We strive to provide the most well rounded skiing experience possible. When you child leaves or team they will be a fantastic all mountain skier….period. They will be able to go to any ski area, in any condition, and confidently ski any run. Snowbowl provides an excellent training ground to become a well rounded skier; from carving balanced round turns on a groomer to shredding icy moguls on a steep pitch and skiing powder in the trees, we will make your child into a great skier.
MFT was started in the mid-80s. Since then our team has grown to around 100 athletes and 14 coaches. We have consistently placed a skier on the U.S. Ski team for more than 20 years. We have a committed group of coaches that have been coaching for decades (each) in most cases. We have two former U.S. Ski Team members on our coaching staff and bring more experience than any other team in Montana….period.
The Christmas Camp is a three day mini-camp where all levels of MFT ski for three days in a row. It is traditionally the 28-30 of December but you can check our calendar for the official dates. This means that Little Riders, the Snowboard Team, all the way through the Comp Team skis these days. We understand that not all of you can make it to all of the days. That is OK. Please let MFT know if you cannot make it and we will cross you off our list for those days.
We accept a few 6 year olds into the Little Riders but 7 is generally the cut off. We take exceptional independent 6 years olds on a case by case basis. The baseline for any skier in our program is the ability to crash and put on your own equipment, the ability to ride up the lift with an adult that is not your parents, and the ability to ski off of Snowbowl. To ski off of Snowbowl you have to either be able to ski Spartan to Second Thought or be able to ski Paradise down. If you child cannot do this then they are not ready for our program. This is a base level that everyone is held to.
We will focus on all mountain skiing with a bend toward Freestyle skiing. This means we will have different drills that are focused on making your child a well-rounded skier. We will not focus on groomed run skiing transitioning into skiing gates. Our groomed run drills will be focused on allowing a skier to navigate any condition on any part of the mountain whether it is an icy mogul field or a steep powder run in the trees. We also put a specific emphasis on jumping. We build and maintain safe jumps so that athletes can learn to jump in a safe environment focusing on basic techniques that will allow them to perform what could otherwise be dangerous tricks. There is a basic jumping progression that all of the athletes go through to make them comfortable and safe when they jump. We never force anyone to jump (or do anything else for that matter) that they are not comfortable with. If you really don’t want to jump, then you don’t have to and you will not feel bad about this decision. It really is all about having fun and empowering the skiers.
Missoula Freestyle offers six different program opportunities. A detailed description of each team can be found here, http://missoulafreestyle.com/programs/
Competition Team: – Includes Afternoon/Night Training
Junior Competition Team: – Includes Afternoon/Night Training
Freeride/All Mountain Team:
Freeride Comp Team:
Little Riders Team:
*Snowbowl season passes not included in price of programs*
We are the cheapest ski team in town by design. We are focused on providing the highest quality coaching at the lowest price that we can afford. Please shop around to other Missoula and Montana teams and I think you will be amazed at our pricing structure.
We meet at the bottom of the Griz Chair (the bottom chair) every day at 9:15. The lift opens at 9:30 so we try and separate out the groups before we get on the lift and make sure everyone is there. We ski until 2:30 with a short lunch break generally around noon. You child can bring a lunch (advised) or can purchase a lunch at Snowbowl. At 2:30pm your child will be brought back down to the base of the Griz Chair. You can count on picking them up there every day at 2:30pm.
We ski for the three day Christmas camp and then the next 10 Saturdays after. You can check out our schedule and see when each of the days is.
This of course does not have a straightforward answer, so please read on. The natural progression would be that your child would start with us at age 7 in the Little Riders program. After a year or two in the Little Riders program they would move on to the Development (Devo) program. So around age 8 or 9 they enter the Devo program, which is an all mountain type program, and ski with the Devo program for another couple of years or possibly more. They would then try to decide which direction they would like to go from Devo- Moguls, Slopestyle, or Big Mountain skiing. This would be a personal preference towards those disciplines. Because they had already been in our Devo program they would be very familiar with the differences in the disciplines and would make an educated guess as to which team they want to move towards. They would then start at the lower level of those programs (Jr. Comp, Slopestyle (non-comp), or Big Mountain) and ski there for a year or two before deciding whether they wanted to compete in that discipline.
Of course this does not work for all kids in all situations. We have had athletes that are 9 years old that do huge backflips in the moguls and so are on our Competition Mogul program, and we have had 12 year olds that can barely ski and are in our Little Riders program. We aim to place people in the best group for their skiing development and with their friends whenever possible. If you cannot figure out what group your child should be in then they are likely Little Riders if they are less than 10 and likely Devo if they are 10 or older. The Devo group is our largest and can accomodate a very wide ranging skill set. There is considerable grey area between the Devo and Little Riders groups with the best Little Riders easily being able to ski at the lowest Devo group’s speed, but probably lacking some of the social skills of the older skiers. The same grey area exists at the lower discipline specific groups and the Devo groups. Our top end Devo skiers could ski with any of the Slope/Big Mountain/Jr. Comp teams.