Program Questions and Answers
This page has the answers to many common questions about CMAC. If you can't find it here, don't hesitate to ask one of the CMAC coaches or administrators.
What other resources are available? The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association ("USSA") has resources for parents at http://ussa.org/global/resources-parents. There is also a great pair of articles on ski racing parents on what to do and what not to do from Dr. Jim Taylor who has consulted with the US Ski Team in the past. These are definitely worth a few minutes!
CMAC DIRECTORS/HEAD COACHES
PROGRAMS AND SEASON PASSES
Q: Who is the Program Director of CMAC?
A: Alan Lauba is CMAC’s Program Director and you can reach him by email at email@example.com.
Alan began his racing career at CMAC and went on to be a member of the U.S. Ski Team for five years. He was a Nor-Am Champion in 1985 and a top finisher in World Cup Competition. US Ski Team from 1981- 1987. Nor Am DH Champ 1984, 5th overall. Member of 1985 World Championship team. He is a Level III certified National level and has coached at several high level regional and national camps for elite level Junior skiers.
Q: Who is the Director for the Mighty Mite Sunday program?
A: Kelly McCann is the Director for the Sunday Mighty Mite program and you can reach him by email at MMRace@cmacskiracing.com. Kelly grew up skiing at Steven's Pass, have coached for CMAC 14 years, have worked with all levels of athlete. Enjoy the sport of skiing, especially the racing side. I enjoy watching all kids reach their potential.
Q: Who is the Director for the Mighty Mite Prep Saturday program?
A: Paul Clarke is the Director for the Saturday prep program and you can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Paul has 35 seasons on skis, including 4 years racing with CMAC, 18 years as an instructor and 9 as a CMAC coach. He has been part of the course crew at several World Cup events and the 2010 Olympics. He grew up at Crystal, and at a young age would come home from school and then go night skiing, and often played hookie on powder days (and he still does!). He worked as a ski instructor in the Bavarian Alps, and has skied in Warren Miller movies. Paul worked as a guide on Mt. Rainier with over 50 successful ascents, and still loves to climb, bike, kayak and ride his motorcycle during the summer months. Paul is a PSIA Level 3 Instructor.
Q: Who is the Director for the Advanced Prep Saturday program?
A: Mike Dahlem is the Director for the Advanced Prep Saturday program and you can reach him by email at AdvPrep@cmacskiracing.com
Q: Who is the Director for the FIS program?
A: Scott Macartney is the head of the FIS program and you can reach him by email at email@example.com. The son of volunteer ski patrol parents, two-time Olympian Scott Macartney was a four-event skier growing up at Crystal, but he narrowed his focus to speed events as his best route to the World Cup and the Olympics. Raced at two Olympics and at the World Championships in addition to winning a NorAm super G title and climbing onto the World Cup podium twice. On skis at 3, Macartney started racing at 7 at Crystal Mountain where his parents were (and remain) volunteer Ski Patrol members on weekends. A strong slalom skier, he was Western J3 slalom gold medalist in ’93, J2 SL champ in ’94, silver medalist in slalom at the ’95 J1-2 Western Junior Olympics, J1 SL champ in ’96, and national junior super G champ in ’97. By the ’99 season, he was a fledgling downhiller, grabbing the bronze medal at ’98 Junior Worlds in Megeve, France. FIRST WORLD CUP: Nov. 27, 1999 at Beaver Creek, CO (37th in DH). OLYMPIC/WORLDS: 2007 Worlds - 30th in DH, 31st in SG. 2006 Olympics - 7th in SG, 15th in DH, 16th in CO. 2005 Worlds - 28th in super G. 2002 Olympics - 25th in super G, 29th in DH.
Q: What if my child starts in the Saturday program and wants to get more serious about gate training can they transfer to Sunday?
A: Yes your child can transfer if there is a space available. In addition you will have to pay the extra cost of tuition. Details about CMAC programs and options are available on the Program Information page.
Q: Does Crystal Mountain offer CMAC racers a discount pass?
A: Yes. Information is available on the Members Only home page: http://cmacskiracing.com/Members. You need to be logged in to access this page.
Q: How are all the various CMAC programs related?
A: This graphic outlines the “flow” between the different CMAC program offerings described in more detail athttp://www.cmacskiracing.com/Programs.
Q: Where and when do the kids meet?
A: On Saturday and Sunday kids meet at the CMAC shacks at 8:30 a.m. ready to depart and train at 8:45 a.m. sharp. The location of the shacks is shown on the map below (see the green star):
Q: Are kids expected to ski by themselves while the coaches are setting courses?
A: Yes full season (Sundays) Mighty Mites will often be given some drills while gates are being set. Prep season kids (Saturdays) will be skiing with their coaches.
Q: What if they are late?
A: Check Gold Hills to see if your racer’s group is there training. If not we suggest you do some family free skiing and perhaps you’ll run into the group. Most CMAC Mighty Mite coaches have a red/black coat. Look for a CMAC coach and ask them radio to find the location of your racer’s group – but make certain you know the full name of your racer’s coach. Failing any of these options, meet the group after lunch.
Q: What if it is raining?
A: We still train but recommend bringing some extra clothing, particularly gloves. Hey it’s the Pacific Northwest.
Q: If the mountain shuts down due to bad weather where will I find my children?
A: At the beginning of the season your child’s coach will establish a meeting area for lunch and end of day. This area will also be the meeting place in the case of mountain shut down.
Q: Are kids expected to come on a regular basis
A: Yes, it is best if your child attends on a regular basis; however, we understand that families take vacations and if it is a ski vacation – great.
Q: If they miss a day can they make it up at another time?
A: No, we do not have a system to do “make ups”.
Q: When do they take lunch?
A: 11:30 to 12:45. It is important that you pick your child up promptly from the agreed meeting area to allow plenty of time for both you and your child’s coach to have lunch.
Q: Should my child have money/snack in their pocket?
A: Yes, particularly the younger children who tend to become cold quicker than the older children. That way the coach can take a “warm-up” cocoa stop with the children.
Q: What time in the afternoon are they dismissed?
A: 3:00 p.m. at the agreed meeting point. We ask that you please be punctual in picking up your child both for their sake and their coach’s sake.
Q: Can they carry a family radio/cell phone with them?
A: Yes; however, sometimes the coach will ask that radios/phones be turned off as they can be a distraction. We recommend that you keep your radio/phone on and let your child be the one to contact you rather than the other way around.
Q: What happens if they get hurt?
A: Your child will be taken to the Crystal Mountain Ski Patrol. Your child’s coach will endeavor to contact you. Please become aware of the reader boards at the bottom of all lifts as this may be a means to reach you.
Q: What happens if they get separated from their group?
A: Your skier should ski down to the bottom of the last lift that they rode, and wait/look there for the coach. While waiting, they should stop ANY CMAC coach and ask them to radio their coach. If the child still can not locate their coach after some time, they should ski to the CMAC meeting area.
Q: What do coaches do if one child has to go to the bathroom?
A: Older kids, J4s, training gates will be allowed to go and come back on their own. The coach and his or her group will wait for the younger children.
Q:Where do they do their gate training? Do they gate train all day?
A: Gate training is done almost entirely on Gold Hills (Chair 7) and if not there, on Quick Silver (Chair 4). They will do a combination of free skiing and gate training during the day.
Q: Where do they do their free skiing?
A: That is driven entirely by ability and conditions. If they are a strong skier, just about anywhere on the mountain.
Q: Can parents shadow/accompany training?
A: It's best to just to let the coachdo their job. Remember you child is not alone, he or she is surrounded with teammates.
Q: Can I train with the kids?
A: No, as this can take away from the training of program Mighty Mites. Parents who want to learn or practice gate training should join the Masters Program. The Masters program often trains on the same hill as the kids.
Q: How do coaches feel about me coaching my child?
A: During a training day, it is best if the kids learn from their coach and the coaching staff. This maintains consistency of the skills being taught and prevents kids from become confused and frustrated.
Q: Do the coaches want to talk with me after training days?
A: The programs are designed so that usually there is no need for coaches to talk with parents after the training day. The program will follow the posted calendar.
Q: If I would like to talk to my child’s coach, when is best time?
A: At the CMAC shack at 8:30 AM before training starts, before or after lunch, on the chair lift, or at the end of the training day. Be mindful of the coach’s time constraints. One of the best ways to communicate with your child’s coach is via email and that information is listed right here on the CMAC web site. Concerns or questions with CMAC policy should be directed to Alan Lauba, or one of the CMAC board members.
Q: Does my child need a helmet and face guard?
A: The CMAC program has a mandatory helmet rule - helmets should have protective covering that in one piece covers head and ears in hard protective covering. Face guards on helmets or slalom protective headgear are optional for slalom. If your child is getting close to the gates a face guard is a good idea for slalom. Note that helmets should be approved ski helmets (not cycling, motocross, etc.) Per USSA regulations (#627.6), helmets must bear a CE mark and conform to recognized and appropriate standards for non-motorized snow sports, including CEH.Din 1077, ASTM F2040, SNELL S98 or RS 98. The USSA does not allow helmet mounted cameras.
Q: Can we use a soft ear helmet?
A: Per USSA regulations (#707), a soft ear helmet is only allowed in slalom. If you are only going to get one helmet, make it a hard ear helmet. If you get a soft ear helmet as well, consider whether a face guard can be mounted on that model. (Most recreational soft ear helmets have no matching face guard available.)
Q: Where do we buy ski equipment? Are there any equipment deals for my child? Are hand-me-downs OK?
A: Sturtevant’s is a great supporter of CMAC racers, look for their yearly racer discount day advertised on the web site and through blast mails. You may also look at our equipment page for coaches that represent various products and may be able to provide you pro form costs with the use of your USSA membership. Finally we will have gear swaps throughout the season so look for announcements on the site and in email.We also encourage hand me downs providing they are still in good condition. Equipment is forever changing hands at CMAC, check the “For Sale / Wanted” page on our web site.
Q: How many times can you move bindings?
A: The more you move bindings the weaker the ski becomes, certainly not more than twice. You can always try it but the ski is likely to break.
Q: How long should skis be?
A: That is hard to say as brands differ, it is determined on the measurements of the ski. We do recommend for mitey-mites that you go with a general junior race ski that will work for both slalom and giant slalom.
Q: How many pairs of skis should a kid have?
A: For U12 and under age racers, one good pair is usually fine. As racers approach the Junior level, a pair of skis for slalom and a pair for giant slalom is the norm, but not required.
Q: How do you know when a kid needs new skis?
A: When the bases and edges are beyond tuning or when the child outgrows the pair they have. If you are not sure ask your child’s coach for their opinion. Look to see what other kids are skiing on, or ask your tuning shop.
Q: Can you tune skis yourself? Are there any classes? Where do you buy wax etc.?
A: Yes you can tune your kid’s skis yourself and classes are given by World Cup Skier Services. The classes are excellent and definitely worth attending if you plan to tune your own skis.
Q: How long should poles be?
A: In the past it was recommended that your elbow be at 90° when your pole is in the snow. Now a little longer is regarded as better.
Q: Does my child need special poles, pole guards, GS poles, etc.?
A: They don’t need guards unless they are hitting the gates and they will let you know when they start hitting the gates. They don’t need GS poles.
Q: Where do you buy the CMAC Karbon gear?
A: Lynne Bielaski is our Karbon gear contact. Lynne takes orders for Karbon Gear at the end of each season for the following year..
Q: Where do you by the racing suits?
A: You can order Karbon racing suits through Kelly McCann. Kelly places the CMAC order at the END of the ski season for next year’s suits. Race Place is another good place to order suits from using their web site.
Q: Are there any extra items we should have on hand?
A: Absolutely you should have extra gloves, a neck gator to protect your child from frostbite on very cold days and a set of dry clothing for wet days and accidents)
Q: Does my child have to race?
Q: Can kids in the prep season compete in the Warm Up Slalom and the Cherry Tree Charge?
A: Your child may enter any of the races providing they are members of the USSA. However the Cherry Tree Charge’s Super G race is open to J4 skiers only. We do recommend you discuss race entry with your child’s coach as they can best advise whether they feel your child is ready or not.
Q: Does my child need a USSA number to race? How soon should I apply for it?
A: Yes your child needs be a member of USSA to take part in PNSA (Pacific Northwest Ski Association) MM races (such as the Warm Up Slalom and the Cherry Tree Charge that is put on by CMAC). Applications are completed on line through www.USSA.org . Prep skiers do NOT need to be members of USSA if they ONLY race in the Sally McNabb Cup. Prep skiers will need USSA memberships if they choose to race in other races.
Q: How do you enter a race?
A: All CMAC races will have Online Registration viw www.alpinereg.com.
Q: Can we keep the bibs, they’d make a great souvenir? When do I return the bib?
A: Bibs MUST be turned in. If your child is only racing the first day of a two day race series then you need to make sure your child’s bib is given to an official in the finish area. On the last day of a race series, usually a Sunday, a volunteer will be in the finish area collecting bibs as the kids cross the finish line. All bibs not turned in will incur a $50 charge.
Q: Can my child compete in all races?
A: Both prep season and full season kids are welcome to enter all PNSA MM races. USSA rules limit Super G races to U14 or above. Only prep season kids can race in the Sallie McNabb cup which is a club only race at the end of their season.
Q: In what races do Prep skiers compete?
A: The Prep program’s only scheduled race is our club race, the Sallie McNabb Cup, on the last day of the Prep season. However, Prep skiers can choose to compete in any PNSA race (such as the Warm Up Slalom and Cherry Tree Charge at Crystal) so long as they have their USSA membership. Depending on schedules, they may miss a training day in order to race.
Q: When should we be at the mountain on race day?
A: We recommend you arrive at the mountain at 7:30 a.m. thereby having plenty of time to collect your child’s bib, have them go to the bathroom and eat some breakfast. They need to be at the top of the race course to meet their coach for a course inspection by 9:00 a.m.
Q: How does the race day format go, i.e. which age groups go first, when’s lunch etc? Do I take my kid through the course? Why is course inspection important? How can I make sure my child doesn’t miss inspection?
A: Apart from the super G race where the kids get only one run each child will have two runs per race day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Usually the younger children go first, girls then boys, followed be increasingly older children. It is very important that your child arrives at the mountain in good time to make course inspection. By inspecting the course he or she will be familiar with what they are skiing and the best line to take. Course inspection is a very important part of skiracing that they need to learn. In the morning have your child at the top of course by 9:00 ready for course inspection. When your child has completed their first run take them off for some lunch then return them to the mountain ready for afternoon inspection. After the last person skis their run there is an interval of about one hourbefore the second run begins.
Q: Can I slip the course with my child?
A: If your child has missed his or her coach then yes but make sure you start the slip at the top of the course and officials know that you are on course with your child. Neverduck under the rope.
Q: Can I be inside the race course on race days?
A: Except for the above, only if you are working on the course.
Q: What if they fall (DNF) or miss a gate (DQ)?
A: We do let all kids take both runs even if they DNF or DQ the first run. They will however not get a combined time.
Q: What should my child do if he/she misses a gate?
A: If they are not too far down then climb up and go around. If they find themselves a distance from the gate then ski out of the course.
Q: What should my child do if a ski comes off during a race?
A: The racer or a coach or course worker should pick his or her ski up and the racer should clear the course immediately. After the ski/s have been put back on, if the child is still within the roped off race course area (race arena) the child should then exit by ducking under the rope. Do not reenter the course.
Q: What if my child’s ski comes off at the end of the course and they travel through the finish gate standing up – does the run count?
Q: How far down are medals given?
A: That depends entirely on the host team. CMAC usually give medals through 10th place.
Q: How do away races work? Do we send coaches?
A: The only away races CMAC sends coaches to are the Bantam Cup at White Pass and May Day at Mt. Bachelor. To enter away races you need to go to the host mountain’s web site and download the entry form, or enter on line if the option is given. As with all races make certain you arrive at the venue early and your child slips the course before racing. Prep program skiers can also compete in these races provided they have a USSA membership. We recommend that Prep skiers/parents discuss this with their coach first. The Prep coach may not be at the race, so Prep skiers will meet with the full-season coaches at the race.
Q: Who is responsible for parents’ and children’s accommodation at away races?
A: You are responsible for making your own bookings. Click here to see options and contact information for selected resorts.
Q: Do I have to volunteer? Can’t I just donate make a donation?
A: CMAC is a volunteer run organization. It takes over 50 people per day to put on a race. There are times when it is impossible and we understand that so we offer a buy out option. But it really is important that EVERYBODY knows that our volunteer contributions directly impact the success of the Club.
Q: How do I find out what volunteer positions are available? How do I find out what the job entails?
A: Click here to go to our Volunteering section of our website. Here you can get more information on specific jobs and can signup. Alternatively you can contact our volunteer April Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: I think I signed up months ago... how can I check when I signed up to do?A: To check what you've signed up for, you can check that here.
Q: Do I need special training?
A: The majority of volunteer positions don't require special training. We'll give you complete instructions and opportunities to try out various positions. Most important to us is that you just need some enthusiasm and the willingness to give it a go!
Q: Can anyone volunteer?.
A: If you have any friends of family members that would like to volunteer to work a race and earn a Crystal Mountain lift ticket just point them to our signup page.
Q: What are options for ski racers as they move to college after CMAC?
A: Ski racing in college is a great way for athletes to continue to grow and enjoy the thrill of ski racing. There are two organizations which govern college ski racing: the NCAA for the small number of schools with Division 1 race programs, and the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association which is a much broader organization. PNSA has sent skier both to Division 1 schools and many more skiers to USCSA program schools. USCSA programs are often club programs, but there are a number of schools with varsity USCSA programs. Division 1 is very serious ski racing, where many of the racers are former national team racers from the US, Canada and Europe. More information is available at PNSA's college page.