Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the MARA program. Please also see our “Parent / Athlete Resource” page for more important information. If you have more inquiries you may contact us directly at

Policies are subject to change without notice.

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What is the minimum age and the minimum skills required to participate in MARA.

MARA is not a learn to ski program. Our programs train athletes across all mountain terrain; teaching a variety of techniques and turns, all of which require a strong foundation of basic fundamentals.

Required fundamentals include: making linked parallel turns (or mostly parallel turns) in both directions at a consistent speed, have the ability to perform a hockey stop safely and effectively, the ability to ski all blue diamond runs on Mt. Ashland, independently load and unload chairlifts (*including Ariel), and comfortably ride chairlifts by themselves. Preferably, athletes ski with poles upon entering the program and are 7 years old by the start of the season.

Athletes’ skills will be assessed on the first day of training. This is to guarantee all athletes are placed in groups appropriate for their development and ability levels. If the skills mentioned above are beyond your athlete, we will refer you to the Mt. Ashland Ski School. They offer lessons that will help get your athlete up to speed. MARA membership fees will be returned in-full in these instances.  Your athlete may re-enroll with MARA the following season.

What programs are available?

Does MARA provide lift tickets?

No. Season passes and daily lift tickets must be purchased from Mt. Ashland directly.

I heard that there are scholarships for reduced membership fees.  How do I apply my child for a scholarship?

Program fees can be found here. MARA endeavors to provide scholarships for reduced membership fees based on family financial need. Families can apply for a fee reduction by submitting an application.  Family financial information will be required. Click here to view the financial assistance application.

Will my child receive a MARA team jacket?

Team jackets are available for most MARA athletes in a large number of sizes.  We have made an effort to supply all athletes with a jacket, but sometimes certain sizes will run out, depending on enrollment.  Jackets will be handed out on a first come, first serve basis. Jackets are distributed on the first day of training.

MARA jackets are primarily intended to be worn by MARA athletes during MARA training and events.  It is okay for MARA athletes to wear their jackets when they are skiing at other ski resorts. In order to limit wear and tear, however, we ask that athletes do not wear MARA jackets when they are off-mountain.

How are group assignments made?  Can my child request to be with another child in a different group?

MARA athletes will be assigned to coaching groups based on their program, their age and their skiing ability.  We are sometimes able to accommodate moving athletes to a different group at parent or guardian request. Please understand that we may not be able to accommodate these requests if it disrupts group size or breadth of skiing ability within the groups.  Please direct any such requests to the MARA head coach.

What is the jacket deposit?

A deposit check for $100 will be required before an athlete receives a jacket.  The check will be destroyed when the jacket is returned to MARA in good condition (other than normal wear and tear) at the end of the season.  The check will be cashed if the jacket is not returned by the final collection date (usually in early April).  If the jacket is not returned by May 1 or is returned in an unusable condition you will be charged for the replacement of the jacket (the $100 deposit plus an additional $150).

When do jackets need to be returned?

Unless your athlete is competing postseason, jackets must be returned on the last training day of their program. Jackets can be returned to a MARA representative outside the old blue lodge or as otherwise specified by MARA. We will send out reminders that your program(s) are coming to an end and jackets need to be returned. If your athlete is competing postseason, the jacket is to be returned on the last day of the event.

What is the volunteering deposit?

MARA parent-coaches are exempt from volunteer requirements. MARA usually holds three races during the season (6 days of racing in total).  These races are fun events where MARA athletes can experience alpine ski racing in a supportive environment.  These events require numerous volunteers to make them successful. Volunteers provide important roles such as timekeeping, gate judging, course breakdown, bib distribution and collection.  No experience is necessary and positions accommodate all ability levels. Click HERE to read more information and expectations regarding volunteer roles. Each MARA family is required to volunteer 3 race days. Alternatively, families can provide off-hill volunteering.  A $100 volunteering deposit check (made out to MARA) is required before the athlete can participate in training. The check is destroyed after completion of the volunteering requirement has been confirmed. If the volunteering requirement is not met, the check will be deposited at the end of the season.

When does MARA registration open and when does it close?

Enrollment in MARA will open in November, usually the Monday of Thanksgiving week.  Registration closes when all positions are full, or on the first day of MARA training (the first weekend in January) – whichever is first.

Will I receive a refund if MARA is unable to provide a full program due to Mt. Ashland ski area closure(s)?

If a MARA training day is canceled due to a Mount Ashland ski area closure, a single make-up training day will be added to the program, whenever possible.  A make-up day will usually occur one week after the original final day of the program. If additional training days are canceled due to ski area closure, MARA will endeavor to provide partial refunds for the additional unfulfilled training days.  The refund will be up to 80% of the per diem fee. Any discounts, including first-year discounts and scholarships, will be proportionally subtracted from the refund. Note that regularly scheduled and make-up training days each count towards fulfillment of the series, whether or not an athlete attends the training.

Will I get a refund if my child is injured or has an illness that precludes him/her from completing their season?

A portion of a membership fee may be refunded if an athlete has an illness or injury that prevents him or her from participating for the remainder of the season.  If the illness or injury occurs prior to the first day of skiing, the fee may be returned in-full. If the illness or injury occurs after the first day of skiing, the fee will be returned in the value proportionate to the remaining training days of the season, up to 80% of the fee.  A note from a treating medical professional may be required.

Refunds will not be provided for athletes who miss their scheduled training for reasons other than listed above.

What happens if MARA is unable to hold practice due to extreme weather, lack of snow or closure of the Mt. Ashland resort?

If the Mount Ashland Ski Area is operating, parents/guardians should expect that MARA training sessions will take place.  It is important that MARA athletes be well prepared for the weather conditions, such as extreme cold or heavy rainfall. Special preparation or equipment may be needed during more extreme conditions, and this is the responsibility of the athletes and their parents or guardians.  It should be noted that MARA jackets are not waterproof and other gear may be needed to allow for skiing on more extreme days, such as extra base layers or waterproof jackets, pants and gloves. It is the athlete’s parent or guardian’s responsibility to determine if an athlete is adequately equipped for the conditions.  Nonetheless, if an athlete is inadequately suited for the conditions, he or she may be brought to the lodge for warming. A parent or guardian should be available to meet their athlete if this occurs.

Refunds will not be offered if a MARA training session is cancelled due to extreme weather conditions once training has begun for the day.

For any cancellations for training days or early ends to the snow season, 80% of a prorated refund will be returned to you.

I signed my child up for a 6 week season. Can I extend to a 9 or 12 week program?

When conditions allow, athletes participating in a 6 week program may extend their session to 9 or 12 week sessions.  Similarly, athletes participating in a 9 week program may be able to extend to a 12 week session. Please make a request for program extension though the MARA administrator before the last week of your athletes program.

I signed my child up for Saturday group.  Can they switch to a Sunday for a single session or multiple? 

When available, an athlete may switch the day of their program (Sunday to Saturday or vice versa) until the second weekend of training.  Once programs are fully enrolled, switching days may not be possible. Single-day or multi-day switches are not allowed.

MARA Welcome Video