Age groups are guidelines, not absolutes. More important is to match your child's emotional maturity and physical stamina with the rest of the group so they fit well and enjoy skiing! We may move children around the first few sessions to the group that suits them best. If your child is between groups, put them in the easier group and we can always bump them up.
POLAR CUBS: 4-5 year olds, young beginners. No poles. Parents MUST ski with their child. Focus on balance, glide and fun on skis.
WHITE BEGINNER / WHITE ZOOMERS: ages 6-8: beginners and former Polar Cubs practice classic technique both without and with poles. Two year focus on balance, stride and hills. White Beginners will not ski with poles and must be accompanied by a parent if under the age of 7. Poles are introduced to midseason-Zoomers.
ORANGE GROUP: ages 8-9 and up: kids who are new to skiing but older than the beginner ski groups learn classic technique both without and with poles. The intent is to get these skiers up and gliding more quickly than younger beginner groups. Orange group is a supportive group that spends more time in direct instruction and guided skiing, but less time playing many of the games we use to develop skills in the younger groups.
BLUE / BLUE EXTRA: ages 7-9 and up: advanced beginner skiers who are comfortable with balance, hills, and longer distances. The Blue group learns and develops skate techniques. Kids should be able to maintain centered balance through a glide on one ski using classic technique to start Blue group. Blue Extra skiers should have skied as Blue Beginners for one season. Blue Extra skiers will be competent V1 skiers with some V2 capability by the end of the season. Blue group skiers must have skate or combi skis, skate or combi boots, and appropriate rigid skate poles.
PURPLE GROUP: ages 9-11 and up: intermediate and recreational skiers who are comfortable in classic and skate basics. We work on improving speed, stamina and skills. Kids should be competent in one skate technique to start purple group. Skiers may cover 5k and will be competent V1 and V2 skiers. Purple group skiers must have skate or combi skis, skate or combi boots, and appropriate rigid skate poles.
COMPETITION GROUP: Middle school and competitive upper elementary skiers who are confident with basic classic and skate techniques looking to train for races. Geared toward technique and tactics development. May not ski the same distances as Purple group. Comp group skiers may ski both disciplines and should have the appropriate equipment for both skate and classic skiing. Tuesday-Thursday only.
Ours is a volunteer run program. We rely on you, the parents, club members and high school volunteers to run the program.
We offer training and a coaches hat and sometimes jackets to our coaches, an end-of-year celebration, run this website, cover our volunteers with liability insurance, pay trail fees, put on community races, and help to develop and maintain ski trails. CERNSC is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.
Adult Alaska Nordic Master's group is typically on Tuesday / Thursday, those days the parking lot tends to be more crowded.
Purple Group is ONLY Monday / Wednesday
Middle school ski races are on Wednesday nights.
Competition Group is ONLY Tuesday / Thursday
Early Bird session on Monday / Wednesday afternoons is ONLY for young beginners. We appreciate the convenience of this session, but older siblings can take away from the experience that coaches are trying to provide for young skiers.
Our evening sessions meet with coaches at 645pm and ski off at 700p.
Coaches will have their teams back by 800p for parent pickup.
Our Early Bird sessions meet at 4p. This group is intended for young families with new skiers.
Team Snap is a service that allows our club to communicate, register and manage skiers and teams. This greatly simplifies a coaches ability to see who should be present on any given night and have emergency contact information, as well as to reach out to you parents. Team Snap is our primary means of communicating schedule changes and cancellations.
The mobile application is free. The advertising is minimal (there is an ad-free version for a monthly fee) and the application is used by other community sports. You can use the same profile for multiple clubs.
Instructions on how to find the application as well as some basic instruction are available from our "Education" tab at the top of the club webpage!
Sometimes. Refer to TeamSnap schedule updates to get the latest information.
We do not ski if we expect temperatures to be 0 degrees (or trending in that direction) or if there are dangerous icy, rocky or windy conditions. We use the TeamSnap application to communicate cancellations to families.
You bet! We have about 130 pairs of skis and polls for young skiers. Most of our fleet is classic gear, but we do have a number of pairs of skate and "combi" skis that can be prepared for a skate skier. We DO NOT rent boots. A renter will need to obtain her or his own NNN compatible boots. See our Gear tab under Education for more information. Rental are only available to Junior Nordic skiers.
Because of school holidays, family commitments, and bad weather, we highly recommend that you plan on attending two sessions a week and skip the occasional session for other commitments. It's not fun for your kid to fall behind the group in skills and stamina. We encourage parents to schedule their children for success!
Yes. The Eagle River Junior Nordic Family Ski Program is only open to Chugiak-Eagle River Nordic Ski Club members.
You (or another adult) must ski with children under 7. We have found over the years, kids six and younger tend to more frequently get cold, need to use the bathroom, or are just having a rough night. Having adults ski with these younger skiers helps the coaches ensure everyone is able to continue skiing and having fun. In addition, with our smaller group sizes we generally do not have assistant coaches. If one child needs to return to the parking lot, all are affected. Additionally...it's fun to ski with your kids. We are most interested in developing a community of skiers, so whether it's your child or someone else's we appreciate the atmosphere of young skiers and families together.
Many of our coaches found themselves in a similar situation when they started skiing with their young children. Many would tell you that a well run Polar Cub and White Beginner session includes several parents in the back of the group paying close attention and developing their own skills!