Mountain bike academy

Spectacular view Rossland with new heights to reach on trials and in education.  - ida Koric
Spectacular view Rossland with new heights to reach on trials and in education.
— image credit: ida Koric


Rossland News

Rossland has established itself as a premier mountain biking destination, and as a spectacular host for a Ski Academy; the next logical step seemed to be an Academy for Mountain Biking. Volunteer and Vision for Small Schools Society member, Robin Hethey, familiar with the flexibility of SelfDesign courses, and the popularity of the sport locally, knew that she could create an accredited course that blended learning and passion.

The courses are open to anyone in grades eight through twelve, but only students in grades nine and up are able to earn high school credits as the courses are designated as “senior”. Those currently enrolled, or choosing to enroll, in the SelfDesign program are able to attain such credits, with a significant reduction in course costs.

The Trail Building course runs Mondays until June 23, featuring instructor Nate Lott of D.I.G. to Ride. Red Mountain has invited students to develop a new trail that will join the existing “Pay Dirt”. In April, students had already begun to use geo-mapping software to envision what a new trail may look like, and had created websites to catalogue their learning journeys. The May/June portion of the course involves hands-on building, where students will learn about tools and techniques, trail design with focus on landscape integration, berms, corners and jumps, all under a theme of sustainability.

The Mountain Biking skills course will focus on many aspects of the sport, including advanced downhill and freeride components, improving confidence on technical sections of trails, speed and endurance.  Also included is an introduction to first aid and a Jr. Mountain Bike Instructor segment that provides potential future job opportunities. The trails and parks to be ridden will be determined based on the interest and level of the group, with the possibility of out of town excursions.  Shuttles and video analysis of the riders are included as part of the training.

The course runs Mondays and Fridays until June 27th, led by Kootenay Mountain Bike Coaching instructors Ryan Kuhn and Natasha Lockey.

For grade nine to twelve learners enrolled in SelfDesign, pricing for both courses is $100, or no charge for only the Trail Building component. Grade eight students with SelfDesign pay $550 for both courses, and $150 for Trail Building only. The cost to those outside of the SelfDesign umbrella is $600 and $200, respectively.


For more information on program content or requirements, contact For information on course enrollment or attaining high school credits, visit the SelfDesign website at



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