I would talk with some parents that have kids in the programs before signing her up at 11. I know some local parents who have burnt their kids out by enrolling them in these program, I'm talking no longer care to ski type of burn out. These programs are kind of hardcore and may not be right for some kids. If you live in the bay area you should know someone, that knows someone that has kids in these programs.
Now all of that being said, I ski with guys/gals who were in these programs when they were younger, they know the mountain like the back of their hand and are beautiful skiers. The big mountain program wasn't an option when they were in the program, they were on the freestyle team. If she gets into it, she will probably form long time friendships, a lot of the guys I know still ski with their old team pals. They also truly love to ski and be out in the mountains doing most anything, they all loved the experience. It isn't cheap, but what is these days. BTW, they all rip.
Originally Posted by squawbomber
Looking at potentially signing up my 11 year old daughter. She's a strong all-mountain skier interested in bumps, freestyle, skiing around, not gates. She needs ski buddies.
It looks like Squaw has the "Freeride Team," which is a seperate entity from their regular race team, and the team has a "Big Mountain" option, more for all-terrain skiing than competition.
Any experiences would be appreciated.