Freeride Program

Scroll down to the bottom of this page for additional program and scholarship information.

The Freeride program is designed for skiers and snowboarders ages 12 to 18 (as of December 31st) who want to improve their big mountain riding through training for, and competing in, freeride competitions sanctioned by the International Freeskiers Association (IFSA). Prospective athletes are expected to be able to ski most of the terrain on Lone Mountain safely and confidently prior to trying out for the program.

Freeride Program Options: The base program fee includes full day training on weekends plus Ophir ski days and the Christmas Camp. The midweek training option includes coaching on Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM. See program dates below.

First-year participants must obtain approval from the Freeride head coach after completion of an on-mountain skills assessment to be held on December 2-3, 2023. See the FAQ section below for additional information.

Freeride Team members will develop skills ranging from foundational ski techniques to air awareness, risk vs. reward tactics, terrain feature assessment, avalanche safety, and on-mountain travel. The program is designed around the IFSA judging criteria: line, control, technique, fluidity, style, and energy.

See the Freeride Equipment Requirements section under the FAQs for details on essential gear.

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  • Volunteer Deposit

Base Program: Saturdays and Sundays from December 2, 2023 to March 24, 2024 plus Ophir ski days and the Christmas Camp

Midweek Option: Wednesday and Friday afternoons (12:30 PM to 4:00 PM) from December 13, 2023 to March 15, 2024.

First-year Assessments: December 2-3, 2023

All participants in the Freeride program are expected to participate in at least two (2) competitions during the season. Freeride athletes who do not wish to compete are encouraged to consider the Big Sky Resort Rippers program.

In order to compete, athletes must have an International Freeskiers Association (IFSA) membership/license, a helmet, and a back protector. IFSA membership, competition fees, lift tickets, lodging, and transportation costs related to competitions are not covered by the program fee.

Freeride Team members are required to have certain equipment including, but not limited to, a ski helmet, back protector, and avalanche backpack.

As BSSEF has become active year-round, we’ve been compelled to push the Early Season pricing deadline earlier in the year for planning and cash flow purposes. However, we recognize that taking advantage of Early Season pricing might cause a cash crunch for some families. So, we offer installment payment options on a limited basis.

Here’s how installment plans work:

  • Choose the Partial.ly Payment Plan option at check out.
  • Select your down payment amount.
  • Select your payment frequency.
  • Your scheduled payments will be calculated based on the final due date of February 15, 2024.
  • Select your payment method (credit card, debit card, or bank account ACH).
  • Read the terms carefully.
  • “Sign” the payment contract electronically.
  • Click Process Down Payment.

Installment payment terms are subject to change.

For everyone’s safety, prospective first-year Freeride program participants must pass an on-mountain skills assessment before they will be allowed to join the Freeride team. The Freeride Head Coach will determine the sufficiency of an applicant’s skills at his or her sole discretion. Those athletes who aren’t yet ready for the Freeride program will be encouraged to participate in one of BSSEF’s Alpine programs (e.g. Youth Ski League or Buddy Werner) or Big Sky Resort’s Rippers program.

There are a number of resources related to Alpine and Freeride competitions:

  • Start with the events calendar. We do our best to keep information on the event pages up-to-date, relevant, and complete.
  • The definitive source of information for Northern Division Alpine races is the Northern Division website. The race calendar there includes links to race announcements and results.
  • The IFSA website includes information regarding Junior Freeskiing competitions.
  • During the course of a competition, coaches will send updates and communicate with parents and athletes via the TeamReach mobile app.
  • Check the hotel reservation page for information about accommodations for out-of-area races.
  • Subscribe to email notifications.
  • “Like” the team’s Facebook page.

With appropriate clothing, kids can ski and train in below zero weather. Sometimes, however, the start of training will be delayed in order to allow the temperature to rise a bit. In all cases, coaches will bring kids into the lodge for warm-ups as necessary. As always, check the TeamReach app for the latest updates regarding training.

The team typically eats lunch between 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM. Timing can be a bit flexible, depending on conditions and the day’s training agenda. Coaches accompany the athletes, but athletes are responsible for getting their own lunches.¬†Athletes will have lunch in the BSSEF Team Room.

The head coaches of each program are responsible for posting and updating training schedules to each program’s respective TeamReach group.

We feel your pain. We’re helped immensely by our sponsors, and we do our best to keep our overhead low in order to keep program prices in check. Nevertheless, program fees, equipment, and travel conspire to make skiing and ski racing expensive.

To make it less so, take advantage of early season program pricing and multi-program purchase discounts. Installment payment plans may be available on certain transactions.

Purchase used equipment via Montana Ski Racing Classified on Facebook and area ski swaps. (Bridger Ski Foundation hosts a great swap every Fall in Bozeman.) Last but not least, apply for a scholarship!