As the 2019-20 ski season comes to a close, it’s already time to start looking ahead at next season. Thinking about joining a club program for the first time, or considering a traditional academy option? For those parents and athletes looking to step up their ski racing career next season, Ski Racing Media has compiled a guide of eastern-, western-, and internationally-based academies that could be your next home for the winter. Below are eastern and international options.
Apex 2100 International Ski Academy
- Ski Area: Tignes Les Lac, France
- Academy Location: The base of Tignes Les Lac
As an official FIS Development Program Academy Partner, Apex 2100 International Ski Academy provides world-class ski coaching for athletes ages 10 to 19 years old. Dormitories, training facilities, and classrooms are located at the base of the highest ski resort in the French alps, offering ski-in-ski-out access to the classroom and the training venues. For U14 and U16 athletes, Apex 2100 operates as a full-time program on a host-school model – meaning athletes can study their home school’s curriculum while staying at the Apex Academy. The Apex FIS Level program is a three year full-time Tignes based program that follows and the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Their approach to the student-athlete is unique with the application of a mentor program, that pairs each full-time athlete with a mentor that works with them through the highs and lows of the ski season.
In addition to top-notch educational facilities and laboratories, Apex 2100 offers a custom gym designed by the school’s coaches and strength and conditioning professionals, with an in-house physio that can cater to any athlete’s training and recovery needs. Rehabilitation hot and cold pools are available for recovery sessions, and the ski room is equipped with individual heated lockers and ski prep equipment to get kids familiar with the tools necessary to get their skis fast.
French ski club partners include Club des Sport Tignes, Comite De Ski de Savoie, as well as the French National Ski Federation.
For more information on Apex 2100 International Ski Academy, visit our academy directory or Apex2100’s website.
Burke Mountain Academy
- Ski Areas: Burke Mountain
- Academy Location: East Burke, Vermont
Burke Mountain Academy has long been considered the go-to academy for passionate ski racers looking to make it in the long term while simultaneously pursuing academics. Hard work is held in the highest esteem at Burke, and risking failure and learning from success are the key philosophies Burke looks to instill in its students.
BMA and Burke Mountain have recently partnered to funnel two million in funds toward enhancing their already elite training facilities. Enhancements coming to the academy via these funds include a new high-speed T-bar, snowmaking upgrades, and site work to excavate and widen their primary training venues at Burke Mountain.
In 2019, BMA established it’s E-Team for emerging national team track athletes. The team exists to bring top emerging alpine racing talent in the U.S. and cultivate a “Top Gun” like atmosphere that will accelerate the development for athletes looking to close the gap between the high school, college skiing, and international competition. BMA has raised money to offset 100% of tuition and program fees for athletes that meet the highest level of criteria, giving athletes access to world-class facilities at a cost level that makes chasing their dreams accessible. 60% of the fees can be waived for those that fall just outside of that group. To apply for the 2020-21 program, click here.
For more information on Burke Mountain Academy, visit our academy directory or BMA’s website.
Cardigan Mountain School
- Ski Areas: Mount Sunapee, Whaleback
- Academy Location: Canaan, New Hampshire
Cardigan Mountain School is the only school in the country that offers a full academic year boarding program for student-athletes in grades six through nine. Alpine athletes have the ability to train five to six days a week with no disruption to their academic schedule. When it comes to academics, Cardigan has “no student left behind” policy, with teaching models and advisory and residential life programs provided to set each student up for success, during both their time at Cardigan and in the future. Morally, Cardigan focuses on instilling an action-based attitude in their students, so they enter the world as leaders equipped with self-advocacy and time management skills.
On the athletics side, Cardigan has access to several ski areas nearby their home base of Canaan New Hampshire, where students can train full-length slalom, giant slalom, and super G. During the school year, students regularly train at Mount Sunapee and occasionally Whaleback. Training camps are hosted across the country at either Beaver Creek, Mammoth, Sunday River, or Stowe.
For more information on Cardigan Mountain School, visit our academy directory or Cardigan’s website.
Carrabassett Valley Academy (CVA)
- Ski Area: Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine
- Academy Location: Base of Sugarloaf Mountain
Carrabassett Valley Academy aims to foster individual development by providing a balance between the student lifestyle, and the athlete lifestyle. Sugarloaf Mountain is the largest ski area east of the Rockies, with over 4,000 feet of vertical, offering up world-class training right at the athlete’s doorstep. It’s also home to one of the only homologated downhill courses in the East and has been the site of the U.S. Alpine Speed National Championships, as well as a 1971 World Cup event, making it the ideal place to live and train like a world-class athlete. The Antigravity complex, which consists of an Olympic quality trampoline and weight room, a skatepark with a bowl, full courts, a climbing wall, and an aerobics room, gives student-athletes the capacity to train in multiple ways, not just on the slopes.
When it comes to their students, CVA focuses on equally developing the body, mind, and spirit. The average class size is 10 students, allowing for each individual to reap the benefits of one-on-one learning from their teachers during their time off the slopes.
CVA’s most recent notable alpine graduate is current American Downhiller Sam Morse. In the past, CVA has produced 12 Olympians, 39 National Team members, 92 National Titles, and 26 NCAA and USCSA All-American athletes.
For more information on CVA, visit our academy directory or CVA’s website.
- Ski Area: Sunday River, Maine
- Academy Location: Bethel, Maine
Gould is a rare combination of a traditional academic boarding school and top-notch on-snow program. The academy has a distinctive partnership with Sunday River Resort, which is only six miles from campus. Gould’s competition center, located slopeside on Barker Basin, houses ski-tuning facilities, video analysis rooms, and study spaces for students to hit the books close to the mountain. Sunday River’s team also caters to Gould’s on-snow programs to make sure training conditions are stellar on course, with access to rideable terrain as early as October. It’s all new surface lift along the length of Monday Morning training hill means student-athletes can lap the course even faster than before, decreasing lift time by almost 40% with no wind holds.
Academically, Gould focuses on promoting open-minded, exploratory individuals. At Gould, not only can students focus on their athletics, but they can also dive deep into the arts, community life, and the natural world. Gould wants to create responsible global citizens, and by equipping their students with tools to build self-confidence, self-determination, and respect for others, student-athletes have the opportunity to strive for their best in all of their pursuits, not just skiing.
For more information on Gould Academy, visit our academy directory or Gould’s website.
Green Mountain Valley School
- Ski Areas: Sugarbush Resort, Vermont
- Academy Location: Waitsfield, Vermont
What sets Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS) apart from other East Coast academies is its integrated ski and academic structure, individual college preparation, 30,000-square-foot on-campus training facility, small student body, and whole-person approach. GMVS is home to 140 student-athletes who compete in sports, such as soccer and lacrosse outside of skiing, as well as participating in visual arts. Students are also required to fulfill community service outside of the classroom and participate in adventure trips.
The Kelly Brush Race Arena (KBRA) at Sugarbush Resort’s Mt. Ellen gives students exclusive access to two renowned training tracks, Inverness and Brambles, that are ideal for super G, giant slalom, and slalom. This challenging terrain and extensive snowmaking capacity have attracted events from U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s regional projects to NCAA events. In 2017, the Sugarbush Resort was designated as a U.S. Ski & Snowboard High Performance Development Site. In the next few seasons, a full-length T-bar will be installed to improve turnaround time and increase GMVS’ capacity to offer flexible training schedules and environments.
Features of the Kelly Brush Race Arena include:
- Two dedicated training trails (Inverness and Brambles) for SG, GS, and SL training
- Two private surface lifts and a full-length chairlift
- Warming buildings at the top and mid-run with a clubhouse conveniently located at the base
- 150+ rolls of B-net offer unmatched protection
- Dedicated snow guns ensure great early season training• Strong relationship with Sugarbush Resort, a U.S. Ski & Snowboard High Performance Development Site
For more information on GMVS, visit our academy directory or GMVS’ website.
- Ski Areas: Cannon Mountain and Mittersill, in Franconia, New Hampshire
- Academy Location: Plymouth, New Hampshire
Holderness School believes in athletic diversity. In addition to alpine ski racing, Holderness a variety of championship-caliber teams including lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, track, golf, tennis, mountain biking, and rock climbing. Seasonal conditioning is complemented by off-season on-snow training camps in Europe, South America, and Colorado.
Holderness USSA/FIS ski programs train at Cannon and Mittersill, an official U.S. Ski & Snowboard training site located in Franconia, New Hampshire, complete with fully homologated super G, giant slalom, and slalom training venues. The Vala T-bar services two training slopes while a double chair lift gives access to the top of the super G and FIS GS course sets. A close relationship to Cannon Mountain allows for training conditions to constantly be catered to the athletes. Mittersill also routinely plays host to regional and national championship series, as well as FIS events, collegiate carnivals, and USSA races.
Academically, Holderness offers over 100 different course options, including AP and experiential learning opportunities. Their classrooms encourage students to graduate with a sense of curiosity, intellectual grit, and joy.
Notable alumni include Julia Ford (‘08), Ian Harvey (‘86), Charlie “Spike” Kellogg (‘58), Walter Malmquist (‘74), and Carl Swenson (‘88). Chris Davenport (a member of the Ski Hall of Fame), Andy Martin, Chris Pederson, Converse Fields, Nick Martini, Sophi Swartz, and Fabian Stocek.
For more information on Holderness, visit our academy directory or Holderness’ website.
Killington Mountain School
- Ski Area: Killington Mountain
- Location: Killington, Vermont
Killington Mountain School combines rigorous, college-preparatory academics with world-class athletic training in a personalized setting. KMS’s mission is for its students is to learn to balance their responsibilities in a diverse environment that includes competition and world travel. A highly individualized program, supported by teachers and coaches that work together to support at-home and distance learning, gives students the chance to excel in athletics and academics. KMS considers itself to be a community, united by shared passions and competitive spirit.
Athletically, students are offered the opportunity to participate in five different athletic disciplines, ski racing, cycling, freestyle skiing, freeskiing, and snowboarding in addition to a lacrosse team in the spring. The focus is to train the whole athlete – mind, body, and spirit. One’s sport is as much a part of the school experience as are academics, every sport is supported by a science-based strength and conditioning program. Committed to building a lifelong passion for sport and recognizing the importance of goal setting and teamwork is another top priority for KMS. Athletes also have access to world-class training facilities. In particular, KMS’s home base of Killington Mountain is home to the Audi FIS World Cup women’s slalom and giant slalom, the largest stop on the women’s tour.
For more information on KMS, visit our academy directory or Killington Mountain School’s website.
Mount Snow Academy
- Ski Area: Mount Snow Ski Area, West Dover, Vermont
- Academy Location: West Dover, Vermont
Mount Snow Academy (MSA) has called West Dover, Vermont, home since 1980, where students have easy access to training at both Mount Snow Ski Area and the Hermitage Club. A one-to-one student-to-teacher ratio and a five-to-one student-to-coach ratio ensures that students are fully catered to on an academic and athletic level for seamless transitions in and out of season. A year-round program gives students the opportunity to benefit from academic and athletic training in the fall and spring and continue on their path to success by continuing a home-school curriculum while on the road in the winter. This means six days of training a week while maintaining whatever level of academic programming they seek. Students are also expected to act as working members of the community, living in a house that allows them to feel cared for while learning self-sufficiency in a group environment.
Alpine skiers at MSA train for competition in slalom, giant slalom, and super G and are not limited to a particular trail or type of terrain for training. This allows MSA to customize their daily training according to an athlete’s competition schedule and weather conditions.
For more information on Mount Snow Academy, visit our academy directory or Mount Snow Academy’s website.
Mt. Mansfield Ski Club & Academy
- Ski Area: Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont
- Academy Location: Stowe, Vermont
Mt. Mansfield Ski Club & Academy (MMSCA) has been a Winter Term academy sine 1993. Each student brings curriculum from their home school and is taught in individualized courses, one-on-one, until the end of the term in April. This approach gives MMSCA student-athletes the chance to take courses such as AP level courses that are not offered at most ski academies. In 2020, MMSCA is opening a year-round academy program in addition to its already existing winter term program. The new full-time program looks to maintain the same level of high competition and academic rigor, while further building out the athlete and their potential in a year-round individualized setting.
Athletically, MMSCA aims to instill values of teamwork and sportsmanship into their student-athletes, while instilling a lifelong love of skiing. The school is home to less than 50 students but has produced multiple Olympians, U.S. Ski Team members, and NCAA Champions. Part of the athlete’s success comes from the school’s world-class training facilities at Stowe Mountain Resort. Main Street is the academy’s primary race venue, which is hailed as one of the best in the United States, hosting multiple NorAm events, NCAA Championships, and several regional championships over the past couple of years.
Their smaller venues, Slalom Hill and Competition Hill, are lower on the mountain and provide training variety in the early and late season. At the base of a high-speed lift that services racing and training venue is a 12,000-square-foot clubhouse that includes an athlete locker room and full-service ski tuning facility staffed by professional technicians. At the academy is where athletes can find MMSCA’s 9,000 square-foot fitness facility.
For more information on Mt. Mansfield Ski Club & Academy, visit our academy directory or MMSCA’s website.
National Ski Academy
- Ski Areas: Blue Mountain Resort, Mont Edouard
- Academy Location: Collingwood, Ontario, Canada
As Canada’s only full-time ski academy, Collingwood’s National Ski Academy (just two hours north of Toronto) has become the spot for Canadians that want an immersive student-athlete experience to learn and train. On the shores of Georgian Bay, NSA makes use of local hiking and mountain biking trails in the offseason, while utilizing partnerships with multiple surrounding ski resorts in-season for a wide variety of training. On weekdays, a dedicated lane space at Blue Mountain Resort caters to technical specialists. Speed camps are hosted in Alberta and Quebec, in addition to a spring camp held in British Columbia.
A six-week camp is hosted on the Saas-Fee glacier in Switzerland, September/October. Late November and early December this past season, the FIS teams trained at Mont Edouard (home to a 2019-20 NorAm series), St Sauveur, and Mont Tremblant, Quebec. The U16 teams trained at Sunday River, Maine before heading north to Mont Edouard during early season training.
NSA’s programs have helped many a student-athlete achieve their goals wherever their academics and skiing take them, including the World Cup circuit, NCAA schools, or other competitive post-secondary programs. Alumni include Canadian National Team members and Olympians such as Roni Remme, Larisa Yurkiw, Dave Duncan, as well as other provincial team members and NCAA All-American student-athletes.
For more information on National Ski Academy, visit our academy directory or NSA’s website.
New York Ski Educational Foundation (NYSEF)
- Ski Area: Whiteface Mountain, New York
- Academy Location:
New York Ski Education Foundation’s (NYSEF) premier program is its Winter Term, which allows student-athletes to pursue their athletics at an advanced level while continuing remotely in their home school’s academic curriculum. Expenses are kept at cost so student-athletes and their families can afford high-level coaching and premiere education tutors, competing at a world-class level without the burden of extreme expenses. Keeping the sport accessible is a main goal of NYSEF.
Academic tutoring is provided on an individual and/or group basis dependent on the field of study. NYSEF’s lead academic coordinator has a BS and Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, and left the laboratory to home-school her kids from elementary to college-level, giving her a keen understanding of how to foster successful students outside of a traditional classroom.
Athletes train at Whiteface Mountain, alongside coaches that rank from levels 300-500 within U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s system. Coaches are also PSIA examiners, CPR, Safe Sport, and Stop the Bleed certified. In addition to receiving exceptional training and coaching in the Adirondacks, students are well incorporated into the community during their time with NYSEF, giving them a well-rounded, experiential education. By volunteering outside of their athletic and academic schedule, students learn to balance disciplined schedules while being a role model in their sport and communities.
For more information on NYSEF, visit our academy directory or NYSEF’s website.
- Ski Area: Whiteface Mountain
- Academy Location: Olympic Village – Lake Placid, New York
Just minutes from Whiteface Mountain, ranked as the best ski area in the East by Ski Magazine on multiple occasions, in the heart of Lake Placid’s Olympic Village, sits Northwood School. As a coeducational, independent boarding school, Northwood provides support for dedicated winter athletes from ninth grade to post-graduate. Northwood is surrounded by Olympic heritage, including Olympic runs on Whiteface Mountain that offers challenging training and racing terrain at a mountain with the largest vertical drop in the East.
A dedicated lift and trail for athletes are just a few of the many highlights at Northwood. The school prides itself on its outdoor recreation. Having access to the High Peaks Region of Adirondack Park and Mirror Lake give student-athletes the ability to train and learn in the outdoors. Outdoor education is a key factor in developing Northwood’s students through leadership and stewardship activities in the community and in the wilderness. Their goal is to foster growth in their young people so that once they leave their program, they have all the tools necessary to engage in their world and lead lives of consequence.
For more information on Northwood, visit our academy directory or Northwood School’s website.
Okemo Mountain School
- Ski Area: Okemo Mountain
- Academy Location: Ludlow, Vermont (less than five minutes from the mountain)
Okemo Mountain School only operates during the Winter Term, allowing OMS to remain committed to and focused on a small group of athletes. Athletically, this system allows student-athletes to remain four-season athletes and compete at high levels in other sports during the offseason while still accessing training opportunities in ski racing through OMS’ various camps. OMS’ home training venue is just five minutes away from the school in Ludlow, Vermont at Okemo Mountain. Their dedicated training hill, called Wardance, as well as other training spaces are specifically overseen by mountain operations with custom grooming requests to build specific terrain and keep the surface racer-ready. Off-snow fitness facilities include new lifting and training equipment, as well as a yoga and recovery room, locker rooms, and a ground trampoline with a spotting belt.
Academically, OMS caters to their student’s individual programs as a winter-term based academy, while fostering a tight-knit community that brings a sense of belonging to their student-athletes.
For more information on OMS, visit our academy directory or Okemo Mountain School’s website.
- Ski Area: Proctor Ski Area and Ragged Mountain
- Academy Location: Andover, New Hampshire
At Proctor, students do not have to choose between elite skiing and pursuing academic passions. Proctor’s educational model is committed to experiential learning. Whether students want to pursue academics, performing arts, mountain biking, lacrosse, basketball, etc., students have the opportunity to do so without compromising time on snow. An afternoon activity program allows students that can’t incorporate fine arts such as music, dance, photography, or ceramics into their regular day to pursue these disciplines at other times of the day. Health and wellness is also a part of the curriculum, which gives students to not only learn about their physical well-being, but also their mental health, nutrition, and sleep, so student-athletes are well-equipped to take care of themselves throughout their academic and athletic careers. While a majority of students board, Proctor also offers a day-class option for students in the Andover, New Hampshire, area, just 30 minutes from Concord, 45 minutes from Hanover, and 90 minutes from Boston.
Proctor Ski Area is a privately owned FIS homologated alpine and nordic ski area, located within walking distance of campus. The Ski Area has full snowmaking and lighting on alpine trails, nordic trails, its ski jumping area, and its terrain park. Proctor also has a dedicated training space at nearby Ragged Mountain. It’s weight room/fitness center was recently updated in 2018, and a new Outdoor Center was introduced in 2020 to encourage students to get out and explore off the hill. The Outdoor Center features a rock climbing wall, tuning facilities, and storage for athletes gear.
For more information on Proctor, visit our academy directory or Proctor’s website.
Waterville Valley Academy
- Ski Area: Waterville Valley Resort
- Academy Location: Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
Waterville Valley Academy is operated under Waterville Valley Black and Blue Trail Smashers Snowsports Educational Foundation (WVBBTS), a non-profit education foundation that also operates a ski club outside of the academy level, offering weekend training programs for alpine, freestyle and snowboard athletes ages five and up. Organized in 1934, BBTS Ski Club is one of the oldest in the country. In 2020, WVA is the only snowsports academy in the East offering Advanced Placement courses. In 2019, WVBBTS was awarded the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Freeski Club of the Year and continues to be a USSA Gold Club.
Waterville Valley Resort (home to the 2019 U.S. National Championships hosted by U.S. Ski & Snowboard) has signed a five-year contract with WVBBTS to access training and competition venues for all snowsports including alpine venues, terrain parks, and mogul courses. The agreement also allows for snowmaking and surface preparation to be catered to the athletes and their coaches, allowing for longer seasons and more ideal surfaces.
The diversity of an integrated academy and ski club environment created a family-focused community, with multiple avenues for participating athletes to achieve their goals at any level they choose in their chosen discipline.
For more information on Waterville Valley Academy, visit our academy directory or Waterville Valley Academy’s website.
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