What are your COVID-19 policies and procedures?

For our Return to Sport Plan as well as our protocols for participation please head to our COVID Info page by clicking here, http://missoulafreestyle.com/covid-info/

If you have specific questions or concerns that are not addressed on your COVID Info page please reach out to Director Donovan Power directly.


What exactly is the Little Riders Team?

*This program has a wait list every year so please sign up as soon as possible*

MFT encourages all children and teens to participate on our teams and either learn a Snowsport on skis or snowboards.  We have been very encouraging and accepting of all levels of each athlete from beginner to competitive.

In this time of COVID-19 in order to follow USSA, state and local protocols, we have had to implement some eligibility conditions for our youngest participants.

MFT will still have a Little Riders team. However, the child/participant must meet the following requirements.

1. Must be able to ride a chairlift with another non coach adult (per law and Snowbowl, all children under the age of 12 must ride with an adult)

2. Must be able to go to the bathroom by themselves.  To maintain social distancing and safety Coaches can no longer accompany child to the bathroom and assist

3. Must be able to be in the lodge by themselves (if a parent is not available).  We will not be stopping for an inside lunch. Any food consumption as a team will be outside.  Additionally, Children that are cold must be able to go to the lodge and warm up by themselves without a Coach.

MFT has changed the minimum age, which is 8. We all know some children are more independent than others and that ability is not age specific.  It is up to you the parents to realistically assess your child’s abilities related to the above conditions/changes.  We love our Little Riders and this is very hard.  If you have questions about your child please contact Donovan Power and we will do our best to assist and guide you in this process.

Entry level program for our youngest athletes. Due to COVID-19 restrictions we will not take an athlete younger than 8 this year. None of our programs are for first time skiers and all athletes on the Little RIders team must be able to crash and put on their own equipment, ride the lift with an adult that is not their parents, and spend the day away from their parents.

On snow training is one day per week, every Saturday from after Christmas through the first of March. For young athletes who want to learn to ski the whole mountain and can put on their own equipment after a fall.

Includes:

  • 3-day Christmas Camp
  • 10 Saturdays

Little riders is geared toward teaching young athletes to ski the whole mountain. We want to teach basic all mountain skiing to a little younger audience. If you can put on your own equipment after a fall and have a desire to learn to shred then this is the program for you. Little riders meets once a week with skiers of like age and ability. We have coaches that are trained and excel at showing children how to shred.


What are our team goals?

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.


Where does my child fit into MFT?

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 8 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 9 or 10 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.


How long have we been doing this?

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.


Where and when does MFT start each day? *IMPORTANT*

Training times will be staggered to avoid congestion

Competition teams will meet at 9:15 at the bottom of the slope style jumps. Competition teams will begin training at 9:30 on the T-Bar. Training will be from 9:30 to 2:00

All other teams shall meet at 9:45 at the bottom of the slope style jumps. Training shall be from 10:00 to 2:30. Team members shall wear a mask at all times they are in the lift line and riding a lift


What is the Christmas Camp?

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.


How old does my child have to be to ski with MFT?

Due to COVID-19 restrictions we will not take an athlete younger than 8 this year. None of our programs are for first time skiers and all athletes on the Little RIders team must be able to crash and put on their own equipment, ride the lift with an adult that is not their parents, and spend the day away from their parents. 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.

Little Riders is our entry level program for our youngest athletes. MFT has changed the minimum age, which is 8. We all know some children are more independent than others and that ability is not age specific. It is up to you the parents to realistically assess your child’s abilities. We love our Little Riders and this is very hard. If you have questions about your child please contact Donovan Power and we will do our best to assist and guide you in this process.


How are we different than MSEF or YSL?

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.


How much does MFT cost?

Missoula Freestyle offers nine different program opportunities. A detailed description of each team can be found here, http://missoulafreestyle.com/programs/

Little Riders Team: $495 (+$20 After 12/2/20)

Development Team: $495 (+$20 After 12/2/20)

Big Mountain Team: $495 (+$20 After 12/2/20)

Big Mountain Competition Team: $495 (+$20 After 12/2/20)

Slopestyle Team: $495 (+$20 After 12/2/20)

Competition Slopestyle Team: $845 (+$20 After 12/2/20)

Snowboard Team: $495 (+$20 After 12/2/20)

Junior Competition Team: $670 (+$20 After 12/2/20)

Competition Mogul Team: $845 (+$20 After 12/2/20)

*Snowbowl season passes not included in price of programs*


How does our pricing compare to other 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.



How often do we ski?

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.