January ushers in a new year, fresh with deepening snowfall across destinations around the globe. Hand-in-hand with this new year comes the opportunity to take on new challenges, including the chance to ski harder, ride bigger, and progress last year’s snow skills to the next level.
It’s for good reason then that January is also universally known as Learn to Ski and Ride Month. Mountains from coast-to-coast offer lesson and program specials during this time, supporting those riders who are looking to grow on the snow. For those who have already mastered the land of lessons, there are several ways to dial up how you get down the mountain, including ski racing teams. Beyond just your introductory lesson, tuck into a sample of what’s possible below.
BIG BEAR MOUNTAIN RESORT SKI TEAMS
Big Bear Mountain Resort is home to not just one ski and racing team, but three. For snowboarders, Team Bear offers freestyle programs for ages 6-17. With a focus on multiple riding styles and competitive events, whether you’re seeking a part-time program to progress your skills or are aspiring to compete at a national level, Team Bear can help you reach your goals.
Meanwhile, over on the Snow Summit side of BBMR, the Snow Summit Alpine Teams begins with a group of 6–9-year-old groms known as the “Snow Summit Rippers.” From there, there are academy programs with multiple training opportunities available for age ranges spanning from U12 through U21.
Additionally, Snow Summit features a long-standing adaptive ski school program that sponsors the United States Adaptive Recreation Center (USARC). Designed for adaptive ski and ride athletes, this program provides one-on-one training for adaptive athletes of all ages and ability levels.
KILLINGTON RACING TEAMS
When it comes to combining premier college preparatory education with on-hill experience, the Killington Mountain School, located in Vermont, has been fostering student-athletes for over 40 years. Through a robust training regimen and a curriculum to match, Killington Mountain School offers student-athletes the opportunity to pursue excellence on the slopes and in the classroom. Since its founding in 1975, the school has produced more than 100 skiing and riding podium medals, multiple Olympians and National Champion titles, and many many outstanding college placements.
COPPER MOUNTAIN SKI TEAMS
Copper Mountain is an ideal setting in which skiers and riders can progress their skills with its natural separation of easy, intermediate, and challenging terrain. While complete with a designated beginner area that features a magic carpet and beginner lift, the real draw is for the skiers and riders looking to take the next step in freestyle skiing and snowboarding.
To help with this transition, Copper Woodward features indoor ramps, foam pits, and trampolines that allow young athletes to grow their bag of tricks in a safe, controlled environment. Stack on the opportunity to receive instruction from former Olympic and X Games athletes, along with a host of training programs and summer camps, and there’s no telling how high you’ll fly.
WINTER PARK YOUTH RACING TEAMS
Less than 70 miles from Denver, Winter Park Resort is a hotbed of cold-weather activity. Luckily, this includes a long list of competitive teams and big mountain programs for Denver and Front Range groms. With a focus on progressing skills and having fun, skiers and riders can dig into a discipline that suits their particular style and skill set, including the Alpine Race Team, the Freeride Big Mountain Team, the Freeski Park and Ride Team, a Freestyle Mogul Team, the Cross-Country Nordic Team, and the Winter Park Snowboard Team.
In addition to this wide range of offerings, the National Sports Center for the Disabled, located at Winter Park, is the most extensive adaptive sports program in the world. Year after year it provides specialized equipment and ski and snowboarding lessons for youth who have different physical needs.
ELDORA SKI AND SNOWBOARD RACING TEAMS
Initially founded in 1975, Eldora Mountain Ski Snowboard Club has developed and expanded its program offerings for over 46 years. In the past 10 years, all this hard, focused work has paid off as the EMSC has claimed its place as a top team-based program in the Rocky Mountain Division.
Offering progression-based teams in Junior Race, Core, and Ability, Eldora Mountain Ski Snowboard Club also features Ski and Snowboard Freeride programs that consist of Slopestyle, Big Air, Skier Cross and Boarder Cross, and Big Mountain riding.
Youth and young adults from 5-years old to U19, and on through postgraduate, are supported by a positive team atmosphere and elite professional coaching. In this environment, athletes learn to hit rails, drop cliffs, send jumps, and become safe and experienced all-mountain riders, each armed with the skills and confidence to develop tricks with technique and style.
MONT TREMBLANT SKI TEAMS
North of the border, our Canadian friends are constantly perfecting how they get down. Located in the province of Quebec, Tremblant features a well-honed ski race program that encompasses several different learning environments.
For intermediate skiers between 5 and 16 years of age, the Performance Program focuses on developing technical abilities while learning different racing disciplines and having fun. This program is ideal for those looking to test their speed while making friends and embracing winter.
The Elite Club is a racing program for expert kids from 7 to 9 years old for those looking for a more challenging route. This program includes pre-season training, a spot at Christmas Camp, and Laurentian Ski Division registration. With limited spaces available in the Elite Club, travel to competition is required, as is previous racing experience.
PALISADES TAHOE SKI RACING PROGRAM
Last but not least, one of the most beloved ski programs in the states – and certainly one with the cutest name – is the Mighty Mites program at Palisades, Tahoe. Tutored by experienced coaches, these groms focus on skill acquisition, understanding the skiers’ responsibility code, gaining respect for the mountain, and having fun. Through this supportive, positive environment, little rippers between the age of 5 and 9 develop strong fundamental skills, learn to be part of a team, and gain a passion for skiing. And, when the time comes, this solid foundation empowers each skier to continue through the U10 Jr Development, Development, or Big Mountain programs.
Learn to Ski and Ride Month is now in full swing, presenting the perfect opportunity to get out into the mountains and try something new. Destinations throughout the states – and beyond – are currently offering lessons and programs where you can build new skills and explore further while having fun. Who knows, with the right coaching, you might fall in love with the mountains all over again.
* planning note: with 21/22 well underway, the majority of these teams have locked rosters. please reach out directly to destinations when planning for 22/23.