon...
Also be sure to check out the feature on SASS in Tahoe in the newest issue of the Bueno
s Aires based Shredzine- Propaganda at Propagandamag.com
For more information on South America Snow Sessions check out SAsnow.com
1st- Tomas Materi
2nd- Andrew Burns
3rd- Facu Vaal
Photos- Armelle Burk