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

  • Preliminary 2018 Schedule

    The preliminary 2017-2018 race schedule is now available. Schedule VP Mike Braun has worked hard to put together a race schedule which offers diverse competition opportunities at areas in 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.

    Returning competitors will notice a few changes from "the usual" in this season's schedule. The annual masters national championships will be held in the East this season, on the relatively early dates of Feb. 6-10 which in previous seasons has typically been when the western region championships are held. The national championship Downhill will be hosted by Rocky Mountain at Ski Cooper on Mar. 8-11. Our "big event" in the west this season is a big deal for masters everywhere: the FIS Masters World Criterium will be held at Big Sky MT on Mar. 19-24. This is the world championships of international masters racing and we expect a big field from around the world attending. The last Criterium held in North America at Mammoth Mountain in 2012, so it's a big deal to be able to have this fun event once again returning to the US.

    Our Far West season opens in December with a few changes from recent seasons as well. The season kicks off at Mammoth Mountain with two SL races on Saturday Dec. 2, following the traditional post Thanksgiving masters training camp week (preseason training camp details will be posted when available). We return to Mammoth two weeks later for two GS races on Dec. 16-17. Mammoth is one of the few areas with reliable early season conditions that can host a GS before the holiday break, so we think this is a great opportunity to add GS to our early season mix of disciplines.

    Following a break over the holiday period, racing resumes on Tahoe's South Shore with a 3 day event at Heavenly Valley on Jan. 5-7. Friday features two SL races leading into GS races on Saturday and Sunday. The Viva Italia Cup weekend is one of our classic events and we're looking forward to exploring some new race terrain as Heavenly has renewed their commitment to racing in recent seasons.

    Our second event in January is another classic: the Bernard Cup at Squaw Valley on Jan. 19-21. We will be racing GS on Friday and Saturday, wrapping up with SL on Sunday.

    February opens with 3 days of SG racing at Mammoth Mountain on Feb. 2-4. After a break for the Okemo national championships the week of Feb. 6-10, Far West racing resumes with a three-day event at Northstar on Feb. 23-25, featuring 2 SG races on Friday and GS races on Saturday and Sunday.

    On March 10-11, the McKinney Cup will offer two days of GS racing at Mt. Rose. Our Far West schedule takes another break in mid-March to allow competitors the opportunity to head to Big Sky for the FIS Masters World Criterium. Big Sky is a rightfully popular venue for masters, with great race hills and a welcoming Montana ambience, and the international flavor will add spice to the event.

    The season finals will be held at Mammoth on April 12-14. There will be two SG races on Thursday, GS on Friday, and wrap up with SL and the season finals banquet on Saturday.


  • Spring Forerunner newsletter

    The spring edition of the Forerunner newsletter is out! Editor Hamish Butler has pulled together stories from the final part of our 2017 Far West season, including our March races and the National Championships at Mammoth, blessed by a sunny break from our stormy weather!

    Click the link below to read online or download your copy. The Spring 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 thus season, you will also receive a copy in the mail.


  • Spring race camps

    The 2017 race season has been completed, but with record-breaking snowfall totals from the epic Winter of 2017, there will be plenty of spring (and even summer!) skiing available. Both Mammoth and Squaw are expected to stay open through at least July 4, while Squaw is reportedly considering staying open through the entire summer. Along with free-skiing, this season is a great time to consider attending a spring race camp to work on training fundamentals for next season.

    A four-day SL and GS camp for masters athletes will be held at Squaw on May 5-8. The coaching staff is led by Canadian national team alum Anna Goodman along with Squaw Valley's own Marco Sullivan, both World Cup and Olympic veterans who also have experience coaching masters racers (their reviews were glowing from participants in last summer's masters camp in Chile organized by Bill and Bob Skinner). They are aiming for a 5-1 athlete-coach ratio, so you'll be working closely with your coach in a small group. Check it out and sign up while space is available! Details are provided in the attached flyer.


  • Squaw Bernard Cup/Season Finals

    The final event of the 2016-2017 race season was held at Squaw Valley on Thu-Fri-Sat Mar. 30-Apr. 1. In addition to being the final scoring races of the season for those competing for season awards and 2018 leader bibs, the finals was also the 2017 Bernard Cup.

    Thursday racing opened with 2 GS races planned on the Julia's Gold (Exhibition) race hill. After a delayed start and lift holds due to winds, fog, and lightning, one GS race was completed and the second postponed to Saturday. The weather cleared and conditions were warm and springy for Friday's 2 SL races and the final two GS races on Saturday.

    The season finals banquet was held on Saturday night at Tahoe Donner. Along with season awards in all age classes and the announcement of next season's leader bibs, several special awards were also given out. The best new racer awards were given to Sara Gold (W01) and Peter Kudola (M03), and Sara was also named the #1 ladies bib holder for next season by the slimmest possible margin of 1 point, determined on the final run of the last race of the season! The men's #1 bib will be worn next season by Mihai Filimon (M04).

    The Cantanho "Spirit of Masters" award was presented to Randall Sussek to recognize both his enthusiastic participation as a competitor (one of three competitors who raced in *every* event this season!) and the many ways he contributes to our Far West masters racing - arranging post-race parties at our Mammoth events, posting race pictures in our Facebook group, and serving as one of our trusty "banner guys" (along with Jon Garey-Sage!) to put up our nifty Far West Masters banner at race venues to raise the visibility of who we are.

    The Bernard Cup is awarded to the top man and women racer in the overall standings of the event, using an age-handicapping factor to compare performances across the broad range of ages competing together in masters. It was a special treat to have members of Bob Bernard's family sharing the evening and celebrating Bob's legacy of contributions to masters races, as well as now-retired champion Norma Lausmann. The 2017 Bernard Cup winners are Emily Andrews (W08) and Pierre Jeangirard (M08).

    Complete results are posted on the Race Results page along with the final Season Standings rankings for 2017.


  • Squaw Bernard Cup/Season Finals Info

    After a great week of spring racing at Mammoth for the 2017 Masters National Championships, the Far West racing season will wrap up the race season with our final event at Squaw Valley on Thu-Fri-Sat Mar. 30-Apr. 1. The season finals event has 5 races in 3 days, so those of you in the hunt for season awards have plenty of opportunity to pick up additional points! We will also be awarding the Bernard Cup, an age-handicapped overall award for the fastest man and woman.

    **SCHEDULE UPDATE** In response to considerable member input over the past week, the original schedule of two SG races on Thursday has been modified to two GS races. So the event schedule is two GS Thursday, two SL Friday, and one GS Saturday along with the season finals banquet.

    **SEASON SCORING NOTE** In recognition of the significant number of races that had to be cancelled due to the epic stormy conditions in January and February, the minimum starts criteria for season awards eligibility is being reduced from 6 starts to 4 starts. A racer's best finishes in 75% of the total number of races held are counted for season rankings, so for 2016-2017 your season ranking will be based on your best 9 finishes out of the 12 races this season.

    The season finals banquet will be held on Saturday evening to celebrate the conclusion of the racing season with friends and family. The event will be held at the Lodge at Tahoe Donner, a comfortable venue a few miles north of Truckee. The evening will include raffle items and a silent auction to benefit the Scholarship program and we will be joined by Norma Lausmann and members for Bob Bernard's family. Banquet tickets are $40/person; sign up on SkiRaceReg.com/fw

    Registration is open on SkiRaceReg.com/fw; early registration deadline is Sunday 3/26. Registration will close on Tue 3/28 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 Saturday banquet - 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 banquet signup.


  • Mammoth National Championships

    After a seemingly endless period of stormy weather through January and February, the Winter of 2017 finally took a break in March and rewarded us with a week of beautiful spring weather for the 2017 Masters National Championships at Mammoth the week of Mar. 13-18. Warm and sunny days with incredible snow all over the mountain - classic California spring skiing and wonderful racing conditions!

    Racing opened with DH training on Mon-Tue and the championship race on Wednesday. After two nearly perfect days of training, race day surprised competitors with the added challenge of breezy conditions on the upper sections of the World Cup/Fascination track. Plenty of wind stories at the finish, but with sunny conditions and a good track we were happy to get the race completed before rising winds forced lift closures by early afternoon.

    Thursday's SG ran from the DH start on World Cup into Terrie's run, providing an interesting combination of gliding and technical sections. The track was firm for the morning A/B race but softened up just enough to provide a spectacular racing experience for the mid-day C/D race - huge smiles were everywhere at the finish!!

    The national championship DH and SG races were the final events in the season-long National Speed Series. Custom belt buckles are awarded to the top three finishers in each age class of the season-long series, and the overall champions were announced. Congratulations to the 2017 Speed Series champions: Don Johnson (M07, RM), Dave Brennan (M09, IM), and Jennifer Kaufman (W05, RM)

    Friday and Saturday finished the week with the A/B and C/D groups splitting between GS on lower World Cup/Terrie's and SL Fascination respectively. The nice spring weather held into the weekend, with rising winds bringing racing to a close on Saturday presenting an extra factor at the start of the C/D GS. As in Wednesday's DH, the breezy conditions were challenging but the weather and snow conditions were good and all races were completed in plenty of time for the Saturday evening banquet get-together.

    The daily post-race parties were held in the MCC room at the Mammoth Main Lodge and we were treated to great food all week. The Saturday banquet topped off the week with a really wonderful buffet dinner. Along with the final day's race awards, the overall combined awards in all age classes were announced. Numerous Far West athletes were rewarded for their racing efforts with podium finishes and prestigous national championship medals, with nine named to the 2018 Spyder National Masters team. The awards finale was the Divisions Cup, which went to the Eastern division.

    Many thanks to Phillips 66, our sponsor for both the Speed Series and the National Championships again this season. It was great to have sponsor honcho Bob Davis back on the race hill as he continued his campaign to return from a season-ending injury in 2016.


  • Mt. Rose McKinney Cup

    As the weekend of Mar. 4-5 and the Mt. Rose McKinney cup races approached, the weather forecasts began to shift from "sunny and warm" to "maybe some weather coming in". When we arrived at Rose on Saturday morning, it was a gorgeous sunny day with the Sunshine Bowl race track beautifully prepared. It was, however, a tad bit breezy. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when the Zephyr lift began to roll on schedule and competitors headed up the hill for inspection and our first run.

    Although the course was a relatively short GS, due to the venue change from the Silver Dollar run where the timing equipment was inaccessible under 20 feet of snow, the course was fun and the sunshine appreciated after our stormy winter. Just before the scheduled second run start at 11:45am, with competitors arriving at the start, the winds increased past 60mph at the summit and the lift went on wind hold. With the winds continuing to increase and 1-2 ft of snow forecast overnight from a cold northern front, organizers and jury concluded that racing was done for the weekend and all adjourned to the Winters Creek lodge for food and party socializing.

    The McKinney Cup trophy, awarded to the fastest overall man and woman for the event, was easy to calculate this year with only our 1-run GS to score! Andrea Levy (W01) convincingly took the women's title, while Mihai Filimon (M04) topped the hotly contested men's standings.

    Complete results are posted on the Race Results page along with the updated Season Standings rankings for 2017.


  • Viva Italia SL Races

    Viva Italia!!! The rescheduled Heavenly SL races, cancelled due to a massive winter storm in early January, were held on Friday Mar. 3 and it was a great spring party! Racing on the World Cup SL hill at the California base of Heavenly, we had comfortable spring weather and a beautiful day on the hill. The race hill was in fantastic condition, with the usual terrain features gentled to a smooth pitch by this season's snowpack.

    Heavenly's race crew did a great job keeping the busy race day of 4 SL runs moving along. Yes, we still had to hike to the start about 6 gates up from the top of the World Cup lift, but hey, the weather was great and you can't beat the view from Heavenly.

    Awards were held at the bottom of the race hill at the end of the day, with pizza and sunshine in plenty. With both races scored under our age-handicapping system for the Viva Italia cup, Carol Levine (W09) recovered from a shakey first run for a come-from-behind victory over the closely fought day-long battle between Emily Andrews and Lors Spicher. On the men's side, Tim Hill of PNSA (M06) drove all the way from Bend for some sunny FW racing and posted some wicked fast skiing to take the men's trophy ahead of defending champ Pierre Jeangirard and Bob Davis, back on the race hill and charging the comeback trail after a serious injury last season.

    Complete results are posted on the Race Results page along with the updated Season Standings rankings for 2017.


  • Mt. Rose Updates, Heavenly Makup

    Next weekend will be packed with racing options, just as the February storm cycle appears to be winding down and we move into a warmer, dryer pattern as March arrives. On Friday, we have two makeup races at Heavenly, with two SL races for the Viva Italia Cup on World Cup.

    Saturday and Sunday we move from south shore up the east side of Lake Tahoe for two days of GS racing at Mt. Rose with the McKinney Cup event. Regrettably, we will not be able to race on the Silver Dollar GS track as originally planned. The timing boxes are buried under 20 feet of snow and there is simply no way to excavate the equipment by this weekend. (Mt. Rose has had over 50 feet of snow this season - massive!!)

    Schedule and venue changes: We will be racing on the Sunrise Bowl track, which merges into the lower section of the Silver Dollar track on the Slide side of Mt. Rose. Because this is a relatively short GS, we are adding a second GS race on Saturday, so we will still have a full day of racing!

    ***SkiRaceReg signups: because we expect most competitors already signed up for the Saturday GS will want to race in the second GS being added, we have set up the additional race signup on SkiRaceReg.com with everyone from the first Saturday GS entered. If you do NOT wish to add the second race, just log into your account and drop the added race. No one will be charged for the added race if they did not wish to be added, just let us know. Contact us at raceadmin@farwestmasters.org with any questions about your race entries.

    The early registration deadline is Sunday 2/26, so pass the word to make sure everyone knows about the schedule updates. Online registration for both Heavenly and Rose closes (early) at 8pm on Wednesday 3/1.


  • February Forerunner newsletter

    The mid-season edition of the Forerunner newsletter is out! Although racing activity has been severely impacted since the holidays by the unrelenting series of storm trains rolling into the west coast this winter, editor Hamish Butler has still found some great material for all of us - information on upcoming races and the March national championships at Mammoth, news about some of our scholarship athletes, and reports from the February FIS Masters races at Park City and the Northstar GS races.

    Click the link below to read online or download your copy. The February 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 thus season, you will also receive a copy in the mail.


  • National Championships at Mammoth

    We're only a month away from the 2017 Masters National Championships, which will be held Mar. 13-18 at Far West's own Mammoth Mountain! All of us who have raced in Far West know that Mammoth has great race venues and a truly outstanding race department that knows how to put on major events.

    The week of racing opens with the National Championship DH on Mon-Wed, followed by the triple-combined National Championship SG-SG-SL events on Thu, Fri, and Saturday. Racing and social events will be focused at the Main Lodge and the Mammoth Mountain Inn. Mammoth is offering very attractive prices on lodging packages at the Inn and the convenience of being steps from the lifts and race venues is hard to beat, so book your accomodations before they sell out!

    Race entries and banquet ticket purchases are all available on SkiRaceReg.com, in the "USSA Masters Alpine National Championships" race series. Use the link below to go directly to the event home page with event information and signups.


  • Heavenly SL makeup races scheduled

    We have rescheduled the two Viva Italia SL races at Heavenly that were cancelled due to weather on the first weekend of January (the start of #JanuBuried!) on Friday Mar. 3, the day before our scheduled GS races at Mt. Rose on Sat-Sun Mar. 4-5. With the relatively close proximity of Heavenly and Rose on the south/east side of Lake Tahoe, this should allow a reasonable travel plan for competitors. We will be racing on the World Cup SL run at the California base of Heavenly.

    NOTE: we are still working on a possible rescheduling of the cancelled January Mammoth races.


  • Northstar GS races

    Finally!!! The latest round of storms moved out, leaving flooding, road closures, and more snow in their wake, but the sun came out Sunday and we had two good GS races at Northstar!! The Logger Loop/Surprise race venue is a long, fun GS track and with four race runs competitors were more than tired by the end of the day.

    Major thank-you to the Northstar race crew, who worked tremendously hard to put the race hill back in operation and keep the track maintained throughout the day. Their commitment to getting our races off and flexibility in accomodating many last-minute changes in signups as competitors dealt with the schedule changes and challenging weekend travel conditions was outstanding.

    Complete results are posted on the Race Results page along with the updated Season Standings rankings for 2017.


  • Northstar Update

    NO RACING SATURDAY. Over 2 ft of wet, heavy snow, more dumping today; road closures on I80, US 395, traveling difficult at best. STAY HOME TODAY!!

    We will now focus on 2 GS races on Sunday. No way to get the race hill prepared and safe for racing by Saturday, but Sunday looks good,.

    ENTRY CHANGES: if you were entered in the GS races for Saturday but cannot race on Sunday, or if you were entered only in the SG's but not the GS races but would like to race Sunday, send your request to add or drop GS race entry to Northstar RA Lucy Schram at lschram@vailresorts.com by NOON Sat. Give her your name, bib #, and USSA #; please also provide email/phone where you can be reached if additional information is needed. If you have a SkiRaceReg.com account we can charge your race entries to your account as usual.

    We'll provide more details later today if there is any updated information on the Sunday GS races.

    [10-Feb-2017 Fri 12:45pm; updated 3pm]

  • Northstar Schedule Changes

    Due to another series of strong storms that will be impacting the Sierras through the end of the week, there will be no SG training or racing at Northstar on Thursday or Friday. The weather is expected to clear for the weekend, so we will still be racing but with a modified event schedule.

    After discussions with Northstar Race Department on Tuesday afternoon, the weekend schedule will be changed to two GS races on Saturday (move the Sunday GS up to Saturday) and on Sunday we will have two SG races (postponed from Friday).

    All existing race signups on SkiRaceReg.com are still in effect, we are just juggling the weekend schedule in response to the weather conditions. The entry deadline has been extended to 8pm Thursday 2/9 to give everyone a chance to adjust travel plans and race signups. **no late fees will be charged for this event **

    If you will be unable to participate due to the changes, please remember to cancel your entries before registration closes on Thursday evening. Some of you who couldn't make the original Friday schedule for the SG races may now be able to compete with the postponement to Sunday - if so, great, get your race entry submitted and break out the speed boards!

    [Tue 07-Feb-2017]

  • Northstar Race Info

    Our next event is two SG races and 2 GS races at Northstar on Fri-Sat-Sun Feb. 10-12. The race venue is Loggers Loop/Surprise with a 10am start both days. This should be a very fun race hill for both the Friday SG's and the weekend GS races.

    Thu SG training: SG training will be available on Thursday afternoon. Cost $25 - purchase with racer lift at Gondola ticket office. Mandatory inspection at 1pm, followed by training runs. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated; course access will be strictly controlled for inspection and training runs.

    The early registration deadline is Sunday Feb. 5; entries submitted after the early registration deadline are subject to a $5/race late entry fee. Online race registration closes at 8pm Tuesday 2/7. 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 Northstar Race Department; refund of entry fees may be requested due to injury or illness.


  • January Wrapup

    So... January 2017 has been an INTERESTING month in the Sierras! The storm train fired up early in the first week of the new year and threw wet weather systems at the west coast with few breaks for the next three weeks. Our Heavenly race weekend on Jan. 6-8 was cancelled as a massive storm system pounded the coast and mountains with copious precipitation in all forms over the weekend and into the following week. There was a short break over the weekend of Jan. 14-15, with epic bluebird powder days, but the following week yet another storm series rolled through and forced the cancellation of the Mammoth DH/SG speed races on Jan. 19-22. More powder days, and massive snow-removal challenges for ski areas and mountain residents as many broke January snowfall records.

    As a result of the historic snowfall of #JanuBuried, there was not much racing accomplished! Both the Heavenly and Mammoth races were cancelled prior to the scheduled start of those events. Ordinarily we do not cancel events ahead of time, recognizing that mountain weather forecasts can be highly variable and believing that decisions on race conditions should be made at the event site by the race jury. In exceptional cases, however, when forecasts are definite that probability of racing is low and there are legitimate concerns about travel safety getting to and from the event, Far West Masters and the race organizer may make a cancellation decision early to allow competitors to adjust travel plans. Both of our January cancellations were proven to be good decisions - there was no possibility of racing either weekend and travel throughout the Sierras was difficult and dangerous. Sometimes the best plan is #StayHomeStaySafe.

    Far West scheduling director Mike Braun is working with Heavenly and Mammoth to reschedule some of the cancelled races. We have a tentative agreement with Heavenly to reschedule two SL races of the Viva Italia on Friday Mar. 3, prior to the weekend McKinney Cup races at Mt. Rose on Mar. 4-5. With the substantial snowpack guaranteeing a long spring ski season, we are exploring spring dates for rescheduling the Mammoth races. Details will be announced as soon as plans are finalized.

    Racing in February shifts to Park City UT for the FIS Masters Cup races on Feb. 3-5. A large group of Far West racers is planning to compete and will be greeted by a large field of competitors from around the US along with nearly two dozen international competitors.

    Our next Far West event will be a 3-day weekend at Northstar on Feb. 10-12, with two SG races on Friday and GS races on Sat-Sun. We will be racing on the frontside race venue of Loggers Loop/Surprise, which has good access from the Vista express lift. There will be SG training available on Thursday afternoon with inspection at 1pm; we expect to be able to get in at least 3 training runs for everyone. There will be one inspection and access to the speed venue will be strictly controlled, so you must arrive on time to participate!! Racer lift price is $66 ($50 for age 65+) and training cost is $25.


  • 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 weekend.

    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 spring!

    [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 possible.

    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.

    [05-Jan-2017 11am]

  • 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 all competitors.


  • 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 scheduled).

    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 through Thursday.


  • 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 raceadmin@farwestmasters.org 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 manufacturers.

    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 president@farwestmasters.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.