Located in northwestern Massachusetts just minutes from Vermont and New Hampshire, Northfield Mount Hermon School is ideally situated to provide a strong alpine skiing program together with one of the nation’s top college-preparatory academic programs. NMH alpine skiing provides an ideal balance between high level, competitive ski racing and a rigorous academic program that stands among the best in the nation's college preparatory schools. We enable academically motivated students with a passion for ski racing to develop both of these interests, through a strong ski program that features both interscholastic and USSA racing. We have won two recent New England championships (2003 & 2005), and as one of very few traditional college preparatory secondary schools that offer a USSA race program, we fully support students who wish to pursue higher level competition through weekend races.
At NMH the academic program is clearly the first priority, yet our program allows alpine ski racers a chance to compete at high levels while maintaining an appropriate balance between skiing and academics. There is a long tradition of excellence within the ski program at NMH, and we continue to further develop into one of the best among New England independent schools.
NMH competes in the Mount Institute Ski League, a regional league within the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council. The MISL consists of independent and public schools from western Massachusetts.
League races are held at Berkshire East Ski Area in Charlemont, which is NMH’s home training site.
In addition to interscholastic racing, NMH offers its ski racers the opportunity to compete independently in races sanctioned by the Eastern Division of the United States Ski Association. Through these races, NMH athletes have a chance to compete at a higher level, and to race against some of the best junior racers at the regional and national level. NMH fully supports these initiatives, providing transportation and coaching for these events. As part of our plan for athlete development, all members of the team are encouraged to consider participating in the weekend USSA races, which are, of course, entirely optional. We typically travel to one such race each weekend, competing primarily in the Tri-State Alpine Racing Association of USSA. We also travel to some races in VT and NH.
Over the past 16 years, a large number of NMH students have participated in these USSA races (more than 50% of the team has raced in USSA competitions in the past three years). Our USSA program distinguishes us among boarding schools with skiing programs. Very few traditional, academically rigorous college preparatory schools offer a fully-supported USSA program in combination with an interscholastic ski team, and we proudly offer both.
We train at Berkshire East four days a week, and combine slalom and giant slalom training with on-campus strength and conditioning workouts. Video analysis of our own racers and of World Cup racers is also a standard component of our training program.
NMH’s academic schedule permits the alpine ski team to get more training time than most of our peer schools, without making any sacrifices to the academic program of the School. After students finish their academic courses they can turn their attention to ski practice, leaving campus at 2:15 and returning before dinner. One of the greatest strengths of the NMH ski program is that our students receive a substantial amount of training time, yet our academic standards are never sacrificed.
At Northfield Mount Hermon, we offer a top-quality alpine skiing program coupled with a strong college-preparatory curriculum. We firmly believe that to over-emphasize either element is detrimental to most students at the secondary level, and we are confident that we have the proper balance of academic and athletic attention.