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 Washington. Thank you for coming to our mountain and our town.
Thank you to the Red Lodge Mountain professionals who not only make it happen but make it better: groomers, mechanics, lifties, cooks, cashiers, maintenance, ski patrol, ski school, hosts, and management, especially Jeff C. and Paul for inviting me to write this blog.
Thank you for reading it, especially those of you who told me that you liked it. It gave me new eyes on the mountain and a different way to connect with fellow skiers.
Thank you to family and friends, from Hawaii to Zimbabwe, some of whom do not give a fig for skiing but support anything I try. I continue to be grateful to and for that old boyfriend who still wants to ski with me and wants you to know that after he shoved me over so many snows ago, he did help me gather my poles and learn how to get up from a fall. It's a skill that I still use.
This year we skied all the named runs, thanks to our neighbor dude who, as a friend on a powder day, led us into Big Bear Gulch and his favorite trees in Headwaters. As he likes to say, "It was epic." We decided that those runs are best skied with someone who knows the way and that Lower Buckin' Chute should be renamed "Rabbit Trails On Steroids."
Come autumn, we'll be standing in our driveway, looking up to Barriers, waiting for winter. For now, there's plenty of snow and time enough to make your own last tracks.