Your tax deductible donation is greatly appreciated and will help build and manage trails in the area.
Upcoming Events
Photo Gallery
Click below to check out the latest photos from our Facebook page.

Find out more about our volunteering opportunities.

Jan 2013

Pathways – BRTA Newsletter

Upcoming Events
Jan. 12   Adult Learn To Ski Clinic;  first day of Kids Program
Jan. 15  5:00   Pint Night at Sam’s Tap Room…fundraising for BRTA!
Jan. 19   Adult Learn To Ski Clinic
Jan. 26  Moonlight Ski w/ USFS

Learn to Ski Clinics
For adult beginners and intermediate XC skiers, classic or skate.  Pre-register (3-5 days in advance) with Grant:, or 425-0130.  $10 cash plus $5 trail fee. 
Schedule: 10:00 beginner and intermediate classic
11:30 beginner and intermediate skate (all lessons appr. one hour)
Meet at the kiosk at Red Lodge Nordic Center parking lot. Bring your own skis or rent from Sylvan Peak in Red Lodge or Billings shops.

Kids Program
XC ski lessons. Free. Starts Jan. 12, four consecutive Saturdays. Ages 4-12. Preregister with Elise ( Parent participation encouraged. Volunteers contact Amy (

Asano Otsu
Announcing our brand new Pathways publisher. (Many thanks to Corey Thompson and before her, Janet Peterson, past publishers of this e-newsletter)!  Asano came to Red Lodge via Japan, Telluride, CO, and about a million days with Outward Bound in MN, TX and MT. She is currently the Volunteer Coordinator for Red Lodge Fire Rescue. She and her husband, Paul, have a side business organizing events in the summer, their website: Headwaters Events. Asano says she has been wanting to do more for BRTA. Talk about win-win! We are grateful!

Nordic News
Thanks for your patience dealing with our dry, thin snow conditions at Red Lodge Nordic Center. There is plenty of skiable snow, but those brown patches are getting alarmingly bigger. Thanks, groomers, for your work.
West Fork Road has a new dog station at the gate, courtesy of the Forest Service. It consists of a bag dispenser (bring some to replenish it) and a bearproof garbage can to dispose of the used bags. They are by the FS information sign.  BRTA groomed the road once, and conditions are typical for the West Fork: well-used and beaten snow (about 3″ deep) the first mile or so; better and deeper snow past Basin Campground. Just past the second bridge (4 miles in), wind-blown and miserable with gravel for a base!

Pint Night
Show up at Sam’s Tap Room Jan. 15 after 5:00 and your beer purchases help support BRTA. Sam gives 50 cents per beer sold to local non profits, his way of giving to the community, and this is our night! Thanks to Sam & Lindsey!

Grant’s Tip:

Practice XC skiing without poles every time you go out, 10-15 minutes. Pump your hands forward and back the same as if you were poling, classic or skate. Let your legs do the work of driving you forward and balancing/gliding on one ski at a time.

Snow comes in many different types, and I don’t just mean shapes. Temperature, humidity, sun, wind & other disturbances, and age all have big effects on snow. Experienced ski waxers are aware of these types because they wax for the snow conditions, not just the air temperature. Grooming snow with a machine changes its characteristics (rolling fresh snow takes the air out of it and compresses it; repeated grooming grinds the flakes into suggary balls which are much more compact than fresh snow). Moisture in snow can evaporate (called sublimation) in sunny, cold weather; that happens a lot around here. Warm temperatures in the ground can add to evaporation even when air temps are very cold. Wind and low humidity add to evaporation.
Snow banks and drifts on a slope can have cohesion and elasticity, or can break apart, as in slides or avalanches. Studying and predicting avalanche conditions in the mountains uses lots of factors such as recent history and conditions, types of flakes in the snowpack, sun, wind, changes in temperatures, and of course steepness of the slope.
So while you’re out there get to know your snow. Feel it, eat it, lie in it, ski it, and pay attention to it. It is constantly changing.
Happy New Year!

Check our website for Nordic Center events coming this season.

Always consider yourself welcome at BRTA monthly Board meetings, second Wednesdays, at the RLACF building, (13th & Oakes), 6:30 pm., or call your favorite Board member to learn what’s up with BRTA.