Mark Nadell

Mark NadellThere are some who believe that Mark Nadell has been involved in the cross country ski industry since the stone age – the LIGNO-stone age, from the days of wood skis and pine tar. One of the few around who can still remember when Swix first introduced “Special” and “Extra” waxes, “Captain Nordic” has been cross country ski coach and clinician for over 30 years. And for those 30+ years, he was one of the most consistent racers on the Far West circuit (not the fastest, mind you, just the most consistent).

The former Administrator for Far West Nordic, Mark still helps out with coaching the older kids and leading trips and camps, but most of the winter you can finding him “herding” young racers on the trails of Tahoe Donner as one of the coaches for Alder Creek Middle School. He continues to volunteer with many different aspects of the nordic community.

Ben Grasseschi

Ben GrasseschiBen is currently the Head XC Skiing Coach for Far West Nordic as well as Head Coach for Auburn Ski Club.
Ben grew up skiing in Montana and Idaho and was a member of the College of Idaho XC Ski Team.  Ben’s strengths as a coach are his ability to keep athletes motivated and excited about training and competing.

Coaching/Athletic Highlights

Head Coach Far West Nordic Junior, Seniors, and Master Programs
Head Coach Auburn Ski Club Juniors and Masters Programs
Member of College of Idaho Ski Team
US Ski Team Junior Scandinavian Trip Coach

Jeff Schloss

Jeff SchlossJeff has been passionately coaching XC ski racers for 21 years in the Tahoe area. He coached the Truckee High School Nordic Team to five State Championships before taking over the head Nordic coaching position at the University of Nevada, Reno. At UNR he helped bring the team from a club sport to an NCAA Division 1 team and to a top 10 ranking in the nation. After coaching at UNR, Jeff became the head Nordic coach for the Auburn Ski Club and the Far West Division. He coached Far West juniors to six different Junior National Championships and help place Junior Matt Gelso on the US Ski team. In 2006 Jeff coached the US Ski Team at the Junior World Championships and at the Under 23 World Championships. He loves outdoor adventure and is active in rock climbing, kayaking, triathlon, and masters XC ski racing. Jeff is currently the head Nordic Coach at Sugar Bowl Academy.

Kara LaPoint

Kara LaPointFar West Farm Team racer, Kara grew up in beautiful Truckee, Ca. and is a proud product of the Far West junior teams. After attending the University of Denver for three years, she transferred to the University of Nevada where she finished her NCAA skiing career and also threw in a year of running. Today, Kara is a triathlete, runner and as always, a skier. She is coahing the North Tahoe High School team.

Skiing Highlights: Competed at the University of Denver for three years. Qualified for NCAA Championships and finished 17th in the 15k classic race in 2007. Competed one year at Nevada (Senior year). Had three top-ten RMISA performances and several top-15s during collegiate career. Finished 41st in the 10k classic race at US Nationals in Houghton, Mich. to earn my best-ever US Nationals result. Other top recent results include 3rd in the Gold Rush and Great Ski Race in 2008, and 13th in the Boulder Mountain Tour in 2009. Competed with the Far West Ski Team from age 13-18, winning several Junior Olympics medals during that time.

Martin Benes

Martin BenesMartin returned to the Truckee area after several years as a student and coach on the east coast. After graduating from Bates College with a degree in Classical and Medieval Studies, Martin went on to coach Nordic skiing at Dartmouth College and Bates. His enthusiasm for the Sierra Nevada Mountains brought Martin back to the Truckee area and to Sugar Bowl Academy.


August Teague

August TeagueAugust was born and raised in Aspen, Colorado. Where he began skiing and racing as a member of the Aspen Valley Ski Club (AVSC) and then Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS). August is now in his second season running his own business Unleashed Coaching & Consulting. His clients includes the Australian National Ski Team, UNR Winter Sports Club, and various elite endurance athletes. Prior to starting Unleashed Coaching, August was the head coach of University of Nevada NCAA XC ski team from 2004 to 2010. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Teague was named the director of skiing in the summer of 2007 and oversaw all aspects of the UNR’s Wolf Pack skiing program. In May of 2007, Teague was named to the Cross Country Coaches Committee, and the Cross County Sports Committee at the United States Ski Association (USSA) Congress in Park City, Utah. August has also been on the Far West Alpine board since 2010.

Prior to coming to Far West in 2004, Teague spent one season as the head Nordic coach at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash. Teague lettered four years as a member of the University of Denver cross country skiing, and cross county running teams. Where he helped the Pioneers to three NCAA skiing championships from 2000-2002. August was a six year Rocky Mountain Devision (RMD) junior national team member, with numerous top 10’s and the Colorado State Champion in Skate and Classic in 1999.

Joel Chew

Joel Chew

Joel is currently the Head Nordic Coach at Presentation High School, Biathlon Coach at Auburn Ski Club and Professional Waxer (Per Peter Holmes).  He has been Coaching at the last two Junior Nationals in Main and Minnesota.  Joel has also been coaching on Far West Trips to Oregon, Mammoth and Utah.


Holly Whitney

Holly WhitneyHolly hails from midcoast Maine and recently graduated from Williams College with a degree in Sociology…and skiing. She first came to Truckee during the first Far West Summer College Training program and now can’t seem to stay away. Holly had been working for the Chewonki Foundation, a nonprofit outdoor education center, but  moved out to Truckee in November to be the Truckee High School Assistant Nordic Coach and join the farm team.  Her biggest passion in life is working with kids in the outdoors, whether skiing, canoeing, backpacking, or teaching them how to chop wood.