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Crystal Freeride aims to inspire and provide life-long practices of safe, fun, and successful skiing and snowboarding for young (and young-at-heart) freeriders in an encouraging and positive environment. We utilize the best mountain playground in the world to help teach core principles of excellent riding technique, mountain safety, good decision-making, competition freeriding, and mountain skills that in turn encourage good life skills beyond the mountain.

Crystal Mountain Freeride began in 2005 with a small program, and has always had a history of great skiers, snowboarders, and coaches. Since the inaugural freeride contest in the season of 2000-2001, Crystal has also hosted exciting and fun freeride competitions for adults and juniors alike. Head Coach Chuck White has been involved in freeskiing for 20 plus years, and brings an unparalleled level of enthusiasm and freeskiing knowledge to the program. In 2013, Crystal revamped the Freeride program, retaining Chuck and adding new faces to the coaching team including professional freeskier Ingrid Backstrom and head snowboard coaches and freeride competitors Curtis Yanasak and Scott Loring, as well as a skilled roster of coaches excelling in freeriding, backcountry, technique, air, and park.

Crystal Freeride offers positive energy and stoke to freeriders of all ages, coaches and participants alike, through a development program for skilled younger riders, ages 7-11, experienced freeriders ages 12-18, and competition-level freeriders ages 12-18, as well as freeride camps and events at Crystal Mountain.

The Freeride program is designed for skiers and snowboarders who can link fall line (parallel for skiers) turns down most off-piste terrain at Crystal in a variety of conditions, including powder and chopped crud. The 2016 season will begin with an on-snow assessment to ensure placement of each rider in the Crystal Mountain program best suited for their development and enjoyment.

On-Snow Assessment

For those new to Freeride, we will do a friendly, no-pressure first day evaluation to ensure that Freeride is the right fit for the rider. This will consist of riding around in small groups with coaches, as well as one or two off-piste, advanced to expert runs where each rider will go one at a time so that coaches can get a good idea of their strengths. Freeride is fast-paced and challenging, and we know it might not be for everyone this year. We have found that when riders are grouped with peers of similar ages, interests, and abilities, everyone benefits–and given the variety and quality of programs Crystal offers, a perfect spot exists for every rider.

Freeride Development

The following is an outline of the development pipeline for athletes and the disciplines offered for each team:

Freeride Development Team ( 3 Weeks or 6 Weeks)

Ages 7-15 / Intermediate-Advanced & Expert Level Skiers & Snowboarders
The Freeride Development Team provides a bridge program for kids between contemporary Mountain Sports Team Lessons and Freeride.  The Freeride Development Team is designed to introduce kids to freeride and the concepts of tactics, technical skiing, mountain awareness and an introduction to traveling safely in off-piste terrain.

All Mountain Freeride Team ( 8 Weeks 1 Day and 2 Day Programs Available)

Ages 11-18/ Advanced & Expert Level Skiers & Snowboarders
The emphasis is on solid technique for off-piste skiing, tackling steeper terrain and challenging snow conditions. The end goal is to coach kids to be able to link turns without stopping on some of the steepest runs with solid foundational skills and technique. There will be additional emphasis on safely learning the protocol for catching air.

Competition Freeride Team ( 12 Weeks 1 Day and 2 Day Programs Available)

Ages 11-18/ Advanced & Expert Level Skiers & Snowboarders
The Competitive Team Program is designed for the highest level Freerider with prior contest and/or freeride experience.  Our Freeride coaches will support athletes in their specific discipline throughout the winter, with individual coaching during the winter competitive schedule. Coaches and athletes will work together through tactical drills to focus their personal abilities as well as outline their competitive schedule in order to balance training around the success of their competitive season. Dryland training may be required throughout the season as directed by the coaches.  Coaches reserve discretion to decide who may participate in this program.