Thank you to everyone who skied this winter, brought a smile, and helped to make the trails a welcome place for all. We are grateful for the support and partnership of the City of Bozeman, Bridger Creek Golf Course, Bozeman Health, and the U.S. Forest Service Bozeman Ranger District.
Thanks to our volunteers, sponsors, donors, and everyone who bought a voluntary trail pass!
Grooming and maintenance of the Community Nordic Trails would not be possible without these partnerships, financial support from the community, grant funding, and the support of a talented and dedicated BSF staff.
Bridger Ski Foundation uses a unique funding model to groom and maintain all the Community Nordic Trails. All trails are free to the public to keep winter recreation affordable and accessible. As a nonprofit, BSF must raise $100,000+ annually to fund the Trails Program budget. Funding sources include:
Snowmaking got off to an inauspicious start with a burned-out well pump and controls just as we were getting things dusted off for the season (a power surge was deemed the culprit). The good news was that we were able to source another pump and controls with better surge protection in time for colder temps.
By Thanksgiving, we had a pile next to the pumphouse that measured between 800-1,000 cubic yds of snow. On paper, 1,000 cubic yds is half a kilometer of skiing, 10 inches deep (depth required for the Pisten Bully) and 20 feet wide.
Late November into early December was very warm, without natural snow or the possibility of making snow. So, we jabbed the pile with a measuring stake and watched to see how it would fare. All things considered, it did very well, but not without significant snow loss. Fortunately, the weather turned cold again after the first week in December.
Mother nature came through on December 15th with a surprise snowfall that brought skiing to all of the venues, and continued to deliver just the right amount of cold and snow at the right time to keep us in business all winter. With a more consistent and deeper natural snowpack this season, as well as a few tweaks to trail layout, we were better able to integrate the Sunset Hills snowmaking loop into the flow of the overall trail network.
Sourdough had the longest season with 109 days (first grooming to last grooming) followed by Sunset Hills at 99 days, Highland Glen 87 days, and Bridger Creek 86 days.
BSF groomed trails at Sacajawea and Chief Joseph Middle Schools, bringing skiing to over 500 kids in their physical education programs.
Despite some weeks of uncertain weather, and pendulum temperature swings, we had a great ski season!
But, there wasn’t a forecast or snowpack until February that let us take our hand off the snowmaking button.. so we kept going when it made sense and took advantage of some extreme cold stretches to make more snow, using less water and with fewer shifts than last season. A huge thank you to the volunteers who woke up early and stayed up late to help make this happen!
(i.e. why BSF groomers are the best!)
There is rarely a dull moment for the BSF Groomers. Between the snowmobile fleet, a Pisten Bully snowcat, and a snowmaking system, this crew specializes in rolling with the punches. Here are a few of the mishaps they had to troubleshoot during season:
We’re already planning for next season. If you haven’t yet filled out the 2021-22 Community Trails Survey, please take a few minutes to let us know how we’re doing! Take the survey.
If you enjoyed the groomed trails this winter and didn’t get a chance to buy a voluntary pass, there’s still time.... a donation of any amount is greatly appreciated. It’s more important than ever with rising costs and the need for maintaining and buying new equipment. Donate or retroactively buy a trail pass HERE. You can also donate to BSF during Give Big Gallatin Valley on May 5 & 6.
Other ways to help for next season: