The 2014 Great Ski Race, from Tahoe City to Truckee, has been cancelled. The dearth of snow coverage over the main route for the race, and on an alternate route, have sunk the race for this year. This is the first cancellation since the race first launched in 1977.
This iconic and hugely popular cross-country race is the main fund raiser for the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue organization.
The race started with 60 skiers in 1977, and the timing was done manually. From that time to now, the race participants have swelled to well over 1,000 skiers.
Jack Starratt, of Tahoe City, many decades ago, pioneered the route when he delivered the mail, on skis, through heavy snow. Back in those days, Tahoe City could be very difficult to get to when the snow was falling fast and heavy.
The pass near the high point of the course, at 7,700 feet, is named Starratt Pass after him. Skip Reedy used to ski the terrain and "...felt the course was a natural for a long ski race, something that was lacking in the Tahoe area. The race was the brainchild of Skip and his friends at what was then known as Search and Rescue."
The announcement from the organizers came today:
"We’re sorry skiers but based on the collective feedback and input we’ve received, 2014’s The Great Ski Race is officially, and unfortunately, CANCELLED. Thank you to everyone who participated in our poll and to those of you who were willing to commit to a different course. A special thanks to those who responded to our outreach by providing us with donations."
The race for 2015 will take off on March 1st, as long as there is enough snow coverage on the course.