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    RIDGE Mountain Academy – Gap Year Program for Student Athletes

    RIDGE Mountain Academy – Gap Year Program for Student Athletes


    • Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Destinations: United States
    • Credit Awarded: High School, College
    • Program Length: Semester
    • Start Month: January, September
    • Category: Outdoor Adventure
    • Selective: No
    • Gender: Coed
    • Ages: 16, 17, 18, 19+, 19
    • Housing: Dorm
    • Financial Aid: Other
    • Minimum Cost: > $20,000
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    RIDGE Mountain Academy is designed for male and female student athletes who have a passion for the mountains. Located in Whitefish, Montana, RIDGE is a campus-based academy that focuses on mountain sports, education, and life skills. RIDGE prepares student athletes of all abilities.

    RIDGE Mountain Academy's Gap Semester and Gap Year includes:

          • Mountain Sports
          • Education
          • Life Skills
          • Internship Programs
          • Health & Nutrition

    WINTER SEMESTER (January - May)

    Backcountry Skiing  -  Freeskiing  -  Snowboarding

    Ski Mountaineering   -  Ice Climbing - Nordic Skiing

    At RIDGE, the winter semester is all about being on snow! Individualized sports training plans are offered within a supportive team environment. Skiers, snowboarders, nordic skiers, backcountry enthusiasts, and skimo racers work closely with RIDGE coaches to expand their athletic, academic, and life skills. 

    RIDGE is not a traditional ski academy. Progressive ski and snowboard coaching features freeriding, backcountry touring, all-mountain skiing, and ski mountaineering racing. In one semester at RIDGE, student athletes gain the skills, certifications, and experience that most big mountain skiers take years to develop.

    College credits are available through Ridge Ed.The Ridge Ed curriculum includes Geology and Snow Science for three college credits through the University of Montana, Avalanche Certification Level I, Wilderness First Aid, Photo and Video Production, and Health and Fitness. Student athletes often elect to intern with local businesses and RIDGE partners.

    FALL SEMESTER (September - December)

    Mountain Biking  -  Trail Running  -  Climbing  

    Skateboarding  -  Mountaineering  -  Hiking 

    At RIDGE Mountain Academy, the fall semester is all about mountain biking, rock climbing, trail running, and skateboarding. Individualized training plans are offered within a supportive team environment. Student athletes focus on their favorite sports, attend RIDGE Ed courses (see above) and internships, prepare meals together using organic and whole foods, and learn to structure their days for maximum enjoyment and productivity.


    RIDGE Mountain Academy is designed for gap year students or student athletes seeking a challenging and formative experience for an off-campus semester. Student athletes train independently and as a group in remote, rugged settings. Our goal? To help broaden your view of the world as you develop the critical athletic, academic, and life skills required to help you stay focused in life, school, and, eventually, your career.

    Whatever your background or starting level, arm yourself with the knowledge and experience you need to travel safely in the mountains and enjoy the best mountain sports on the planet.


    Whitefish, Montana is home to one of the largest ski mountains in America, a lake, a vast network of hiking and biking trails, a skate park, golf courses, 50 local farms, and 7,436 of the friendliest people you will ever meet. Over the years the town has grown to become a small, supportive community of talented and experienced outdoor enthusiasts who are experts in sports they love—skiing, snowboarding, biking, climbing, or running—and love sharing their passions with others.


    RIDGE Mountain Academy is dedicated to helping student athletes cultivate and strengthen their passion, focus, and happiness in life. We achieve this by providing tailored coaching in mountain sports and goal-oriented physical training, as well as opportunities for the student athlete to develop - mentally, physically, academically, and socially.


    RIDGE Mountain Academy believes that a student athlete can benefit tremendously—physically, mentally, and emotionally—from working their bodies on a consistent basis, learning new skills in unfamiliar settings, and staying involved in their community. Through self-exploration and opportunity, they can realize their ability to achieve their true potential.

    By creating a framework for making health and fitness a part of daily life, RIDGE helps student athletes to develop the mind-body connection, learn the importance of being present, and live each moment to the fullest.


    Whether you are in high school, college or somewhere in between, RIDGE Mountain Academy can help you achieve your educational goals. With RIDGE Ed as a platform we’ll work with you to meet your specific needs. You will learn how to train and compete in the mountains, and balance school and work with the physical challenges you enjoy.  


        • JOY & PASSION
        • ENERGY & BALANCE