Welcome to the Far West Masters!
If you are a new visitor to our site, you may wish
to visit the Information pages to learn more About masters racing.
See the How To Join page for membership information
and applications. We are open to all and welcome new racers!
Masters ski racing is the premier adult ski racing series in the country.
We are governed by United States Ski Association (USSA),
the sanctioning body in the US for organized ski racing at all levels from juniors
up through international and Olympic competition.
Far West Masters organizes USSA masters competition in the
Far West division.
Our yearly schedule includes all disciplines (SL, GS, SG, and DH),
with races held mainly at ski areas in the central Sierras.
Racers from 21 to over 80 years old compete in ten-year age groups.
Top News Items
- Mammoth Races Cancelled
There will be no racing this weekend at Mammoth.
The first of a series of 3 storms (the small one!) brought another 20-30" of snow overnight; the
second storm on Friday could bring another foot. There may be a break in the storms on Saturday
before a third storm is predicted to move in sometime Sunday.
With all the new snow and avalanche closures currently limiting access to the open mountain, it
will definitely not be possible to prepare the SG speed venue and even getting cats on the
front-side GS race hill is difficult given the amount of work needed to keep Mammoth Mountain
operating over the next few days.
Given the weather and snow conditions and likelihood of difficult travel on both Friday and Sunday,
Far West Masters and Mammoth Race Department are in agreement that there will be no racing this
We are working now on rescheduling these races (along with the cancelled Heavenly Viva Italia), so
we'll get updated schedule information announced as soon as we can work out details.
On the positive side, January is now a record-breaking snow month in the Sierras, so we can all
look forward to great conditions when the storms clear and a long season lasting well into the
[19-Jan-2017 Thu 10am]
- Mammoth downhills cancelled
After meeting with Mammoth Race Department and reviewing snow conditions
and weather forecasts, we have reluctantly decided to cancel the
Thursday-Friday downhill races. There is high certainty of a fairly
strong storm moving in Wednesday night and lasting through at least
Thursday, with high winds and potentially 1-2 ft of additional snow.
Outlook for Friday is still unknown. We will certainly lose Thursday
training and likelihood is that Friday will still be subject to
avalanche closures and wind. So downhill will regrettably not be
We will continue to plan on holding the scheduled SG races on the
weekend, but will meet again with MRD on Thursday morning to review
conditions and updated weather forecasts for the weekend, which
currently call for a break on Saturday. If we believe it will not be
possible to prepare the speed track, the fallback plan is to switch to
GS races. Even with avie closures higher up, Mammoth grooming crews
will be able to access the front-side race hills through the storm to
pack the race venues.
Online registration deadline on SkiRaceReg.com/fw will be extended to
Thursday night at 8pm. We ask everyone to be flexible and be prepared
to switch from SG to GS if the conditions require.
In light of the uncertain schedule, we will NOT charge late fees for
this event. Go ahead and submit your race entries, you will have until
Thursday evening to cancel if necessary.
We will have another update for everyone on Thursday morning.
[16-Jan-2017 Mon 11am]
- Mammoth Speed Races info
It's been a pretty wild couple of weeks in the Sierras - we're having a real winter!!
After a major storm last week that brought feet of snow, a stronger weekend storm with rain and snow
and dangerous travel conditions that forced cancellation of our Heavenly races, and another series of storms
this past week with rare blizzard warnings from the National Weather Service that dumped more feet of snow
and brought road closures, power outages, and extreme avalanche risk throughout the region, even
the hardiest of us are ready for some sunshine and copious amounts of fresh powder this weekend.
The next races on our Far West Masters schedule are coming up next week and Mammoth Mountain.
We have two downhill races scheduled on Thu-Fri Jan. 19-20 and three SG races on Sat-Sun Jan. 21-22.
The first DH and first SG are included in the 2017 National Speed Series, which kicks off this weekend with
DH races in Rocky at Ski Cooper.
Mammoth Mountain is digging out and reopening terrain as the weather clears this weekend.
Given the prodigous amount of new snow, there's a lot of work ahead to do avalanche control and regain
access to the speed track venue on World Cup at the base on Cornice Bowl. We are also monitoring weather
forecasts for next week to see if the clear weather will hold through the week to enable the race crews
to prepare a safe track for downhill racing starting with Thursday's training day.
After consulting today with Mammoth Race Department, we plan to make a decision by mid-day Monday
on whether we will be able to hold the downhills. If we lose the downhill races, we will still hold
to the weekend SG schedule - 2 SG Sat, 1 Sun (and possibly we could add a second SG on Sunday,
conditions permitting). If there are weather issues with the SG races on the weekend, we may
consider switching to GS as a backstop option. Everything will depend on the condition
of the race hill and next week's weather, so be flexible and we'll get updated information out as soon
as any decisions are made.
Registration is open on SkiRaceReg.com/fw; early registration deadline is Sunday 1/15.
Registration will close on Tue 1/17 at 8pm. Remember that you can cancel anytime until close
of registration without penalty, and no entry fees are charged if an event must be cancelled, so
get your entries in now and stay tuned for updated information in the coming days.
SkiRaceReg signup note: be sure to click on the Races tab to display the complete
race calendar to sign up for the Sunday SG - the home page sidebar only has room to show the next
five races on the schedule, so you need to click into the Races page for SG #3 signup.
- Heavenly SL races cancelled
All racing this weekend is CANCELLED. Heavenly has received large amounts of new snow
and NWS forecasts from the Reno office for this weekend are predicting extreme weather conditions
with high confidence. Travel this weekend in the Sierras is NOT recommended!
We are working on rescheduling the Viva Italia SL races and are discussing schedule possiblities
with Heavenly Race Department. One possible date we are exploring is a SL doubleheader on
Friday Mar. 3, which is a good travel fit with the scheduled GS races that weekend at Mt. Rose.
We'll confirm when we have a schedule update. In the meantime, everyone be safe this weekend.
- Heavenly Schedule Updates - GS cancelled
*** Friday GS races at Heavenly are cancelled ***
Unfortunately there is insufficient coverage on the upper section of the GS course
in East Bowl and it will not be possible to hold the scheduled Friday GS races.
Coverage on the SL venue of Woldl Cup below the road is good, so the planned
Sat-Sun weekend schedule of SL races will be held as planned.
We will be racing two SL races on Saturday and one on Sunday on World Cup run at the California base of Heavenly.
Checkin will be 7:30-8:30 daily at the ski team Foundation HQ building right at the base of World Cup both days
(not in the California base lodge as in previous years), with racer lift tickets available from the adjacent Tram building.
- Scholarship Awards
We are extremely pleased to announce that forty-two Far West division athletes
have been awarded scholarships in the 2016-2017 season by the Far West Masters
Scholarship Program, to competitors from U14 through U21.
Past scholarship recipients include US Ski Team members Marco Sullivan, Stacey Cook,
Tim Jitloff, and Travis Ganong. Many other recipients have gone on to win college scholarships.
The Far West Masters Scholarship Program has been raising funds for deserving Far West junior skiers
since 1992. All money raised comes from Far West Masters racers and supporting sponsors and donors.
All administrative activities involved in fund-raising and reviewing scholarship applications
are done on a volunteer basis by members of the Far West Masters, which allows us to distribute the
funds with no overhead to Far West athletes.
Congratulations to these athletes and thanks to all the competitors who applied.
And a big "thank you" to all the sponsors and donors who support the Scholarship Program - we
couldn't do it without all of you!!
- Alpine Schedule Updates
*** Alpine SL races at Alpine Meadows are cancelled ***
By mutual agreement of the Alpine Race Department and Far West Masters after assessing the
evolving conditions and weather forecasts on Wednesday afternoon, the Saturday SL
at Alpine is cancelled. Conditions deteriorated today on the race hill after rain last night, and with more rain coming
Thursday before arrival of a cold front which will change to snow, we do not believe it is likely
we can put on a safe race on Saturday.
*** Sunday 12/18 SL race at Alpine Meadows is cancelled ***
We are still on for one SL race on Saturday morning 12/17.
We regret the schedule change, but as most of you are probably aware the current weather pattern
over the last week has been warm and wet, which creates challenges for the snow conditions at the
altitude of Alpine's base area and the Kangaroo race hill. NWS in Reno is forecasting a strong storm
moving through on Thursday into Friday, with clearing for the weekend, but the exact timing of
rain and snow is not well understood.
Alpine Race Department and the Far West Masters schedulers are monitoring the evolving weather
situation closely and we'll get any further updates announced to everyone as soon as possible
if the Saturday race schedule will be impacted.
[14-Dec-2016 Wed 10am; updated 5:30pm]
- Alpine SL race info
Our next event is two SL races at Alpine Meadows on Sat-Sun Dec. 17-18.
The race venue is planned to be Kangaroo with a 9:30am start both days.
The early registration deadline is Sunday Dec. 11; entries submitted after the early
registration deadline are subject to a $5/race late entry fee.
Online race registration closes at 8pm Thursday 12/15.
Entries may be cancelled without penalty any time until the close of online registration.
Withdrawals after the close of registration must be submitted to the Alpine Meadow Race Department;
refund of entry fees may be requested due to injury or illness.
Please note that a signed 2016-2017 liability release is required for
- Mammoth Season Opening Races
The 2016-2017 race season kicked off last weekend at Mammoth Mountain
with two good days of SL racing. Following a nice 2-3 ft dump at the end of the
Thanksgiving holiday weekend, ski conditions and weather were good all week
for a presason training camp put on by the Mammoth coaching staff. Although the
new snow resulted in soft conditions for training, the snow packed in a little
better each day and by the weekend was firm enough to provide an adequate racing surface.
The enthusiastic field of 70+ competitors included a number of new racers along with
a solid group of visitors from Intermountain and Central divisions. It was great to have
so many new folks trying masters racing - we hope everyone had fun and comes back for more!
Complete results are posted on the Race Results page
along with the first Season Standings rankings for 2017.
Race photos were shot both days by experienced race photog Sue Morning and
are available from Sharpshooter Imaging on the web at
www.myskiphotos.com - select
Mammoth as the resort and enter the race date 12/3/2015 or 12/4/2016 in the "Action Photos"
search field to locate our race photos for Masters SL on ADG run.
- Mammoth camp and races update
Hope everyone enjoyed a good Thanksgiving with family and friends.
There's not a lot of early season snow yet but Mammoth has been open for
two weeks and most of the Tahoe areas should be open by the holiday weekend.
Due to limited early season coverage, Mammoth Race Department has decided it
will not be feasible to run the planned GS race on Sunday Dec. 4. There is
good coverage on the race hill and it is already in use for training, but there is
not enough coverage to be able to set fences and protective measures needed in
order to hold a GS race. The new schedule for the weekend races will be to hold
the two SL races with one each day (rather than 2 SL races on Saturday as originally
The Masters training camp week starting Monday Nov. 28 is definitely still on!
With the changed race schedule for next weekend, the camp will be SL all week.
Meet at the Super Sign in front of the Main Lodge at 9:30am on Monday morning.
Schedule will be communicated throughout the week to make the best use of hill space
and provide optimal training opportunities for all athletes.
Free skiing is limited but quite good on terrain out of Main Lodge with
snowmaking coverage. There are some thin spots and care is needed for early
season conditions, but you should be able to get out on good skis and get some
good warmup time.
Please get your race entries in SkiRaceReg! Early registration deadline
is Sunday evening Nov. 27; $5/race late fee applies for entries submitted after
the early registration deadline. Registration deadline is 8pm Thursday Dec. 1.
You can cancel without charges any time until the registration deadline, so submit
your entry even if your plans are tenative, as there is no penalty to cancel
- USSA Helmet rule update
***UPDATED HELMET RULES FOR 2017***
In an entirely unexpected decision at the November FIS Council meetings,
the FIS has backed off the decision made at the June meetings to enforce
requiring a FIS certified race helmet for FIS Masters in the 2016-2017 season.
USSA is following the FIS Masters helmet rules for all US masters races, so for 2016-2017
the helmet rules for GS, SG, and DH remain the same as in 2015-2016: a FIS-certified
helmet is RECOMMENDED for masters competitors.
Helmets are required in all events; soft-ear cover is allowed only for SL helmets.
The late change in the helmet rules for the 2016-2017 season came as a complete
surprise to the Far West Masters board and to masters race organizers throughout the
country. All of us have been working diligently over the past year to prepare our
competitors for the new helmet requirement. We do welcome the relaxed helmet requirement
because it removes a significant barrier to new masters racers.
We regret that many of us bought new helmets to replace recent vintage race helmets
which met the new standards but lacked only the proper sticker. If you purchased a new
helmet to replace an older helmet, consider that it's good to replace any helmet
after 4-5 years even if it seems to be in good condition. Protective gear does "age" and
should be replaced routinely, just as we upgrade to newer race skis on a regular basis.
- Fall Newsletter and Membership Package
The Fall issue of the Forerunner newsletter is out!
Click the link below to read online or download your copy.
The Fall newsletter as well as previous issues of the Forerunner from past seasons
are always available on the Newsletters page.
Electronic copies of the Forerunner are sent out on the news email list
to all recent members of Far West Masters. If you purchased a print subscription
to the newsletter last season, you will also receive a copy in the mail.
The Fall issue is packed with news about the upcoming season, including the complete
season schedule, along with the Far West Masters membership package containing information
on the 2016-2017 program and membership options for new and renewing members.
Please get your Far West Masters membership in to Membership chair Mary Feddis
by Nov. 13 so she has time to process everyone's application
and ensure that our membership records and bib assignments are up-to-date for the
coming season. Membership renewals received after the deadline are subject to a $5 late fee.
(Note: late fees are only applicable to renewals.
New members may join anytime during the season without late fees!)
Online Membership Renewal: We're excited to be able to offer
online membership renewal again this season through our Far West Masters race series
on SkiRaceReg.com. The online membership options allow you to pay your membership dues
using the same online account that you use to sign up for races and pay race entry fees.
You will also have the option to purchase a print subscription to the Forerunner newsletter
if you wish to receive a copy in the mail in addition to the electronic copy distributed
to all members. Joining online is quick and easy, highly recommended!!
Note: the first time you sign into your SkiRaceReg.com account at the start
of the season, you will be told that your account is "inactive" and needs to be reactivated
for the new season. You didn't do anything wrong, this happens every year!! We need to
make sure that the contact and payment information for your account is up-to-date, so just
follow the instructions on each page, it should only take a few minutes.
We've put together a "FAQ" (Frequently Asked Questions) on about your SkiRaceReg.com
account and the signup/renewal process, so take a look at that if you're not sure what's
going on, or contact the Far West series administrators at email@example.com
if you need assistance.
- 2017 Major Events
This season's major events in the Western Region are the FIS Masters Cup/Western Region Championships
at Park City on Feb. 3-5 and the National Championships at Far West's own
Mammoth Mountain CA on Mar. 13-18. The nationals are a 4-event championship event,
with the national championship DH along with the SG-GS-SL championships.
Far West also has two stops on the 2017 National Speed Series,
with the Mammoth Masters Memorial Cup speed event on Jan. 19-22 (2 DH, 3 SG) counting two races as well as the
March national championships DH and SG races. Along with the two SG races at the Park City FIS Masters races, those of you with the need for speed should take
a look at picking off a few other events and taking a shot at the Speed Series this season!
- USSA Helmet rules
***IMPORTANT RULE CHANGE FOR 2017***
Over the past several years, USSA and FIS have been phasing in new helmet regulations
to require helmets used in GS, SG, and DH events to meet stronger certification standards.
Last season, all USSA athletes except for masters were required to use the new helmets.
Masters were granted an additional year for the transition to the new rules, to allow
our national and division leadership time to communicate with our athletes about the
new regulations and to ensure widespread availability of the new helmets from
For the 2016-2017 season, the new helmet standard is REQUIRED for all USSA and FIS masters
competitions. Please review the USSA regulations and ensure that for GS, SG, and DH events
that you have a full-coverage helmet with the FIS "RH 2013" certification sticker.
While there is understandable concern with a new regulation that requires all
competitors to purchase new equipment, please bear in mind that the objective is to
improve the safety of our sport. Helmets have a "life expectancy" and even without
suffering an impact, it's wise to plan to replace your protective equipment regularly,
just as we do with our race skis.
Head injuries are serious, so having the best available protective equipment is an
investment in your own well-being! Eddie Mozen has been a leader in raising awareness
of the risk of concussions in alpine ski racing and supporting impact assessment programs
for our Far West junior athletes through the Scholarship Program.
We have had masters competitors suffer concussions, and it can be pretty scarey.
Far West president Dan Simmons can attest personally to the importance of monitoring
your health after a crash. Following a mid-season head impact that seemed healed,
he began to have additional symptoms after the end of the season and ended up at
Renown Hospital in Reno having emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma
(that's a brain bruise, to us lay folk). Thankfully he is recovering, but it's a good
reminder that the best possible helmet is a good investment.
- Forerunner Changes and Membership Renewal
As we approach the end of summer, your Far West Masters board is thinking about the start of the 2016-2017 season
and making preparations for the coming race season.
We have important announcements regarding the Forerunner newsletter and the membership renewal process for the coming season.
The Board recently approved changes to better use of our funds by addressing the cost to print and mail the Forerunner.
The Board has agreed that starting with the Fall 2016 membership renewal edition of the Forerunner,
the primary format for distribution will by as a PDF sent by email and published on the farwestmasters.org web site,
rather than a print copy mailed to all recent members as has been the practice in previous years.
Members who had chosen to receive a printed copy of the Forerunner by mail with their 2015-2016 season membership
will receive a mailed copy of the Fall 2016 edition.
We strongly encourage all members to renew their Far West Masters membership for 2016-2017 online
using SkiRaceReg.com, which is easier for you and saves considerable time and expense for
membership VP Mary Feddis and other volunteers who assist in processing membership renewals.
We will continue to provide a printable membership application with the fall Forerunner and
on the web site that can be used to renew by mail, but we hope that the majority of our members will
take advantage of the online renewal service.
In order to make sure that no member misses any important information about the coming season and
the membership renewal process, we will be mailing a postcard to all recent members who did not
elect to receive print copies of the Forerunner.
The postcard will include a reminder to renew your membership and will include pointers to the online renewal instructions.
Lastly, the board also approved a change to increase the fee to receive print copies of the Forerunner newsletter
from $5 to $15 for the coming year. This was done ensure that the fee covers the actual costs of printing and mailing
three copies per year, from September to May.
We expect the Fall Forerunner and membership renewal package to be available before the end of September.
Schedule Director Mike Braun has put together a fantastic schedule for the coming season
and we are very excited to be the host division for the National Championships at Mammoth Mountain, March 13-18, 2017.
- Fall Board Meeting
The Far West Masters Board of Directors will hold the Fall meeting on Sunday September 18, 2016, 1:30 PM
at the Braun Residence in Mammoth Lakes. All members are welcome to attend and participate in the discussion.
Discussion items currently planned for the meeting:
- Reaffirmation of Board action to increase feel for mailed copies of the Forerunner newsletter to $15
along with postcard notice to members to renew on-line
- 2016-17 Schedule
- Preparation for Mammoth Nationals
- Recruiting new members: college teams, NASTAR, parents...
- Training Team Scoring
- Continuation of Officials' race fee rebate
If you have an item for board consideration please submit to Dan Simmons at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Preliminary 2017 Race Schedule
The preliminary 2016-2017 race schedule is now available.
Schedule VP Mike Braun has worked hard to put together a race schedule
which offers competitors opportunities to compete in all disciplines
at areas around the Far West with a proven ability to host excellent
events. Although there are still a few details being settled, we believe
the preliminary schedule is essentially complete and should provide a fun
season of racing opportunities.
A highlight of the 2016-2017 season will be the National Championships hosted
by Mammoth Mountain on March 13-18.
The season opens in December at Mammoth Mountain with two SL races and a GS on the weekend on Dec. 3-4,
following the now-traditional post Thanksgiving masters training camp week
(preseason training camp details will be posted when available).
A north shore event prior to the holidays comes on Dec. 17-18 with 2 SL races at Alpine Meadows.
Following a break over the holiday period, which is always a busy time
for most with family gatherings and early season skiing, racing resumes
on Tahoe's South Shore with a 3 day event at Heavenly Valley.
Friday features two GS races on the exciting East Bowl/World Cup track
that was contested for the first time last season. The classic
Viva Italia cup SL double-header on World Cup will be held on Saturday
this season, with a third SL race on Sunday to wrap up the weekend.
January continues with a return to Mammoth for 4 days of DH and SG speed racing on Jan. 19-22.
DH training and 2 DH races will be held on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
Racing continues with 2 SG races on Saturday and another SG on Sunday.
This will be a great warmup opportunity for the March National Championships
and is always a great event. The first DH and first SG race will also count
for the 2017 National Speed series.
Our Far West division schedule takes a short break in early February as competitors
from throughout the western region gather at Park City UT.
The 2017 North American event on the FIS International Masters Cup calendar
is the FIS Masters Cup races on Feb. 3-5, with 2 SG races on Friday 2/3
followed by SL on Saturday and GS on Sunday.
All races will be on the Payday run.
The FMC event is also the Western Region championships for 2017
and both SG races will count for the 2017 National Speed series.
Far West racing resumes at Northstar the following week on Feb. 9-12.
The event kicks off on Thursday with open SG training for all racers,
followed by 2 SG races on Friday 2/10. Saturday and Sunday will continue
with GS races each day on the weekend. This should be a really good event
on a fun race hill.
The classic Mt. Rose McKinney Cup races will be held on Mar. 4-5 with two
days of GS racing. The Silver Dollar venue is a great GS hill, long and challenging,
and Mt. Rose always gives us a great welcome.
The high point of the season will be the National Championships at Mammoth the week of Mar. 13-18.
This is a 4-event championship, with DH racing on Mon-Wed, followed by SG for all groups on
Thursday and GS/SL races on Friday and Saturday.
Far West will also have a very special event the weekend prior to the national championships,
with the World Cup women coming to Squaw Valley on Fri-Sat Mar. 10-11 for GS and SL races
on the famed Red Dog race hill.
This is a rare opportunity to see World Cup racing in person on one of our home hills, so plan
on a stop at Squaw on your way to Mammoth if at all possible! Squaw is asking for volunteers
to help with the event, so you can come as a spectator or get even closer to the action
as part of the event crew. Visit WorldCupSquaw.com for event and volunteer information.
The 2017 season wraps up with the season finals event returning to the Tahoe area with
three days of racing at Squaw Valley on Mar. 30-Apr. 1. We will have 2 SG races on Thursday 3/30,
2 SL races on Friday 3/31, and finish with a GS race and the season finals banquet on
Saturday 4/1. This is also the Bernard Cup trophy event, so there will be plenty of action
to wrap up the season.
- Dick Wood
Very sad to share the news that Dick Wood passed away
after a tough battle with cancer. Although he was unable to race
much in recent years, Dick still joined us at the Mt. Rose race
when he could to keep in touch with racing friends. For many years,
Dick was a regular on the Far West circuit and one of our best racers.
Join his wife Tamara along with family and friends at a Celebration of Life for Dick (Richard) Wood
on Sat July 9th from 3pm to 7pm at Sky Tavern on Mt Rose Hwy (21130 Sky Tavern Rd, Reno).
Bring stories and photos. This is a potluck so bring something to share if you can.
- Spring awards news
Although the Far West Masters season wrapped up at the end of March at Mammoth, there's still
some exciting results to share! Gate de Mattei wrapped up his competition season
travelling to Les Menuires FRA for the FIS Masters finals in April and returned home
with a coveted crystal globe as he took top honors in the Men's 85-80 overall standings.
Fantastic performance from a great competitor who is an inspiration to all of us
that competitive excellence can be pursued at any age.
The annual Al Sise Masters Skier of the Year awards were announced at the May
USSA Congress awards banquet and Far West's Mihai Filimon was honored along with
Northern Division's Lisa Densmore Ballard. Congratulations to Mihai on a great season
and a phenomenal performance at the Big Sky National Champships!
The 2017 Spyder National Masters team has also been announced, based on results from the
national championships. Four Far West competitiors were named to the team: Mihai Filimon (M4),
Pierre Jeangirard (M8), Deb Lewis (W8), and Carol Levine (W9).
- Spring Forerunner newsletter
The spring issue of the Forerunner newsletter is here!!
The May issue has stories from the second half of the 2016 season, updates on
the Far West Masters junior athlete scholarship program, and season wrapup
from the finals at Mammoth.
Click the link below to view the latest issue; previous issues of the Forerunner
are all available on the Newsletters page.
All members who paid for a print subscription with their membership will also
receive a copy in the mail.