Photo: Malcolm Carmichael Lake Louise Western Ski Cross Series 2017 Train to Train

Key Focus

Ski Racers continue to consolidate their technical skiing skills, develop their overall athleticism, physical fitness capacity and begin to apply their technical skills in a competitive environment through the introduction of tactical strategy in ski cross beginning with 4-up team event with an individual qualification time trial to 4-up heats with qualification time trial events.

Ski cross courses and terrain features are utilized to develop a ski racers athleticism and ability to move efficiently over terrain in competitive and non-competitive environments.

Age Range

11 to 15 years of age

Ski Cross Performance Benchmark

Ski racers will be consolidating and applying their technical skiing skills through participation in ski cross in a variety of terrain environments that match the appropriate challenge level for the individual skier.

Ski racers begin to participate in formal club and provincial ski cross events with a proper start gate, medium sized ski cross terrain start feature and course. Ski racers qualify in the morning in preparation for 4-up heat racing in the afternoon with the intent to promote multiple runs per day down the ski cross track.

A formal training day prior to the day of the event is encouraged. Ski racers need the opportunity to sample a variety of lines, gain mileage on a ski cross course, and familiarity with the different features through several laps prior to the qualification rounds and heat-racing.

By the end of this stage, ski racers are able to negotiate a 4 person start with a difficult start feature. Ski racers train ski cross formally to develop their ability to adjust starts as needed, link turns with rolling terrain adding in aspects of lead/follow. Ski racer understands how to navigate and negotiate traffic using drafting and blocking and is starting to develop the ability to look beyond the athlete in front to maintain their line.

Ski Cross Course & Terrain Park Feature Recommendations

Ski racers will continue to explore and discover medium features in terrain parks and ski cross course features including start features, bank turns, varying fall lines, rollers, spines, blind turns and jumps where skiers leave the ground for a varying amount of time and distance to develop their body awareness while skiing. Ski racers begin to sample by linking roll sections together in a variety of ways: single, double or triple.

Ski racers continue to ski onto boxes and rails with varying ramp angles and varying sized drop-offs. By the end of the stage, ski racers are beginning to link medium sized terrain features in the park and ski cross course. At the end of the Train to Train stage, skiers should begin to link multiple terrain features in the terrain park together in a single full run. 

Ski racers continue to practice their ski cross starts using an appropriately sized starting gate with a medium ramp angle. Ski racers should be encouraged to race their teammates to the first features on a public ski cross track. Ski racers are encouraged to use start gates as often as possible to practice proper start technique and gain familiarity with the starting sequence.

Ski cross drills include playing "cat and mouse" or "lead and follow" with another teammate to practice passing, overtaking and being passed by another skier.  Ski racers are encouraged to continue skiing arrhythmical open giant slalom courses on wide intermediate trails with 3-4 ski racers at a time to develop their ability to adjust line and ski with traffic and leading to an increased confidence with leading, following, and passing on a ski cross course. Introduce drafting strategies in pairs when possible.

Course inspections skills and skiers can recognize features and strategies to take features during an inspection.

Ski racers continue to execute jump progression as listed:
  1. Rolling over small jumps while maintaining snow contact.
  2. Learning how to "pop" a jump.
  3. Keep a tuck position over a jump.
  4. Performing fun tricks (i.e., spread eagle, 180° spins, 360° spins and tail grabs).
  5. Ski racers take off jumps with “kick style” take off ramps. (I will add degree ramp angle measurement after I look it up from freestyle)