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 Peak safely and confidently prior to trying out for the program.

New for 2021-22: Regional Team and National Team options. See details 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 4-5, 2021. See the FAQ section below for additional information.

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

All participants must wear a helmet and beacon when on the snow. A shovel, probe, and backpack (or vest) equipped to carry skis or a board are also required.

*Eleven (11) year old athletes may be accepted under special circumstances.

This will also add the following products to your cart:

  • Volunteer Deposit

The Regional Team option is designed to strengthen fundamental skiing and freeride techniques and expose athletes to competition. Participants will gain comfort and confidence around the mountain while developing their air awareness, technical form, and mountain travel skills. Athletes on the Regional Team are required to participate in at least two (2) competitions.

Included in the Regional Team fee:

  • 34 x full-day Saturday/Sunday sessions: December 4, 2021 – March 27, 2022 (8:45 AM – 3:00 PM)
  • 24 x half-day Wednesday/Friday sessions: January 5, 2022 – March 25, 2022 (12:30 PM – 4:00 PM)
  • Lease of a team jacket for the season
  • Christmas Camp

The National Team option is designed for competitive athletes who aspire to improve their IFSA ranking and compete in at least five (5) events during the season. Athletes will further progress their skiing/riding skills while developing a deeper understanding of competition strategies, tactics, and judging. The National Team will train more hours per week both on and off the snow and will have more specific training objectives relative to the Regional Team.

Included in the National Team fee:

  • 36 x full-day Saturday/Sunday sessions: December 4, 2021 – April 3, 2022 (8:45 AM – 3:00 PM)
  • 10 x full-day Wednesday/Friday sessions: January 5, 2022 – March 11, 2022 (times vary)
  • 16 x half-day Wednesday/Friday sessions: January 5, 2022 – April 1, 2022 (12:30 PM – 4:00 PM)
  • Lease of a team jacket for the season
  • Christmas Camp

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.

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.

All Freeride program participants are required to have the following equipment:

  • A digital, two or three-antenna avalanche transceiver
  • An avalanche probe
  • A metal avalanche shovel
  • A sturdy and comfortable backpack with straps for attaching and carrying skis
  • Skis suitable for firm snow and gate training less than 75 millimeters underfoot with camber
  • Skis suitable for freeride training and competition no more than 108 millimeters underfoot with camber and, ideally, tip rocker
  • A skiing certified helmet
  • Properly fitting ski boots, preferably without walk mode,
  • and other equipment related to Alpine skiing (i.e. for U12s) including hard-ear helmets suitable for competition

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, make an application for a scholarship administered by Women in Action.

The Covid-19 refund policy for the 2020-21 season can be found here.