Ahhh, summer camp. The warmer months of the year are a time many ski racers look forward to as school wraps up, ski feet get a much needed rest, and minds wander toward numerous summer activities. However, as we all know, winter comes faster than you think and serious ski racers would be smart to put some thought into how preparing for the upcoming season will fit into their busy summer schedules.
Ski Racing Media has put together an all-star list of summer camp options, which is perfect for ski racers looking for that extra edge the next time they push out of the starting gate.
Oregon’s Mt. Hood and its legendary Palmer Glacier have seen nearly every notable American ski racer arc turns there, and for good reason. Mt. Hood is easily accessible for most North Americans and can provide high-quality training opportunities for the entire summer — sometimes even into September in a good year.
Don’t worry. If a trek to Mt. Hood isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of other options available to you ranging from off-snow conditioning camps — a great option for more budget-minded racers out there — to international trips to the European Alps and South American Andes that are sure to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Check out all of Ski Racing Media’s summer camp selections below, organized by location.
Founded by former ski racer and pro skier, Marcus Caston, and coach, Lyndsay Strange, Party Beach Ski Camps breathes some much-needed fresh air into the usual scene up on the Palmer Glacier. Party Beach will hold three sessions this summer from June 23-July 19 and is perfect for athletes looking for a fun, productive training environment before they head back to school. There’s something for everyone at Party Beach.
Austrian native Erich Sailer was the first to offer summer camps on the Palmer Glacier all the way back in the 1950s, making his camp the longest and most famous summer operations at Mt. Hood, . A member of the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame, Sailer leads an accomplished staff of coaches that includes many current and past World Cup and NCAA level athletes through the camp’s two sessions in June. An 8:1 athlete to coach ratio ensures quality instruction for the athletes attending. With names such as Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso listed as alumni, you won’t be disappointed at Erich Sailer Ski Racing Camps.
Another mainstay of the Mt. Hood scene, Mt. Hood Summer Ski Camps has been in operation for 35 years and is Oregon’s only ski racing camp licensed and bonded as a State of Oregon “Youth Organizational Camp.” It is permitted under the United States Forest Service, and insured, bonded, and registered as a guide and outfitter under the State of Oregon Marine Board. Athletes stay at a private campus five miles from Government camp and the camp is famous for afternoon activities which include rafting, rock climbing, and mountain biking, among many others. Ted Ligety and Daron Rahlves even attended this camp when they were just youngsters with World Cup dreams. With 14 sessions to choose from running from May 26 to August 31, you’re bound to find something that fits your busy summer schedule.
Keely’s Camp for Girls is the only female powered ski camp on Mt. Hood and has quickly gained a reputation as one of the highest-quality operations in Government Camp over its nine years of operation. The Keely’s Camp mission is to empower, inspire, educate, and connect girls and women through outdoor sports. With a staff of all-female Olympians, World Cup and NCAA skiers, professional ski instructors, and mountain guides, Keely’s Camp now runs ski race, backcountry, kayak, and mountaineering camps. With a small 5:1 athlete to coach ratio and several sessions to choose from, you are bound to find what you’re looking for for yourself or your daughter at Keely’s Camp.
Vermont’s Green Mountain Valley School is one of the premier ski academies in the United States. In summer they offer U12 and U14 boys and girls from around the world to attend their June Mt. Hood Race Camp. With an ultra-low 4:1 athlete to coach ratio, campers will have all of their needs met by GMVS’s World-Class staff during the June 18-27 camp. With a daily focus on technical freeskiing, slalom and GS training, physical conditioning, tuning skis, and video analysis, athletes will also undergo a functional movement screening as well as receive technical and tactical written evaluations during their time at camp.
U.S. Elite Camps take pride in offering a high-level ski training program with a focus on elite-level training, professional coaching, safe activities, and a true team atmosphere. Offering projects in Mt. Hood, Saas Fee, Switzerland, and Stratton, Vermont, U.S. Elite Camps are ideal for experienced ski racers from the U12-U19 age groups that are looking for a fun but focused training environment. Compared to other summer ski camps, athletes spend less of their off-snow time free and instead focus on improving their fitness and exploring the area where the camp is taking place. Parents can access the online camp diary at any time and U.S. Elite Camps was the first and only ski racing camp to receive an American Camp Association accreditation for camp safety and best practices.
With over three decades of ski camp experience, National Alpine Ski Camp can provide young racers the perfect opportunity to hone their skills and step on the podium. With three sessions this summer in Mt. Hood from June 11-July 12, National Alpine Ski Camp’s veteran coaching staff and a 6:1 athlete to coach ratio is sure to be a productive atmosphere for all attendees. Alumni include 2002 Olympian, Thomas Vonn.
Another top-tier Vermont ski academy, Stratton Mountain School, is offering U12-U16 aged athletes the opportunity to attend their Mt. Hood summer camp from July 1-12. With current U.S. Ski Team stars Alice Merryweather, Nick Krause, and George Steffey as recent alumni, athletes will be in good hands with the SMS staff. SMS’s Mount Hood Summer Camp will give athletes the opportunity to establish solid basic skiing techniques through intensive drills, gate training, and freeksiing on Mount Hood’s iconic Palmer Glacier. Afternoons are dedicated to education and fun, including hiking, field games, and other adventures.
One of the most popular camps in recent years, the Ligety Weibrecht Ski Camp attracts numerous celebrity coaches with Olympic, World Cup, National Team, and National Championship experience. With four sessions to choose from beginning June 15, campers will stay at Government Camp’s iconic Huckleberry Inn and be able to learn from World Cup stars like Ted Ligety, Steven Nyman, Megan McJames, and David Chodounsky. Who wouldn’t want a famous huck shake mere steps from your bedroom?
Vermont’s Mount Snow Academy will be offering U12-U16 athletes the chance to attend their Mount Hood camp August 2-14. Experienced and highly qualified coaches work one-on-one with each athlete. The on-hill curriculum will address the needs of a developing athlete in order to ensure the highest quality experience and training available. Camp athletes will spend their afternoons in an after-ski conditioning program that includes a rafting trip, hiking and team building activities.
A mix of summer ski training and other fun summer activities is the best way to continue building your repertoire of skills. The Mt. Hood Race Team Summer Camps can offer you just that. With numerous sessions running from June 15-August 24, MHRT Summer Camps will be there when you decide to leave the beach for a while and decide to put those race boots back on. Summer programming provides the balance and cyclical schedule needed to optimize development for your athlete’s age group. If you are committed to long-term athlete development, want to gain a competitive edge on the competition, and want to see what’s possible from yourself, you be smart to take a look at MHRT Summer Camps.
Other U.S. and Canada
Run by former U.S. Ski Team star and 1985 World Championship bronze medalist Doug Lewis, ELITEAM has been offering conditioning camps and clinics for nearly three decades. ELITEAM Camps are specifically designed for ski racers and young athletes ages 8 to 14. ELITEAM’s unique approach teaches young athletes the importance of Sports Physiology, Sports Psychology and Sports Nutrition. ELITEAM provides athletes with the tools needed to become more complete athletes physically, mentally and nutritionally in order to pursue their dreams on the slopes, perform better in school, and feel more confident, inspired and energized every day! Celebrating its 28th year, ELITEAM is high energy with non-stop action and is all about pushing limits, learning new skills, and having fun. ELITEAM’s goal is simple: to develop healthy, confident and complete athletes.
Another off-snow option if summer skiing isn’t in your cards this year, Stratton Mountain School is also offering a High Performance Adventure Camp at its campus in Stratton, Vermont, July 28-August 2. Open to U12-U16 athletes, the SMS Alpine High-Performance Adventure Camp utilizes the school’s status as a nationally recognized training venue by U.S. Ski and Snowboard and an official U.S. Ski and Snowboard Development Site, alongside nearby Stratton Mountain Resort. SMS’s athletic facilities include The Burtscher Fieldhouse and Greg Needell Gymnasium, which houses the state-of-the-art Greg Needell Strength & Conditioning Room, a Sports Science Lab, an indoor basketball/volleyball court, a turf field, and a golf simulator. The Air Awareness Center—featuring trampolines, a foam pit, and a skate park—provides further training opportunities as does SMS’s Luckenbill Field.
Famous for it’s early-season training that attracts World-class skiers from around the world in the late fall and early winter, the Loveland Ski Club is now offering summer camp options to ski at their high-altitude training venue. With two sessions in June, Loveland Ski Club’s summer camp is a fantastic low-pressure environment to make huge improvements in your skiing without the added distractions of competition or hundreds of other racers at Mt. Hood.
Canada’s National Sports Academy is opening its summer camp in Whistler, British Columbia, to U16 and FIS athletes looking to train alongside some of Canada’s top talent for eight days of focused skill development. Campers will focus on fundamental skiing skills after a season of high volume when it is easier to train muscle memory for future success, getting back to basics, reviewing fundamentals, getting used to next year’s ski radius, and enjoying some big mountain skiing at one of Canada’s premier ski destinations.
New Hampshire’s all-boys Cardigan Mountain School is heading to Mammoth, California, for a focused block of training June 22-July 2. With a low 5:1 athlete to coach ratio, the camp is limited to the first 15 boys to register. Mammoth offers the best of both worlds: gate training on real winter-like snow in the morning and miles of guided freeskiing on Mammoth’s incredible terrain in the afternoon.
Europe and South America
Alta Badia Ski Race Camp is a unique program in the heart of the Italian Dolomites, individually tailored for each accepted athlete and meant as an introduction to Alta Badia’s ski race club and Academy. More than a traditional ski camp, this is a unique training and racing program where athletes will learn how to properly train and race for success alongside the athletes who are on the national team. Because athletes will train and race with Alta Badia’s athletes, participation in the race camp is very limited and admittance is competitive. Living in a multicultural and multilingual environment, enjoying all Italy and the Dolomites have to offer, the program will be an enriching experience both technically and personally. The camp is open to athletes U14 and up.
Maine’s Gould Academy will be traveling to European summer skiing hotspot, Les Deux Alpes, France, from June 20-July 1 for a focused training block for U14 and U16 athletes interested in skiing and honing their skills on Europe’s largest summer skiing glacier. With lodging mere steps from the lift, the camp’s focus will be on fundamentals as well as GS and slalom. The program will be eight days on-snow plus one off-snow day with activities.
Another Maine ski academy, Carrabassett Valley Academy, will be headed to the Southern Hemisphere for their summer camp in Corralco, Chile. Open to U12-U16 athletes, CVA uses an age-appropriate blend of freeskiing, SkillsQuest drills, gate drill courses and full-length GS & slalom training to develop solid balanced technique and focused tactics for this age group. With winter conditions all day long, skiing in Chile cannon be compared to a morning training block at a training camp in the Northern Hemisphere. With a 6:1 athlete to coach ratio, camp atmosphere and training is very individualized.
Looking to head to the ski racing hotbed of Austria for your summer skiing needs? Look no further than Austria Racing Camps. With over 40 years of camp experience, Austria Racing Camps were founded in 1975 and continue to offer some of the best training opportunities found in the European Alps. The training concept is based on the well-respected Austrian curriculum, used in the context of the national training program for alpine coaches and certified ski instructors. Athletes of the Austrian National Ski Team are taught in accordance with this concept in order to perfect their skills. Open to athletes from U10 to Masters racers, Austria Racing Camps could be just the thing you need for success next season.
Canada’s National Sports Academy is also offering two sessions of training in Saas Fee, Switzerland, from August 17-September 1 and August 24-October 4. Athletes train on the glacier with dedicated lane space and stay in fully-supervised apartment accommodations, enjoying homemade meals prepared a private chef. Mornings are spent on snow and afternoons are filled with fun, fitness-based activities in the Saas-Fee valley. This unique camp is situated in a world-class training environment with optimal summer ski conditions for slalom and GS technical training alongside World Cup athletes. All lift tickets, hill space, daily video analysis & fitness training with the NSA coaches, boot & ski tech support provided by professionals from Sporting Life Canada is included.