The Great Ski Race® is the main fund raising event for the Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue Team, a non-profit all-volunteer organization. Team members, along with community supporters, organize The Great Ski Race®, which continues to be one of the largest Nordic ski races west of the Mississippi. Race proceeds are used primarily to purchase equipment for the Team, and to support winter survival and avalanche education programs sponsored and conducted by the Team.
The Great Ski Race® has gone from 60 racers being manually timed in 1977, to more than 600 racers with electronic timing in 1985, to more than 800 racers every year since 1999. In 2005 all records were broken, with 1109 registered racers, 1029 finishers, and the fastest mens and womens times yet!
The 30 kilometer (~18.43 miles) course begins at Lake Tahoe, climbs out of the Tahoe Basin over Starratt Pass, and heads to historic Truckee on a long downhill run along Sawtooth Ridge. The race course covers magnificent terrain and offers spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada. Panoramic views of Squaw Valley and the Sierra Crest are seen from the top of the course just before an exhilarating downhill run.