Red Lodge Mountain 2015

Wide Open Spaces - Groomers at Red Lodge Mountain 12/26/14
…It's the end of February now, time is flying. This year's ski season started pretty slow, but has now accelerated to full speed.  So, let's rewind…. It snowed 3 times in December: total snowfall  26". January wasn't much better. It was a very bleak time for skiers - it only snowed 17" the entire month! We were "plagued" with lots of sunshine & unusually warm temps.

But during January (& part of Feb) I skied in the Town Series races - a 6 week timed team & solo GS race for skiers, snowboarders, & telemark skiers. All ages, & skill levels were welcome. The competition is pretty dang tough if you are fast! Town Series is hosted by Red Lodge Mountain, its workers, & amazing "volunteers" who help organize, set up courses, timers, take pictures - & keep things going.

This is me. I've been training with Silver Run Ski Foundation's  professional 
instructors. I paid $150 for 5 training sessions. I've learned a LOT about 
slalom & GS skiing techniques! Still have lots to learn…Totally worth it! 
With the bit I have learned & done, I have sooo much more respect for GS 
racers. It's a  challenging & dangerous sport! 2/13/15 
If you live in Red Lodge, Billings, or anywhere remotely nearby, you should join the Town Series fun! It's a great excuse to skip work, & get some fresh mountain air into your lungs. There's never a dull moment on the mountain. It's a great way to make friends or rivals (just joking!) of local skiers, hone your racing techniques, & explore Red Lodge's many little bars & restaurants. There's a party every Friday night at 6pm with announcements, results & awards from the day's race. You get free food & drink, a T-shirt & there's live music too. 

I had a good fast team this year "Snag & Browns" - we managed to get 2nd place overall; & one of the guys from my team, & myself, received the "fastest overall" men's & woman's skier prize! That was exciting! Training with Silver Run has been great too; it presented a challenge, & something for me to work on — groomers were the only thing really worth skiing early season, as there wasn't hardly any snow. Off piste was out of the question, unless you wanted to scrape your skis on rock. It was a "Rock Dodge" type season early on.

>>>>>>>>>>> Eventually my prayers & snow dancing paid off —  February came with cold winds & lots of moisture! I LOVE snow. In fact, its dumping right now - even as I type this, I'm excited for the mountain! I'm always looking forward to the weekends or whenever I can get up there.

It snowed 77 inches during the month! Powder skiing is fantastic. All that snow has been keeping my knee constantly sore, mountain workers on their toes, & lifts turning busily. Stoke level: high. Very high. The entire mountain opened up, including the beautiful Palisades! I've been skiing hard. Temps have now been consistently cold, & the skiing AMAZING.

"Coal Chute" with a fresh 26" dump on 2/19/15
Totally sickkkkkkk! 
The view from "Big Bear Gulch" Double-black. 2/20/15
There's something so incredibly awesome about being on a mountain. The cold, the snow, the colors - the sheer size of everything - the breathtaking views… Being on the mountain puts things into perspective, makes my problems seem small. I will never lose my sense of wonder. Creation is amazing - I'm super thankful for being able to ski as much as I do, thankful for good health, thankful for where I live - this rugged & beautiful country - thankful for friends to hang with (you know who you are!!) …thankful for all the snow. God is good. 

Skiing is a mode of living in the moment: heart pounding, legs burning, lungs gulping down pine scented air. Flying down the mountain, with a vast expanse of earth stretched out below, you become one with your equipment. Skis are like wings on my feet. It's more then sport. It's a passion. Hope you are enjoying all the snow - be safe, keep the wonder, & ride hard!  

See ya up there!
Note: Snow measurements from www.onthesnow.com & from RLM's emailed snow reports.