All about ski passes, gear and classes
Aspen Country Day students are on the go, skiing and riding all winter. Here's how it all works.
Country Day's school ski days: Ski days are a longtime ACDS tradition. We believe students need opportunities to experience our great location and mountain heritage, so we all ski in lieu of some PE classes on campus. Ski days start in PreKindergarten, when our youngest students head out to Powder Pandas at Buttermilk, and continue through Eighth Grade, when Friday afternoons might find our oldest students telemarking Highlands Bowl. Read more about ski days here.
Ski passes: each child needs a valid ski pass from the Aspen Skiing Company. However, there is no need to purchase a full season pass at the retail rate. Local schoolchildren may purchase a full season pass for four-mountain, no blackout dates, for $199 until November 9. The price jumps after that. You must be a full-time student and a local resident to receive this rate.
When you are ready to get your pass, go to the Aspen Skiing Company ticket office and tell them you are a Country Day student. PARENT AND CHILD MUST BE PRESENT in an actual ticket office to receive this rate; no online purchases. They'll check your name on the roster we provide. Age six and under ski free, always. PreK and Kindergarten skiers can purchase a picture pass for a small fee; this speeds things up in the morning of ski days as you can then bypass the ticket counter and head straight to the slopes. New this year, the Aspen Skiing Company is offering a "Six and Under Lesson Club" - click here for details.
AVSC pass: if you plan to sign up for an Aspen Valley Ski Club program (see below), register for that first, then use the voucher AVSC will give you to get your pass for the same low price. Please note: the AVSC 6-day and 8-day passes are not enough; these only allow you to ski on the days of your AVSC program. You need a pass that will allow skiing on all our ACDS ski days.
Gear: Children need ski equipment (or snowboard gear) and a helmet (required). Plus all the regular winter sports clothing, labeled with their name. A good place to get all this is the annual ski swap in October. Seasonal rentals are also available through many local shops.
Lessons: Country Day ski days work like this: No lessons are provided; children are expected to be able to ski or snowboard with a group of their peers. If children need lessons to get up to speed, these can be arranged. Read more about ski days here.
Parent volunteers help chaperone each Lower School class, and students are divided up into ski groups based roughly on ability. If you would like to help chaperone and ski an afternoon (or all winter ski days!) with a class, we would love to have you join us! PE Director Alex Tiernan will make arrangements for parents (K-Fifth) to chaperone on ski days. Middle School students ski in small groups with their teachers.
Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club: Children's programs range from Saturday learn-to-ski programs to the competitive team programs in alpine, nordic, freestyle and snowboard. (That's the clubhouse, left). Some of the nation's best winter athletes are Country Day alums who've competed on AVSC teams, including Gretchen Bleiler, Noah Hoffman, Jake Zamansky, and Simi Hamilton. Registration gets underway in the fall, and many programs have a deadline of mid-November before the price goes up. Check online at www.teamavsc.org