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Fresh Tracks. Season's End

Post date: Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 7:26pm
About: wildfire, Lower Continental, closing day, recent visitors, spring in Red Lodge

Several times I have posted a blog that nature has immediately made out-of-date.  Yesterday, as I started this one, an enormous wind-driven smoke cloud billowed over town from the southwest.  After all the vicissitudes of strange weather and challenging conditions at Red Lodge Mountain this...

Fresh Tracks. Good Grooming

Post date: Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 9:38am
About: groomers, grooming machines, Face of M, Chicken Trail

It has been the year of the groomer.  Donnie Jones, a thirty-five year veteran of driving grooming machines at Red Lodge Mountain, agreed to let me ride shotgun in one of the Piston Bully Winch Cats.  They are big, and it's difficult to climb into the cab over the treads.  Motoring up Show Off...

Fresh Tracks. Afternoon Delight

Post date: Sunday, February 22, 2015 - 1:49pm
About: Drifter roads, Cole Creek, Barriers, The Stube

Thin snow, thick snow, no snow, new snow; rock skis, fat skis, hot skis, shotskis; wet snow, powder snow, chunky snow, ice.  This season has been like "Dr. Seuss meets Red Lodge Mountain."  The pent-up demand from a month of groomers and icy patches had  adventurers trying to ski everything on...

Fresh Tracks. Race Day

Post date: Friday, February 6, 2015 - 9:24am
About: Town Series, Bobcat, race crew, volunteers, race course

Skiers have raced in Red Lodge since Finnish miners strapped on home-made skis, schussed down fields, and jumped over the barbed wire fences at the bottom.  More than 25 years ago, skiers at Red Lodge Mountain formed the first Town Series race teams.  For six weeks in January and February,...

Fresh Tracks. A Different Lesson

Post date: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 3:26pm
About: Ski Like A Girl, Auto Bahn, Snow Sports lessons, turns and control

On a busy Satuday afternoon at Red Lodge Mountain, I signed up for a Ski Like A Girl lesson, drawn by the description, "Come hone your skills in the company of other fun-loving rip chicks."  Because nobody else showed up, the Snow Sports people assigned me to a Skill Builder Adult group that...

Fresh Tracks. Variable Conditions

Post date: Saturday, January 10, 2015 - 10:25am
About: snow report, HFNT, fog

On a recent subzero day in town when the wind was whipping the trees, we decided not to ski.  We learned later (the old "you should have been here yesterday") that it was 48 degrees, sunny, and calm on Red Lodge Mountain--a great ski day.  We should have trusted the snow report.

We were...

Fresh Tracks. Winter Solstice

Post date: Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 3:39pm
About: recreation & solace, snow making, Lazy M, conditions

It's the time of year when the sun stands still, and the earth in our latitudes sleeps under the snow.  At the turning point of seasons, many cultures celebrate midwinter festivals of lights, feasting, and merriment to lighten the long nights.  Skiers take it further, heading out into a...

Fresh Tracks. Untracked Corduroy

Post date: Monday, December 8, 2014 - 12:22pm
About: corduroy, Grizzly Peak Club, Hancock

While waiting for the next big snow storm at Red Lodge Mountain, we are enjoying more than just skiing laps.  On Wednesdays and Sundays, the Grizzly Peak Club membership gives us the opportunity for fresh tracks on groomed runs.  At 8 AM on the Triple Chair, we watched the full moon set behind...

Fresh Tracks. A New Season

Post date: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 10:21am
About: early season, conditioning, Turnpike

It looks and feels like ski season in Red Lodge.  There's snow in the yards, ice on the streets, and ski gear in the shops.  Looking up at Red Lodge Mountain from our driveway, we have watched the snow fill in on Barriers.  Some nights we see the lights of snow makers.  The Mountain is doing its...

Fresh Tracks. Last Tracks

Post date: Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 10:54am
About: one more run, Big Bear Gulch, Headwaters, Lower Buckin' chute, great snow year, "It was epic."

At the end of a great snow year on Red Lodge Mountain, we are less concerned about improving our skills and more concerned about skiing one more run.

This season I have talked with visitors from North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, and...