Whitefish Announces Ski School Changes

Whitefish Mountain Resort has changed its seasonal program

By: By Kenneth Shapiro

Whitefish Announces Ski School // (c) 2009


Whitefish Mountain Resort has announced changes to its seasonal Ski & Snowboard School programs. Notable changes include a new Junior Race Team, a new Freestyle Team weekend program and the combining of two former programs (Rough Riders and Development Team) into one. In addition, Buckaroos, a popular program started last season, will return.

The new Junior Race Team has been created for skiers from 8-12 years old who would like to work toward getting into competitive ski racing but who have limited race experience. The program will parallel the Whitefish Mountain Resort Race Team while requiring a less substantial commitment from racers and their families. Program coaches will blend all-mountain skiing, gate training, drills and other options in a curriculum designed to develop a strong skiing foundation. Participants will be encouraged to participate in the Tommy Moe Competition Series ski races throughout the winter.

“The emphasis will be on fun, participation and learning,” said head race coach Roy Loman.

Junior Race Team membership includes five days of training during the Ski & Snowboard School’s Holiday Camp starting Dec. 27, as well as 5 hours of training each Saturday through Mar. 20. The program cost is $630, and is on sale for $550 until Sept. 30, in conjunction with the resort’s Winter Season Pass Sale.

For the 2007-2008 season, head coach Steve Knox combined the Snowboard Team and the Freestyle Ski Team into one combined program for riders of both disciplines. The program has continued to evolve thanks to a young coaching staff that is able to demonstrate and coach the more progressive aspects of the sport. This year, he is adding a weekend program to the Freestyle Team lineup.

The one-day program meets Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The new Weekend program adds terrain park-focused instruction on Friday nights from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoons from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Both programs include all five days of the Ski & Snowboard School’s Holiday Camp from Dec. 27-31, and are also discounted heavily through Sept. 30 as part of the Winter Season Pass Sale. The one-day/week program costs $515 now and $605 after Sept. 30, while the weekend program costs $700 now and $825 after Sept. 30.

“The team is all about camaraderie, sportsmanship and fun,” said Knox. “What we do is improve skills, throw down tricks with our friends and have a great time. Anyone who’s interested or even a little bit curious should drop by. You can meet the coaches, ask questions, meet other kids who are on the team, and sign up before the Sept. 30 discount deadline if you decide it’s right for you.”

The resort’s new Development (also called “Devo”) Program will take the place of three prior programs: Rough Riders, Snowboard Riders and the old Devo Team. The new Devo Program is designed for skiers and snowboarders ages 7-17, of all ability levels.

“We’re trying to maximize the fun factor,” said Ski & Snowboard School Director Bill Cubbage. “Younger and beginner level kids will have an opportunity to improve dramatically with a consistent peer group and instructors.”

The new Devo Program includes nine full-day sessions starting on Jan. 9. Participants can choose between Saturday and Sunday groups; both meet from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Buckaroos, a program for very young skiers ages 3-4, will be back for its second season after a very popular first year. On-snow instruction is combined with play time in the Kids Center for nine Saturdays or Sundays starting Jan. 9. Each instructor skis with a maximum of three kids, and always rides the lift with them.

Space in all seasonal programs is limited and some programs consistently fill up, so interested parties should call for more information as soon as possible. The Whitefish Mountain Resort Ski & Snowboard School, including both Competitive Teams, can be reached at 406-862-2900, or by e-mail at skiboard@skiwhitefish.com.