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 Grizzly Peak and the full sun rise above Little Forest. We skied figure eights in the untracked corduroy and enjoyed the quiet on Tipi Trail. Our only companion was a large noisy raven.
The guy who haunts the weather websites in this house says that skiing in the West is off to a slow start. That might be an understatement. Even the close-by areas that usually catch the snow storms first do not have much snow. The enthusiastic local fitness instructor who always smiles and sees the good side says, "It's just like spring skiing, only without as many skiers. It's a chance to build up our legs before the big snows come." She's right.
Even if the bad news is that warm weather is not good for more snow making, the good news is that the sun is shining, the snow is soft, and at certain times there's no one else to be seen on the slopes.
What are the best runs in these conditions? Hancock from the top is good practice in choppy bumps down to the groomed edges of the Terrain Park. We ski it before the snowboarders claim it. Stay out of Rabbit Trails!
The groomers are doing an outstanding job with the available snow, and we are doing our best at skiing it. It's also a good time to research ski beers--Powder Hound, Face Plant, and Widow Maker. Any port in a storm--or no storms.