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Achieve your dreams at a snow school in the United States

Many of the athletes seen competing in the Winter Olympics were educated and trained at a snow school in the United States. Two of of the highest quality boarding schools producing top-level and Olympic athletes are Community School and Steamboat Mountain School.

Community School - Sun Valley, Idaho

At Sun Valley Ski Academy (SVSA), ninth grade through postgraduate day and boarding student-athletes are supported to reach their highest potential academically at the Community School and in snow sport competition, while also benefiting from a renowned Outdoor Program and extracurricular activities. At SVSA, you will benefit from an education at one of the best independent schools in the United States while pursuing your passion for snow sport competition.

International students from all over the world have made Sun Valley Ski Academy their home. Whether choosing to join our community for a single academic year abroad or for all four years of high school, our international students have embraced the opportunities our school and mountain town community. Located in Sun Valley, Idaho, the original destination ski resort in the U.S., Sun Valley Ski Academy embraces the rich ski heritage of our community and offers students a unique combination of academics and athletic training.

  • Find meaningful academic challenge at Community School;

  • Train as a member of Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, benefitting from the proven coaching power of a USSA Gold Certified Club, one of only 19 in the nation;

  • Have the flexibility and support to pursue intensive training and competition schedules that (might, could, will) take you all over the nation and world;

  • Participate in Community School’s signature Outdoor Program, exploring the landscape of the West through trips that make the most of the area’s stunning wilderness areas and connect you with your school community.

  • A designated academic tutor who travels alongside you to competitions several times throughout the year;

  • A summer-term session that allows for student-athletes to complete academic requirements and thereby reduce their course load in the winter term;

  • Shorter academic days during the winter term, allowing for morning and/or afternoon on-snow training, depending on your age and discipline;

  • Faculty members who understand the challenges skiers and snowboarders encounter during the competitive season and are committed to supporting your passion;

  • Sports include alpine, cross-country, park and pipe, moguls big mountain and snowboard.

SVSEF Air Barn is the indoor anti-gravity training venue. Athletes have access to a dry-slope tow-in ramp to airbag, three trampolines equipped with spotting rigs, an additional airbag pit, and a half-pipe. The SVSEF Air Barn also provides a year-round indoor venue, which supplements conditioning provided within the Julia Argyros Training Center, located within Community School’s Ketchum Campus where the boarding house is located.

Sun Valley Ski Academy’s boarding program offers committed snow sport athletes the opportunity to live within minutes of unparalleled snow sport venues while pursuing a college-preparatory education at one of the country’s finest independent schools.

The SVSA boarding program is the ideal home base for snow sport athletes. When you choose to move into the SVSA Residence Hall, you are choosing:

  • To move into a new, 25,000 square-foot Residence Hall, boasting not only comfortable, spacious student suites with common living areas and en-suite bathrooms, but a state-of-the-art Athletes’ Training Center, wax room, and ski storage in the same building;

  • To call the vibrant mountain town of Ketchum, Idaho home;

  • To live within ten minutes of alpine, cross country, mogul, and park and pipe venues;

  • To sit down to delicious, regionally-sourced, nutritious meals prepared with the needs of athletes in mind;

  • To benefit from an on-site Academic Coordinator who, together with Community School’s faculty, can help you balance school and skiing;

  • To join a residential community of students from around the country and around the world similarly committed to pursuing their passions.


Steamboat Mountain School - Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Steamboat Springs is a winter wonderland, famous for the champagne powder that blankets the landscape from late November until spring. The Competitive Ski & Ride program is for strong athletes looking for top-level competition in alpine, freestyle, Nordic, telemark, and snowboard events. The program is run in conjunction with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, which has developed dozens of Olympians over the years, including 17 from the School. Steamboat Mountain School offers a college prep program like no other school does:

  • Their intentionally small community helps build character;

  • We provide every student opportunities for outdoor adventure and academics in a college-prep school environment;

  • Discover how we prepare students for college and life beyond college;

  • Complete the form below to learn more about our Top-Ranking Ski/Ride Program in partnership with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club​.


Steamboat Mountain School offers one of the very best combinations of academics and athletics. If you are a student-athlete who cares both about your grades and your podium finishes, then Steamboat Mountain School is the school and ski/snowboard program for you.

Steamboat Mountain School partners with Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC) to provide the student-athletes the best possible opportunities. Steamboat Mountain School's and SSWSC's partnership is demanding and rewarding for the most ambitious student-athletes who don’t want to sacrifice academics for athletic success.

Alpine Skiing

The Alpine team, run in conjunction with the world-renowned Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, makes up the largest group of competitive winter athletes at Steamboat Mountain School. Student-athletes come from all over the country to benefit from the combination of training with the SSWSC and getting the finest of educations at Steamboat Mountain School. Led by Head Program Director, Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Mountain School class of 1997, 3-time Olympian, and 3-time National Champion), the Alpine squad works with some of the best coaches in the country. Outstanding facilities, the most successful tradition of any club in the US, and a dedication to posting top results, make the SSWSC’s Alpine program one of the most respected in the nation. When you merge SSWSC's expertise with the top-notch education that student-athletes receive at Steamboat Mountain School, the result is an unbeatable combination. Alpine student-athletes are busy competitors as they travel to races, and take advantage of training opportunities and camps in the US and abroad. Steamboat Mountain School's Ski Coordinator (and teacher) coordinates with coaches and parents, enabling them to proctor study halls and exams when Alpine racers are on the road. Teachers back home support with video-taped lectures available to students, email, pdf’s, pre-packaged homework packets, and Google Docs. Steamboat Mountain School and SSWSC have produced many notable Alpine competitors, including:

  • Caroline Lalive (`97), Three-time Olympian

  • Anna Marno (`10), Current member of the U.S. Ski Team

  • Hig Roberts ('09), 2013 World University Games highest NCAA finisher, two-time All-American at Middlebury College, 2012 and 2013 member NCAA National Championship Slalom Team

  • Shane McLean (‘10), University of Colorado Ski Team

  • Max Marno (`09), University of Denver Ski Team

  • Brant Crossan (’10), Current member of the USA Ski Cross Team. Currently ranked 73rd in the world.

Freestyle and Freeski

The SSWSC Freestyle Ski program is one of the oldest and most prestigious in North America. Many current and former members of the team have gone on to national and international success. The SSWSC Freestyle Program is lead by Bobby Aldighieri (Olympian and former coach of the Canadian National Ski Team/Olympic Team). Notable SSWSC Freestylers and Steamboat Mountain School students include:

  • Travis Mayer (`00), Silver Olympic Medalist in Salt Lake City Games

  • Eliza Outtrim (`03), 6th in Sochi Olympic Games

  • Ryan St. Onge (`01)

  • Emiko Torito (`99)

  • Pep Fujas (`02), Silver '03 X Games Slopestyle, ranked the 6th best skier in the world and considered one of the most innovative skiers on record

  • Ryan Dyer (`09), Current U.S. Team member

Nordic Combined and Special Jumping

Steamboat Mountain School and SSWSC have produced many notable nordic and telemark competitors, including:

  • Johnny Spillane (`99), Four-time Olympian & Silver Medalist, first U.S. athlete to medal in Nordic Combined in the Olympics.

  • Clint Jones (`04), 2002 & 2006 Olympian

  • Tommy Schwall (`02)

  • Ryan Heckman (`93), 1992 and 1994 Olympian

  • Dave Jarrett (`89), Two-time Olympian and 2010 US Nordic Combined Team Coach

Cross Country

The SSWSC Cross Country Program is an exemplary program. Under Program Director Brian Tate and Ability Head Coach Josh Smullin, athletes in this program are attaining incredible results. Josh has been the coach for the U23 World Junior team for the last two years. There are three noteworthy advantages to training with the SSWSC Cross Country Program. We have a long ski season. We routinely begin on-snow training in late October at the top of Rabbit Ears Pass and continue through April. A longer season means more on-snow training. Training at several ski areas town means that the team spends very little time traveling to training venues. Less time in a van means more time on-snow, more quality rest, and more time to focus on studies. Recent team successes include:

  • Qualifying athletes to the World Junior Championships for the past three years. In 2012, two girls competed at World Juniors and in 2013, the same two girls qualified again. In 2014, they qualified the youngest male competitor to World Juniors (at only 17 years old).

  • Three athletes from SSWSC have qualified for the U18 Nations Cup in Scandinavia over the past three years

  • The girls team won the 2012 High School National Championships.

  • In 2012, five of the top eleven female finishers at the U18 Junior Nationals in the classic sprint were from SSWSC.

  • SSWSC skiers currently ski for the following collegiate teams: 5 at Dartmouth, 3 at University of Colorado, 3 at Middlebury, 1 at University of Vermont, and 1 at Montana State University.

  • Colorado Cup Champions: top club in Colorado, for six of the last seven years.


The SSWSC Telemark program is the premiere telemark program in the United States. The team is coached by Ty Upson (’85), who also coaches the USA Telemark Team. Training in Steamboat with the SSWSC team means an athlete is training with four current U.S. Ski Team members and two National Champions.


SSWSC won the 2001, 2004 and 2007 USSA Snowboard Program of the Year award. It features coaching in Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G, Boarder-cross, Slopestyle, and Half-pipe. There are currently eight members of the U.S. Snowboard team who trained with the SSWSC. Training is done at Howelsen Hill and at Mount Werner. The SSWSC Snowboard Team is one of the top snowboard training programs in North America. Programs are available for all levels from beginner to pro. All programs focus on building skill and meeting goals whether the athlete plans to be at the top of the podium or at the bottom of the powder. The Program Director of the Snowboard team, Tori Koski, is a former U.S. team member. To learn more, check out the SSWSC site or the Team’s page. Notable Steamboat Mountain School Snowboarders include:

  • Nik Baden, current U.S. Team member

  • Matt Ladley, current U.S. Team member

  • Michelle Gorgone ‘01, two-time Olympia


For an all-encompassing education that fosters the best in scholarship, citizenship, and overall personal growth, there is no better option than a boarding school like Steamboat Mountain School. The school has offered a comprehensive residential program since 1957.The boarding program creates and maintains an extended community, facilitating personal growth and developing significant life skills. The program proactively builds upon the school’s core values with the goal that all boarding students independently learn to manage their academic, physical, and social time, learn to live with respect, understanding, and tolerance of others, and develop an individual and resilient strength of character, preparing them to lead capably and confidently as life’s journey unfolds. The dorms include:

  • Three alpine-styled residence halls

  • Single rooms, doubles, triples, and even two quads in one of the dorms

  • Living quarters are comfortable but not overdone, and each dorm has a student lounge with amenities such as a refrigerator, small stove, and television

  • Other amenities include a washer and dryer in each dorm, campus wide Wi-Fi, a ski and snowboard wax room, gym with a weight and exercise room, campus trails system, and a theater for live performance or movie viewing

  • On the weekends, the student leadership groups plan activities in and around Steamboat, as well as camping or trips to Denver


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