SnowSport school now in session

Students can now earn high school credit skiing or boarding on Mt. Washington

Podium of Life’s Shane and Corey Harle outside their new school house at the top of Mt. Washington.

Podium of Life’s Shane and Corey Harle outside their new school house at the top of Mt. Washington.

In what has to rank up there as one of the coolest courses ever, area high schoolers can now earn credit through a new program, SnowSports PE — the first of its kind in the province, being offered at Mt. Washington.

The brainchild of Shane Harle, who along with his wife Corey run the successful Podium of Life Ski Academy, the intent he said “is to give kids an opportunity to get credits towards their passion sports.”

Students can earn four credits each for Grades 10, 11 and 12. The program,120 hours including written work and activities, is self directed insomuch as it’s up to the students to get themselves up and down the mountain, but there are guidelines and a process to be followed. Shane developed the course himself, which is running through SD72.

For more information on how to ‘shred powder for marks’ go to and click on the ‘education’ link.

Students get an outline and registration package sent to them, “and once they’re registered, they document their hours and then they do a little bit of summation review, some planning, some self evaluation and they get the credits. The basis of the course is they’re up there skiing or boarding or cross country skiing and enjoying the environment and the world we live in right here. We’re so fortunate (and) that’s my passion, is to introduce the kids to this wonderful mountain experience, and beyond.”

SnowSports PE he said “will focus on pre-season, sport-specific and mental training to support their athletic winter sports commitments outside of school. The course is designed to meet the individual needs of students who want to pursue physical education outside of the regular school setting.” Some students will be members of the BC Freestyle or local teams such as Mount Washington Freestyle Club, Mount Washington Race Club, VI Riders, or Strathcona Nordics ski club while others will be skiers and riders who want to earn credit towards their graduation but do not want to join a club.

Any way you slice it, SnowSports PE is in keeping with the Harle’s commitment to youth and winter sports.

The couple started their academy in 2010 — he’s the freestyle coach, she’s the racing coach. Shane, 49, and his wife have two sons — in a not-so-surprising twist, the 16-year-old freestyles, while the 14 races.

The academy had 10 full time students in Grades 4 through 11 last year that lived on the mountain, and another 14 that commuted. A number of locals have attended; local snow boarder Jacquline Monette-Warren, Gr. 10, will start her second semester up on the hill in late January.

Shane oversees the Academy’s academic side as well. School gets underway at 9 a.m. and the morning is spent working on traditional core courses such as math, science, history…” but we do it in a creative way, and then in the afternoon we either ski or board.

“We have guest speakers, I bet we average one every two weeks — we’ve had world champions, we’ve had a couple kids from Africa; we’ve had doctors.”

“We want to expose these kids to all the possibilities,” he said, adding “there’s so much more than the white picket fence world we live in.”

The family is based out of Campbell River. When not tending to their school, Corey works as a physiotherapist, and Shane for the school district.

Shane was in great spirits when The News caught up with him as the family was moving back up to the big hill last Friday, with school starting on Dec. 10. They will live up on the mountain until May, “and we have a brand new school house this year which is pretty cool.

“It’s incredible skiing up there, it’s just light, bluebird powder,” Shane said, and you could hear him smiling through the phone. “It’s some of the best skiing Mt. Washington has ever had.”

Mt. Washington officially opened for business Nov. 30 marking only the second time in the ski hill’s history it’s opened before December.

Just Posted

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market is one of the organizations approved for a grant-in-aid by the Town of Qualicum Beach. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Town of Qualicum Beach awards $80K in relief funds to community groups

Pandemic has put a financial strain on many organizations

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read