Youth Ski

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Registration for the 2023 youth ski season opens Nov. 5

January 10 – February 25, 2023

MISSION:  Through the Tsalteshi Trails Youth Ski Program (TTYSP), children are encouraged to enjoy the Alaska winter while learning the sport of cross country skiing. The emphasis is on having fun and learning proper technique rather than on competition.

ELIGIBILITY:  TTYSP is open to all children ages 6 – 12  (as of Jan. 1, 2023).  Students must still be in elementary school. Program is not open to 7th-grade students. Vole program is for 3-5 year olds (as of Jan. 1, 2023).


  • Parent Meeting via ZOOM: 6:30 p.m. Jan. 3 (check your e-mails for the code to attend)
  • Early Rental Ski Distribution: (at Skyview Middle School, TTA wax shack near the old Hockey Rink) — TBD
  • Lesson Dates:
    • Saturdays (2:30 – 4:00 PM) – January 21 (Tsalteshi – Skyview Trailhead), Jan 28 (TBD), Feb. 4  (TBD), and February 25 (Tsalteshi – Kalifornsky Trailhead for most groups)
    • Tuesdays and Thursdays (6:00 – 7:00 PM) – Jan. 10 – Feb. 23 (near the old hockey rink, Skyview Middle School)
    • Make-up dates due to canceled sessions – Feb. 28 and March 2

$150.00 per child 6-12 years old for all 18 sessions

$75 for Vole Program

$50.00 ski rental fee (6-12-year-olds, only)

Membership: All children must be covered under a Tsalteshi Trails membership, either individually as a student ($20) or as part of a family membership ($120 for up to five family members).  Membership is available online at

(The fee covers coach’s stipends, insurance, trail lighting and grooming, plowing, replacement of equipment, ski wax, use of the wax shed and outhouses at Skyview, and a ski hat.)


TTA Membership: No refund
Rentals: No refund after pick up
Lessons: No refund*
*If lessons are canceled due to weather, refunds will only be given if half of the season’s lessons (9) are missed. ($50 refund)


  • The following mitigation plan will be followed, and Parent/Guardian will sign a waiver/agreement:
    • will be e-mailed if a youth ski participant tests positive for Covid.
    • Wax shack will be considered off limits
    • Kick waxing will be done at group signs
    • Saturday snacks will be enjoyed at the group signs
    • These guidelines must be followed to participate in the program

TTYSP asks all parents to volunteer as a Parent Helper at least two times during the session.  Parent jobs may be indoors or outdoors and include helping kids get ready to ski, assisting coaches by skiing with the group and/or escorting cold or tired skiers back to the warm-up room, or cleaning up after the session. Jobs are available for skiing and non-skiing adults.

Weekday sessions are devoted to instruction and games.

Saturdays are reserved for tours and other fun activities.

Attendance is not mandatory, but skiers enjoy greater improvement with regular attendance.

Lessons start promptly at 6:00 PM. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early so your skiers can find their groups, wax their skis and receive any necessary instructions before practice begins. Since coaches and groups may leave the start area promptly at 6 PM, it is the responsibility of the late skiers’ parent to find the proper group if delayed. TTYSP will not be responsible for skiers who arrive late for lessons, and children cannot be allowed to ski alone searching for their group. On occasions when you know you will be late it is best to miss a lesson.

TTYSP supplies the wax and will oversee waxing of skis.  For classic skiing, the coach will determine the proper kick wax to use before the start of lessons.

Lessons normally take place as scheduled regardless of weather conditions. However, lessons may be cancelled due to heavy snowfall, rain, icy trails, high winds or temperatures below 0 degrees F. Parental discretion is advised.  Please call the weather phone at 1-907-262-9500 to get the current temperature.  A decision to cancel class will be made by 5 PM on weekdays, and one hour before Saturday sessions. 

The key to a happy skier is being warm enough for conditions but allowing enough freedom of movement to ski. The secret is to make sure you have the following LAYERING system:

VENTILATION—allows perspiration to move away from the skin. Breathable polypropylene or other synthetic long underwear provides the ventilation layer. NO COTTON!

INSULATION—traps the warmth generated by your body. Fleece, wool, or other synthetic material provides the insulation layer.

PROTECTION—the outer layer that protects you from wind and wet. A wind jacket, such as a pullover-type shell, provides the protection layer. Pockets are recommended. Wind pants are often necessary during periods of wind or extreme cold.

HEADS AND HANDS—Wearing a hat is a must. NO HAT, NO PRACTICE! For hands, mittens work much better than gloves, and are required for skiers ages 9 and below. On cold days a neck warmer or balaclava keeps both the neck and the lower face warm and is required for children with asthma. The neck warmer or balaclava can be carried in the pocket of the wind jacket. 


The insulation layer can vary based on the temperature, keeping in mind that skiers warm up when they are moving, but cool off when they are not. Keeping the extremities warm is the biggest challenge when it is cold. Wool socks over polypropylene socks keeps the feet warm. Boot covers or wool socks with a hole cut in the toe to put over the boots are essential during cold weather.

Consider using ‘Hotties’ or other hand and toe warmers in cold temperatures.

TTYSP skiers may learn both classical (diagonal) and skate skiing depending on age and ability. Skiers learn proper care and handling of equipment, trail etiquette, good sportsmanship and how to act responsibly in the outdoors. A typical lesson will include a warm-up period, a lesson in technique, and a fun activity.

All skiers are assigned to small groups based upon age and readiness. Movement between groups will likely occur based on progress.

SKIS/BINDINGS:  Depending on age and ability, students may use either fishscale (no-wax with pattern on the bottom) or combi skis (waxable) used for both classical and skate technique.  Ask youth program coaches for advice.  Bindings should be NNN bindings. 

BOOTS:  Buy boots that match the bindings (all TTYSP bindings are NNN), and allow a little extra room for heavy socks.  Combination (combi) boots are the best value as they can be used for both classical and skate techniques.

POLES:  Pole length ideally varies with the technique. If your child is a beginner, pole height should come just above the armpits. A good compromise for intermediate skiers is a pole that comes almost to the child’s chin. Measure while on skis. Poles will not be available for rent through TTYSP.

HEADLAMP (optional):  Because the first classes will be held after sunset, older skiers will find a headlamp useful.  They will be skiing farther out on the trails that may be unlit.


A limited number of rental skis (no poles or boots) are available through TTYSP for a fee. Rental skis are combination skis with NNN bindings—they work for both diagonal and skate skiing, and are appropriate for beginning skiers. Rental ski fee: $50

  • Rental skis will be made available at the TTYSP wax shed at a date TBD.
  • It is important to fill out your child’s height and weight on the registration form so we can have appropriate skis ready for them.
  • Skis will be available to skiers in the TTYSP program only, and through the end of April – no extensions.
  • When rental skis are checked out, we will ask you to sign a rental agreement and provide a signed check in the amount of $150 as a deposit.  The check will be returned or destroyed when the skis are turned in. In the case of loss or irreparable damage, replacement cost will be $150, and the check will be cashed.
  • IMPORTANT:  Rental skis are to be used only on groomed trails, not in the yard or driveway!

Vole Ski Program (3-5-year-old group)
We will be offering the 3-5-year-old ski program again this year.  To sign up for this program, please complete the normal registration process.

We will be charging $75 per child for the program this year to cover expenses.  Participants must also be members of the Tsalteshi Trails Association. We will meet on the Tuesdays and Thursdays listed above, from 6:15 to 6:45 (no Saturdays).  One parent must be in attendance with each skier.  Vole program will only ski at 10 degrees and above.


  • Is previous skiing experience required? 
    No. Students are placed into groups based on ability.
  • Will any boot work with any binding?
    There are two main brands of bindings for cross country skiing, SNS and NNN. You have to purchase boots and bindings that are compatible. Both styles work equally well. Our rental skis use NNN bindings.
  • How are skis and poles sized?
    That depends on several factors. Our rental skis are “combi,” meaning they can be used for both skate and classic skiing. Most students do well will skis as long as they are tall. Classic poles should be between the armpit and the top of the shoulder. Skate poles should be between the chin and the lips. If you will only have one pair of poles, aim for the middle of those two recommendations.
  •  How does registration work?
    This program has sold out every year!  Registration will open at 9 a.m. Nov. 5.  Registrations will be accepted in the order completed. All forms and payments must be received for registrations to be considered complete.  Every year we accepted around 130 students but it depends on the availability of qualified coaches. You will automatically be placed on the wait list if you register after all available spots are filled. If you are on the wait list and a spot doesn’t open up for your child to make it into the program, your money will be refunded by mid-January (after our class sizes are confirmed).

Join TTA

TTYSP is affiliated with the Tsalteshi Trails Association and is run by a committee who oversees the program.  For more information, email