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November 2011

Upcoming Events

Dec. 10   First Full Moon Ski of the Season

Dec. 27   Pint Night at Sam’s Taproom benefits BRTA

Moonlight Skis

This winter we will again be hosting the ever-popular Moonlight Ski events at the Red Lodge Nordic Center. Our first event, on Dec. 10 from 6-8 pm, is nicely timed for a full moon. From the Nordic Center parking lot, follow “Luminary Lane” to the open campfire and warming hut. Please bring your own food and beverage to these events this year.

Other moonlight ski dates are January 7, February 4, and March 10. At the January event Mike Bergstrom and Halcyon LaPoint, archeologists from the Forest Service in Billings will present a history of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp F-60.

Moonlight Skis are truly memorable, so bundle up, fill your rucksack with fortifications and enjoy a special evening.

Drink up for BRTA

You are invited (and encouraged) to attend Pint Night at Sam’s Taproom on Tuesday, December 27th, 6-9 pm.  Fifty cents of each pint of beer sold will be donated to BRTA.

This could also turn into a fundraiser for plowing the 1/2 mile of West Fork road to the gate.  So lift a glass or two and drop a dollar or three in the jar to a good cause. Thanks, Sam and Lindsey!

Free Kids Cross-Country Skiing Lessons

Our kids cross-country ski lesson program will again be offered this year to children ages 5 through 12 at the Red Lodge Nordic Center at no charge. This program, known as “Nordic Kids”, is sponsored by BRTA and is conducted by volunteer instructors and support staff.

Saturday lessons will be held on Jan. 14th, 21st, 28th and Feb. 4th from 1:00 to 2:30 pm. In case of bad weather, a make-up lesson will take place on Feb. 11th. We are not limiting the number of students this year.

Parents need to register their children in advance of lessons by emailing Elise Fouts at ehfouts@

Recruiting Kids Ski Class Leaders and Assistants

Parents and interested skiers are needed as class leaders and assistants for the kids cross-country ski lessons. Several assistants per class enable the leaders to focus on the lessons. Assistant tasks include: picking up lost mittens, recovering meltdowns, converting the perpetually horizontal kids to the more productive vertical position, returning stranded “snow angels” to their class, and reinforcing skills. Classes are planned around games.

Training for class leaders and assistants will be held on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012 at the Nordic Center from 1:00 to 2:30 pm.

If you are interested, please call Les Hedquist at (425-3804) or email Elise at

Nordic Center: Winter 2011-2012

This year, our fall season lingered, with glorious colors and great weather. It is quite clear that fall is now gone. With below zero temps, several good snowfalls and snowplow trucks dashing about, we know it’s now winter. Volunteers have set up the Nordic Center for its winter operation, and the Grooming Team is preparing the ski trails.

Skiers will notice changes to two trails this year. Aspen Ridge Ranch now has about twenty horses, up from five, so has closed off a large section of the west pasture (closest to their corrals) for grazing. An electric fence has been used.

This area is therefore closed to skiing and will not be groomed.  The electric fence will be ON! Don’t touch the fence! Maps showing the changes will be provided soon.

You will also notice new colored stakes along the right hand side of our trails. These stakes are intended as guides for our groomers. They mark the grooming routes named Perimeter, Figure Eight, Volunteer and Far Side. The idea is to help new groomers follow each route and to keep them from wandering off the packed base of the trail in poor visibility.

Our search for more groomers resulted in ten brave men and women candidates, many with extensive snowmobiling experience. A trial period gives them time on the machines to know if this frozen experience and commitment is for them, and vise-versa. Mother Nature mostly determines when we groom, not us, so groomers need to be available and flexible. This larger team will spread out the work and frozen faces over more folks, giving the Nordic Center high quality ski trails.

Remember to check our Grooming Report at: and to wave at our hard-working groomers–there’s a real person inside all that cold weather clothing and headgear. See you out there.

West Fork Plowing

It is not a rumor. BRTA and Red Lodge Mountain are pursuing arrangements with the Forest Service to plow the 1/2 mile of the West Fork Road to the gate near Timberline Girl Scout Camp.  (The Forest Service will not plow their roads due to very low budget for winter recreation). And RLM is once again planning to help BRTA with grooming 4 miles of the West Fork road for winter recreationists. Thanks, RLM, and have a good ski season!


17% of the 4.5 million cross country skiers in the U.S. are under 18 years of age.

There are 1.8 million telemark skiers in the U.S.

Grant’s Ski Tip

Balance:  is very important in skiing fitness, and is an integral part of all types of skiing.

(1) Balance in fitness: whatever muscles you are training, work both sides equally, for strength, tone, or rehabilitation. If one limb gets stronger than the other, it will cause problems with your ski technique and could result in over compensation in movement patterns, even disability.

(2) Balance, as in don’t fall over: strengthen all your leg muscles; do lots of one-legged stands, (barefoot), vary arm positions, add arm movements, add bending at the waist (forward, sideways), and see how long you can stand on one foot with your eyes closed. Are you exercising both legs equally?

2011 Ski and Gear Swap

Our swap this year was the most successful swap to date! We had a tremendous assortment of good quality gear.  Doors opened at 11:00 to a packed lobby full of buyers who, within an hour, purchased well over half of the gear. By the end of the swap, 75% of the gear was off the floor!

We couldn’t have done this without the crew of hard working volunteers that helped advertise, round up tables and clothes racks, set up, check in, check out, and clean up. We had gear experts helping buyers choose appropriate gear. City Brew Coffee provided coffee and hot chocolate, with all proceeds going to BRTA. The Red Lodge HS Key Club offered up delicious treats for all. US Forest Service, Red Lodge Mountain, and Mark Edwards/Ray Masters (authors of Skiing Red Lodge), provided information from their booths.  BRTA thanks all volunteers for the time and energy put into the swap. A round of applause for the Red Lodge Schools for providing a great venue for the swap. See you all at the 2012 swap, but now it’s time to try out all that newly purchased gear!

Kids Ski Rental Program

The BRTA Youth Nordic Ski Rental Program was well utilized at the Ski Swap, Nov. 5. The ski rental program is designed to entice local kids to cross-country ski by providing inexpensive ski equipment for the ski season. Eighteen kids left the swap with skis to use for the season.

We have the following equipment still available:

Shoe sizes for boots:
Size Kid’s 1½/Euro 32
Size Kid’s 2/Euro 34
Size Kid’s 2½/Euro 34
Size Men’s 6½/Euro 39
Size Men’s 8½/Euro 41
Size Men’s 9/Euro 42
Size Men’s 9½/Euro 43

Weight for skis:
50-60 lbs/120 cm
60-70 lbs/130 cm
70-80 lbs/140 cm
80-90 lbs/150 cm

Height from floor to armpit for poles:
120 in
125 in

If your child can fit this equipment and you would like to rent for the season ($35 + $20 refundable deposit, please contact Janet Peterson at (406) 425-3806 or

Supporter Spotlight

Ray Svenson and his wife, Pat Ruzich, moved to Red Lodge from the Chicago area in 2008. They began vacationing here about five years earlier when Pat’s daughter, Amanda, moved here with her family. They soon fell in love with the area, partly because of all the outdoor activity opportunities, and decided it would be a good retirement location.

After moving here, Ray and Pat started using the Nordic Center for skiing and realized what a great asset it is. Two of Ray’s friends were on the BRTA Board and encouraged him to join, which he did in 2010. Ray has served on the Winter Trails Committee, which cares for the Nordic Center and is a backup on the grooming squad. This last year he wrote the grant application for a new Recreational Trails Program grant administered by the Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks. This grant, which looks promising as of this writing, will fund a new snowmobile for grooming and support grooming operating costs.

Quote of the Month

“Announced by all the trumpets of the sky; arrives the snow.”  ~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Always consider yourself welcome at BRTA monthly Board meetings, second Wednesdays, at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation building, (13th & Oakes, across from Post Office), 6:30 pm, or call your favorite Board member to learn what’s up with BRTA.