FreeSki program

For Members Only

2019-2020 freeski SeASON

The SNSC Big Mountain Freeskiing program is a competition program available to athletes age 10-18. Eligible Freeski athletes are able to ski the entire mountain, trek into the backcountry, and confidently navigate difficult natural terrain.

program options & Information

New to SNSC? In order to enroll in these programs you must be an SNSC Member. After Oct. 15 our program rates go up 15%. Please email us at for a discount code to receive the early season rates you see here. Academic tutorial programs are also available with the U14, U16 and U19 programs.

Freeski Team

1 Day Program
Ages: 10-18
Start-End Dates: 
Dec 6, 2020-Mar 21, 2021
Training Hours: 
Sundays 9am to 3pm
$685 +Family Membership

Competition Freeski Team

2 Day Program
Ages: 10-18
Start-End Dates: 
Dec 5, 2020-Mar 28, 2021
Training Hours: 
Saturdays 9:30am to 2pm
Sundays 9:30am to 2pm
$945 +Family Membership

Our Freeski Philosophy


One of our primary goals is to teach the skills, tactics, and techniques required to participate in Big Mountain Freeskiing competition. That said, exploration and enjoyment of natural terrain is one of the most important foundations of our program, as this aspect of skiing will provide a lifetime activity for our athletes well beyond the scope of our competition careers. It is essential to continually teach and reinforce safety, risk management, and decision making, and the skills taught during this program will set the course for a lifetime of good decision making in all aspects of our lives. These three primary elements of Competition, Exploration of Natural Terrain, and Decision Making, provide the foundation of the SNSC Big Mountain Freeskiing program.

We are a member program of the International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association (IFSA). Athletes and parents are encouraged to go to the IFSA website at and click the “ABOUT” tab at the top of the page and select “HANDBOOK AND GUIDELINES” to review the rules of our sport. You will also find many other excellent resources available as downloadable PDF files.

In partnership with the Flyin’ Ryan Hawks Foundation and IFSA our program is leading the way in mountain safety education and core values-based risk management and decision making. We developed and piloted the IFSA Flyin Ryan Decisions Program in 2014 ( In addition to the Decisions Program, we also offer introductory first aid training and introductory avalanche awareness training.

“Competition Freeski Team” athletes can confidently ski the entire mountain, navigate steep pitches and natural terrain, trek into the backcountry, and are focused on Big Mountain Freeskiing competition and IFSA rankings. Competition Freeski Team athletes will train on Saturdays and Sundays and are expected to participate in a full competition schedule.

“Freeski Team” athletes can ski the entire mountain with confidence, enjoy trekking into the backcountry, and plan to participate in one home and one away Big Mountain Freeskiing competition. Freeski Team athletes love the sport of Freeride and the skill development and friendships that develop through it, but are not as focused on competition and rankings as the Competition Freeski Team.

All SNSC Freeski Program members spend their training days with coaches exploring Smuggs’ most advanced terrain, both on-piste and in the woods and back bowls, learning how to safely and confidently navigate steep pitches and natural features. The team has focused training in our park facilities, following progressions to master aerials techniques. Our programming incorporates gate training to aid in developing technical skill set and fundamentals.

Our coaching staff includes competition hardened professionals and veterans of the backcountry. All coaches are IFSA Level 100 certified or they are working toward certification.

Athletes are divided into groups and each group is assigned a lead and support coach. Weekly coaching updates are provided to all team members via email by the lead coach of each group.

Competition Requirements

Our competition schedule is selected from IFSA North American Junior Tour events ( The training curriculum is planned to prepare athletes for each competition event on the schedule. Our 2020 competition schedule will be provided by the Head Coach prior to the start of the ski season. Parents are strongly encouraged to download and read the IFSA rule book titled “IFSA Junior Handbook – Region 2” located at Other essential reading includes the “IFSA Code of Conduct” and “IFSA Junior Point Tables”.

“Freeski Team” athletes are expected to attend one home and one away competition with the team. On competition days our coaching resources are prioritized toward supporting competition events.

“Competition Freeski Team” athletes are expected to attend a minimum of two IFSA Junior Regional competitions and one IFSA Junior National competition. At a maximum, Competition Freeski Team athletes may attend three IFSA Junior Regional competitions, three IFSA Junior National competitions, and the year-end IFSA Junior North American Championships (NORAMs).

Fitness Training

Athletes are encouraged to maintain their fitness year-round by participating in summer and fall sports, weight training, and cardiovascular training such as trail running and mountain biking. Trampoline training and ramp training with an airbag or water landing is a great way to build fitness and core strength and to learn to perform aerial maneuvers in a more controlled environment prior to attempting on snow. During the winter, athletes should participate in mid-week training or sports activities to maintain fitness through the competition season. Competition Freeski Team athletes will have indoor gym training as part of their fall and winter curriculum.

Required Equipment

Coaches are always available for equipment advice, and we prefer that you ask before you buy. Below are general guidelines.

  • Athletes should wear All Mountain Freeride skis with bindings that are suitable for competition use. All equipment should be in good condition.
  • Bindings should be adjusted for competition use, and skis should be tuned several times per season. On a weekly basis ski edges should be hand stoned to remove burrs and bases should be waxed.
  • Boots should be suitable for Freeride competition, in good condition, and fit for comfort and warmth.
  • Poles should be sized correctly, straight, and with baskets solidly attached. Athletes will not be allowed to use poles with missing baskets.
  • Clothing should keep the athlete warm and dry for periods of up to 3 hours in cold and all weather conditions. Athletes should wear underlayers and socks made of wicking fabrics and avoid wearing cotton against the skin. Face masks or neck gaiters that can be pulled up to cover the face should be worn to avoid frostbite during colder periods.
  • Athletes should have good quality goggles with lenses suitable for use in all weather conditions. Goggles should be fully dried for at least one overnight after each day of skiing before storing in a gear bag to prevent fogging between the lenses.

Protective Gear

  • SNSC athletes are required to wear an ASTM F2040 certified snow sports helmet at all times during training and competition.
  • Back protectors are highly recommended for training and are REQUIRED FOR COMPETITION.
  • Hip, knee, and elbow pads and mouth guard may be used to provide additional protection.

Please refer to the Handbook and the above Program Offerings.

Questions regarding the program should be addressed first to the Coaches, then the Head Coach, and lastly the Executive Director. Updated information is available on our website, Facebook, and group emails are common pathways. General office questions can be directed to 802-644-1177.


  • Program orientation meeting at beginning of year and awards at end of year.
  • Please note: Programs have a minimum number of participants for them to be offered

We are excited and pleased to welcome you to our Ski & Snowboard club here at the Smugglers’ Notch Ski Resort. Your first weekend at the club may seem a bit overwhelming, especially at 8:30 AM on a Saturday morning. With over 300 members and 130 athletes, the club is a beehive of activity with coaches, kids, parents and families all scrambling out of their shoes and into their boots for a day on the mountain.  

This Guide has been written to help you understand:

  • What to expect from the club and what is expected of you as a new member.
  • Where things / people are supposed to go.
  • When the club is open / closed, and when you or your kids are supposed to be somewhere.
  • Who’s who in the club.
  • How to find the people and information you’ll need.


General Info: Updates and all other club information can be found on our website.

  • Group updates: Call or email your child’s coach.
  • Daily updates: Check the white board by the TV on main level
  • Specific question: 802-644-1177
  • Executive Director:  Ryan Sheredy

To browse program offerings select the following links. A new window will open.
Alpine Program   Freeski Program  Snowboard Program  

Expect a bustling, busy and energetic scene on weekend mornings when you arrive shortly before your kid’s group is supposed to meet. In general, the earlier you arrive, the better off you’ll be. You’ll find more space and time to prepare your child and yourself for a great day on the slopes. Conversely, if you arrive just in the nick of time to meet your group, you’ll be rushing and stressing and that one troublesome finger in your child’s mitten will fold over and they won’t be able to get their mitten on their hand. AIEEEE!!!

  1. Rushing = Stress. Give yourself a break and arrive early.
  2. Don’t start your day off on the wrong foot.
  3. Coaches meet their groups either inside or outside the club, depending on weather. In general, when coaches refer to the meeting times, they mean that this is the time that your child should be:
  • Dressed for the weather (stay away from cotton and remember that layers are the best bet!)
    In their boots, helmets, gloves and ready to ski or ride.
  • Outside, with equipment ready to go.
  • Unfortunately, when a family arrives minutes before the group meeting time, chaos results and the child, parent and group all suffer. Check in with your child’s coach to make sure you understand when and where the group is meeting and plan accordingly.


  1. Relax. This will happen to the most conscientious families.
  2. Ask a coach, or office manager for some assistance. (More on them later…)
  3. Relax. Driving conditions in Vermont can be dicey. Get here safely, even if you’re going to be late.
  4. Once you’ve made a member of the SNSC staff aware that you’ve arrived late and missed your group, they’ll contact your child’s coach by radio to notify them that you arrived late. They will establish a meeting time, at a specific lift, or in front of the club, so that your child will be reunited with his or her group.
  5. Relax. The days are long and your child will have a blast once hooked up with their group.
  6. Understand that the SNSC staff and coaches are here to help you. Many of us have kids of our own and can appreciate the challenges of corralling them into the car and getting to the mountain. Sometimes, chaos wins. Don’t stress out. We’re here to help.
  7. Relax. So, I arrived on time and I’ve got my kids in their boots, helmet, gloves, equipped and ready to go. Now what?

O.K., so now your kid is all equipped and ready to go? Great job! Now it’s time to get them hooked up and introduced to their coach. Feel free to ask any of them for directions. If you would like to see what your coach looks like, refer to the picture of all SNSC Coaches and Staff on the poster you’ll find in the main level of the clubhouse on the bulletin board. Once again, checking in with your coach via e-mail or phone before the weekend is a great way to learn where and when they will be meeting on any given day. As a new club member, please be advised that YOU and YOUR FAMILY are welcome to use the club during the less-busy weekdays. The clubhouse is open every day of the week and if you want to enjoy it midweek, come on up and check it out when it’s a lot less busy than the weekends or holiday weeks.

Remember the sign-up forms you signed when you joined the club? If you haven’t signed up to assist with SNSC events, it’s time to do so. Pick a day(s) that works for you and your family and make sure that you don’t forget the date. There are many assignments for each event, some indoors, some outdoors. Some assignments require a bit of training, others don’t, so ask questions about your options for job assignments and choose the one you feel best suited for. You’ll find that your day will be enjoyable and in some cases, you’ll have the best seat in the house to watch the event!

Treat the clubhouse like it’s your own home.
If you see destructive behavior taking place, please report it immediately. If there are problems of any kind, let our staff know and we’ll handle it as soon as possible.FundraisersHelping out / participating in our fundraising events keeps the club on firm financial footing. Our annual ski sale, golf tournament, and Casino Night are all important events that help us to hire the best coaches, pay for our clubhouse and keep our program fees as low as possible. Over 60% of the SNSC annual budget comes from fundraising events, so please sign up to do your part to keep the club alive.Clean-up days.There is a sign up poster on the wall by the kitchen.

Please be sure to sign up for a clean up day and when your day comes up, team up with the other family that signed up and scrub-a-dub-dub.ParticipateThere are tons of things that need to be done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. There’s no shortage of tasks, but frequently, a shortage of hands. There are many committees that will benefit from your input and participation. The phrase “many hands make light work” couldn’t more aptly describe our situation at SNSC. Help out by participating as a member of our committees, in fundraising events, on-hill events and other SNSC activities.
Learn more about your responsibilities.

We’ve spent thousands of dollars on club renovations, some of which have changed the general use of the clubhouse.

  • Boots: Go home at the end of every day.
  • Skis / Boards: May be stored on a first come / first serve basis in one of the two large storage closets downstairs in the basement level.
  • Day Packs: Are to be stored on the hooks provided on every level.
  • Food: In the fridge, but only on a daily basis. NOTE: All food is thrown out of the fridge on Sunday evening.
  • Main Level: Used for meeting, socializing, hanging out, booting up, cooking and eating.

Used for eating, booting up and meeting friends.

TECH ROOM (locked door on Basement level)
Is the coaches room. It is also the only place in the club where skis or boards may be tuned or waxed.

You’ll find our offices, timing room, tutorial / meeting room and phones. Video analysis and off-hill coaching frequently takes place in the upstairs tutorial / meeting room. In general, the office is not a place to hang out. It’s a work space where it needs to be quiet. Kids are not encouraged to frequent this area.
Learn more about the Club Facilities.


  • Weekends, the club opens at 7:30 or earlier and closes at 4:30 – 5:00 PM.
  • The club is open midweek at 8:00 AM and closed at 4:30 – 5:00 PM depending on the training schedule.
  • These hours will be maintained throughout the winter, 7 days a week.

WHEN ARE MY KIDS SUPPOSED TO BE SOMEWHERE?A general rule of thumb is to arrive at least 15-30 minutes before your child’s group is scheduled to meet. This will allow you plenty of time to get ready for the day’s activities. If you’re not sure what’s going on:

  • Check with your coach
  • See the blog on the Web site.
  • Call if you have questions: 802-644-1177

One important thing to remember is if you are pulling your child out of their program early, you MUST let the coach know. If you don’t and the coach is not aware that your child has left with you, it creates a “lost child in the mountains” situation that puts an alarming amount of people into action needlessly. Please make sure that your coach knows if you’re pulling your child out early and DON’T DEPEND on your child to tell the coach.


  • Be sure to check the aforementioned coach and staff picture board.
  • Fill in the contact info for your child’s coach and keep a copy at your home and in your wallet.
  • Additionally, SNSC Board Members can be of huge help. A list of board members is available.

Make sure that your child has some spending money in his or her pocket. On any given day, they may need the money for: Hot chocolate, handwarmers, snack, etc. PLEASE don’t put SNSC coaches into the awkward position of having to pay for your child’s hot cocoa on a cold day.

Hand Warmers

  • Stuff a packet of two into their jacket and make sure they know that they are in there.


  • Your child should bring a day pack with them to the club. This will keep their stuff organized and zipped up. They may hang their pack on any one of the many hooks found throughout the clubhouse.


  • Make sure that you’ve provided your child with lunch, or money to purchase lunch in the base lodge. Make sure that they know WHERE to find their lunch when they break after their morning session.


  • It’s best to send your child with extra layers of clothing. They may keep their extra layers in their daypack (see above). When considering what to pack or dress your child in, remember the old Mountaineer adage: “Cotton Kills”. Dressing your child in a base layer of cotton is NOT recommended. Once it gets wet, cotton wicks body heat away. The result is a wet, cold kid. Synthetic fibers such as polypro, fleece or dry fit are all better suited for keeping warm and dry throughout the day.


  • 12 pick-up truckloads of unclaimed clothing, boots, skis and other equipment were removed from the clubhouse this year. None of this gear had the owner’s name written upon it. PLEASE LABEL your clothing, equipment and accessories. Example: Your kid leaves his snowboard outside in the rack in front of the clubhouse. At the end of the day, it’s found, but with no name or SNSC identification on the board, we cannot assume that it belongs to a club member. What if it belongs to one of the kids enrolled in a Ski School program that meets in front of the clubhouse every morning? Without any identification, we can’t assume that the board is one of our member’s so it remains in the rack overnight. To avoid the drama, simply LABEL all your gear with your name and the letters SNSC.

The kitchen area is available for all members to use. It is the responsibility of EVERY MEMBER to clean up after themselves. DO NOT leave dirty dishes, food containers, coffee cups etc. in the sink for “someone else” to clean.

If you have any questions, need information, don’t understand something about the club, race schedules, event sign-ups, etc. Please feel free to ask questions. Veteran members of SNSC, your child’s coach, the club director and administrative assistant are all available and will do their best to answer your questions. If they don’t know the answer, they’ll be sure to research the issue or refer you to someone who can help you out.

Member parking in the small lot below the clubhouse is available on a FIRST COME / FIRST SERVE basis. Don’t park other members in. A great option for parking is to continue past the limited MEMBER PARKING space and proceed to the upper lot. From the upper lot, you can ski or ride directly to the front door of the clubhouse. At the end of the day, make sure to time your final run so that you can ski or ride right to your car. PLEASE DO NOT PARK in the DRIVEWAY above the Member Parking lot.

Please DO NOT leave your boots in the clubhouse overnight. We have had problems with mold and boots are a prime source of bacteria. Please bring your boots home to dry and do not leave in the clubhouse.

You’re welcome to store your food in the fridge, but please DO NOT leave overnight.

Kindly refrain from dragging snow and mud into the building. To keep our club in great shape, please do your best to clean your board / skis off and kick off any excess snow and / or mud from your boots BEFORE entering the clubhouse. This really helps us keep the clubhouse moisture down and eliminates puddles of melted snow that accumulate on the new rubber-flooring surface.

One of your best reference guides for learning the inner workings of the Smugglers’ Notch Ski & Snowboard Club is the updated version of the SNSC Member Handbook. The Handbook contains tons of useful information and may be downloaded here. Print out a copy or review it on-line for reference.

Something to keep in mind is that SNSC memberships and program fees DO NOT include lift access. For most families, the best bet is to purchase a Smugglers’ Notch Season Pass. That way, you can just ski up to the lift and not have to bother going to the ticket window to purchase an individual day ticket. The resort kindly extends pre-Labor Day discount rated season pass prices up to the date of the SNSC Ski & Snowboard Sale that historically takes place in the middle of October.