Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Princeton, Mass., is hosting a series of events for skiers and riders with a competitive edge through February and into March.
The annual Firefighters Ski Muster is Feb. 17, when teams of sparks from across the region hit the slopes to raise money for a good cause. Proceeds benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation's effort to battle the disease.
Three top spectator events are the Midnight Alarm, in which teams of sparks lay out their firefighting gear and skis or snowboards, and scramble to put it all on and race down a slalom course; the Modified Slalom, in which four-person teams race through a slalom course holding on to a 50-foot length of fire hose; and the Individual Timed Slalom Race, for personal glory. All events are on the NASTAR course on Challenger, visible from the base area. Events kick off at 10 a.m.
The Ralph Crowley Classic, the state's premier open GS race for skiers and snowboarders 18 and over, is March 4 on Smith Walton.
This annual, long-running event is successor to the Massachusetts Downhill, run first on the Pine Hill Trail, then the Balance Rock Trail, and finally moved to Smith Walton when Wachusett Mountain Ski Area expanded trails and lift to the summit. Registration and check-in is 8 to 9:30 a.m. race day. Pre-registration is $39; race day registration is $49.
The race was renamed in honor of Ralph Crowley Sr., who oversaw the expansion of the area to include an extensive trail system, modern lifts, and state-of-the-are snowmaking and grooming.