Sunday, August 29, 2010

My internship

During the course of my internship here at SASS I have been thrown some curve balls and I have thrown them some curve balls.

It all started with the first session and how I thought I had a wonderful internship that fit me perfectly. I was supposed to run around SASS with a video camera and interview other interns and make short video clips explaining their internships. Which is a super cool internship and they fit for me perfectly because they read through my questionnaire and saw I wanted to do marketing and I enjoy videography. So they tailored the internship to fit me perfectly.

But as I thought about it, videography was a hobby of mine and I see myself having no future in it... So after going through about half of the internship I chose to change it.

I went up to Travis and told him that I want to do something that I can carry on later in life. So I now work under him in the sales department and I can work my way into some marketing when I am ready. Call some people that are sitting on the fence about coming and sell them as hard as I can. Also, work on the affiliates program with them. The program is where they create incentives for surf shop workers to try to sell people to go to the surf camps in turn for coming at a discounted rate. Last, I have worked at creating a list of surf shops in the US.

Lots of fun and still more crunch time for me.

Just for fun, Some cows rolled through the yard yesterday, and two local strays, Tommy and Rocky

Monday, August 23, 2010

Street Art

There is some serious artwork on the buildings here. Any open walls in the town are just littered with one of two kinds of graffiti. There are some amateurs that decided that it would be cool to put up some chicken scratch on the wall. Some essay just walks up and thinks it will be cool to write the name CeSaR up on the wall kind of shit. But there is also some seriously talented individuals around here that know what they are doing. Crazy artwork that is super detailed and have deeper meaning. They rage from odd looking aliens to mermaids. Full murals on the wall that people such as Cesar wouldn't dare touch. There isn't rivalries of people here tagging over each others gang signs and logos. Walls do have their share of writings, but never overlapping as to discriminate anyones past writings. I think it is astecially pleasing to see around town and adds a bit a culture in a way that is new to me. Yes, I have seen plenty of wall-work in southern California inner cities, but its a different vibe here. No one expressing themselves to bash others. But more in the direction of self expression and doing art for the love of it, the way it should be.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jamon y queso

It's everywhere and it's on everything. You go to a nice place for dinner or lunch and open up the menu. You see the different titles on each page, pizza, pasta, hamburgers, etc. And then under each title there is a list of what different options are available. In the US you would nomally see the pizza heading then it dives into the different pizza's that are offered like pepperoni or hawaiian. But no, not here. The first thing offered is a pizza with jamon y queso. Then every option below that one is a jamon y queso pizza with more added on to it.

You look at the hamburgers. It doesn't say anything about jamon y queso... So you think your in the clear. But in reality Hamburgers here automatically come with jamon y queso standard. Then you can add things such as a fried egg onto it among many other un-natural options.

In short, I don't really mind ham and cheese. Actually I really like ham and cheese. It is a good thing. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Town is both scary and wonderful at the same time. New places, new people, same language that I don't understand. All the food and drinks here are so cheap, even down to things like cigarettes being about $1 a pack US.

we ended up going to a wonderful dinner and eating lots of delicious food. I make trips to town frequently so as to grab groceries, get out of camp and go to an ATM.

ATM's here are hard to come by. There are only 2 at the mountain and they were out of money yesterday. The ones in town are behind locked doors during most of the day and there is only one place with outside walk up ATM's.

I am slowly finding out some of the best things that Argentina has to offer. Churros are the best, the coffee is good, the tea is great. Matea is a tea that has 5 times the caffine of coffee, so naturally I bought a month's supply of it and a sweet souvenir cup.


I have slowly become a huge fan of the siesta. Here they eat little meals all day then are forced to wait till an extremely late dinner at about 9 or later. So if you go to town between 1 and 5, nothing is open. Pretty much everyone just closes up shop, whether it be a bank or a small street shop. Not much is open.

So instead of fighting it I have learned to embrace the lifestyle. If you can't beat em, Join em, right? So I come home from snowboarding and I get in a nice siesta. Wake up in time for dinner and then have plenty of energy for the fiesta's to come.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day FoUr LoKo

The sore throat has progressed. Now I can't breath, sore throat, and a headache. But I get up anyway and muscle through the mornings activities, we get tp the mountain and I find that I forgot my pass in my sickened haze. So, I get up the hill soon enough and we start hiking to upper laguna, to the metal monday jump. Its a back country booter that is about 65 ft in distance. On the hike up there it took me much longer than it should have and i puke on the way up. Needless to say I am done for today at this point.

I dont want to talk about it, but the rest of my day was not too enjoyable. We make it home and I get some much needed rest. With all this rest I find I feel well enough to go out for the night and we venture into town. We go to a club called dusk to dance the night away. Right when we pull up I see a line that we walk right by, then straight into the VIP booth. SASS knows how to do it. Definitely one of the wildest nights of my life.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 3

Morning wake up at the normal time... 7:15... wake up is at 8:00 but my room mates like to set their alarms for real early and snooze them repeatedly... Real cool. So, I am opting for a change of roomies mid way through the session. We are just on two different sleeping schedules. I tend to be out later than most. But I wake up this morning with a sore thoat...

Anyhoo, Breakfast isn't really a big thing here. They wouldn't normally even serve it, but they are catering to us. Breakfast is usually not too exciting. Lots of tired campers. Next you swing by the front door and pick up the sack lunch they make for us and head out to the bus. The bus ride is rather short and sweet and then we roll up to the monstrosity of a mountain.

It was a little socked in today, bummin about the weather we head up the hill to do beacon drills. Beacon drills are when one of the coaches set up an "avalanche situation" where they burry their backpack with a beacon in it. We must then, one by one, go rescue the "victim". We put our beacons in search mode, follow the arrow, check the distance, draw a box when we get close, probe for the victim, and then dig like hell. Avalanches are serious shit. Not only are they real, we need to be ready. It could happen to me, and I think that we can't ever get too much of this training.

A camper at SASS was trapped in an avalanche not too many years ago... And he is still here today because all of the campers are fluent in this procedure. Randal Stacy is a repeat camper and now an intern here at SASS that I will be doing a video project on. Pretty amazing story. Check out the footage of the avalanche here its at the end.

But after the drills the clouds began to lift and I sent it up to the top of the mountain for the first time. We hike over the ridge, and find a perfect chornus to build a jump out of and get a solid crew to put it together real fast. We had a special photographer in the group with us in the group today, Nacho. He shoots for most all of the local magazines and says that I have a good shot at making it in it.

The jump is set up and we only have a short time before the bus comes, so we all make the best of it. Kids from Jackson Hole holding it down with some serious cab 5's and 7's, 14 yr old Teddy does his first backie, 5 people hit their first backcountry jump, Tommy gets a concussion, and a girl does her first backie. I just mess around on it, get my flight legs back. Lay one out, get a nice tindy backie, and a switch underflip. Successful day none the less and I look forward to hearing from Nacho, or eating some. Both would be equally exciting.

Get home and I'm beat. I make it to my bed quickly for a nap before dinner which isnt till 9:00. Get some grub, hang out with some dude and gals, see a funnel and tube used to consume beverages. Something that I actually recognize from home. A sense of home is always nice when I feel it's so far away. 7,000 miles away with a shitty internet connection. My connection to the world is lost.

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and sick.

Suns out Guns out.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day Dos

The days here start early.... Before the sun rises, and the nights fade into the sunsets. The sun doesn't really rise here till about 8:45. Anyway, the mornings are a little rough when the sun isn't up, I don't have motivation without my vitamin D!

Wake up & Breakfast - 8:00
Busses Leave - 9:00

So I sit through breakfast itching to ride and then get on to the bus for a quick ride to the mountain. The mountain that we ride is Cerro Cathedral and it is massive. Every different kind of terrain and snow condition, on the same mountain. Beautiful base area of the mountain filled with people and a wide array of music.

I am required to get a leash, or "pita" here, before I can ride on the mountain. Visibility is awful today, but we take the gondola into the clouds anyway. The visibility was about 4 ft today, great for my first time at resort I am not familiar with. But it is all good as I follow my coaches Sam (from Puerto Rico) and Burns into a halfway lodge to warm up. We then decided to hop into the trees for a minute get out of the clouds and saw some other SASS campers doing a photo shoot. The photographers that are at SASS are truly amazing. Check out for Tiko. He rips and takes amazing photos.

After that we headed down and went through a bamboo forest... Yes, I snowboarded through a bamboo forest. Pretty wild.

We sent home and I met up with Luke Shelly to learn about my internship. This is one of the main reasons I came down, not just to ride, but to learn and get the most out of my experience. Anyway, SASS took my questionnaire and my interview and created an internship that fits me. They saw that I like videography and editing so they created a marketing internship that I get to film and create a marketing plan to show the world the amazing internships SASS offers.

I love it here... But there is one exception. The plumbing in Argentina is not like it is in the states. You cant flush tp. Therefore you are forced to use my intrusive enemy, the bidet.

Day Uno

So, my bags still aren't here... But I still made the best of my day. I got to catch up on the bloggin, make an epic snowboard playlist for the iPod, played ping pong for about an hour, made a trip into Bariloche and then my bags finally arrive at 12:30 p.m..

Editing some video to be up on the site soon.

Woke up early to a serious talk about avalanches and and breakfast, everyone is ready to ride, and I am still in the same outfit that I was wearing leaving Laguna Beach.

The trip to town was wonderful, lots of culture, people, traffic, and new experiences. Stepped in to a pizza place with a newfound friend T-Money and had some tasty beverages and the best carmel filled churros of my life. Absolutely amazing. Made it to the supermarket and found that there is no snacks. Nothing to microwave, not much candies, not many chips... You gotta cook here, which I find awesome. But the chip selection did suck. Only ham flavor chips, plain, or queso.

Made it back to the bus and came back to the compound for another amazing dinner, and to wait for my bags.

My bags finally come, so STOKED, I get to ride tomorrow! Woo Hoo! Ha.

Looking forward to the new mountain. Not knowing what really to expect, other than a good time.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Traveling in Argentina

So I land and make it through customs and then on to baggage claim... Big surprise, it's always something. My bags are nowhere to be seen. So I go to the counter and get it all figured out and move on to where I meet up with the guys from SASS!

I meet them and I finally have the feeling of making it, even though my bags didn't. Then we get on the bus to embark on a tour of the city. Argentina is a country of beautiful people and very diverse poverty levels. Driving along the highway I could see the buildings that seemed almost "project" like. But we got off the bus in a very nice newly developed part of town and I saw two sights I did not expect.... A T.G.I. Fridays and a hooters! HA. But we walked across an amazing bridge that actually separates into 3 pieces and the middle moves to another part of this river so boats can move through. Pretty impressive.

This is just a small part of a river that we were shown that is so wide that I can't see the other side of it. Apparently this is the port as well where Argentina receives most of its imports.

the bus then took us to get our first Argentinean meal. We all had steak sandwiches and the meat here is completely unreal. Wonderful food, its cheap and great service. It's tough to describe the meat, it had no seasoning on it and was still the most exquisite meat I have had. Anyway, we got to the domestic airport and all flew to San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina.

We arrive in Bariloche and are met by more SASS members and climb on the bus for the end of my travels. We drive through Bariloche which is a city of about 120,000-130,000 people and seems like it is an amazing town. Too excited to notice my surroundings we arrive at the SASS compound. Greeted by many repeat campers and coaches we get our living arrangements and move in. Im in one of the apartment style places with 5 other guys. Nice place, they use skeleton keys here, for real. ha.

Came back in for dinner, Steak and salad and vegetables and helado. I used "and" because it was a full course of each. Apre dinner we all gathered around for the orientation rules and regulations. The kids were shoed off to bed, the bar here on campus opened. Tasted some of the local flavors and hit the hay last.

Still no sign of my bags. Looks like today will be a day off for me while everyone else gets to go ride. I got a month here, not worried about missing just one day.

I love it here. I may never come home

Travel day part dos

I make it to Denver and catch a nice snack in the airport and make the connection to Washington D.C. with time to spare this time. It has been quite the day of travel already. This is the last short flight that I will take before the big one south.

I land in D.C. with about 30 minutes to be ticketed, checked in, and sitting on my next flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I run to guest services and they notice all the changes that had been made to my flight and it wasn't done correctly. This lady behind the counter really sure had all the time in the world and didn't understand that I did not.

But, I got my ticket and ran over to my flight and got to the counter to ask the lady to check me in. She was pretty frustrated at the time trying to deal with the unhappy people in standby. She was very short with me and said "Sit down and I will call your name!" Not understanding how she would know my name I took a seat. Precious minutes slide by as I watch all the seats fill up. Then I finally get up and tell the lady straight up " I'm getting on this plane and you will take my ticket now."

She was very apologetic for not knowing I had to check in, etc. She printed out my ticket and I ran down the ramp to be the last one on the plane. I check my ticket and it says row 9 seat "h"... I thought it was a seat that was very close to the front and was fairly surprised. Much to my surprise my seat was the last row of United's Business class!!!!

So I sit down and take in my surroundings. my seat reclines, it lays completely flat, it massages.... I have chargers for all my electronics, my own 24 in tv with on demand everything, video games built in, a down blanket, a toothbrush, a pen, a blindfold, lotion, earplugs, and unlimited service.

Before we even take off, the flight attendants are bringing out drinks and warm nuts in a sliver bowl.... during my back massage.... I could get used to this. We get in the air and I watch Death at a Funeral (which I wouldn't recommend) and I was served my four course meal. Yes, I am still on an airplane. The meal consisted of a wonderful salad with a vinaigrette, fresh rolls, poached salmon, my chicken I ordered(my compliments to the chef, whoever you may be), horseradish red potatoes w/ asparagus, and cheesecake to finish it off. They helped me select a wine that would compliment my meal best and they had endless drinks for freeeeee. I am into this.

I obviously don't sleep the entire flight because I am challenged in that area. Watch some movies, eat my breakfast and we arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Travel day part 1

"Norred... Norred... Is Tucker Norred on the plane?" I hear as I sit down, buckle my seatbelt, and the doors close for the plane. Phew I think as I barely made it to my first flight.....

First thing today I get a phone call from an unknown number so I of course ignore it as to get my full rest needed for my flight... I finally get up and at em', get a nice stretch in and check the message from this mystery caller. The message says that my flight scheduled for 1:00 is now leaving at 2:45. This is not good for me because i would then miss my connecting flight in Washington Dulles to Buenos Aires. I hop in the shower and my Dad hops on the phone to see what can be done. I thought I had a decent amount of time before leaving but my shower was cut short to hear, "we gotta go!" Apparently my father had found a flight for me that was out of Orange County instead of LAX but it was leaving in just over in hour. so we race to the airport so i can check in and of course we get there right in the nick of time just to get to the counter and have more problems.

Nothing is ever easy.

I check my bags and run to my flight as they are closing the door. Still don't know if my bags are on this plane, and hope this flight to Denver lands smoothly and i make it to my connection going to Washington Dulles.

"Norred... Norred... Is Tucker Norred on the plane?" I hear with a smile on my face while buckling my seatbelt knowing that I have made it one small step closer to the experience of a lifetime. Not knowing where my bags are or what my next curveball may be, I look forward to what keeps life interesting next.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Disclaimer: This is not a blog about why I think my girlfriend hates me. This is not a blog about the new cool indie band that I discovered. This is a blog that will show the diaries of a Sierra Nevada College student and his adventures with South America Snow Sessions in Argentina. So basically, it's snowboarding, school, skate, babes, and the occasional night time adventure... On repeat. I'm just going to write it as it comes out of my head, no editing, no BS.

Well, the countdown has started for me! and I couldn't be more excited... Like me in a candy store. 10 days till I take the plane ride from LAX to San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina. I have spent plenty of time getting my ducks all in a row and running down my checklist of gear that I will need while riding my snowboard in search of going upside down.

It's my thoughts before I go to bed and my first waking thought along with the taste of morning breath. Everyone keeps asking me if I can speak the language or if I'm preparing myself otherwise. Asking myself today, No, I am not. But I along with a majority of the other SNC students going down south, are hoping to learn from being immersed in this beautiful culture.

For now it's just skate and wait for my opportunity to inch its way closer. Trying to enjoy time with friends, a visit to the X-Games and the US Open, drinking man sodas at the beach and checking out the epic surf. Yeah, it's a rough life... But somebody has to do it.

Not really sure to expect out of this trip other than good friends, good times, and the experience of a lifetime!!!

Also not really sure who is gonna read this, but hopefully your good looking. If interested I'm 5' 5", a Taurus, and enjoys an intense game of cribbage.

More to come...