Around here, kids definitely carpool or have vans for the team, or both, but as the kids get older, they're getting on planes as well. It ain't cheap. Remember, beyond the training, there are races AT OTHER MOUNTAINS. So, you're not just taking them locally. Go to Far West's (I think that would be you) schedule (http://www.fwskiing.org
) and look at the races for each age group group.
At the younger one's age, missing the odd weekend won't hurt, but if they stay with it, they're going to need more training time during the week because they're traveling and racing on weekends. Plus your school will be getting involved with missing class.
Racing is great training for good skiing your whole life, but it takes commitment... and cash. It's going to ramp up every year. I'm sure others have more recent numbers, but my daughter's junior year of high school a decade back it was $10 grand. And that's not some academy, that's going to the local public school. Entry fees, skis, lift tickets, transportation, camps, coaching fees, FIS license, USSA license, lodging. It all adds up until you stop looking at the totals (I did). A team mate of hers was training in Chile and Austria in the off seasons, ran through her college fund. Fortunately she got a full ride on her tuition. But then she got injured. Couldn't race. Younger siblings could no longer afford to race.
This is a big investment. However, if you look at it in a more relaxed fashion as a way to build a good recreational skier without buying into the "next Olympian", it's a good compromise.
In a way we've "gotten some back" as my daughter has coached both full and part time the last five years. Of course, that money's in her pocket, not mine. But it's helped her pay the rent a bit over the years. This will probably be her last year doing it for a while, as she's now in career mode and weekend time is getting more precious. But it's been a satisfying experience for her.