Welcome to Freestyle Whistler!
We are grateful to gather and play on the shared and unceded territories of the Skwxwú7mesh Nation and Lil’wat Nation.
Please read the information in this newsletter carefully, as there is a lot of important information for the upcoming season. We also have a mandatory virtual club meeting to answer any questions on November 22nd @ 7:30pm.
Link to join Meeting
Meeting ID: 851 3454 4671
Please keep this e-mail handy as there’s lots of information in here that you can refer to throughout the year. You can also flag it to refer to.
General Club Information
Please ensure your Season’s Pass is working before the first day of Club Programs. Login to your Epic Account and complete your release of liability forms, and make your elections for Epic Coverage before Dec. 6th.
Morning Meeting Place
All athletes should meet on the snow next to the upper village’s Milestones Restaurant/mini putt area. We are extremely privileged to have early upload access. All groups will meet at 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. We will load the gondola at 7:40 a.m. sharp. PLEASE DON’T BE LATE, or you will miss our early upload and have to wait in line and risk missing your group.
We are not permitted to lean skis against the Ski School cabin next to the Blackcomb Gondola.
Below is a map of the base of Blackcomb. X marks the spot for the following programs:
Red – Development Team
Blue – Big Mountain Freestyle
Purple – Girlstylerz
Orange – All Mountain Freestyle
Green – Freestylerz
On the first day, if you are not sure where to go, please check in with Program Director Chris Muir, and he will point you to the correct meeting place. All groups will meet at the same place each weekend during the winter.
Once we are given the go-ahead from the Lift Operations Team, we will use the Ski School line on the left side of the gondola. We have a very short time window to load, so it is important to load each gondola fully. Be aware that you might not end up with your best buddy on the upload. Please also remember that potentially hundreds of people are watching us load, so be on your best behaviour. If you miss the upload, athletes must use the public load and meet us at the top of the lift or in Rendezvous.
After unloading at the top of the gondola, all groups will walk over to under the Peak 2 Peak gondola to find their group. Athletes will do a dynamic warm-up, and as soon as Ski Patrol drops the rope, groups will head out skiing.
If your child is late, please text Chris, Program Director, at 604-905-8788. Any athletes arriving after the early upload must get in the public line to load the gondola. Once they arrive at the top, they must enter the Rendezvous to meet Chris. He will be able to contact their coach.
What to Wear
Athletes should come prepared in full ski wear, and it is mandatory to wear a helmet. Twin-tip skis (or partial twin) are recommended as a good all-around ski for all disciplines. Ski widths of 80 – 95 mm are ideal. Athletes in the Big Mountain Freestyle program are recommended to have a ski waist between 90cm and 100cm. Athletes interested in more mogul-specific training are recommended to use mogul skis. If athletes have powder or mogul skis that they wish to use throughout the day, these can be stored/locked in the Gemini Freestyle Center. Please speak with Chris to arrange a secure place for them in our storage locker.
What to Bring
Athletes should bring a backpack with them each day. Recommended items:
– 1-litre water bottle
– healthy lunch or money to purchase lunch at a mountain lodge
– several healthy snacks for the afternoon break
– spare goggles extra layerhand and/or toe warmers.
The Gemini Freestyle Center will have hooks for athletes to hang their bags.
Daily Training Schedule
Training 8 am – 10:30 am
Brunch/Early Lunch from 10:45 am – 11:30 am
Training from 11:30 am – 3:00 pm (1 break may be scheduled depending on weather, fatigue, hunger levels, etc…)
Our primary brunch/lunch spot will be Glacier Creek Lodge. Some groups may lunch at Rendezvous or the Roundhouse if groups are training on Whistler.
All U12 groups will meet at the Blackcomb Lightboard at 2:30 pm each day; if any parents need to pick up from there and head to Whistler – please let coaches know this at morning drop-off to allow them to plan. These groups will then ski from the lightboard to the GFC for 2:45 p.m., followed by Base II at 2:55 p.m. and Blackcomb Base at 3 p.m. Please speak with your coach if you need to organize other drop-off options.
All athletes aged 12 – 14 will be skied to Base II at 3 p.m. until the end of December. Starting in January, they can sign out with their coach from the Gemini Freestyle Center from 2:45 – 3 p.m. If other arrangements need to happen for athletes aged 12 – 14, please speak with your Program Head Coach or Executive Director.
Athletes aged 15+ can sign themselves out at the end of the training day.
First Weekend Expectations
Athletes can expect to ski all over the mountain for the first weekend to get their legs back. We aim to have a 6:1 athlete-to-coach ratio. The goal is to have groups set by the second weekend of training. Groups will be created based on athlete age, ski ability and requests from the registration forms. If there are any issues with the grouping of athletes, don’t hesitate to contact your program Head Coach. All emails can be found at the bottom of this email.
Snow Days & Extreme Cold Weather Days
The program will meet at the scheduled time on big snow days. Please allow more time to make sure your athlete arrives on time. Please pack extra gloves and goggles on these days in their backpacks. This will allow them to change them at lunchtime if they are wet and snowy.
On days with 15+ cm of snow or when treewell danger is high, Head Coaches will pair groups together to ensure we have 2 coaches working with a group. This ensures more eyes are on athletes skiing on powder days.
We will be taking part in Treewell Safety training with Blackcomb Ski Patrol. Dates are still TBD. We will update in an upcoming newsletter once we have dates and times available!
Just so you know, in case of extreme weather, club days may be rescheduled.
We will use the WhatsApp FW Parent Announcements Group for last-minute changes if there are weather events and any schedule updates. Please add your athlete and any parent who needs to get updated information. This group will only send out information if the chat function is not enabled.
We also have a private Parent Group and Buy/Sell page on Facebook if anyone wants to join it. It is a great place to get rid of all that gear your kids have grown out of! Below, you will find specific program groups where parents can chat and ask program questions. If you are unsure which program you are in, please reply to this email, and we can let you know!
Below are the WhatsApp group chats for each program and any families interested in Carpooling from Pemberton, Squamish and Vancouver.All Mountain Freestyle
Big Mountain Freestyle
You will also receive a weekly email on Wednesdays with important information regarding the upcoming week. We promise to keep them as short as possible! If anyone else needs to be on our newsletters, please include their email in this form, and we will add them to the mailing list.
Important Club Dates & Times
A full calendar is available here. At the bottom of the calendar, you can click the “Export Events” button, and it will add the calendar to your computer.
Freestyle Fridays, Pro D and Additional Camps
Freestyle Fridays will begin on January 12th for the 2023-2024 season. Freestyle Fridays is open to all athletes in the club and any child 9+ who is an advanced skier. Fridays are an excellent opportunity to get extra training.
We offer all Fridays for $650, or you can purchase single days for $60 per day. There are 13 scheduled Freestyle Fridays from January 12 to April 5.
Click here to register.
Freestyle Whistler runs on all Sea 2 Sky, North Van and West Van Pro D Days for additional training. We also run 7 days of Winter Break Camps from Dec 27 – Dec 29 and Jan. 2 – 5 and 10 additional days during March Break. These dates are March 18 – 22 and 25 – 29.
All of these days are priced at $60 per day. These camps are open to ages 8+ who are advanced skiers. Athletes do not need to be winter members of our ski club.
Mandatory Virtual Club Meeting
Our club meeting will be held this year on November 22 – athletes, parents (at least 1) and coaches. The meeting will take place on Zoom starting at 7:30 pm. We will review the Athlete Code of Conduct, introduce our coaches, present the Air Pathway for any athlete interested in beginning to flip, and have a Q&A.
For those who cannot attend the call, please ask Chris to provide you with the link to the recording. All athletes and parents will need to take part in the orientation.
Link to join Meeting
Meeting ID: 851 3454 4671
All athletes are welcome to participate in Timber Tour/Super Youth competitions. This is the provincial competition series with Slopestyle, Moguls, Dual Moguls, Big Air, and Halfpipe events. There are age categories for U8, U10, U12 and U14 in Super Youth Challenge and U14, U16 and U18 in Timber Tour. These are usually 4-day events; the first day is a training day and 3 competition days of Moguls, Slopestyle, Big Air or Dual Moguls. Results from the Timber Tour events are used to qualify for Junior Nationals and BC Team selection. Athletes will need a Provincial Athlete membership to participate in Timber Tour events. Athletes attending the Super Youth events only need a Club Athlete membership.
We aim to bring coaches to these Super Youth and Timber Tours on a 6:1 athlete-to-coach ratio.
Families are encouraged to travel to the event on Wednesday to prepare for the full day of training on Thursday. The final day of competition on Sundays is typically a quickly run event (Big Air or Dual Moguls), allowing families to leave the resort around 1 – 2 p.m. Some families choose to stay the Sunday night if the destination resort is further away.
2024 Timber Tour and Super Youth Dates:
Panorama Ski Resort January 18 – 21
Mt. Washington February 29 – March 3
Silverstar Ski Resort March 28 – 31
For the 2023-2024 year, we also have the opportunity to attend IFSA Junior Freeride Events. Our club will first attend the Whistler Regional 2* Event. The registration date has not been announced yet. Our Big Mountain Head Coach, Sergei Sirotov, will update those interested in attending these events in the next few weeks! Please note that these registrations sell out quickly, and those who want to enter must be online when registration opens.
We will send out additional information as it becomes available. It’s a great way to meet other families and enjoy the freestyle spirit!
The club will have an additional fee for athletes attending away events. This cost will be available soon. These costs cover coaches’ accommodation, travel and food per diem.
- Athletes in the Development or Performance Programs are welcome to attend the national Canada Cup events. The competition is much steeper as most of the athletes attending are on Provincial Teams or the NextGen National Team. These are open events, meaning athletes of any age can participate, and there are no age categories for judging. Events are still in the “draft” phase with Freestyle Canada. Once released, we will let our membership know.
- Freestyle Canada will release the Canadian Mogul & Aerials Junior Nationals and Park & Pipe Junior Nationals event schedule with the Canada Cup schedule. Stay tuned!
Qualification policies for these events are posted on Freestyle BC website here. Athletes qualify based on results from the first 2 Timber Tour and Canada Cup events.
Other Club Information:
The success of any non-profit organization depends on the contribution of its members. Freestyle Whistler and its members strive to keep program costs low and coaching and quality of programs high through grant applications, fundraising and volunteer involvement.
For more information on volunteering, please refer to our website; additional opportunities will be shared once the season gets underway.
We require help on the mountain with course preparation, support during events, off-the-mountain volunteering and fundraising initiatives, and other club activities. All parents wishing to be involved this winter, please complete the survey below. New this year, we will have a Volunteer Coordinator. Megan Friesen will be monitoring our volunteering this year to ensure all work is tracked.
For parents looking to work off their volunteer levy, we will be including a parent sign up form in the weekly newsletter. Our greatest needs are when we are hosting events; however, we almost always need volunteers on weekends at the Gemini Center.
We have a busy event schedule this upcoming winter. In January, we are running a regional mogul and slopestyle event on the 20 and 21. March is our busy month, we have a regional mogul event on March 9, followed by Junior National Mogul and Dual Moguls from March 20 – 24. Finally, our final weekend of the season will also host the best park skiers in Canada as we host the Canada Cup Slopestyle Finals.
Volunteering is a lot of fun and a great way to meet other parents! You know what they say, “many hands make light work!”
On mountain tasks, we need parents for:
- Morning & afternoon chop on the mogul course
- Mogul course maintenance
- Air Bag set up
If you are unfamiliar with how to chop & maintain the mogul course, do not hesitate to come! There will be many coaches and veteran parents who can teach you how it is done.
Freestyle Whistler Code of Conduct
Freestyle Whistler is proud to have developed policies regarding athlete/parent/coach expectations. Athlete(s) and their parent(s) are expected to be familiar with our Code of Conduct. Please ensure that you take the time to review all policies on our website and discuss them with your athlete.
Senior Coaching Staff
Chris Muir, Executive Director – [email protected]
Zach Fenn, Freestylerz Head Coach – [email protected]
Kye Guembes, Girlstylerz Head Coach – [email protected]
Sergei Sirotov, Big Mountain Head Coach – [email protected]
Sean Clarke, All Mountain Head Coach – [email protected]
Brandon Fritz, Development Team Head Coach – [email protected]
Evan Wilcox, Performance Freeski Team Head Coach – [email protected]
For any questions about the program, please contact:
Chris Muir, Executive Director
Please visit our website for more information.