We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and the surrounding mountains offer life altering opportunities for young people. The general goal of Ullr Big Mountain is to connect our athletes to all that mountains, and a winter environment, can offer. Our specific mandate is to help our athletes find their potential as skiers; guide them in assessing the related risks; expose them to a tight-knit community they can share their adventures with; and, above all, to have fun!
It’s one thing to simply state these goals, and another to know how to make them happen. Ullr Big Mountain is a freeride program based on a lifetime of coaching. The current principle coaches are born and raised in the Bow Valley, and know the local mountains intimately. We aim to deliver a program that is balanced, sensitive to the unique needs of each athlete, and dynamic. We are encouraging and demanding of our athletes. We expose our skiers to the widest possible range of athletic problem solving, while also reigning them in enough to instill very specific skills. We ski every meter of the ski hill while also establishing the repetition needed for skill mastery. We push all-out, legs-on-fire, free-skiing, as well as slow things down enough to create steady technical improvement. We offer measured gradations in skill progression while also understanding the value of throwing our athletes in the deep end. Perhaps, above all, we aim to ensure coaching fairness and that every athlete is given as much opportunity as the next—whether s/he is the next Candide Thovex, or more likely to be ‘Jerry of the Day.’
Ski Area Variety
Our home hill is Lake Louise Ski Resort, but we have a few training days each year at Sunshine Village, Kicking Horse, and Winsport (and we offer one extra day of skiing at all our competition venues).
Our program orients a bit more toward participation in the Canadian Jr. freeride circuit. (All our athletes are encouraged to participate in at least one competition per season, while the older athletes may do as many as eight).
Certified Aerials Coaches
We are the only local freeride team that has certified advanced skills aerials coaches, and that offers sanctioned aerials training.
As a team, we keep the ‘free’ in freeride, but lean slightly more than other local freeride teams toward the structure you might see in a traditional freestyle team (why reinvent the wheel?).
Barter or Trading
Our team is open to barter (trading services) for some portion of team payment.
We are committed to setting aside 1% of overall team fees, each year, toward athletes that would like to be on our freeride team, but are struggling to find the means to do so.
Ullr Big Mountain is now into its fifth season. When an athlete fully commits to the program, we can take them from being indifferent to skiing, or terrified of freeride competitions, to being able to ski virtually anything that is put in front of them with confidence, passion, style, speed, and creativity. We’ve had freeride podiums in all age categories. And we’ve seen our athletes move from uncertainty about how to do a ‘spread eagle,’ to being able to throw down multi-axis inverts.