Biathlon is the unique winter sport that combines two challenging disciplines into one exciting event, Nordic skiing and shooting. The Methow Valley is home to one of the most successful and inclusive biathlon programs in the United States.
Led by coach Betsy Devin-Smith, Methow Valley Biathlon is a program for both youth and adults. Located in the north-central Washington State, Methow Valley Biathlon trains and competes on two biathlon ranges. One range is located in Mazama right on the MVSTA ski trails, the other range is located at Liberty Bell High School.
The goal of Methow Valley Biathlon is to promote the sport of biathlon to all ages and abilities. Rifle safety, sportsmanship, discipline and fun are the hallmarks of the program.
◊ Racing – Biathlon Team:
Junior members (age 9-19 yrs) must also be a member of the Methow Valley Nordic Team.
Adult skiers are welcome to participate as racers or just for fun.
• All members must complete a USBA biathlon safety class before shooting.
• All parents are welcome & encouraged to attend practices and events.
• Please refer to the MV Nordic Team handbook for goal setting and the parent code of conduct.
• Each individual needs to provide their own ammunition which can be purchased through MVBA
• A parent or adult must be with a beginning junior until the coach or range safety officer says otherwise.
Equipment and Fees:
• There are some club rifles that are available to lease or use for the season.
• Membership Fees (as of 2016-17 season), which includes MVB vest rental for juniors:
• Juniors – $40 Adults – $50 Family – $70
◊ Giving – Sponsors:
The Methow Valley Biathlon program is part of the Methow Valley Nordic Ski Educational Foundation, a 501©3 non-profit. Methow Valley Biathlon relies completely on the support of our sponsors and does not share in the funds of the Methow Valley Nordic Team. Sponsors have greatly assisted the Methow Valley biathlon team with grants, donations and in kind support. If you too would like to be a supporter of Methow Valley Biathlon please contact us. We would be honored to have you join us!
◊ Everyone – Come Try Biathlon: Christmas and Presidents Day Holidays
◊ Corporate and Private Events – Come Try Biathlon: Contact MVB to arrange your own private event.
Two times each winter the Methow Valley Biathlon puts on a Try Biathlon event at the Mazama biathlon range. Anyone is welcome to come to this event, no advance registration. Participants should be able to cross country ski, but high ability is not necessary. Gun handling experience not necessary.
On this day you will learn about the sport of biathlon. Our coaches will assist you with gun handling and practice shooting, followed by a short race with your friends.
Go to the EVENTS page of this website for more information on Try Biathlon!!
You Can Be Involved in Biathlon
Washington Biathlon Association (WBA) and Methow Valley Biathlon (MVB) have teamed up to provide this guidance for people interested in getting involved in biathlon in Washington state.
WBA is geared towards serving adults with regard to coaching, and is the state’s only race organizer, with their winter venue being Stevens Pass Nordic Center. Juniors are welcome and encouraged to participate in their races. MVB coaching is geared towards juniors at this time, with the exception of Try Biathlon described below. MVB practices are held at ranges in Mazama and Winthrop.
- Try the sport in a super convenient format—MVB’s Try Biathlon day during Christmas week and President’s Day weekend in February in Mazama, or WBA’s Safety Class and Biathlon Introduction every Saturday of race weekends at Stevens Pass. Either option is an ideal way for everyone to get their first exposure to doing the sport. After doing one of these you will have a much better idea of what the sport is all about.
- Once you know that you want to get more involved in biathlon, the next step is to take one of the clinics offered by WBA for beginners. WBA hosts a weekend-long clinic that covers both skiing and shooting in January at Stevens Pass Nordic Center. These clinics are ideal opportunities to learn the basics, including the safety, shooting technique, gun maintenance, and ski technique. Adults are strongly encouraged to go this route to acquire biathlon knowledge and technique! Juniors should try to join Methow Valley Biathlon for shooting training and Methow Valley Nordic Team for physical and ski training; part-timers are welcome.
- Continue to improve your skiing. There are many opportunities and class formats available in the Methow Valley, including clinics and weekly classes offered by Methow Valley Nordic Ski Education Foundation and public lessons offered by Methow Valley Ski School. An especially fun and effective option is the Sun Mountain Camp in December. Stevens Pass Nordic Center also gives lessons, and WBA puts on a ski technique clinic at Stevens Pass for its members who are intermediate and above (this season, 1/20/19). Juniors are strongly encouraged to join the Nordic team nearest to them.
- Continue to improve your shooting. The best way to stay connected to opportunities for shooting coaching and practice is to join WBA and/or MVB.
See you out there!