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Happy New Year from Gear West!

A BIG THANK YOU for supporting Gear West for 31 years in Long Lake, MN.

It is YOUR friendship and support that keeps our family business moving forward. 

From all of us at GW Alpine, Nordic, Run, Bike, and Web plus myself (Jan), Brian, and the Gear West Poodles… we wish you peace, health, and fun times in the snow, on the road, in the lakes and on the trails this season, or however you Enjoy Outside!

- Jan, Brian, & The Gear West Family -
Buck Hill SL Training Starts Thursday!
Training starts Thursday, January 6 @ Buck Hill and will run for 10 weeks! We've added optional Drill Time to the program this year, coached by our Head Coach Peter Maxwell and Assistant Coach Mike O'Connor.

  • Drills start at 6pm. Meet by the Clock Tower.
  • Gate training 7pm – 8:30pm

Gate training is coached by the excellent Buck Hill coaching staff. On some nights, we may add video and perhaps some video review. We will set one or two courses depending upon the number of people attending each night and as conditions dictate.

Also remember, Midwest Masters has SL skis to check out to try SL. We also have shin guards and poles with guards to use. This equipment is aimed at those wanting to get back into SL or are totally new to SL, so tell any friends of yours about this option! Information on how to reserve the skis will be made public in the next few days.

If you haven't registered for the SL training, you can still do so here
Border Battle This Weekend!
Region I v. II Border Battle:
We’re headed back to Wild Mountain this year for our Border Battle weekend after one year off due to COVID!

Sat. Jan. 8th: 2 GS
  • Trail – South Wild
  • 1st Inspection @ 9am
  • 1st Run begins @ 10am

Sun. Jan 9th: 2 SL
  • Trail – Competition
  • 1st Inspection @ 9am
  • 1st Run begins @ 10am

Remember, this is the competition for the Midwest Masters Border Battle trophy between Wisconsin and Minnesota! Bring your state pride with you!
No Registration at the hill. Online Registration for ALL RACES ends @ 10 pm Friday, January 7th for GS, and Saturday 10pm for SL.

See complete details on our Race Event Notice
Ski Cooper Coming Up!
Once again, Midwest Masters will be joining with Rocky Mountain Masters for the annual Shin Tuck Showdown in January (Speed Camps: Jan 12-13, Official DH training runs: Jan 14, Races: Jan 15-16). Come on out and join us for loads of fun, lots of vertical, and to help bring the coveted Shin Tuck Trophy back to the Midwest this year!
Ski Cooper is the perfect venue for both the first-time “I wanna try it!” speedsters and to those who are already hooked on speed and want more. There is high-quality coaching, plentiful practice runs available for the speed camps, plus this event is the best value in ski racing. In addition to the speed camps, there are also formal DH training runs, 2DH races, a SG, and a SL to finish the week.
Lots of vertical to be had! We did some math and determined that the number of speed runs at this event is about 118 runs down Milk Run at Buck Hill! This equates to over 8 YEARS of racing Ski Challenge at Buck Hill... in only 4+ days at Ski Cooper!
See the Rocky Mountain Ski Cooper Fact Sheet here. This has all details on the entire event. YOUR BUCK HILL PASS PROVIDES 3 DAYS OF LIFT TICKETS AT SKI COOPER!
You may register for the races on the Races page of Note these races are organized by the Rocky Mountain Division, and the cost structure is different from Midwest Masters.
Current Snow Report:
Unlike last year, when we surprisingly ran hundreds of DH runs on only about 16" of snow, this year Ski Cooper is getting a ton of snow. The Race Director at Ski Cooper recently confirmed there is abundant snow coverage with more on the way! We have no concerns about snow this year. 
Discounted Lodging With Midwest Masters Is Available! 
We are coordinating lodging in Leadville for all who wish to join us out West. The first house, the Governor’s Mansion, has now been filled with plenty of space in a second house for additional people. Sign up to join us using this link and see details on the properties we are renting. Please reach out to Kris Grebe with any lodging questions.
Buck Hill Practice Race Recap
Thank You to everyone who came out to join us for our first "practice" race event the weekend of Dec 18-19. The weekend was well attended, with over 40 people total coming out over 2 days to train GS and SL, and we accomplished a lot over the weekend.
Weekend Highlights:
  • Provided an opportunity for those who are new to Midwest Masters to learn how to register for Masters races, how run orders work for race day 1st runs and 2nd runs, and how to inspect a GS and SL course.
  •  Coaching and video analysis feedback was provided for each participant.
  • A big “Thank You” to coach Michael O’Connor and Ryan Fuller for your insight and guidance over the weekend!
  • Our first and last runs of the day were timed. This was useful for providing participants with a real feel for what race day would be like, and it also allowed us to test our new race software (a big thanks to Scott Malmsten!)

Some participants also had an opportunity to try out our new FreeLap timing system; a brand new, really cool and very informative split timing system that we are prototyping this year. Expect to hear more about this system this season. And a big thanks to Dave Walker for donating it to Midwest Masters!
Thank you also to our race, timing and registration crews for running a successful weekend!
Granite Peak – Region II Champs Feb 11-13
We are excited to be returning to Granite Peak for our annual Region II Masters Championship February 11-13. This is one of our best attended races of the season with competitors from all over the Midwest. Once again, the SG portion of the event is now part of the US Alpine Masters National Speed Series! The Team Competition will return this year, and we will be awarding the new coveted Team Competition Belt to last season’s winner. Be sure to bring your racers from your local league and compete together against other Teams in the Midwest. The awards banquet is back this season! THANK YOU TO JIM HURTIS FOR SPONSORING THE EVENT AGAIN IN 2022!

Thursday: Potential SG training... stay tuned to our FB page for updates
Friday: 2 SG (2-run combined time; 4 total runs)
Saturday: 2 SL
Sunday: 2GS

See complete details including Lodging Block info on our Race Event Notice.

Remember, we no longer have Registration at the hill. Online registration is highly recommended, but you must register by 10am on Thursday, Feb 10 for all events during the weekend. We will have a Registration Desk at the Race HQ Thursday and Friday night as well but there will be an additional fee per race for in-person registration.
Lodging Block Reminder!
Make sure you get your rooms for the big Championship Events in February and March! The rooms go fast so book now! Get the details on our Race Event Notices:

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