MRG freeski team-NORAMS (North American Championships) this past April hosted at Big Sky, Montana. Photo from left to right; Ava Killian, Maddie Liberman, Emily Crofton, Lynsey Nagle and Tara Nagle. photo courtesy of Ry Young MRG

The ski season is here, with Mad River Glen opening Saturday, and local freestyle ski teams getting ready.


At Mad River Glen, skiers ages 10-18 can participate in the freeski team, though the average age of the 113 athletes currently enrolled is closer to 12 or 13, according to Jose Darias, head coach and administrative director of Mad River Glen’s freeski team. “We have individual Saturday and Sunday training options, a full weekend option and a longer full-season option available to choose from at signup. The vast majority of our team will center around Saturdays but we will have some kids who will ski with us on just Sunday, too,” Darias said. Sign up is available at or by calling the ski school desk at (802) 496-3551.

Sugarbush also has a freeski team for ages 8-18. The program is currently full for the 2022-2023 season, but there is a waitlist, which athletes can be added to by calling 802-583-6542 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. They offer a development team for ages 8-14 and a competition team for ages 10-18. They meet Saturdays and Sundays from January 7 to March 26, 2023.


“A portion of our athletes will compete in freeski events that are organized by the International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association (IFSA) and are hosted at various ski resorts across North America,” Darias said. “Mad River Glen will host two events this winter, a single-day regional event in February and a two-day national event that will draw a higher level of competition in March. We'll have a strong turnout of kids from our own program in both of those events but we'll also travel as a team to other IFSA competitions at Stowe, Jay Peak, Cannon Mountain, Sugarbush and Smuggler's Notch throughout the season.  

“The focus and goal of the team has always been and will continue to be the support of junior freeskiers in their individual goals. The majority of our kids are simply looking to ski with their peers, explore new lines, develop new or existing skills with the help of their coach and of course to simply have fun skiing. We never "push" kids in the direction of competition, but we see more athletes shifting their goals to be more focused in that aspect of the sport year on year, and I expect the 2023 season to be more of the same. And, of course, everyone is excited for some great snow and deep powder days on the mountain we love. 

“We have an incredible group of coaches that have been with the program for a number of years. Ry Young (our program director), Andy Weis, Chris Bisbee, Emily Crofton, and Blake Harris to name just a few of the coaches that have been cornerstones of our team and are the reason that our program has been so successful. We're also very fortunate to have former athletes return as coaches later on in their adult lives to help give the next generation of skiers a similar experience that they had as kids before them.”