about US

decades of excellence

Our Story

The Smuggler’s Notch Ski and Snowboard Club offers excellent programs for three disciplines of snow sports: Alpine Racing, Free Skiing and Snowboarding.   SNSC has a rich history of competitive programming for over 50 years, the unique terrain offered by Smugglers’ Notch Resort and a wonderful clubhouse facility at the base of Sterling Mountain.  Most importantly, we have a community of families who love to ski and ride.

Our goal is to offer the best quality competitive coaching that is affordable and supports a wide variety of programming, allowing athletes the opportunity to experience different styles of skiing and riding.  

The SNSC community of staff, coaches, and members creates the close knit, unique environment that supports our athletes and helps them grow their skills, confidence, and love of snow sports.    Across each program we are proud of the results of our athletes at the state and national levels, but more importantly in meeting their personal goals on snow.  SNSC welcomes new athletes and families each season who come from our local communities and also from outside Vermont, with a strong support network across our membership.  

A Rich History

Historically, the Smugglers’ Notch Ski Club has given birth to ski careers of many Olympians, National Team Members, Pro Skiers, and College athletes. The Smugglers’ Notch Ski Club began in 1959 through the hard work and dedication of  Mickey Cochran. He, along with his son and daughters, made what was then the Madonna Mountain Racing Team. Racers flocked to be coached by him and participate in a unique program that was both inexpensive and for its time “state of the art.” In 1975, SNSC became a non-profit organization with the goal of providing children the opportunity to ski competitively. In 1997 a decision was made that in order to continue the Club’s future success, a full time executive director was required, along with the construction of a new building and trail. In 1998 the Club moved from the State Shelter, which had become unsafe, was undersized, and lacked an adequate water supply, to its present modern facility located at the base of the T-bar. A new race trail, Snakebite, was designed and constructed. As in the past, membership participation and volunteerism is an important part of our Club’s culture. Without our members’ involvement the Club cannot succeed. Today, we are the hosts of over 100 junior alpine and snowboard athletes. Through the decades the Club has changed in both name and coaches, but the commitment to keep SNSC promoting the sport of ski and snowboard competition will always continue.

Our Mission

Through coaching, competition and community, SNSC athletes develop passion, abilities, decision-Making and friendships preparing them for success on snow and in life.

Coaching: Our athletes work with high quality coaches who focus on healthy values, strong decision making, and confident skiing and riding.

Competition: We have a rich and proud history of competition.   Competition is about setting meaningful goals, working hard to meet them, focusing great effort at events, and celebrating accomplishments. We focus on the journey as much as the results themselves.

Friendship & Community: We are a member-driven club. We focus on developing healthy and respectful relationships with peers, coaches and other members – regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, age, socioeconomic status or disability. —-within and across our programs and also within the greater Smugglers’ Notch and global mountain community. This sense of belonging is important in building a strong club that can serve and engage members -young and old -for years to come; developing a strong community of skiers and riders.

Passion: Our programs develop life-long skiers and riders. Skiing and riding is not just something we do—it’s who we are. The end of competition should not mean the end of skiing and riding. Armed with a passion for the mountains, our athletes will be ambassadors for winter sports and  continue the strong tradition of winter sport at Smugglers’ Notch.

Abilities & Decision-Making: We first teach the basic skills, knowledge, and mindsets to be safe, responsible, and fundamentally sound athletes. We then focus on teaching athletes how to practice and develop these fundamentals on their own. Ultimately, athletes direct their own development and mentor younger athletes in building their own strong foundation. We believe this progression helps prepare athletes for sport and life.

Our Vision

SNSC is the only club in Vermont that concentrates on Alpine Ski Racing, Freeski Competition and Snowboard Competition in its many forms. Given the character of the terrain at Smugglers’ Notch and the communities of northern Vermont, SNSC provides high quality, affordable programs that engage the whole family. The culture at SNSC is both about the individual athlete as well as the community necessary to support that athlete. Coaches, parents, and volunteers all focus on developing our athletes, teaching them the values of hard work, empathy, and respect while cultivating a life-long love of skiing and riding. Our athletes have the tools to take their passion to the next level, whether to Smugglers’ Notch Academy,  their high school program, college competition; at regional, state, national and international competitions.

Our Values

Honesty, learning, dignity, humility, respect, sharing, passion, and friendship.

"SNSC is fun because it is like a community and you get to know people from all three programs. I've made some of my best friends at the club since starting as a ski meister when I was six."
Chloe Avery
Alpine Athlete
"I love SNSC because it is really fun. There is a great community and your coaches work with each individual."
Ila Campbell
Alpine Athlete
"SNSC allowed me to explore my abilities on the mountain safely and gave me the tools to continue on to the World Freeride Tour and a coaching career."
Griffin Dunne
SNSC Alum
"Thank you Smugglers' Notch Ski and Snowboard Club, and its community, for my much appreciated and beautiful memories as a youth ski racer at SNSC. My youth experiences with you continue to inspire my life today."
Smuggler Notch Ski Club Race Team
Chantal Knapp
SNSC Alum