Registration for the 2020 season will open November 9th at 9am

Click Here to register!

January 7 – February 22, 2020

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. 


  • Parent Meeting: TBD
  • Early Rental Ski Distribution: TBD
  • Lesson Dates:
    • Saturdays (2:30 – 4:00 PM) – January 11 (Tsalteshi – Skyview Trailhead), Jan 25 (TBD), Feb. 8 (TBD), and February 22 (Tsalteshi – Kalifornsky Trailhead for most groups)
    • Tuesdays and Thursdays (6:00 – 7:00 PM) – Jan. 8 – Feb. 21 (near the old hockey rink, Skyview Middle School)
    • Make-up dates due to canceled sessions – Feb 26, 28, March 2,5,7, and 9

$100.00 per child for all 18 sessions ($50 for Vole Program)Or $130.00 per child with ski rental (no rental skis for 3-5 year olds)

Additionally, all children must be covered under a Tsalteshi Trails membership, either individually as a student ($20) or as part of a family membership ($120).  Membership forms are available online at

(The fee covers coach’s stipends, insurance, trail lighting and grooming, plowing, replacement of equipment, ski wax, use of the wax sheds and bathrooms at Skyview, and a ski hat when the student enters the program.)

Expenses not covered by the program fee include ski equipment and warm clothing.  (Information about TTSYP ski and pole rentals can be found on page 3 of this document.)


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 ½ of the lessons are missed. ($50 refund)

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.  Parents can schedule their volunteer times at the parent meeting on December 12th.  If parents are unable to volunteer at all, we ask for a $20 donation.

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 that 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 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. Diagonal (classical) poles should come up just above the bottom of the arm pits.  Measure while on skis. Poles will not be available for rent this year.

HEADLAMP (optional):  Because the first classes will be held after sunset, older skiers will find a headlamp useful.  They will be skiing further 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 Skis: $30

  • Rental skis will be made available at the TTYSP wax shed (near hockey rink at Skyview MS on December 12th from 4-6pm)****
  • It is important to fill out your child’s height and weight on the registration form so that 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!
  • TTYSP is affiliated with the Tsalteshi Trails Association and is run by a director who oversees the program.  For more information, call Laura Pillifant (262-7740 or 398-0774) or Carly Reimer (260-6369 or 252-6613) or e-mail

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 $50 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.  One parent must be in attendance with each skier.


  • 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 in early to mid November.  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 115 students but we hope to accept more this season depending on the availability of qualified coaches.  If you register too late your money will be refunded by mid-January (after lessons begin and 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, call Laura Pillifant (262-7740 or 398-0774) or Carly Reimer (260-6369 or 252-6613) or e-mail (NOTE NEW EMAIL ADDRESS!!)

Tsalteshi Trails Association  P.O. Box 4076  Soldotna, AK 99669

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