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March 2012

Upcoming Events

March 10   Whitebark Full Moon Ski

March 17   Slide for Pride

Whitebark Full Moon Ski, Mar. 10

Join the Beartooth Ranger District, Custer National Forest and the Beartooth Recreational Trails Association (BRTA) for the “Whitebark Full Moon Ski” on Saturday, March 10th, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on the West Fork of Rock Creek Road (turn right/west off Hwy 212 onto the West Fork of Road Creek Road #2071 and proceed for approximately five miles until the gate, participants can park at the gate).  Speakers will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Featured speakers for the “Whitebark Moon include:

  • Jeff DiBenedetto, Landscape Ecologist, Custer N.F. speaking about the conservation of and threats to 5 needle pines, including high elevation whitebark and low elevation limber pine.
  • Barb Pitman, Wildlife Biologist, Beartooth R.D. will speak about Clark Nutcrackers.

Hiking without skis is permissible on this route. This walk is 2 nights after the full moon, so participants should expect a late moonrise and are encouraged to bring a flashlight, anticipate the local weather and dress in layers accordingly. For further information or questions call the Beartooth Ranger District at (406) 446-2103.

Slide for Pride, Mar. 17

TAP365 is holding at ski event at the Red Lodge Nordic Center on March 17 from 11 am to 3 pm. This event includes ski touring lessons and a chili feed. About 60 people are expected. For more information, contact Suzie Eades at (406) 208-1167.

Nordic Center News

720 sign-ins at the NC in January, 820 in February. The Nordic Center provides an invigorating, easy and a low-cost way of involving the entire family in a fun, outdoor activity. Conditions at the Nordic Center are excellent, so grab your gear! See you there!

Kids Ski Lessons

Fifty-five kids signed up for our series of four free lessons held under nice weather each Saturday. Ages ranged from three to twelve. Instructors and assistants were challenged in trying to place each child in the best class. Age, combined with athletic ability and desire to learn, made for a complex mix.

Armed with a toolbox of ski games, skills and parenting tactics, the leaders engaged the kids in fun activities that kept smiles on their faces while they chased each other around, not much noticing that they had skis on their feet. Along the way, they learned how to ski. A big thanks again to our elite grooming team that provided special game circles, a downhill course, skating oval and extra side-by-side tracks for skills practice. The high level of enthusiasm generated from this year’s program has everyone looking at the potential for next year. Cross-country skiing is an enjoyable, low-cost sport with great exercise benefits that make it a great family activity. Getting kids outdoors and active provides lifelong value. We’ll be looking to the parents and others to help next year, so block out some time for this worthwhile endeavor. Thanks to all that volunteered.

Nordic Kids Fun Day

On Saturday, Feb. 18th, about 60 Cody kids, parents and coaches, trekked here to join the Red Lodge kids for a day of fun at the Red Lodge Nordic Center. Mary Ellen Mangas, coordinating with Ann Wambeke from Cody, prepared a full range of ski games and activities for kids from age three through high school.

The littlest ones negotiated an obstacle course, made snow angels and generally chased each other around, grinning from ear to ear, thoroughly at ease with skiing. There is potential for an Olympic gold somewhere in that bunch. Ski soccer is always a favorite (yes, on skis). With mixed ages and sizes, the rules required that only kids under five feet tall be allowed to score. Clever!

The Cody high school racing team joined our local racers for downhill relay slalom races. Note that they were on xc skis, not alpine gear. This event proved to be far too easy for them, so the rules were changed to require that they go up, and down, backward. Poise and form changed to fitful starts and stops, to the delight of the observers. Being young racers, this event did not deplete their energy stores much. So with this task completed, they spent the rest of the day skating around the trails at high speed, showing their stuff, and leaving the rest of us envious.

Backcountry Film Festival a success!

Thanks for attending our 5th annual Backcountry Film Festival Friday night. You packed the house and BRTA was able to make over $1,000 on this fun fundraiser, including the popular raffle of many nice items (THANKS donors!) Everyone’s support is truly appreciated and BRTA will continue to promote trails in and around Red Lodge.


70% of winter storm-related deaths occur in automobiles. The rest: heart attack or hypothermia.

The record 24 hr. snowfall in the U.S. is 6’4”, April, 1921 at Silver Lake, CO.

(both from Treasure State Lifestyles Montana).


Wanted:  set of skate ski gear or separate components – boots (8.5 w), bindings, skis (175-185), poles (160 cm). Contact Kris at 425-1804 or

We will put your Nordic Ski ad here. Just email your info to and we’ll publish it one time.

Grant’s Ski Tip

Poling helps your forward propulsion. For classic XC skiing, poles should be long enough that handles fit snugly into your arm pit from ground level. For skating, long enough to touch your lip or nose. Push your hand UP through the strap loop; then rest your hand down on the strap while you are poling… no need to grip the handle (a relaxed hand also allows better circulation and less cold fingers). Adjust the strap to fit snugly on the gloves, mittens or hand. Swing elbows, and hence poles, close to your body. Plant the pole behind your foot for better forward push, keep your hands rather low and follow through with an exaggerated straightening of the hand and elbow behind you before bringing your hand forward again.

Quote of the Month

When snow falls, nature listens.  ~Antoinette van Kleeff

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