Les amis de la montagne offrent des cours de ski de fond aux enfants sur le mont Royal

Youth Cross-Country Ski Program

In response to measures taken by the government of Quebec to limit the spread of COVID-19, the registration date for cross-country ski lessons has been postponed to December 1, 2020, at 10 a.m. (subject to change in accordance with public health directives).

Designed for children ages 4 to 15, Les amis de la montagne’s cross-country ski program takes advantage of 22 km of groomed trails in Montréal’s Mount Royal Park to introduce boys and girls to the pleasures of skiing right here in the city! Kids of all levels learn techniques and hone their skills while enjoying Mount Royal’s beautiful natural habitats in the wintertime.

We have evaluated and adjusted each of our programs to allow young participants to experience an unforgettable activity in nature without worry. Physical distancing and other health measures will be ensured during your visit. We reserve the right to modify activities according to current public health recommendations. It is strongly recommended to use your own ski equipment. Please note that ski lessons are conducted in French. 
The choice of course level depends on your child’s age and amount of cross-country skiing experience. The following guidelines will help you select the right level:

Beginner skiers (with little or no cross-country skiing experience):
  • 4 to 5 years old: Jeannot lapin
  • 6 to 8 years old: Jackrabbit level 1
  • 9 to 15 years old: Explorateurs level 1
Intermediate skiers:
  • 7 to 8 years old: Jackrabbit level 2 (must have completed level 1 or have 1-2 years experience in cross-country skiing)
  • 8 to 9 years old: Jackrabbit levels 3 and 4 (must have completed level 2 or 3 or have 3 years experience in cross-country skiing
  • 10 to 15 years old: Explorateurs level 2 (must have completed Explorateurs level 1 or have 1 year experience in cross-country skiing)
Advanced skiers:
  • 9 to 15 years old: Pisteurs (must have completed all Jackrabbit levels or have good skiing experience)
Geared for youngsters, the Jeannot Lapin program focuses first and foremost on fun! Children learn how to stand and maintain their balance on skis, which is the first step in becoming a proficient skier and enjoying the cross-country skiing experience. Children typically complete this program within the winter. No prior skiing experience is required.
Once they can maintain their balance on skis, young skiers start honing their skills and learning freestyle and classic skiing. Divided into four levels, the Jackrabbit cross-country training program is designed to highlight the progress made in acquiring technical skills such as speed, regularity and distance.

Jackrabbit Level 1 

Children must meet the following prerequisites:
  • Be 6 or 7 years old
  • No prior experience required
Jackrabbit Level 2 

Children must meet the following prerequisites:
  • Have completed Jackrabbit Level 1
  • ​​Be 7 or 8 years old
  • Know basic positions, able to get up alone, take side steps and do the star, able to run with skis on and slow down or stop using the snow plow technique
Jackrabbit Level 3 

Children must meet the following prerequisites:
  • Have completed Jackrabbit Level 2 
  • Be 8 or 9 years old
  • Perform alternative steps such as the side step, able to ascend using the herringbone technique, and turn and stop completely using the snow plow technique
Jackrabbit Level 4 

Children must meet the following prerequisites:
  • Have completed Jackrabbit Level 3
  • Be 8 or 9 years old
  • Perform alternative steps such as the extended glide, double poling, conversion and alternative skate technique, and turn using the skate technique
The Level 1 of the Explorateurs program is designed to introduce cross-country skiing to children 9 to 15 years of age who have never taken lessons before. Participants learn classic cross-country ski techniques as they explore the woodland trails of Mount Royal.
In Level 2 of the Explorateurs program, children 9 to 15 years of age pursue their introduction to cross-country skiing. Participants learn classic cross-country ski techniques as they explore the woodland trails of Mount Royal.
In the Pisteurs program, young skiers learn advanced classic and freestyle cross-country skiing techniques as they glide through Mount Royal woodlands. They also learn how to wax their skis.

To be eligible, participants must have completed Jackrabbit Level 4 or possess equivalent ski experience.
Ski school members meet at the Beaver Lake Pavilion in Mount Royal Park, located at 2000, Remembrance Road. Metered parking is available at both Beaver Lake Pavilion and Smith House.
Feeling inspired to learn how to ski or improve your technique? Les amis de la montagne offers cross-country ski lessons for adults on Mount Royal’s 22 km of ski trails.

What should my child wear for cross-country skiing?

Opt for layered clothing. Wearing several thin layers will allow him or her to add or remove layers if too hot or too cold. The Parent Handbook (available in December) will include tips on dressing for cross-country skiing.

What level is best for my child?

Before registering your child, make sure to carefully read each lesson description as well as the section “Choosing the Right Level for Your Child.” These sections include course-specific information as well as any prerequisites. 

My son will turn 4 after January 1. Can I still register him in the Jeannot Lapin group? He is very active and would have no trouble following the group.

No. All children enrolled in the Jeannot Lapin level must be aged 4 or older on January 1 of the current ski season. Any falsification on the registration forms could lead to the cancellation of the registration, without a refund.

My daughter completed the Jeannot Lapin level last winter, but will turn 5 after January 1. Can I register her for Jackrabbit Level 1? She is very active and would have no trouble following the group.

No. Children aged 5 must redo Jeannot Lapin for a second time. However, all participants are assessed during the first lesson. If the ski instructor thinks that your child would benefit from being in another level, the change will be made for the second lesson.

Can my child and his friend be in the same group?

If both children are registered in the same level and age group, they should be together during the session. However, if children are not of the same age or level, they will not be in the same group.

Since all participants are assessed during the first lesson, the ski instructors may restructure groups for the following week.

What payment methods do you accept?

Accepted modes of payment are VISA and MasterCard. Please note that payment is necessary to reserve your child’s spot. A $50 non-refundable administrative fee is included in the price of the activity. No refund will be given within seven days of the start of the activity unless a written medical certificate is presented.

What is a typical lesson with Les amis Cross-Country’s Ski Club?

Lessons begin with warm-up exercises inside (Jeannot Lapin) or outside for other levels. 

We often practise technical exercises on our school ski trail (figure 8 loop and short ascents/descents). Games are part of teaching cross-country skiing: on one or two skies, with or without poles, various games help kids practise during the lesson. Participants take part in short or long excursions depending on group skill level and progression during the session.

How does the option “with equipment rental” work?

Lessons begin at the indicated time. If you are renting equipment, it is very important to arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the start of the lesson to get your equipment.

Equipment is loaned for the lesson only and must be returned at the end of the lesson. It is not possible to use the ski equipment elsewhere than in Mount Royal Park.

Can I accompany my child during the lesson? I have skis and could help the group.

No, it is better for your child to be on her own. In this manner, she will learn to get up alone (according to the technique taught by the instructor) and be more likely to take part in the various group activities. Integration will also be easier without the presence of a parent.

Groups are made up of about 12 children. Two instructors accompany each group of 8 or more children.

Are ski lessons maintained during bad weather?

Lessons are maintained in the following conditions:
  • Snowstorms
  • Extreme cold (shorter outings with stops in the various park buildings)
  • Little or no snow, icy conditions or light rain: machines used to groom trails in the park are usually able to trace trails but lessons will be postponed or cancelled if this is not the case.
Lessons are cancelled during heavy rain.

If a lesson is postponed when will it be rescheduled? 

A special activity is planned for the weekend following the end of the session. A condensed course will be offered at this time, followed by the activity.

Who are the ski instructors in the Les amis de la montagne Ski Club?

Our ski instructors are often CEGEP or university students who love cross-country skiing and teaching this winter sport. Most have practised this sport since childhood or have competed in various ski clubs across Quebec. Our assistant instructors are often former students who are now old enough to teach.

All our instructors are trained as community coaches with Ski de fond Québec and Ski de fond Canada.

My child does not have a health insurance card (RAMQ), but we have a private insurance. Can he still participate in cross-country skiing lessons?

You can register your child for our cross-country skiing lessons, but you will need to provide all the details of your private insurer when registering online.
For more information on our Youth Cross-Country Ski Program, please call 514 843-8240, ext. 222 or write to clubdeskidesamis@lemontroyal.qc.ca.

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