While we did get some snow from this latest storm, the pattern of little more than dustings in town continues. That said, the town trails are all skiing well. Sunset Hills will be the most consistent and best skiing in town right now. Please try to limit how much snow plowing you do on the downhills though, there are a few spots that are getting very scraped off. The trails are not directional so if you dont feel comfortable with the downs, ski the loop in the other direction. It looks like a warm week ahead and the more snow we can keep in those couple spots, the better!
Highland Glen is grassy and bumpy but the skiing is surprisingly good! I skied there a couple times this week and was pleasantly surprised both times. We smoothed it out again Friday night. There are some thin spots on the south facing hills to watch out for.
Bridger Creek has some thin spots under the trees but is otherwise skiing well. We dont have enough snow to groom the loops above the clubhouse though. If you are looking for a nice, mellow ski, the lower loops at Bridger Creek will be the ticket.
On Friday night, we took the Pisten Bully up Sourdough and groomed everything, including the last mile down to the Moser Trailhead in Hyalite. The trail is now level, wide, and has good classic tracks. Please use caution on the lower miles; cover is still thin, the trail is narrow, and there will likely be lots of people out for the weekend. The ski from the Moser Trailhead to Mystic Lake is arguably one of the best around; give that a shot and help ease the pressure at the Bozeman Creek Trailhead.
A final note for town skiers: for Sunset Hills skiing, please park at the softball fields! The city asks that skiers not park at Lindley Center. Further, BSF and the cemetery ask that skiers not park around the gate where the grooming trucks are. The groomers occasionally park there when we are using the trucks and sometimes we find that people have parked us in. It is never OK to block a gate and this spot is in clear sight of the softball fields parking lot! Crossing Highland Ave has never been easier thanks to the new traffic light and crossing signal!
The snow trickle has turned back on and conditions are finally improving, bit by bit. All of Sourdough was groomed Friday night. Expect skiing to be on the softer side, especially above the bridge. Coverage is much better in the lower miles but please use caution and watch for and leave space for other trail users. The same can be said for the walkers and runners; give skiers space and watch for traffic.
The lower loops at Bridger Creek have been rolled and are looking much better but there are several areas that are very, very thin still so keep an eye out for those spots but it will be possible to get some decent, continuous skiing here.
Highland is skiable but we havent gotten quite enough new snow to groom it again. It is very close though and there will be some stretches of decent skiing so dont let the lack of grooming stop you!
Sunset Hills has been groomed and is looking (and skiing) much better than it was. There are still some thin spots to watch out for but they are generally limited to sunny spots along the south end of the area. Now, there have been some ongoing issues at Sunset Hills that are worth mentioning. It's not many people, but there having been people regularly running some of this trail system and Friday night while grooming, there were foot and dog prints that went most of the way around the loop in the middle of the trail. If you feel comfortable with it, please help us out and act as an ambassador in these situations: there are lots of other places nearby to run and walk dogs and comparatively little groomed skiing, even on a good snow year. BSF has an agreement with the city to set up a ski trail here, not a multi use trail. In addition, there has been a lot of sledding on the trail coming out of Lindley Center. Again, this is clearly signed; skiers to one side of the fence, sledders to the other. Part of this is for safety so that a skier coming up the hill is bowled over by a sledder, part of this is to help protect the snow on that slope, which is sun exposed and always thin. Again, if you feel comfortable with it, please politely remind any sledders that the ski trail is not for sledding and why it is that way. BSF personnel are not able to be out monitoring these trails all the time; we are a small non-profit, not a ski area, so that is why we ask for the help of the community on things like this. The vast majority of people in Bozeman dont seem to have issues around seasonal trail changes and if we can all act as ambassadors from time to time, we can help educate users who simply dont know and hopefully make recreation around town better for everyone.
4-8 pm at the BSF Office
Reserve a wax bench and bring a pair of skis. BSF is giving the community access to their wax tools. We'll provide wax, a bench, and equipment. We'll also have experts around to help you wax, if you need it. Suggested donation $10. MORE INFO
5 pm at Sunset Hills/Lindley Center
Try out the community Nordic series with a fun classic ski. Throwback theme: wool, wood skis, 3-pins encouraged. Free 1K race at 4:45 pm for kids. Join us afterwards for beer, non-alcoholic cider, and treats in the Lindley Center. Volunteers still needed, too! MORE INFO
Welcome to 2020! The latest snow storm did not produce very much but the trails in town got enough for a nice refresh. Sunset Hills has been groomed and is skiing well by all accounts. Highland Glen was rolled and is rough, but skiable. Even if we aren't grooming much, those are still groomed ski trails and are not open to walkers, runners, and bikers. Please be an ambassador if you see them out there, if you feel up for it. This morning, the lower loops at Bridger Creek are getting a touch up and I expect will be decent skiing. Please park at the clubhouse, there is absolutely no skier parking on Boylan Road.
Sourdough continues to improve though the first 1.5 miles are quite thin still. Skiers, please slow down and use caution here, especially on the hill coming down from mile 1. It never hurts to give a verbal "heads up" around the corners and if you see other skiers or walkers who aren't paying attention. That being said, if any walkers/hikers/runners are reading this, Sourdough is a busy trail with a lot of foot traffic and a lot of skiiers; please stay to the right going up and left coming down if you are on foot and leave generous space in the middle of the trail. Skiers, even if they are in control, do not stop quickly (and need space to stop!) and have a harder time moving aside than someone on foot. Everyone needs to be paying attention and doing what they can to avoid trouble. Say hi to each other, make sure people are OK if they fall, and generally be nice.
Above the bridge is full on mid winter ski conditions and we now have a classic track starting around mile 2.
Tomorrow, Saturday the 4th, is the Bozeman Creek Climb ski race. The event is classic technique (even if we cant get a good track set) and starts at mile marker 1 and goes to the bridge or the mile 3 outhouse (for kids). Racers are encouraged to register online but there will be day of race registration at the trailhead. The race starts at 10AM and we are closing registration at 9:30 sharp to give people time to get to the start and get extra clothes into the sleds that are going to the finish areas just before the start.
All racer parking is at the water plant; it is on the left just before the pavement ends on the road to the trailhead. The gate will be open for us and BSF will have vans to shuttle racers from here to the trailhead. Please park and take the shuttle to the trailhead with your gear rather than dropping gear off. There is not a lot of space in the trailhead parking lot.
here are all of the official details:
UPHILL CLASSIC SKI
Start: at the 1-mile mark on the Sourdough Canyon/Bozeman Creek Trail
3.5km: ends at the outhouse. No timing (finish places will be recorded).
6.5 km: ends at the bridge. Timing included.
SHUTTLE TO TRAILHEAD - Park at Water Treatment Plant, 7024 Sourdough Road
8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Race registration and bib pickup at the start line. (Pre-register to speed things up!) Important: on-site registration will close at 9:30 a.m. sharp. This is essential for timing logistics. No late registrations.
9:55 a.m. Snowmobile will depart for the finish. We will take racers' warm-up clothes to the finish area.
10:00 a.m. Race start.
Post-race: put on your warm clothes and ski back down to the trailhead. Please take care to descend slowly on the lower section of trail, as the trail will likely be busy at the bottom. Let’s leave everyone with a GREAT impression of how friendly and courteous ski racers really are :) Hot drinks and awards at the trailhead.
OPEN TO ALL SKIERS:
Recreational and competitive skiers are all welcome, and we hope to see a strong showing from the entire Bozeman Nordic skiing community!
6.5K: Adults: $15, Students: $10
REGISTER HERE: https://my.raceresult.com/145179/registration?lang=en
Online registration closes at 9 pm the day before the race. Race-day registration available at the start (cash/check only) from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. only. No registrations after 9:30 a.m.!
Race website: https://www.bridgerskifoundation.org/events/bozeman-creek-hill-climb
Hope to see you there!
Tomorrow, Saturday, is the annual Hyalite Tour. This is a low key, community event (not a race) hosted by BSF, Friends of Hyalite, and the Bozeman Ranger District at the day use parking lot by the dam. The whole idea is to get a bunch of people out skiing and celebrating winter (as well as burning off all that holiday food). The Hyalite ski trails are mostly narrow and groomed less frequently, so it's a bit more of a rustic experience. So grab your classic skis (some areas are skate-able but grooming is mostly for classic skiing), some friends to carpool with, and come ski with us on Saturday at 10AM!
With that note on Hyalite, BSF and the Forest Service will be out grooming the trails today (Friday). The plan is to get around everything and hopefully set some classic tracks this time. The road was last plowed on Tuesday but expect it to be icy and snowy; give yourself time to get up there and just drive slow.
Last night, Eric groomed all of Sourdough, including the last mile to Mystic Lake, and did set classic tracks above the bridge on both the Moser and Mystic Lake sides. The lower miles are skiable but very, very thin and there is some treacherous ice lurking in places, so if you are skiing from the Bozeman Creek Trailhead, use caution and take it slow. There will probably be lots of people. While we haven't groomed down to the Moser Trailhead yet, there has been enough snowmobile traffic on that road to make Moser a good alternative access point right now.
As for the town trails, we need more snow. We packed down the almost inch from the other day at Sunset Hills but it did not amount to much and bare ground and ice are lurking in a few places. Sunset Hills is skiable but be ready for marginal conditions. Bridger Creek may have some skiable crust but it is not recommended right now.
Hyalite Tour, Saturday, 12/28 10AM. This is simply a "go-skiing" event. No fee, no competition. Free food at the end.
Bozeman Creek Climb, Saturday, 1/4/20, start at 10AM, registration closes at 9:30AM sharp. Classic race from mile 1 to the bridge or mile to mile 3 (for kids). Parking at the Sourdough Water Plant, BSF will provide a shuttle to the trailhead. Keep your fingers crossed for more snow...
We have in town skiing, for now. Without a freeze last night, I suspect our town trails will really break down today. There will probably be some light crust in places during the morning hours and the morning will probably be the best skiing. Go enjoy it while coverage is good and the snow is at its fastest! Best town skiing will be at Sunset Hills as it has a mostly Northeast aspect. Parts of Highland and the golf course are skiable but these areas are considerably bumpier. We will not be grooming in town until we recieve some snow.
The lower miles of Sourdough are holding on for now as well, up higher, you will find colder, dry snow, especially in the shady spots. Dont forget, you can access Sourdough from the Moser Trailhead in Hyalite if you prefer to skip the rocks, walkers, and dogs at the Bozeman Creek Trailhead. We have not groomed from the Moser gate down to the trailhead yet but this is a snowmobile trail so it should be quite skiable. Coverage throughout the upper portions of Sourdough is quite good and we were able to groom and level the Moser side considerably on Wednesday night.
On Thursday, the BSF crew teamed up with the Bozeman Ranger District to groom all of the trails in Hyalite. We did not set any tracks; the purpose was to pack down a nice, wide base that will facilitate grooming as we get more snow. I went and skied a nice loop up there yesterday and found a mix of dry snow and transforming snow (I could still kick on hardwax though; use a very warm wax and cover it with a layer of something in the violet range). Skiing in the morning hours and late afternoon/evening hours should be quite good. With the low sun, these trails get very little direct sun but tree cover does trap a lot of heat in some areas so be ready for variable snow. There are a few thin spots but overall, coverage is very good for how little snow there is.
With conditions as they are and cooler weather on the way, we will try to get out on Sourdough once it cools off. We are tentatively planning to groom Hyalite again on the 27th (with the help of the Forest Service).
Two dates to mark your calendars for: December 28th is the Hyalite Tour. This is a free, community event that is simply about getting out and skiing. BSF, Friends of Hyalite, and the Forest Service will all be there to chat and recommend trails to ski.
January 4th is the Bozeman Creek Climb; this is a race from mile 1 to the bridge (or a shorter race to the outhouse) in Sourdough. See the details on the Nordic Events page.
Do whatever it takes to encourage some snowfall!
Just a heads up to anyone out skiing the next couple days, we have a couple projects we will be working on. First, we will be moving some snow around at Sunset Hills with snowmobiles and sleds to cover some thin spots. The skating at Sunset Hills remains quite good but we want to shore up a few sunny, thin spots in the hopes that it will carry us through the upcoming warm temps. This will be taking place Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Second, we will be trimming some branches on the Moser side of Sourdough; this allows for more snow to reach the trail and should help reduce rutting a bit. It will also help clear a way for our machinery (there are a few spots where branches are in the windshield of the Pisten Bully). This work will be happening Tuesday morning. Lastly, in conjunction with the Forest Service, we will be doing some track packing and log clearing on the Hyalite Ski Trails. Cover is still thin up there but this will establish a base to groom the trails from.
The skiing around town and in Sourdough is good for how little snow we have, go and enjoy it!
The dry and warm weather continues but we still have skiing in town and at Sourdough. I took a look at Sunset Hills, Highland, and Bridger Creek today and while the snow has transformed and gotten crusty, coverage is holding on. Expect skiing to be crusty and fast during the morning hours and if temperatures stay below freezing. The warm weather managed to smooth the trails out a bit and conditions may resemble crust cruising. Sunset Hills in particular has good coverage and with its largely north aspect, may be a little more forgiving. Highland Glen is bumpy and crusty but skiable though the southerly exposures may be more grass and dirt. With low snow, Highland is very difficult to groom as those trails are much bumpier and more uneven. The lower loops at Bridger Creek have decent coverage and while things will be a bit crusty, it will be skiable. We may try some grooming on Sunset Hills and Bridger Creek here and there but for the most part, we are waiting for more snow as grooming gradually wears the trails down and it is more important to keep some snow on the trails.
Sourdough is holding up a bit better than expected; we groomed it Thursday morning and are back out again Friday night grooming to Wildhorse. From the trailhead to mile 1 is rocky, from mile 1 to 3.5 is decent, mile 3.5 to 4 is very thin, and from the bridge to Wildhorse is good. As always, use caution on the lower miles, keep your dogs close, and watch out for other people and dogs!
If you have time, do a little snow dance; we'll keep at it when we can and when we really need to but we really need more snow, at this point.
The last round of snow functionally missed us in town, so I would expect some crusty skiing out there today. With a dry week ahead and thin snow, the less grooming we can do, the better. We will spend some time evaluating where our trails are at today and will probably try to revive Sunset Hills a little bit, especially since our first Community Funski Race event is Tuesday. We may have to adjust the courses and do some shoveling, but the event is happening! Races start at 5pm at Lindley Center on Tuesday, skate technique, hope to see you there!
There are reports of a little more snowfall south of town so we do have a roller out in Sourdough this morning, stay tuned for updates there.
While the thin snow and dry weather is frustrating, the reality is that we are in a fairly normal weather pattern for this time of year. The skiing has been good for being so thin!
Despite the warmer days, our trails have been holding up reasonably well. I skied all of the in town trails on Thursday and found very little transformed, crusty snow though there are some sunny spots that are melting out a bit. Cover is thin but the skiing at all of the in town venues is good! Sunset Hills and Bridger Creek in particular are skiing very well. Highland Glen is bumpy and there is a bit of grass showing, but not much in the way of dirt and rocks.
Sourdough is rough, so be ready for rocks and take it slow in the lower miles or on the Moser side. From the bridge to Wild Horse is quite good, but the last mile to Mystic is bony again. Expect plenty of foot traffic in Sourdough over the weekend and please be courteous to other users and give them some space. In the lower miles, please ski carefully and slowly and if it looks safer to walk some of the bad spots, please do so.
With the thin cover and a couple more warm days, we are not doing any grooming in order to help preserve what we have until it snows again. There has been some runner traffic at Highland, which is unfortunate as we are not able to groom the deep divots the left out of the trail due to the thin snow. Fortunately, it looks like a tiny bit of snow on the way Sunday, which is better than nothing. While you wait for the trails to refresh, come out to Bozeman Brewing for our Sunday Funday event with them. A portion of beer sales on Sunday afternoon (12/8) will go to BSF Trails.