Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy (Ski & Snowboard Club Vail)
Address: Academics: Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy Minturn, Colo. Athletics: Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Vail, Colo.
Head of School: Wade Hill
Founded: VSSA: 2007 / SSCV:1962
Category: Full year traditional ski academy, Winter term only academy, Public school
App Deadline: 3/31/2020
Cost: $1,100-1,200 (does not include athletic program fees)
Financial Aid: Yes
Academic Approach: Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy (VSSA), an Eagle County public school, is an academic partner of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) and the first public ski and snowboard academy in the country. SSCV is the training and competition program provider for all VSSA full-time snow sports and cycling student-athletes, each of whom must first be admitted as a full-time athlete by SSCV and a student by VSSA. VSSA is dedicated to providing an opportunity for its student-athletes to pursue their athletic dreams without compromising academic priorities, including a unique academic schedule which supports academics and athletics, a variety of advanced placement and dual enrollment college course offerings, a robust online learning management system to support traveling athletes academically when they cannot be in the classroom setting and college counseling services. Strong standardized test results are indicative of this commitment to academic priorities including 2018 SAT scores averaging 1239 (seventh best in Colorado public schools and 200 points above Colorado and National average), ACT scores averaging 27 over the past five years (≈ six points above Colorado and national average) and 2018 PSAT scores in the 96th percentile in English and 94th percentile in Math in Colorado. College acceptances include Bates, Bowdoin, Boston College, Colby, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Middlebury, Plymouth State, St. Lawrence, St. Michael’s, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Denver, University of New Mexico, University of New Hampshire, University of Utah, University of Vermont and Williams College. SSCV also offers a Winter Tutorial program for those SSCV full-time athletes that cannot relocate to the area year round.
Athletic Approach:Founded in 1962, SSCV is the Vail Valley’s oldest nonprofit, providing training and competition programs for aspiring snow-sport athletes. Today, the organization remains true to its roots by instilling the values of “Character, Courage and Commitment” through mentorship of more than 650 athletes who participate in its programs each year. SSCV has full-time training programs in alpine, freeski park & pipe, big mountain, Nordic, mogul, snowboard and high school cycling. SSCV is taking major steps in an ongoing expansion of its training and competition venue, opening the alpine portions of the Golden Peak Expansion this season. (A full mogul training and competition venue is slated for a future phase of development.) The expanded terrain includes a new surface lift and three new alpine trails with roughly 30 new state-of-the-art snowmaking fan guns, resulting in 42 new acres of trail space. This doubles the alpine training space and provides an additional 600 vertical feet, amounting to more than 1,500 total vertical drop. This added elevation at the venue will provide training and racing opportunities significantly earlier and later in the season. In addition, new this season SSCV has invested in its own snowcat and operators to structure and maintain its facility at Golden Peak for optimized conditions at its training and competition venues. SSCV is also equipped with the highest-level human performance department at the Minturn Fitness Center, an 8,500-square-foot state-of-the-art human performance facility adjacent to VSSA. The club also offers an elite slopeside Technical Services department, complete with a brand-new Wintersteiger Mercury fully automated tuning machine. Other amenities include a trampoline room at VSSA, a FIS-homologated Noridic trail system and quick access to park and pipe training at Copper and Vail mountains. SSCV’s new, industry-leading clubhouse at the base of the Golden Peak training facility provides ski-in/ski-out access to its athletes and a homebase for the SSCV community throughout the year.
Notable Coaches: Kirk Dwyer, Alissa Consenstein, John Dowling, John Hale, Chris Laske, Danny Kass, Eric Pepper, Mark Smith, Dan Weiland, Rob Worrell
Notable Alumni: For the 2018-19 season, 27 SSCV alumni were NCAA rostered snow sports athletes (of which 14 are VSSA alumni). Twenty-five SSCV alumni and one current SSCV athlete were members of US Ski & Snowboard Association national teams for the 2018-19 season (of which one is a current VSSA student and ten are VSSA alumni). Twenty-four SSCV alumni and two current SSCV athletes have been nominated to US Ski & Snowboard Association national teams for 2019-20 (of which two are current VSSA students and 11 are VSSA alumni). Eight SSCV alumni and ten SSCV current athletes have been named to the 2019-20 National Development Group (of which eight are VSSA current students and five are VSSA alumni).
Training Facilities: Nordic athletes train on seven-kilometer trail system adjacent to VSSA. Vail Mountain’s Golden Peak is home to early-season alpine and mogul training, with high-speed-quad access and industry-leading snowmaking. A planned expansion of this venue will host full-length speed training and competition, as well as a dedicated mogul course. Halfpipe, park and airbag training are also hosted on Golden Peak. SSCV provides trampoline training at VSSA, along with strength and conditioning at VSSA and the Minturn Fitness Center.
Additional Info: SSCV believes no child should be restricted from participating in its programs for financial reasons. In that spirit, as much as 75 percent of its program fees are eligible for financial aid based on financial need.