Though our season came to an abrupt and earlier than anticipated end, we are proud to look back on another successful year of ski education at Crosscut!  This season we got over 2,000 kiddos from over 25 schools on skinny skis, many for the first time.  These students came from as close as Downtown Bozeman, and as far as Colstrip and the Crow Agency.  Our students ranged in age from kindergarten to high school, meaning we teach a wide array of skills.  For some, getting their mittens on is the first challenge of the day, while others are zooming down Downey’s Butte in no time.  

We had an incredible crew of instructors who are passionate educators, skiers, and winter enthusiasts.  Drawing from this positivity, we managed to spark curiosity, connection to place, and community building for our many students.  Our instructors found ways to make games creative and engaging all season, summon that extra dose of patience for a struggling skier, and muster their inner snowshoe hare to imitate a “hopper” track pattern.  Their levity, thoughtfulness, and investment made our season great!

One of my favorite memories from this season was a 4th Grade ski day, during which I took a “never ever”, or most beginner,  group on their ski tour.  Before we had left the arena, they had already named our team “The Wolfpack”.  Twenty minutes later, we were still in sight of the Nordic Center struggling to make it up the first hill, but spirits were higher than ever.  They proposed that every time a group member fell, the rest of us would howl like wolves, to ask everyone to wait or help their friend get up.  Consequently, we spent the rest of the day howling every 10 feet of trail.  By the end of the day, the Wolfpack was falling and howling (slightly) less, and the kids were giddy with the excitement of trying something new.  I am constantly amazed by the growth mindset with which our students approach the day at Crosscut.  The amount of times they fall and hop right back up is truly astounding.  Working in Ski Education reminds me over and over again how to be a graceful learner.

Thanks to all who contributed to making this season such a joyful one.  From the teachers, to the Nordic Center staff, the grooming team, the parent chaperones, and many more...we couldn’t do it without you!