Programs We Offer
To ensure all participants are of the appropriate standard for training, all new team members will need to pass an ability assessment with a coach prior to being placed with their team. This is to guarantee all athletes are placed in groups appropriate for their development and ability levels. Athletes under 10 years old may request admission to the FreeRide program pending ability assessment and coach’s approval.
Alpine Intro- 6 Weeks
This is not a “learn to ski” program. Athletes must be able to load and unload lifts unassisted and comfortably ride the lifts by themselves. They must also be able to ski the runs serviced by the Comer lift. This includes making linked parallel, or mostly parallel, turns in both directions at a consistent speed, with the ability to perform a hockey stop safely and at will on these runs. Preferably, athletes will be skiing with poles upon entering the program. If these skills are still a bit beyond your athlete, the Mt. Ashland Snowsports School offers a Pre-development program for those not yet capable of fulfilling the abilities mentioned above.
- 6 week Saturday only class
- 6 week Sunday only class
Upon completing the six week program, athletes can extend to a 9 or 12 week program.
All athletes can participate in any of our local races.
Alpine Development- 9 Weeks
The nine week long Development Program is the MARA entry point for young skiers usually 8-12 years old, and is a fun and safe program rooted in skiing all terrain, building skiing fundamentals, and introducing the athletes to ski racing. Led by enthusiastic coaches who focus on having fun, gaining strong fundamental skills and exploring new terrain, our development athletes learn to love everything about skiing – gliding, carving, gates, bumps, jumps, adventure, and camaraderie. By basing our Developmental Program on having fun, being creative, and teaching strong fundamental skills, we hope to insure a healthy ski culture for all athletes and inspire future top competitors. Development athletes will spend approximately 20% of their time training in gates.
- 9 week Saturday only class
- 9 week Sunday only class
Upon completing the nine week program, athletes have the option to continue the season, with a pro-rated fee, in an age and skill appropriate full season program.
All athletes are encouraged to participate in a Development Fun Race at the end of their program, as well as participating in any of our local races.
FreeRide- 9 Weeks
The FreeRide skiing program is designed to introduce athletes 10-18 years old to the sport of FreeRide and to develop each athlete’s abilities to the fullest in a fun and safe environment. Athletes will train in a number of environments, including Big Mountain, Freestyle, Moguls, and Race, all of which are used to enhance the individual’s overall abilities as a skier. When available and with enough interest, FreeRide athletes will compete in the areas of Big Mountain, Freestyle, or other disciplines of interest.
The FreeRide team will be broken into groups based on skills and competitive aspirations as best as possible. Due to smaller enrollment, some athletes may be placed with appropriate ability groups that are not specifically FreeRide. ALL groups free-ski primarily for skill development, as well as take part in gate training, regardless of program. If your child is under 10 years of age, but has the desire, skill level and maturity level to participate in this program, please call or email the MARA office to discuss an arrangement. We will make every effort to satisfy each request while taking into consideration which program will best suit the needs of the athlete.
- 9 weeks Saturday only, option to extend into 12 week Alpine program for Saturday’s only.
Competition for freestyle skiers is not required, or expected, however participation in local freestyle competitions will be strongly encouraged.
Race- 12 Weeks
The Race program consists of two levels of training, Regional Race and USSA/FIS Race, each designed to refine and enhance the athlete’s skills and knowledge of the sport. The Race program is developmentally best for athlete’s ages 10-18 years old. Our athletes will train and compete in Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G and Down Hill.
- 12 week Saturday
- 12 week Sunday
- 12 week Saturday and Sunday classes
The Holiday Camp is included in the fees for all 12 week athletes
Regional Race athletes will spend about 25%-35% of their time training in gates, depending on developmental level. The developmental activities are still heavily focused on free skiing and skill development, while introducing structured technical gate training. The Regional Race Teams will ski the entire mountain, including steeps, moguls, powder, trees, jumps and Slalom and Giant Slalom race skills.
The Regional Race program serves a wide range of skiing abilities, with an increased focus on cross training, goal setting, planning, and equipment. The coaches work closely together to evaluate and accommodate different ski and race levels. The program is for skiers ranging from little racing experience as well as those athletes with several years of racing behind them. The majority of time is spent in directed free skiing, with incremental increases in gate training. Giant Slalom is the main focus of all gate training, with a gradual increase in Slalom gate training.
Race Competition at this level is primarily regional at Mt. Ashland, Willamette Pass, Mt. Bachelor, and Mt. Shasta. Far West regional championship race is also available for qualifying athletes.
USSA / FIS Race U14-U18:
The U14s, U16s, and U18s will spend more time dedicated to gate training (approximately 35%-45%) and focus on developing solid racing technique and teaching course tactics . Time spent training each of the disciplines becomes more balanced. New elements are added, such as increased technical training, more detailed goal setting, performance planning, equipment, video analysis, and timed training runs.
The U14s, U16s and U18s train in Slalom, Giant Slalom and Super G and the athletes are expected to arrive at training in good athletic shape and prepared to work with their equipment in excellent condition. Dry land training is a major component of this program and participation is highly recommended. Free skiing emphasis is on hard, fast skiing in challenging terrain. Following the USSA model, free skiing will still be a vital part of this program and coaches will utilize our terrain to aid in athletic skill and mental development. While the program still provides a fun, social environment for the athletes, they will learn to work harder to improve and achieve pre-set goals.
The U16s and U18s are very focused and serious about their ski racing. Training sessions will be customized for each athlete and the focus is on refining skills to the highest level.
Thursday Night Gates
This program is designed to give MARA racers additional training in a controlled environment. Athletes will hone their Slalom skills in preparation for local and regional events. This is open to any athlete that is able to ski independently on Mt. Ashland during night skiing (without coach supervision outside the training course).
*must be enrolled in a 6, 9, or 12 week MARA program.
- 9 weeks Thursday nights
Athletes ski from 6:00-8:00 pm
Unavailable for the 2020/2021 season.
The MARA Masters Race program is for anyone that has graduated high school, ages 18-100+! Focus is on gate training while improving fundamental skills. The availability of this program is dependent on enrollment. No previous race experience is required.
- Friday Gates, 9:00am – 12:00pm
- Sunday Training with high enough interest
Race competition at this level is encouraged, but not required.