Well, the deep freeze is creeping back in today and we got a trace of more snow last night. You may notice though, we didnt get out and groom. Given that grooming is shaping up to carry well into March, as a non-profit with limited funding, we have to look at the bigger picture and say, an inch or less of snow isnt worth going out for, especially since we were out nearly every day last week. Its about the opposite of where we stand early season, especially for the town trails, were we try to pack down every trace of snow to build our base. All that being said, the skiing should be very good, especially classic skiing. All of our venues have bomber classic tracks right now (though Sourdough has some shallow ones in places for the first 3 miles). So bundle up, get the green wax and tar wax out, and keep enjoying winter!
Oh, and thank a groomer if you know any of them!
First off, a huge thanks goes out from BSF to everyone who either helped with or participated in the relays yesterday! The wind was raw (we had a volunteer literally holding the tent down) and at times you could barely see the trail but 136 people still showed up and raced and appear to have enjoyed themselves. So thank you! Showing up and going for it despite the weather really proves the quality of our ski community here in Bozeman.
Speaking of the wind, we will be out clearing drifts in town this morning and skiing should be quite good when we are done with them. Tonight or tomorrow morning, Sourdough will get a full grooming, including to the Moser Trailhead, and hopefully the Forest Service will be able to get out on the Hyalite trails during the day today. Thank them if you see them!
The skiing has been outstanding so far this week, pretty much anywhere you go. We are having a good snowy stretch and I hope people are taking advantage of it. After skiing Highland, Sunset Hills, and Sourdough in the last 2 days, I can say they are all in excellent condition whether you are skating or classic skiing. Today, we are hosting our next Citizens Cup Race event at Sunset Hills. This time, its a relay; teams of two with each person skiing 2 laps of our 1.4km sprint loop (alternating laps). It should be a fun event for everyone, if you dont have a teammate, just show up and we will help find someone for you to race with. Racers, please remember to park at the softball fields, we do not have Lindley Center rented out this time. We have one more citizen cup race coming up in March, the Hyalite Classic. On the topic of Hyalite, the Forest Service is planning to get out and groom there on Friday. They have been busy catching up on all of the work the missed during the shutdown and we have been very busy with all of the snow in town, so there hasnt been grooming up there for a little bit. Stay tuned for updates there. As always, use caution on the road.
The cold continues and so do our cold related issues with machinery. We apologize for the lack of grooming recently but the cold has not been helping our machines, which all live outside, no heated garages, which makes life much more challenging. Anyway, it looks like a break in the cold Monday, we will be out Monday afternoon and evening to get things back into shape!
Slightly late on the detailed update, but here it is. If you can stay warm, there is good skiing out there. An east wind has come up, which tends to really make a mess of Highland Glen and Sunset Hills but generally spares Bridger creek and Sourdough. So, sheltered spots will be nice skiing, especially for classic. Once again, it is cold enough that snowmobiles are a pain and unlikely to start (besides being brutal to operate in the cold and wind) so we wont be doing any snowmobile grooming until temperatures moderate a bit, which looks to be coming Sunday-Monday.
We will have the Pisten Bully out at Sunset Hills and Highland Glen Sunday morning to clean up drifts and clear the trail, so keep an eye out for it and five it plenty of space; clearing drifts typically involves a lot of back and forth grading and the operator will be very focused on the blade, so please keep your distance from the machine.
We are having quite the winter season and our groomers have been doing a great job. Thank you for all of the community support and for purchasing your trails pass! Every one makes a difference! If you know any of the groomers or see them out, dont forget to thank them! Eric Wolcott, Eric Trinward, Joel Castle, Marcus Engler, and Richard Hayes have been doing great work.
Well, we had gotten away without any really nasty cold so far this winter, so I guess this had to happen at some point. The old snow has been transformed, the new snow did not produce much and has been blown away, and it is now very cold. Cold enough that starting snowmobiles is going to be very difficult and riding them very uncomfortable. So, for the time being, we are waiting on the "heat" of the day to try anything with sleds. The Pisten Bully is out working on Sunset Hills and Highland Glen and where there is shelter from the wind, the skiing should be quite good. Bridger creek and the small loops will wait until afternoon and we may pull the PB over to Sourdough sooner than later. Remember, we are a non-profit and these are community ski trails. While we can do a tremendous amount with what we have, we do not have the resources that a ski area would have (think warm garages to park every machine in...) so please be patient as we get things back into shape.
Yesterday afternoon the snow fully transformed at all of our venues and now it is cold. So, the trails are going to be a bit treacherous, unfortunately. There is snow on the way, but before that materializes, skiing on trails that are only groomed with a snowmobile is going to be icy. On that note, while the snow hasnt started yet, we will run the Pisten Bully around at least at Sunset Hills so there is some good skiing in town. This will also help the new snow bond to the old snow better. As this storm and cold snap develop, we will get out out and make sure our trails are all re-groomed again, starting after the bulk of the precipitation passes. Stay tuned for updates!
Despite the warm up the last few days, the snow in town has largely remained in good shape and the skiing is good without needing extra work. Sourdough was groomed for Saturday skiing as it was getting pretty rough but we are saving the rest of our effort for the upcoming snow! Sunday through Monday looks to be quite snowy and we will be getting after it. In the mean time, enjoy the warm skiing; trails have been awesome all week and are remaining so. Any crust formed over night will disappear quickly in the morning.
Thanks to everyone who came out for the Sunset Hills Chase! It was a good time and we are already looking forward to the next one (a relay this time) on February 14th. See the details on our citizens cup page.
We got the Pisten Bully over to Sourdough Friday night and everything is now smooth and level! There was a lot of snow at the Mystic Lake end and it took some work to get it all packed in and pushed around. We also groomed down to the Moser Trailhead in Hyalite. Skiing at Sourdough should be about as good as it gets, though I expect it'll still be a bit soft.
Sunset Hills and Highland Glen will be groomed on the morning Pisten Bully shift and should be excellent skiing as well!
Bridger Creek was groomed Friday night and we finally have the whole system groomed in and skiing well!
The Hyalite Road was plowed Friday morning and we are planning to get a crew up there to groom some trails. After seeing how deep Mystic Lake was with fresh snow, I think it is going to be a workout to get Hyalite groomed, stay tuned for updates. Hopefully the Forest Service Crew will be able to help us this next week, being down a set of machinery and a crew in our Forest Service friends while it has been snowing heavily has made things challenging. Hopefully there wont be another shutdown and we will have the Forest Service groomers back at it for the rest of the season. Thank you to Run Dog Run and GVLT for helping maintain the Sourdough trailhead in their absence!
We will get to the small loops before the weekend is out.
Thursday Morning UPDATE: We are getting out everywhere this morning. Skiing will be good but definitely a little soft. It looks like more snow on the way tomorrow morning, we'll see what we get. If Sourdough is going smoothly this morning, we will try to roll up to Moser Divide but our main focus will be packing in the lower section well. We are planning to get the Pisten Bully up Sourdough Friday night and get everything looking nice for the weekend rather than beat ourselves up and spend lots of time on snowmobiles.
Skiing in town was excellent yesterday and the snow is still coming. For today, we are riding out the storm. at 5:30AM there was maybe half an inch on the ground. Snow is supposed to wind down tonight so we are planning to get out tomorrow morning on all of the town trails and part of Sourdough. In the meantime, skiing should be quite good in town though it will get increasingly soft and hard to ski the tracks if this storm plays out like it is supposed to.