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dec 9

PSIC Launches Pioneering Big Mountain Pathway – A First in Ski Instructor Certification

The Professional Ski Instructors of Canada (PSIC) proudly announces the launch of its innovative Big Mountain Pathway, a first-of-its-kind initiative in ski instructor certification. 

This program is designed to improve the skills of ski instructors who want to advance their skiing in double black terrain, coach freeride athletes, safely guide their students though extreme and steep terrain and further instill the adventure of skiing into advanced skiers. 

Developed in collaboration with some of Canada’s leading big mountain ski coaches, including Derek Foose, Founder of the Whistler Freeride Club and Broadcast Host for the FIS Freeride World Tour, this program sets a new standard in ski instruction and reflects PSIC's commitment to excellence and innovation in ski education.


Key Features of the Big Mountain Program:

  • Specialized Training: In-depth instruction in advanced big mountain skiing techniques.

  • Expert Coaches: Coaching methodology from renowned big mountain skiing experts.

  • Practical Experience: Hands-on training and guiding in various terrains and conditions.

  • Safety and Risk Management: Comprehensive education on safety protocols, risk assessment and decision-making in challenging environments.


Expanding Horizons in Ski Instructor Training & Certification

"We are thrilled to unveil our Big Mountain Pathway, a venture that perfectly aligns with our Adventure philosophy,” says Mark Sedgwick, President of the PSIC. “This program offers professional development and certification in a consequential mountain environment. PSIC certified instructors are not just teachers of the sport; they are ambassadors of adventure. The Big Mountain Pathway is designed to significantly enhance ski pro versatility and adaptability, empowering them to confidently guide and inspire skiers in some of the most challenging yet exhilarating terrain.”

The Big Mountain Pathway is a testament to PSIC's vision of being global leaders in the education, development, and training of ski professionals. This program not only diversifies the skill set of ski instructors but also enhances the overall skiing experience for enthusiasts seeking adventure in rugged terrain.

“Being passionate about freeride and big mountain skiing, I found that the ski instructing world previously didn’t offer a pathway that meshed with what I was doing” shares Derek Foose. “When I started talking to Mark about the values and philosophy of the PSIC, it resonated deeply with my view of skiing. This inspired me to contribute to developing the Big Mountain Pathway."

Enrollment and Certification Details

Opportunity for enrollment in the Big Mountain Pathway is coming this winter! The program will include certification Levels 2-4, and participants can enter the pathway after completing their PSIC Level 1 Professional Ski Instructor Certification:

  • Level 2 – includes online e-Learning, 3 days Skiing Skills, 3 days Teaching Skills

  • Level 3 – includes online e-Learning, 5 days Coaching/Guiding, 3 days Skiing Skills, 3 days Teaching Skills

  • Level 4 – includes a 4-day Start Up Camp, optional 3-day Ski Top Up and 3-day Teach Top-Up Camps, and a 4-day Exit Camp


Each stage of the certification pathway recognizes increasing expertise and competency, ultimately concluding with the expert Level 4 distinction. More details on the course outline, dates and locations, and how to sign-up will be coming soon. 

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