With incredible early season snowfall, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s season is off to one of the best starts in club history — and with part-time programs kicking into gear in the coming weeks, the club has announced a rare December Try the Club Day for skiers, free of charge.

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) typically runs Try the Club Days in March, but in response to public requests, club staff is looking forward to extending this opportunity on Sunday, December 9.

This early season Try the Club Day will focus on alpine skiing and the club’s entry-level Future Stars program, which touches on all the skiing disciplines. The event is a great opportunity to learn more about the programs offered at SSCV and meet the coaching staff, which can help identify the appropriate program for each athlete’s skill level.

“Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Try the Club Days are a tremendous opportunity for young skiers to dip their toes in the water and determine if a season-long program is right for them,” said SSCV Youth Alpine Program Director Alissa Consenstein. “We look forward to welcoming all participants to Vail Mountain and answering any questions parents and athletes may have about our programs.”

Young athletes often have a sense of which snowsport discipline they might want to pursue, but other times, they’re not entirely sure. That’s OK. Programs that will be showcased at this week’s Try the Club Day will include the following:

  • Alpine Youth Ski League is an introduction to ski racing for athletes age 7 to 13, providing training in fundamentals and a basic understanding of the rules of the sport. (SSCV also offers full-time U10 and U12 alpine programs.)
  • The Future Stars program progressively develops the skiing skills of children ages 6 to 9 in a safe, fun and challenging environment on Vail Mountain. On-snow technical training and participation in the Steadman Clinic Vail Cup are the basis of this program. The goal at this age is to open the possibilities by exposing the athletes to all three of the skiing disciplines (alpine, freeski and freestyle).

There’s still time to enroll in SSCV’s part-time programs this season.

Welcome at this week’s Try the Club Day are skiers age 6 to 9, birth years of 2009-2012. Athletes and parents should meet at the temporary clubhouse at Golden Peak (east of the ski school building) at 8 a.m., and athletes should plan to ski until 12:30 p.m.

All athletes should have appropriate equipment, including a helmet, and should be comfortable skiing on Vail Mountain. Parents must sign the SSCV waiver prior to participation.

SSCV strives to make its programs as financially accessible as possible. In that effort, all of SSCV’s programs are eligible for financial aid up to 75 percent of program fees.

‘Get in the Gates’ this winter

In addition to SSCV’s full-time and part-time programs, the club offers the Get in the Gates recreational race program for adults and children.

SSCV is offering this program to ski racers of all ages and abilities to train as many gates in an afternoon session as their legs will allow. It’s an opportunity to receive expert coaching from Ski & Snowboard Club Vail professionals through as many as 17 weeks and 68 total sessions including 136 hours of training.

Looking for less? SSCV also offers Get in the Gates punch cards and single-day training options designed for the casual racer or people passing through town for the holidays.

Get in the Gates is perfect for racers eight and older, any community member or part-time resident of the Vail Valley who wants affordable, consistent and safe alpine race training — slalom and giant slalom. The program caters to masters racers, town series participants and guest trainees (athletes who may be enrolled in race programs elsewhere in the country and are visiting Vail). Athletes should be at least expert skiers with entry-level racing experience, but higher-level racers will also benefit from the training package.