Frequently Asked Questions

When Does the Season Begin?

On-snow training for returning members can begin in early December, weather permitting, with loosely organized gate training.  Organized training for all team members for the 2020-2021 season will begin on December 27, 2020, the first day of our Holiday Mini-Camp. 

For new athletes and those planning to compete with the Competition Team who have not done so before, our season typically begins with a "Tryout Day."  This year, tryouts will be held on December 27, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.  Coaches will ski or ride with athletes on various trails and over varied terrain in order to (1) ensure each new member has the minimally necessary skill set to assure a safe, enjoyable and productive season, and (2) assign returning members to the appropriate groups and coaches to begin the season.

What is the Training Schedule?

Holiday Mini-Camp:  Training begins during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day with our intense and immensely enjoyable Holiday Mini-Camp.  Skiers and boarders will train each of four days, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. the first day and from  9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. the second through fourth days.  For the 2020-2021 season, we have scheduled our Holiday Mini-Camp for December 27-30, 2020.

Weekly Alpine and Snowboard Training:  During the season, alpine racing training takes place on Saturday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.; Sunday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon.; and Tuesday and Friday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  (evening sessions do not include a snowboard coach.)

Weather and conditions permitting, loosely organized gate-training can begin on December weekends before the Holiday Mini-Camp.    

When Does the Season End?

Our seasons end with the Maryland Governor's Cup racing weekend, which is typically the first or second weekend in March.  

Where Do Team Members Meet for Training Sessions?

Team members meet for each training session near the Race Shack at the bottom of Squirrel Cage about 15 minutes before the start of the session.  Athletes should be ready to start immediately, with all gear, clothing and lift passes on and ready to go.  Coaches and training groups will leave the Race Shack area promptly at the beginning of each training session.  At the conclusion of each training session, parents of younger team members can pick up their athletes at the same location.

What Are the Age Groups for Alpine Racing?

Age groups, established by USSS rules, are determined by ages as of December 31st for the season in question.  The groups are as follows:

U8          6-7 yrs.

U10        8-9 yrs.                              

U12        10-11 yrs.

U14        12-13 yrs.

U16        14-15 yrs.

U18        16-17 yrs.

What Are the Registration Fees? 

Membership options and fees for the 2020-2021 season are summarized

All DCWST members must also join the United States Ski and Snowboard (USSS), through which DCWST obtains insurance.  Snowboard Team members may also join the United States of America Snowboard Association (USASA), for purposes of competing in USASA events.  Fees associated with these memberships are provided on the organizations' websites. 

NOTE:  Team membership does not include USSS/USASA fees, Wisp season passes or lift tickets, or fees for individual races/competitions.

Does My Child Need a Helmet? 

YES, team members must wear a protective helmet specifically made for skiing, at all times they are skiing with the team and in events.  Questions about specific helmets should be addressed to the coaching staff.  For additional information regarding helmets, click

What Type of Equipment Does My Child Need?

ALPINE RACING:  This year's USSS equipment requirements can be accessed
HERE.  Specific questions about the proper equipment for alpine racers in the U18 - U12 groups can be directed to the coaching staff.  While many our our racers have event-specific skis (Slalom and Grand Slalom), having multiple skis is not absolutely necessary.  Your child's coach can give you the best direction here.  Younger racers, U8s, need good-quality buckled boots, skis with up-to-date bindings, poles and the like.

SNOWBOARDING:  A good quality snowboard with up-to-date bindings, along with good-quality boots, are necessary.  Here, too, whether your child will benefit from specific types of boards is best addressed by your child's coach.