Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is the Sunridge Alpine Ski Team and what is your training philosophy?

Sunridge Alpine Ski Team is a competitive Alpine Ski Racing Team in Edmonton, Alberta. Formed in the early 1980s, Sunridge Alpine Ski Team consists of two Alberta registered not for profit societies (Sunridge Ski Club and the Strathcona Alpine Racing Club) which operate separately but collaboratively with the Sunridge Ski Area (the hill) operator. We are a member club of the North Zone Division of the Alberta Alpine Ski Association, which is the provincial sport organization for the province of Alberta affiliated with Alpine Canada Alpin. Our clubs are managed by volunteer Executive Boards and several volunteer support positions, with paid coaching staff managed by the Alpine Chair and a Head Coach. All of our coaches are certified (Canadian Ski Coach Federation).

The Sunridge Alpine Ski Team offers ski race training for kids and youth ages 4 and up with a focus on developing a lifelong sport with continual personal challenge in a team environment thriving on friendships and family involvement. Ski Racing involves a long term development model as outlined in the Alpine Canada Long-Term Athlete Development and our Club operates by those guidelines. This 7-step developmental model assists coaches, parents and volunteers in providing the best environment for our athletes. Much of the content of Ski Racing programs is actually training. Especially at young ages, sanctioned race days are limited in favour of developmental training days and activity.


When and how do I register for ski racing?

Registration generally opens between July and September of each year with priority given first to returning families. Through our online registration system you will register your athlete for their athletic programming and coaching, complete waivers and policy forms, purchase your athlete's Alberta Alpine racer card, pay your family membership dues to the Alberta Alpine Ski Association, and select your volunteer commitments. Add-ons including dryland and mountain camps will also be purchased through the system throughout the season.


What do the registration fees cover?

The registration fees cover your ski coaching fees by certified coaches (Canadian Ski Coach Federation), dryland coaching, and the necessities to operate as a club (e.g. club equipment used for training). Our club operations rely heavily on our fundraising efforts to keep these fees as low as possible. Please note, lift tickets including your Sunridge Annual Pass are extra, as are some user pay elements of training (such as certain mountain camps and races). U14+ athletes also pay into a racer account to enable race fees and team travel costs to be more easily tracked and paid throughout the season.


Are lift tickets included in my fees?

Lift tickets are not included in your fees. You will need a Sunridge Ski Area annual pass for weekly training (purchased directly from the hill) which goes on sale in July at discounted rates.

Your Sunridge Ski Area annual pass will get you some discounts at local hills and mountain resorts. Depending on the age and training program for your racer, you may want to look at planning with the proposed training schedule and consider purchasing some mountain lift tickets for additional discounts (e.g. Costco, AMA, Sunshine/Marmot cards, Grade 4/5 snow pass, etc.).


What is dryland training and is it required?

Dryland training is a great way to meet teammates and coaches ahead of the ski season and build stamina and conditioning while having some fun. It is optional for racers ages U8-U10 (Saturdays starting in September). U12 athletes also have a dryland training option Tuesday evenings and Saturdays. For U14 athletes and up, dryland training is included in your coaching fees (Saturdays) with options to add Tuesday and Thursday evenings.


Are there volunteer commitments?

Yes, there are volunteer commitments for all racer families. We could not operate as not for profit and maintain reasonable fees without the support of our families, volunteers and sponsors. We try to make it as flexible as possible enabling families to pick and choose the best way they can meet these commitments based on their knowledge of the sport, time and other skills. Our volunteer coordinator can help you determine what jobs we have available and other ways to meet these commitments. Certain obligations, such as volunteering at our club hosted races, are expected of all families and help us ensure our events are fun and run smoothly and safely. In addition, opyional volunteer commitments, including Bingos, are graduated to enable a reduction in the racer fees for families who are able to volunteer more often.


How much travel is involved?

Weekly training is local at the Sunridge Ski Area and races in the regional series are in Edmonton, Red Deer and Jasper. Athletes in the provincial series will have races in the Bow Valley, and Panorama for older racers. Mountain camps are generally in Jasper or the Bow Valley, with a speed camp for older athletes in Kimberley.

For Sundogs no travel is required. For U6-U10 athletes all camps are optional as add-ons. For U12+ athletes mountain training is optional or included depending on the package chosen. Athletes U12 and under will still travel and stay with their families. For U14+ racers there are options for team travel to reduce costs and time away from work for parents.


What equipment will I need to buy?

Please review the Parent Handbook for a complete list of racer equipment including suggested cold weather gear. Equipment will vary by racer group and whether you are buying new or used equipment. While the sport can be gear intensive, it does not require expensive or brand new equipment all of the time.

Pacesetter Ski and Snowboard Shoppe is our official retail partner and preferred supplier here in Edmonton. They offer a discount on non-sale items for ski team members.

Here is a high level summary of the equipment requirements:

All racers must have hard sided (eared) helmets which can only be purchased at ski shops, and U14+ helmets must be in compliance with the new FIS sticker requirements. Helmets cannot have camera mounts, covers or stickers adorning the helmet.

For U10 and under race skis are not required, however look for SL or Hybrid SL/GS if buying race skis for U10s. Racers will need boots, goggles, gloves/mitts, jacket and pants, mouth guard, boot bag and cold weather gear. The coach will advise if poles are required at this stage. Speed suits are not recommended for U10s.

For U12 and up you will need race skis (designed of junior racing). U12s need one pair of GS or SL race style skis, boots, poles and the gear noted above. A back protector is also required at this stage and a GS suite / speed suit is optional.

U14+ start to require more equipment including skis for Slalom and GS, poles for Slalom and GS, GS suit and Speed suit, as well as other protective gear (chin guards, shin guards, pole guards).

Regular ski tuning is a must. You will need to invest in some ski tuning basic equipment so that you can keep the ski edges sharp. We recommend attending a training session early in the season to set yourself up with what you will need to know and have on hand.


Are team uniforms and race suits required and included?

Team apparel, such as the team jacket, is not mandatory but highly encouraged (especially as the kids get a little older and start to go to races and events as they will want to look and feel a part of the tam). We usually have some inventory of jackets through our webstore and other team branded gear available in the fall. Parents will often sell their gently used jackets to club members in the fall (watch for news of our ski swap and info sessions). Race suits are not required until U14 and are optional for U12 racers (although many do start to have them in U12). They are not recommended for U10 and under as they really do not improve race outcomes at this stage of training and racer development.


When does training start?

Our training season locally usually begins in mid-November and goes to mid- March (weather permitting). We often plan on a mountain trip to start the season off, and a mountain trip at the end of March / early April to finish the season.


How often do you train and race?

Weekly training for Sundogs is once per week either Tuesday or Thursday evening from 615-815 pm or Saturdays from 930 am -1230 pm.

All other groups train 3x / week starting at 615-815 pm on Tuesdays / Thursdays and 930 am - 1230 pm on Saturdays. U14+ training runs 30 mins longer on weeknights (6-830 pm) and 1 hour longer on Saturdays (930 am - 130 pm) than the Nancy Greene program skiers.


Do I need to stay at the hill during training?

For U12 athletes and under, a parent must remain at the hill during training or race events or you must designate another parent to take responsibility for your athlete to assist in breaks, cold protection or in case of injury. Parents / guardians are responsible for the athletes before and after training and during all breaks.


What does a typical training session look like? How many breaks do the racers get in a training session?

Racers need to arrive early enough to be ready to ski and meet their coaches outside the lodge on time. Please pack a healthy snack and water for your athlete’s breaks which can be left in the lodge. Generally racers will get one water and warm-up break per session (more breaks may be provided depending on weather). Training will typically consist of a warm-up activity, technical training and free skiing / cool down. Parents and guardians are responsible for the athletes during the break times.


What happens when it is too cold to train?

Cold weather will happen. Generally racers should be prepared for colder weather with layered clothing, hand and toe warmers, face coverings, etc. This is really important as conditions can cool quickly and wind chill can make conditions variable between the lodge and the exposed areas of the hill and on the lifts.

For Sundogs /U6/U8, if the temperature is forecasted to be -20C or lower at the start of training, or a wind chill of -27C or lower, training will be cancelled by 2 pm for Tuesday / Thursday sessions. For Saturdays, training will be cancelled by 5 pm on Friday evening if forecasted to be -25C or lower at the start of training, or -30C or lower with the wind chill. For U10+, generally if the hill is open, training will proceed as athletes are better able to monitor their well-being.


Will my child be on club social media?

We love to share how much fun we are having as a team with active club accounts on Facebook, Instagram and twitter. You will be able to comment, like and share these posts as well. We do however take care not to name or identify our younger athletes in these posts. For any parent not wishing to have their child in any posted photos please inform us of your wishes in this regard, not a problem.


How do you communicate with families?

We use emails to send out general info and camp info to families on a regular basis including newsletter updates. We are also using a team chat app that allows parents in each of the coaching groups to contact each other and the Alpine Chair during training days to pass along messages (such as break times, sick kid missing training, etc.).


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Upcoming Events


Jul. 01, 2024

Canada Day Parade
Fort Saskatchewan
Sunridge Alpine Ski Team will be entering a "float" in one of the best Canada Day Parades in the area. Great opportunity to ...

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Jul. 19, 2024 4:30 PM to 11:30 PM

cancelled - Bingo
Castledowns Bingo Hall

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Aug. 19, 2024 4:30 PM to 11:30 PM

Castledowns Bingo
12222 137 Ave NW

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