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 & 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

  • Northstar FIS Masters/Western Championships event info

    On Feb. 7-9, Far West division has the privilege of hosting FIS Masters Cup races at Northstar CA. This event is also the US Western Region Championships. The event will feature 3 days of racing: two SG races on Friday 2/7, two FIS-masters-style 1-run GS races on Saturday 2/8, and a (2-run) SL race on Sunday 2/9. Both Friday SG races also count in the 2020 National Speed Series.

    Northstar has an excellent race crew and has been putting on good events for Far West Masters, so we are looking forward to a high quality event that will draw masters competitors from around the western US as well as international athletes. Entry fees are only $23/race, so for $115 you get 5 races at a championship event - very reasonable!

    See the event announcement for complete information about entries, travel, and lodging. Northstar is an Epic Pass resort and specially priced lift tickets are available for racers, family, and friends.

    Entries are due Sunday Feb. 2. US competitors should register on online on skiracereg.com/fis - race entries are in the "FIS Masters" race series if you do not see signups in your usual division race series. Entries for international athletes are also accepted on SkiRaceReg.com but must also be submitted through their national federation entry form.

    IMPORTANT: All US competitors age 30+ MUST have a current FIS Masters license, in addition to a current US Alpine Masters membership with US Ski & Snowboard. Athletes with FIS Masters points must renew by Friday January 24 to be on the current points list!! If you miss the renewal date, you will not have points for start list seeding and will placed placed in the unseeded group at the end of your age class.

    US athletes age 18-30 are not eligible for FIS masters awards but will receive US championship awards. U30 competitors must have a current US Alpine Masters membership.

    Check your US and FIS Masters license status online using the usskiandsnowboard.org Public Tools. The FIS Masters biographies page for masters shows your current FIS license status and points.


  • Mammoth Speed event change: DH -> SG

    Schedule change for the Mammoth speed races on Thu-Sun Jan. 23-26: the two Friday DH races are being changed to SG, so the event will now be all-SG.

    Several days of high winds over the past week have hit the top section of the speed course hard. Coverage is very thin on a few of the more exposed sections and there are areas of the DH track where we are not able to adequately set safety fencing.

    As originally planned, the first races on Friday and Saturday are part of the 2020 National Speed Series.

    There will be SG training on Thursday organized by the Mammoth Masters team coaches - all racers are invited!!

    The Mammoth Race Department and Far West Masters organizers agreed that it is best to make this change now so that all competitors have time to adjust. If you were only planning to come for the weekend, consider adding Friday to your race schedule, as Thursday training is optional for SG.

    Registration reminders: The early registration deadline before prices go up is Sunday Jan 19. Online registration on SkiRaceReg.com/fw closes 8pm Wednesday 1/22; late entries and cancellations after the close of online registration are at the discretion of Mammoth Race Dept.

    [16-Jan-2020 12pm]

  • Heavenly Schedule Change

    Today's GS on Stagecoach is cancelled - too many rocks exposed by the high winds overnight.

    Sunday's race is CHANGED from GS on Stagecoachj to SL on World Cup at the California base.

    [11-Jan-2020 10am]

  • Heavenly Viva Italia event info

    **VENUE CHANGE** The SL races on Friday will be held on World Cup run at the California base of Heavenly. Unfortunately there is not currently enough coverage on Emily's Run for racing. Stagecoach run has snowmaking and is in good shape for the weekend GS races.

    Happy New Year! With excellent conditions in the Sierra over the holidays, hopefully everyone has had a chance to get out and play on the snow. We have two events on the January race calendar, the classic Viva Italia races at Heavenly on Jan. 10-12 and the Mammoth DH/SG speed races on Jan. 23-26. And on February 7-9, Northstar will be hosting an international FIS Masters event which is also the US Western Region championship. (More info on that event coming soon!)

    Far West Masters racing resumes the second weekend of January with the annual Viva Italia races at Heavenly. The event will be two SL races on Friday, followed by GS races on Saturday and Sunday for a full weekend of South Shore racing.

    **NEW RACE VENUE** We will be racing on the Nevada side of Heavenly from the Stagecoach base lodge - the SL will be on Emiily's Run and the GS on Stagecoach, both accessed by the Stagecoach lift. Parking at Stagecouch lodge is extremely limited; it is recommended to park at the nearby Boulder Lodge and take the shuttle to Stagecoach. (runs regularly and is quick, 5-10 min)

    The 2020 Viva Italia event will bring back some special memories and numerous stories of legendary event founder John Gianotti, who passed away quietly in March 2019. Our Saturday afternoon party at Boulder Lodge will be a celebration of John's amazing life, so bring any photos and plenty of stories to share.

    We have a special event discount lodging offer from Tahoe Ridge, with direct lift access to Stagecoach. They are offering us a very nice discount on their usual prices and the location is very convenient. Please be sure to read the information about the reservation process; there is an extra step that is needed in order to get the full discount offered to our group.

    The early registration deadline before prices go up is Sunday Jan 5. Online registration on SkiRaceReg.com/fw closes 8pm Wednesday 1/8; late entries and cancellations after the close of online registration are at the discretion of Heavenly Race Dept.

    [01-Jan-2020; updated Fri 1/3]

  • December races recap

    After a discouragingly dry and warm November that suggested a late start to the winter season in the Sierras, a series of nice storms around Thanksgiving turned the tables and produced good early season conditions for everyone as we entered December. While some of our masters got an early start on their race season at training camps at Copper Mountain CO, most of the rest of us got on skis and into gates as training programs started at our Sierra areas.

    Mammoth Mountain put on a full week training camp with GS and SL the week before our opening race weekend on Dec. 13-14. Originally scheduled with GS on Saturday and SL on Sunday, the jury and organizers switched the schedule days a few days before the event to try to work around a small storm forecast to move through on Friday. Although the snowfall was a relatively light 4-6" by Sierra "dump" standards, conditions on the SL hill on Saturday morning were warm and soft, with thick fog limiting visibility on the upper sections. After inspecting the hill and assessing the conditions the jury cancelled the race due to unsafe conditions.

    The weather cleared and Sunday was a beautiful day with plenty of sunshine. After competitors assisted with slipping some overnight fluff on the ADG race hill, we got down to a very nice race surface and had a good track for both runs. Fun race to start the 2019-2020 season!

    Our second December event was a SL doubleheader at Alpine Meadows on Sat. Dec. Dec. 21. The Alpine race crew did a great job keeping the day organized and moving along. Racing the weather as well as our fellow competitors, the final run of the day had to be cancelled when high winds closed all the Alpine chairlifts for the day. Nonetheless, 3 good runs of SL were completed before everyone headed off for the holiday break and time with family and friends.

    Complete results are posted on the Race Results page along with the first Season Standings rankings for 2020.


  • Alpine SL Races

    Our next event is two SL races at Alpine Meadows on Saturday Dec. 21. The Buck Thys Memorial recognizes the inspiration of long-time masters racer Buck Thys, who as lifelong skier, racer, and family man is credited with the reminding us: "All snow is good snow!".

    The races will be on Kangaroo. Local masters who have been training there say the conditions are excellent!

    The early registration deadline has been extended a day to Mon Dec. 16, to allow everyone who was at Mammoth for the season opening event to sign up on before prices go up. Online registration on SkiRaceReg.com/fw closes 8pm Thursday 12/19; late entries and cancellations after the close of online registration are at the discretion of Alpine Race Dept.


  • Mammoth Schedule Change

    *** Sat SL cancelled, Sun GS is on! *** Saturday's SL race was cancelled by unanimous jury decision. The overnight 4-6" snowfall was very warm and did not set up enough to provide us with a safe racing surface. The storm is clearing out through the day and temperatures will be much colder tonight, which will allow the race hill to be packed and prepared for tomorrow's GS.

    Schedule tomorrow: 7:30-8:30 checkin at Race Department in Team HQ building. 8:30 Broadway Express opens. 9-9:45am GS inspection, 10am first run on ADG.

    And don't forget today's party at Giovanni's 4-5:30pm (located on the upper level of the Von's shopping center). Plan on pizza and stories from the day, along with a chance to meet some of our Far West junior athletes.

    ***SCHEDULE CHANGE*** After watching the weather forecasts all week and daily coordination with Mammoth Race Department, we have decided to swap the race schedule this weekend and run SL on Saturday and move the GS to Sunday. We believe this will give us the best shot at being able to hold both races with the best possible conditions.

    The weather forecasts have been uncertain about weekend conditions, but have continued to trend towards clearing and colder on Sunday, which would be the best for running GS (hopefully on a long course if conditions permit!).

    We understand the schedule change may cause problems for some of you who were only planning to race GS on Saturday and we very much regret if anyone will be unable to race on the changed schedule. If you were entered only in the GS and cannot race on Sunday, please drop your entry on SkiRaceReg.com before close of registration tonight at 8pm, or contact us at raceadmin@farwestmasters.org. We will not charge DNS fees for anyone entered in GS who cannot race on Sunday.

    Registration is open until 8pm tonight on SkiRaceReg.com/fw. Weekend entry list and info will be sent out to all competitors tonight.

    [12-Dec-2019 3pm; updated 1pm Sat 12/14]

  • Mammoth Season Kickoff

    Thanksgiving brought multiple storms and plenty of snow everywhere in the Sierra, so let's celebrate with the season kickoff at Mammoth next weekend! Our opening races of the 2019-2020 Far West Masters season will be GS and SL at Mammoth on Sat-Sun Dec. 14-15. We've got fantastic conditions for this early in the season and a dry pattern is moving in for the coming week - sweet!

    Reminder: the early registration deadline is Sunday 12/8, so get your race signups in on skiracereg.com/fw. Registration closes 8pm Thursday 12/12; late entries and cancellations after the close of online registration are at the discretion of Mammoth Race Dept.

    A bonus event next weekend is Mammoth's "Night of Lights" at Canyon Lodge on Saturday evening. It's quite spectacular - consider bringing family or friends. This is a popular event and town will be busy, so make sure you get lodging arrangements completed early. The race announcement has details on event lodging package offers at Mammoth.

    If your schedule permits, come early for training camp - attend for the full week or by the day. See the camp announcement or contact Mammoth Race Department for additional information.


  • Get ready for race season!

    Thanksgiving is nearly here, along with the first major storm of the 2019-2020 winter season in the Sierras. It's nearly time for the opening events of the Far West Masters race season!!

    Our first races of the season will be on Dec. 14-15 with a GS/SL weekend at Mammoth Mountain. Mammoth is a reliable early season venue with a proven track record of providing excellent race conditions with whatever combination of natural snow and snowmaking that comes together. Even with a late start to our winter storms, the cold weather will enable plenty of time for the snowmaking crews to put down a solid race surface.

    Registration is open on SkiRaceReg.com/fw for the opening races as well as all the events on our 2019-2020 season calandar. Remember that you'll need to "activate" your account for the new season the first time you log in to SkiRaceReg this season - the activation steps for existing user accounts ensures that you review your contact information and provide a working credit card that will be used for charging race entries during the season. If you haven't paid your Far West Masters member dues yet, you do that through your SkiRaceReg account. If you have questions or need help with membership, contact Membership Director Mary Feddis at membership@farwestmasters.org. For assistance with SkiRaceReg.com, contact our Far West series administrators at raceadmin@farwestmasters.org.

    If you'd like to get some training in before the opening races, come early for the Mammoth Masters training camp on Mon-Fri Dec. 9-13. The camp will include drills, progressions, and gate training. Tentative schedule is GS Mon-Tue, SL Wed-Thu, and both GS and SL on Friday. You can attend for the full week or by the day as your schedule permits. See the announcement from Mammoth Race Department for additional information along with registration instructions and lodging package.

    Discounted lodging is available for the training camp week and weekend races - details are provided in the event announcements.


  • 2020 membership and race signups

    Our farwestmasters.org web site has been updated with all our 2020 race schedule and membership information and the Far West Masters race series is open on SkiRaceReg.com/fw. Head on over to SkiRaceReg.com/fw to join Far West Masters for the season and sign up for December races.

    Online Membership Renewal: online membership renewal is available 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.

    US Masters Membership: all competitors in Far West Masters races must have a 2020 US Alpine Masters membership from U.S. Ski & Snowboard or purchase a short-term membership on a per-day basis to try out racing with us.

    Need help?! Contact Membership Director Mary Feddis at membership@farwestmasters.org if you have any questions about US or Far West Masters membership. For assistance with SkiRaceReg.com, contact our Far West series administrators at raceadmin@farwestmasters.org.


  • 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 has all the news about the upcoming season, including the complete season schedule and the Far West Masters membership package containing information on the 2019-2020 program and membership options for new and renewing members. Please get your Far West Masters membership in to Membership director Mary Feddis by Nov. 20 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!)

    REMINDER: don't forget to renew your U.S. Ski & Snowboard masters membership! Early renewal deadline is Oct. 15 and a $25 late fee will be charged for late membership renewals.

    Tips on US Masters membership: when you sign up for your US masters membership, be sure to select the appropriate membership type. For most of us, that will be the Alpine Master membership choice. Starting in 2020, there is an special new membership type Alpine Master (w/ requirements) that is only needed by masters competitors who are members of a US alpine club who work directly with junior athletes. You will be instructed by your club if you need the special membership, which has an additional cost and requires SafeSport training.

    See the "Getting Started" page on the US Alpine Masters web site for a very helpful roadmap with examples and explanations of the process for purchasing your US masters membership.

    Online Membership Renewal: We're very pleased 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!!


  • Fall Board Meeting

    The Far West Masters board will be holding their fall meeting at noon on Sunday Sep. 8 at the Braun residence in Mammoth Lakes. The board discussions will focus on planning and preparations for the 2019-2020 season.

    All interested members are invited to attend!


  • FW Officials Training Clinics

    The Far West division fall convention will be held Fri-Sat-Sun Nov. 1-3 at Squaw Valley CA. The fall meetings include coaches and officials training.

    The annual officials update clinic will be held 1-3:45pm on Saturday Nov. 2. All current officials are required to attend an update clinic at least once every two years to maintain their certication and annual attendance is encouraged. The update clinic highlights new and important rules for the upcoming 2019-2020 competition season and is also a good opportunity to mingle with officials and organizers from around the division.

    The TD meeting for current and prospective TD's will follow the update clinic at 4pm on Saturday. Officials education and testing clinics for specific certifications will be held on Sunday morning Nov. 3.

    If you are interested in becoming an official we can always use more help! Far West Masters is responsible for providing volunteer TD and referee officials at all our races, so becoming an official helps enable our race program. It's also a great way to learn more about alpine ski racing and to get to know the race organizers and crews at our competition venues. If you have questions or would like to learn more, contact any of our current officials or Far West masters Officials director Mark Mirviss.


  • Preliminary 2020 Schedule

    The preliminary 2019-2020 race schedule is now available. Scheduling Director 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.

    This season the Far West division will be hosting FIS Masters Cup races at Northstar on Feb. 7-9. The even will also be the US Western Region championships, providing a high-level competition opportunity even for competitors under age 30 who are not yet eligible for FIS Masters competition.

    We do not yet have confirmed dates/location for the 2020 Masters National Championship event. The preferred dates are the third week of March; details will be posted as soon as the event details are confirmed.


  • Summer Forerunner Newsletter

    The Summer issue of the Forerunner newsletter is out! Click the link below to read online or download your copy. All previous issues of the Forerunner from current and 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 this season, you will also receive a copy in the mail.

    The Summer issue has stories from the final months of the 2018-2019 race season along with the President's Letter column from FWM president Ray Tulloch and information about the US Masters membership renewal coming this fall.

    While we have much to celebrate, there is also sad news to share about the passing of two of our finest members. John Gianotti passed away quietly in March, just before the Mammoth nationals and many of us had the opportunity to share memories, stories, and laughter about our amazing friend John. In late May, we lost Norma Lausmann, a great champion herself as well as one of the founding organizers along with her husband Joe Lausmann of our widely respected Scholarship Program.


  • Gate de Mattei - Outstanding Master

    As any of us who have had the pleasure to share a race hill or ski slope with him have learned, Gate de Mattei is a pretty special guy. He's a committed ski racer, always looking to improve and go fast, and just as committed to getting out on powder days and freesking, leaving companions decades younger in his wake as they try to keep up! And though retired from his medical practice, his trusty black bag and expertise have been a welcome aid many times over the years when accidents or injury strike and knowledgable advice is needed.

    Now our admiration of Gate's continuing excellence is official: the 2019 Al Sise Outstanding Masters awards have been announced and the winners are: Jeannette Saylor (W08, Rocky) and... Gaetano de Mattei (M13, Far West)!! Congratulations to both Jeannette and Gate, who demonstrated that excellent racing is accomplished across the entire age spectrum of masters competition.

    Gate de Mattei - 2019 Al Sise Outstanding Master   Jeannette Saylor - 2019 Al Sise Outstanding Master
    (Photo credit: Susan Morning - MMCF)

    Gate continues to impress and inspire all of us, and after celebrating his 90th birthday in February at the Aspen FIS Masters event he is already looking forward to next season when he moves up to M14 class.


  • John Gianotti

    A masters legend has left us. Just one week before the annual masters national championships in March that brought together many who knew and raced with him, John Gianotti passed quietly at the age of 90.

    John's ski racing career took off in the late 1940's as captain of the UNR ski team, and continued until health and hip problems in his 80's finally closed his racing career, though even then he remained active and continued to ski and golf regularly. John was a great ski racer and champion, winning US and FIS international masters competitions, and was named US masters racer of the year 3 times, a great recognition of his racing accomplishments.

    Perhaps even more than his racing, John was known as a great character about whom stories abound among all who knew him. At this season's Viva Italia races at Heavenly, a perpetual FW trophy that John started as a unique tribute to whoever he felt deserving of recognition, the post-race gathering of competitors became a sunny afternoon session of sharing John G. stories. And at the March national championships, with many of his racing friends from around the country gathered, Rees Palermo gave a tribute to John's memory by sharing stories of their racing adventures, closing with a rousing "Viva Italia!!" cheer from all.

    John's spirit will remain a part of Heavenly and the mountains he loved, and his joy in life will continue to inspire all of us who share his love of ski racing. How did it go today? "It was a great run!"