Located on Donner Summit near Lake Tahoe, Sugar Bowl Ski Team lays the foundation for passionate skiers to embrace challenge with grit, grace and courage.

Powder, Crud and Crust

The Snow Rangers program is a youth backcountry ski program that focuses on creating lifelong backcountry skills, habits, and etiquette. Like all SBST programs, the Snow Rangers will develop the whole child: mind, body, and spirit.

The season begins by introducing the basics of avalanche awareness and avoidance. The athletes will become highly proficient with "companion rescues" and practice frequently with beacons, shovels and probes. Off piste ski techniques will also be introduced. The athletes will be instructed on powder, crud, crust and other variable conditions.

After basic skills are acquired, the Snow Rangers will travel beyond Sugar Bowl's boundaries and apply their skills in the backcountry. The athletes will use touring bindings (mandatory) and climbing skins as their primary  mode of transportation. The season concludes with a demanding overnight backcountry ski tour where the skills acquired during the season will be applied. 

The Snow Rangers work closely with the professional guides at Alpine Skills International when traveling in the backcountry. Highly qualified coaches will prepare the athletes for backcountry travel and discuss all necessary gear and equipment.

The Snow Rangers season is cumulative. The skills learned early are necessary for future adventures. It takes committed athletes as well as parents to maximize the Snow Ranger experience. It is a demanding program and not for the feint of heart. Backcountry travel and variable conditions can be exhausting. A Snow Ranger should be fit, passionate, positive, and contain an honest desire to learn how to travel in the backcountry.


Snow Ranger Program

Eligibility: Anyone with a solid base of alpine skiing experience. No prior experience is required for the other activities.

Ages (as of December 31, 2018): 12-18

Part-time (Friday to Sunday & Holidays):

2018/2019 Tuition (includes season pass):

  • Early Bird (payment in full by May 31st) - $4,995
  • June 1st - September 5th - $5,195
  • After September 5th - $5,495

Additional payment information can be found here.


2018-2019 Snow Rangers staff:

  • John Rockwood - Head Snow Rangers coach

  • Additional Coaches TBD


Please contact the Ski Team Office or Jon Rockwood jrockwood@sbst.org if you have questions about the proper placement of your child.