Program: Freestyle/Freeski

Team: Mini Xtreme Weekend

Tuition: $2,100

Head coach: Ben Schumacher

Grades: Grades 3-5

Group cap: 24 athletes (includes athletes who choose Mini Xtreme option)

Athlete-to-coach ratio: 6:1

Overview (+ location): Bald and Dollar mountains

The Mini Xtreme team is designed as a stepping stone program within the athlete journey for young skiers passionate about freestyle and freesride experiences. The program will cover a broad spectrum of teaching modalities ranging from fundamental skiing technique, freestyle/mogul fundamentals, freeride/terrain and park skills, as well as Big Mountain line selection and technique. The Mini Xtreme team is staffed by coaches who are committed to making the learning and training atmosphere fun, challenging, and relevant to the potential of the athlete. This program serves as a threshold for athletes to then further pursue their passion as future members of either the freestyle/mogul or freeski/park programs.

Mini Xtreme Team Goals

As we introduce our young athletes to the intricacies of park skiing, big mountain, and moguls, we strive to equip them with the tools to continue developing their athletic ability, independence, creativity, judgment, and social skills. A further objective of the program is to introduce athletes and families to competition through an in-house event series called the Mini Xtreme (MiniX) Cup. The MiniX cup will consist of three primary events:

  • Freestyle/mogul event
  • Freeski/slopestyle event
  • Big mountain event

These events serve as an opportunity to highlight the lessons and skills learned throughout the Mini Xtreme curriculum and will be supported by the Freestyle, Freeski, and Big Mountain programs.

Winter schedule: Athletes train on Saturdays and Sundays. Training begins the first weekend in December, and continues until the end of March. Practice will be offered approximately 8-10 days over the holidays. All athletes are eligible for holiday practice days.

Requirements: Previous SVSEF involvement and/or ability to ski all terrain on Bald Mountain

Air Barn training:

Pre-season training begins the second week of October (October 10th) and consists of 2 days per week at the Air Barn (Wed/Fri, 4-5pm) and goes until Friday, November 16th.

During the winter season, Mini X athletes will train at the Air Barn on Fridays, two Fridays per month.


Ben Schumacher

Ben Schumacher

Mini Xtreme Head Coach


Years with SVSEF: Going into 4th year
Hometown:  Raised in Chattaroy Washington (north of Spokane)
Education: Seattle University, B.A. Chemistry. Ben also attended United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, OR, for a few mechanics courses. To become a pedorthist he went to Northwestern University in Chicago. He also went to Bonney/Wills shoe making school in Ashland, OR, where he learned to build men’s dress shoes.
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap:  Ben’s favorite run was back in 2008 after a huge Christmas storm when he and a few friends got first tracks on Limelight in the middle of the day when the top of the mountain finally opened. He remembers stopping to pull a kid out of a pretty stuck position, then catching back up with the crew with big fast turns all the way down Limelight and Warmsprings. It was super fun to have those runs fresh when normally on a pow day they are cut up already by the early ups.
Work background:  Work started with labor jobs like mowing and being a warehouseman in a printing factory, then progressed on to Ski Tek in Ketchum.  Ben worked to become a certified pedorthist, a bike technician, a ski tuner, and boot fitter.  He is stoked to live, work and manage family life in Ketchum since 2001.
Why SVSEF matters to you:  SVSEF matters because it develops kids for athletic endeavors in the mountains. I like being a guide who can have fun, motivate, and teach kids. 
Hobbies/other interests: Most recently, gardening, amongst other passions like exploring hot springs, live music and bicycles