By Ted Coakley III and Laura Read

Bold but cold sunshine, fresh snowfall, and more than 600 racers from across the country made this year’s Great Ski Race, March 6, one of the best ever: That was the overwhelming reaction from both skiers and many of the 150 volunteers who put on the 26K race last Sunday.

“The Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team is so fortunate to finally have a beautiful day for the Great Ski Race and party and to be able to introduce a new course which was in superb condition and clearly enjoyed by all the skiers,” said Dirk Schoonmaker, race co-coordinator. “Our amazing sponsors and registered racers allowed us to raise more than $65,000 for the team. We could not have asked for a better outcome.”

For the first time since the race began in 1977, the course was switched from a point-to-point route starting in Tahoe City and ending in Truckee, to a circular route that looped around Mt. Watson and returned to its start at Tahoe XC. That meant the finish-line party, featuring live music from The Blues Monsters and lunch catered by Men Wielding Fire, was at Tahoe XC, which turned out to be a very good venue, according to co-coordinator Doug Read.


Registered racers varied in age from 6 to 76. Winners were Wyatt Fereday (1:14:38) his third first-place finish and Katerina Nash (1:23:24) her fifth win. Detailed results for all racers are at

The Great Ski Race is the team’s only fundraising event. Since the race has been cancelled six times in the past ten years because of drought and Covid-19, the team has relied on grants to fund the equipment, gasoline, and other expenses from locating people lost in the backcountry and educating the public on how to stay safe while lost.


  • Ted Coakley III

    Lived: OH-TX-OK-CA-NY-CA Visited (work and/or non-work): many states all over the U.S., MX, Canada, Central & South America, Asia & Europe. High on my wish list is Ireland, all over Africa, New Zealand, Russia, Norway, China, Iran, Bhutan, Ecuador, Iceland, Bali, Baja .... well, okay, any/everywhere would be great to visit. Worked: photo, film/video, manual labor, high finance, menial, profound. Someone recently asked me, "You like to talk to people that others don't like to talk to?" I answered that I do like doing that, as much as talking to anyone else, but it's not "a thing" for me that I'm especially into. A day or two later, it struck me why I was asked that - because a lot of people are not like that ... not like me in that way. I'm glad I'm not like others in that way. ¡All for fun and fun for all!

  • Laura Read

    A 32-year Lake Tahoe resident, Laura Read is a freelance writer and editor who's published essays, travel stories, and features in Moonshine Ink, the San Francisco Chronicle, National Geographic Traveler, Sierra, MIT Technology Review, The Furrow, and others. She edited the Wolfdale's Cuisine Unique cookbook by Douglas Dale and copy edited Hans Burkhart's memoir, Above and Beyond - My Life Giving the World a Lift. She lives in Tahoe City.

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