Ski + Snowboard

Do-it-Yourself Olympic Winter Sports

by Sarah Tuff

Ski Cross at Big White Mountain, British Columbia

Sporting chance: The latest Olympic sport is ski cross, a motocross-inspired melee of four skiers flying over jumps and banking through turns as they each attempt to reach the finish line first. One of the few North American courses open to the public is at Big White, in British Columbia's snow-heavy Okanagan Valley. Both skiers and snowboarders can race their pals on Big White's 2,300-foot-long course, designed by pro racer Flynn Seddon. Not sure how to navigate the twists, bumps, and rollers? Big White's instructors offer private lessons.

Training tip: Start doing squats, lunges, and 60-second sprints on the treadmill; ski cross runs last for about a minute and require both strength and endurance to handle the jostling and jousting.

Learning curve: Steep. It takes years of training to master Alpine racecourses, let alone a course riddled with other racers' arms, elbows, and skis. But experienced downhill skiers and snowboarders should feel comfortable—former Alpine racer Daron Rahlves has switched over to ski cross in his quest for an Olympic medal.

Lift tickets at Big White are about $67, while private lessons are $380 for a full day; the course is open daily and Thursday through Saturday nights each week during ski season.

Next: Slip 'n' slide in Utah >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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