Welcome to the Far West Masters! If you are a new visitor to our site, visit the Information pages to learn more About masters racing. The How To Join page has 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 & Snowboard competition rules, 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 US alpine 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 Spring Races

    Good news!! With the improving covid situation, it looks encouraging that Mammoth will soon be able to move to a less restrictive tier under the state guidelines. In addition, many of our older competitors are now getting access to vaccinations and availability is expanding to younger age groups. Scheduling director Mike Braun has been in constant communication with Mammoth on the prospects for being able to hold a race event and the consensus at this point is that we can proceed with planning for the races.

    So.. the Mammoth season finals event is on, and will also be our season kickoff! We are adding an additional day of racing to the original schedule to add two SG makeup races along with a a SG training day. The tentative schedule:

    • Tue 3/30 - SG training
    • Wed 3/31 - 2xSG (1st SG counted for National Speed Series)
    • Thu 4/1 - 2xSG (1st SG counted for National Speed Series)
    • Fri 4/2 - GS
    • Sat 4/3 - SL

    We'll get more information out as soon as we can settle some additional details (entry deadlines, training day cost, etc). Registration will be opened on SkiRaceReg.com this weekend. We will not have our usual season banquet, as large gatherings are not yet permitted, but we can still get out and have a great time racing!

    [04-Mar-2021]

  • 2021 Open Class and Season Bibs

    The Far West Masters board has discussed how to handle season bibs since we've lost most of the race season to covid and travel restrictions. In addition, we don't want to create incentives that encourage people to travel if they aren't comfortable doing so this season.

    The board agreed unanimously that the current season 2021 season bib awards will carry over to the 2021-2022 season. If you won a season bib, wear it if you get a chance to race this season and hang onto it to wear next season!

    We will still have Open class for those who wish to elect to be scored in Open class for their race results, but there will be no season bib awards based on 2021 races.

    [04-Mar-2021]

  • February Forerunner

    The February issue of the Forerunner newsletter is out! The President's Update message from Ray Tulloch provides an update on our 20-21 race season, which regrettably has so far not featured any actual races in Far West division due to continuing difficulties and restrictions for covid. However, some of our Far West athletes competed in the FIS Masters Cup/Western Region championships at Big Sky MT in early February and came away with some excellent results.

    On a positive note, Squaw Masters coach Mark Mirviss points out a "silver lining" that we have an opportunity this season to focus on skills and technique that will pay off in our future racing activity. Some great reports as well from some of the Far West junior athletes in our Scholarship Program.

    Stay tuned for more news, we still have plenty of time left in the season. With covid rates finally declining and vaccination availability spreading, we remain optimistic that we may be able to hold our planned races at Mammoth in early April

    [25-Feb-2021]

  • Race Schedule Update

    Winter has finally arrived in the Sierra with several much-needed storms bringing good snowfall in late January and early February. Unfortunately, covid restrictions on travel and group events remain in place in many locations and continues to impact our hopes of being able to resume racing soon.

    The Far West Masters board met on Monday night to discuss the outlook for the scheduled Mar. 6-7 Bernard Cup races at Squaw Valley. Unfortunately, we will not be able to move ahead with this event. Locally-attended races have been able to resume at many areas, but while Squaw is supportive and wants to put on masters races we are constrained by the California covid guidelines recommending that travel be limited to within 120 miles of your home.

    With our athletes spread out over hundreds of miles across California and Nevada, there is no practical way for our organization to manage participation that satisfies the travel limitation. In addition, our older demographic is a concern with vaccinations still in early stages of being available to most of us.

    We are continuing with planning for an early April event at Mammoth, possibly expanded from the original 3-day program to add makeup races that were postponed earlier this season. With covid cases generally dropping and encouraging outlook in many areas to begin moving to less restrictive rules, we remain optimistic that we will be able to hold some spring races.

    ps for those willing and able to travel this spring, consider the PNSA finals at Mt Bachelor on Apr. 15-18. This event features two SG races for the Speed Series finale along with GS and SL. Kick off your racing at Mammoth and head north into Oregon for a spring wrapup!

    [16-Feb-2021]

  • Mt Rose races cancelled

    Sorry to bear bad news, just when we thought we could finally start racing another covid complication has arisen. Unfortunately the McKinney cup races at Mt Rose will be cancelled.

    As a result of the uncertainty around the new COVID requirements and guidances being implemented by the State of Nevada's Business and Industries (OSHA) and the withdrawal of previous approval by OSHA for our races, it has now become impossible to move ahead with the event.

    [05-Feb-2021]

  • Mt Rose McKinney Cup info

    It's happy February - winter has finally arrived in the Sierra and we have confirmation that the Mt Rose GS races on Feb. 20-21 are on!!

    There will be important changes this season to our "usual" procedures in order to comply with covid guidelines. Registration is online-only, with earlier deadlines and NO late entries after the close of registration. All competitors MUST submit a pre-event covid question and MUST submit a daily covid symptom check electronically on each race day. All race day information, updates, and results will be distributed electronically. There will be no posting board at the finish; no parties; everything will be done virtually. (well, except for the actual racing part - that's still real-world!)

    We'll be getting more details out to everyone as we prepare for the event. Additional details coming soon in race announcement from Mt Rose on lift tickets and specific area requirements.

Registration reminders: The early registration deadline before prices go up is Sunday Feb 14. Online registration on SkiRaceReg.com/fw closes 8pm Tuesday 2/16. Please note that we will NOT be able to accept late entries after the close of online registration.

[01-Feb-2021]

  • Mammoth SG's postponed

    The Mammoth SG races scheduled on Jan. 22-24 will unfortunately have to be postponed. The California regional Stay-at-Home order for the Southern California region, which includes Mono County and Mammoth Lakes, has been extended again and is highly likely to remain in effect for at least several more weeks.

    There are no short-term lodging rentals permitted under the regional order and all non-essential and recreational travel is discouraged. From the state guidelines on travel: "Californians should remain local (not traveling more than 120 miles from their home or other place of residence) and avoid non-essential travel. Travelers from other states or countries entering into California for tourism and recreation are strongly discouraged."

    Although we are unable to hold any events until the Covid situation in California improves, Mammoth is committed to putting on ski race events this season and will be working with Far West Masters as the season progresses to find potential dates when we can reschedule the races that were originally planned for December and January.

    [08-Jan-2021]

  • January Races

    Short update as we enter the new year on the outlook for our scheduled January SG races at Mammoth on Jan. 22-24: we have NOT cancelled this event!

    Mammoth would like to put on this event if possible. However, our ability to hold the races will probably depend on whether the Southern California region (which includes Mammoth Lakes and Mono and Inyo counties) remains under the state stay-at-home directives that were implemented at the end of December. The directive is being reviewed weekly but does not have a specific termination date, it will depend on covid case rates and hospital capacity.

    Far West Masters will continue working with Mammoth Race Department and monitoring state and local guidelines, we'll post more definite information as soon as we know anything!

    [05-Jan-2021]

  • A December Hiatus

    Squelching our preseason optimism for being able to start racing in December, the month has instead featured significant rises in coronovirus cases and hospitalization rates leading to new restrictions in many parts of our Far West region. The good news is that most Sierra ski resorts have opened and are operating successfully, as are masters training programs at Mammoth, Incline, Rose, and Squaw.

    Not so good news is that significant portions of California are again under stay-at-home orders. Currently both the Mammoth area and the California side of Lake Tahoe have closed all short-term lodging and non-essential travel is discouraged. Bottom line for many of us is that skiing is available if you live in Nevada or close enough to a California ski area to be able to day-trip, everyone else will have to stay home and be patient for a while longer.

    Our next scheduled event is three days of SG races at Mammoth Mountain on Jan. 22-24. There is currently no firm date for when California's stay-at-home orders will be lifted, so our plans will depend on what state and local guidelines will permit in the coming weeks. We will get additional information out as soon as we can determine whether it will be possible to hold race events in January.

    Registration is now open on SkiRaceReg for the FIS Masters Cup/Western Championships races at Big Sky MT on Feb. 5-7. Racing will be 2 SG races Friday, 2 1-run GS races Saturday, and SL on Sunday. Big Sky Masters will be offering training on Tue-Wed-Thu ahead of the weekend races.

    Please review the event information carefully so that you understand the COVID requirements. Ikon pass holders MUST make reservations at Big Sky and openings may be limited, so make sure you arrange your plans early. Total field size is capped at 100 competitors (including any international entries); US entries will be accepted in order by registration date.

    [21-Dec-2020]

  • Cancelling December races

    Following intensive discussions among the Far West Masters board, we have reluctantly decided to cancel the planned masters training camp and races at Mammoth the first week of December, and most likely the planned SL doubleheader day at Alpine on Dec. 19. There are too many uncertainties, too many pressing challenges for our host areas, and consistent direction from state and local authorities at this time discouraging non-essential travel.

    Given the number of factors to consider, we believe the responsible action is to cancel our planned events for December. Our ski areas have difficult challenges right now and all are working hard to establish the necessary processes to safely operate. We are acutely aware that navigating these early season issues is critical for the areas if they are to be able to continue to operate through the season and the additional complexities of running races in the current environment could stretch key resources to the limit.

    We want to emphasize that Mammoth Race Department and MMSA have been very positive and supportive of our event planning and we fully expect a good season of skiing and racing to ahead of us. Mammoth opened on schedule (a day early even!) and is aggressively working towards opening as much terrain as possible as quickly as possible.

    While the 2020-2021 ski season has started, it is definitely different. Mammoth opened on Friday Nov. 13 with good early season conditions on a mix of natural and man-made snow. Mt Rose has also just opened and other Tahoe areas have or will open this week for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Reports from our folks who have gotten out on the hill have consistently described unexpectedly large crowds and lift lines at a time that is ordinarily a slow period at the ski areas.

    It is still too soon to tell if the larger crowds will continue or fall back to more "normal" patterns, but unquestionably there will be unusual stresses on ski areas and mountain communities over the next few weeks. Covid infection rates and hospitalizations are rising significantly, threatening the capacity of both local and regional medical facilities, and government health guidelines in both California and Nevada are moving back to stricter restrictions.

    So let's take December as an opportunity to ski at our local areas, do some training, work on skill development, and look forward to a more stable situation (and more snow!) in January when hopefully we'll be able to resume racing.

    [23-Nov-2020]

  • Mammoth December Camp and Races

    Winter is coming and we WILL have masters racing in the Far West! woo hoo!!!

    Mammoth will be holding a 4-day masters training camp on Tue-Fri Dec. 1-4 and hosting our season opening races on the weekend, with SL on Sat 12/5 and GS on Sunday 12/6. Far West Masters organizers are working closely with Mammoth Race Department to settle myriad details of running a US Ski & Snowboard masters event following all Mammoth Mountain and USS&S COVID guidelines. Things will be different this season, for sure, but we'll be skiing and racing!!

    Mammoth Masters Camp

    Mammoth masters training camp Tue-Fri Dec. 1-4. Tentative schedule: two days GS, two days SL. See camp announcement for details along with lodging package information:

    Mammoth SL/GS races

    Sat SL, Sun GS

    **No late entries. Entries close Tue 12/1 8pm**
    **No day-of-race lift ticket purchases.**

    We all need to be organized and flexible in order to have a safe event!! A pre-event COVID questionairre will be REQUIRED from all competitors 24-48 hours prior to the event. Daily Covid symptoms checkin will be REQUIRED from all competitors. No physical checkin desk; no posting board at the finish; no awards or post-race party. We expect race checkin and event/schedule information updates will all be done online/mobile. Details to come!!

    Additional Information

    Signups for training days and races will all be on our Far West series on SkiRaceReg.com/fw.

    Lift tickets NOT included in camp or race signups. Mammoth is an Ikon pass resort; daily lift tickets MUST be purchased in advance. Lift ticket purchase details will be provided when available. If you do not have an Ikon pass, please register for "Mammoth Lift Tickets" along with your camp and race signup so we have an estimate of who needs ticket purchase.

    Please be prepared to follow all Covid 19 restrictions and policies at Mammoth Mountain!!!

    [02-Nov-2020]

  • Membership Reminders

    The extended renewal deadline for US Ski & Snowboard membership is coming up this weekend, Nov. 1.  Please note that USS&S has a strict no-refund policy, so make your choices carefully.

    The Alpine Master membership is $135 for the 2020-2021 race season. Alternatively, a Short-Term Alpine Master membership can be purchased for $35/day, but only for one event of consecutive days. (A short-term purchase will be credited towards a full membership if you later upgrade.)

    Tips:

    • for most of us, do NOT select a club - choose "No Club Affiliation" in your member information. Only select a Club if you are actually a member of a USS&S club (typically the junior race team). For most masters in Far West , our masters training programs (Mammoth, Squaw, Mt Rose) are separate from the USS&S race team at our home area. Choosing a club may require you to join "with requirements", with extra costs and training required.
    • do NOT purchase the Alpine Master with Requirements membership unless you really need to!! e.g. you work directly with junior athletes as part of a USS&S club. Cost is $150 and requires background screening, online SafeSport training, and an online Avalanche course. Contact us at membership@farwestmasters.org if you need help deciding whether you need this.
    • if you have a Coach or Officials license, SafeSport and background screening is already included in those memberships so be sure to select Alpine Master membership - you do NOT need the more expensive Master with Requirements membership level.

    The "Getting Started" page from US Alpine Masters has a helpful overview of everything you need to know for your US Ski & Snowboard membership:

    For 2021, Far West Masters membership dues are waived for all new and renewing members!
    Just log in or create your account on SkiRaceReg.com/fw to activate your account for the 2021 season and sign the Far West Masters release form.

    [27-Oct-2020]

  • September Forerunner

    The September issue of the Forerunner newsletter is out! The President's Update message from Ray Tulloch describes the latest news we have on plans for the upcoming ski season. Still lots of questions but US Ski & Snowboard is publishing COVID guidelines for running ski race events and our Far West ski resorts are beginning to announce more detailed information about their operation plans for the coming winter.

    We are encouraged by the recent news that both Mt Rose and Squaw will continue to have their masters training programs this season. The Diamond Peak masters is also confirmed and indications are that we will have details on the Mammoth masters program soon.

    As announced in August, Far West Masters membership dues are waived for all new and renewing members in 2020-2021!!. Membership renewal will be available online on at SkiRaceReg.com/fw. When you activate your account for the 2021 season, you'll just need to e-sign the Far West Masters release form. US Ski & Snowboard has extended the renewal date for US masters memberships to Nov. 1, 2020, so you have additional time before making a decision on purchasing your masters license. USS&S will NOT provide refunds, so we recommend that you be patient and hold off on renewing your US masters license until we have more definite guidance on the coming race season.

    [26-Feb-2020]

  • 2021 Membership and Schedule

    As announced in the August Forerunner newsletter, Far West Masters membership dues are waived for all new and renewing members in 2020-2021!! Given the uncertainty about the coming season, the Far West Masters board unanimously voted to waive our usual membership dues to support everyone remaining engaged and participating at whatever level you find appropriate for your personal situation over the coming months. In addition, the renewal deadline for US Ski & Snowboard membership has been extended to Nov. 1 2020, so you have additional time before deciding whether to commit to purchasing your season membership. Please note that USS&S has a strict no-refund policy, so if you are uncertain about your plans it would be wise to wait until the deadline to renew your membership.

    As we approach the start of the 2020-2021 season, the outlook for ski area operations and race conditions is still very much an evolving situation. Most ski areas have published information in September about how they expect to operate this coming season for passes, tickets, access, etc; in some cases reservations will be required, lift tickets generally must be purchased in advance. US Ski & Snowboard has published detailed COVID guidelines for organizing alpine events and there is a significant amount of detail and complexity that race organizers must address. Far West Masters is working with USS&S, our Far West ski areas, and masters groups around the country as we all try to work out how we will be able to ski and race this season.

    So... we don't have all the answers yet but we are optimistic that we will be able to train and race this season, so stay tuned for updates and above all expect to be flexible to adjust to changing conditions throughout the season!

    [18-Sep-2020]

  • Preliminary 2021 Schedule and August Forerunner

    We have a preliminary 2020-21 race schedule put together under exceptionally challenging conditions this year by Scheduling Director Mike Braun. There are still many questions that we all have about the coming winter and racing, but we are planning and hoping that we will be able to hold competitions by following appropriate covid-19 guidelines.

    We've put out a special August issue of the Forerunner newsletter with the President's Update from Ray Tulloch and your Far West Masters board to share as much information as we have at this point to help everyone plan for the coming season. By unanimous decision of the board, the usual Far West Masters membership dues fee will be waived this season. With so much uncertainty, our priority is to keep everyone engaged and involved as much as possible through what will likely be a challenging and certainly different ski season.

    We encourage everyone to be patient about renewing your US Ski & Snowboard masters membership until more information is available in September, as USS&S has been very clear to remind everyone that they will NOT provide refunds. The deadline to renew before late fees are incurred is ordinarily mid-October, so there's plenty of time yet before any decisions need to be made. If you also hold a coach or official license or need a "Masters with Requirements" membership as a member of a USS&S club working with junior athletes, be aware that the bi-annual background screen checks may take longer this year, so plan ahead to allow time for completing SafeSport training and screening.

    [28-Aug-2020]

  • Season Awards and April Forerunner newsletter

    Well. It's a wrap of sorts for the 2020 race season, unexpectedly brought to an abrupt halt in mid-March by the covid-19 coronavirus shutdowns of racing and ski areas and much of our "normal" life. The masters National Championship races at Ski Cooper and Steamboat Spring in Colorado were cancelled, with many competitors already at Cooper for the speed races or about to leave for Steamboat, along with our Far West Masters season finals scheduled for Apr. 9-11.

    The Far West Masters board agreed that we would announce the 2020 season awards now and plan the hold a celebration part at the first races of the 2021 season. The Season Standings page has the final rankings for 2020 and the complete Season Awards report.

    Congratulations to all our season award winners and our special award recipients: best new racers Stan Vasily and Joan Blumenfeld, most-improved racers Shawn Mason and Nancy Gieske, and the Teddy Cantanho Spirit of Masters award to Linda Crowell for all she does to support our racing program and help us all get out on the hill to play together!

    The spring Forerunner newsletter is out with all the final season reports and the President's Update from FWM prez Ray Tulloch.

    [30-Apr-2020]