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 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.

    [13-Jan-2017]

  • 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.

    [30-Dec-2016]

  • 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!!

    [15-Dec-2016]

  • 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.

    [11-Dec-2016]

  • 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.

    [06-Dec-2016]

  • 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.

    [25-Nov-2016]

  • 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.

    [22-Nov-2016]

  • 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.

    [07-Oct-2016]

  • 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!

    [15-Sep-2016]

  • 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.

    [13-Sep-2016]

  • 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.

    [24-Aug-2016]

  • 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.

    [19-Aug-2016]

  • 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.

    [13-Jul-2016]

  • 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.

    [05-Jul-2016]

  • 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).

    [23-May-2016]

  • 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.

    [23-May-2016]