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October 2011

Upcoming Events

Oct. 22     Nordic Center Work Day

Nov. 5      BRTA Ski Swap, Civic Center

Dec. 10    First Full Moonlight Ski of the Season

Ski & Gear Swap

Saturday, November 5th, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

It’s time to clean out your gear room and closets! The 5th annual BRTA Ski and Gear Swap will be held at the Red Lodge Civic Center on Saturday, November 5th, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Check in your skis, tents, skates, jackets, backpacks, snowboards, etc. at the Red Lodge Civic Center on Friday, November 4th, from 5:00-7:00 pm, or Saturday, November 5th from 8:00-10:00 am.

This is a great way to recycle and make some money! 20% of the proceeds go toward grooming equipment and upkeep of the Nordic Center, and maintaining the Rocky Fork Trail system trails in and around Red Lodge.  This year BRTA used funds to pay for the Montana Conservation Corp to help develop the Airport Trail.

Also at the Swap:

  • Purchase your season pass for the Nordic Center
  • Sign up your kids for free cross-country ski lessons
  • Get your kids season Nordic ski rentals

Sylvan Peak and Red Lodge Mountain will be there along with gear experts to assist with your selection of gear.  City Brew will have hot chocolate and coffee to purchase with all profits going to BRTA. The high school Key Club will be selling concessions. Mark November 5th on your calendars! See you there!

Nordic Center Work Day

The Red Lodge Nordic Center at Aspen Ridge Ranch is gearing up for another great year. Riding high on last winter’s great response from skiers, our Winter Trails Committee has been hard at work this past month with preparations and improvements for the upcoming season.

Our successful kids ski lessons program will again be offered along with a kids seasonal ski rental program.  Moonlight skis, ski clinics, and races are on the schedule.

Each year at this time we need to set up the Nordic Center for winter skiing.  Extra help is needed and appreciated. Join us for a kick-off day of work and fun. Lunch will be provided.

When: Saturday, October 22rd, 10 am to 1 pm.

What: Converting Aspen Ridge Ranch from summer horseback riding/hiking trails to winter skiing trails. Jobs: hauling firewood, clearing trails, installing snowfences and signs.

Where: Meet at the Nordic Center parking lot on Smith Rd.

Bring: Bring gloves, work clothes, snacks, & if you have them: ax, maul, sledge hammer.

Carole & Glenn McNitt of Aspen Ridge Ranch

Glenn and Carole have leased Aspen Ridge Ranch and are working with BRTA to coordinate Nordic Center set up for the ’11-’12 season. Glenn is a retired Forest Service Dist. Ranger in Montana and Carole has worked in the outdoor industry in Oregon (and has some cool, old wooden skis). They are all about their quarter horses (and a donkey named Honkey), and they plan to breed and raise horses on the ranch. As you ski at Red Lodge Nordic Center this year, you will see some changes in the west end of the loops, an electric fence, and perhaps some donkey tracks where they don’t belong. After all, Honkey is curious, friendly, and in charge. Welcome, McNitts! We will see you on the trail.

Kids Ski Rental Program

The BRTA Youth Nordic Ski Rental Program is designed to entice local kids to cross-country ski by providing inexpensive ski equipment for the ski season. Our ski packages are available for youth about 5-12 years of age up to size euro 43 shoe size. This program is for families that live in the Red Lodge area.

New this year: ski rentals will be conducted prior to the Ski/Gear Swap, not during the swap. This will allow parents to get their rentals AND enjoy the full ski swap.

Kids ski rentals can be picked up on November 5th from 10 am to 11 am. Enter through the back door of the Civic Center. This way you can get the kid’s rentals, stash them in your car and still be ready to shop the Swap at 11 am (through the front door)!

BRING YOUR CHILD WITH YOU if at all possible. If not, make certain to have the following information:

• shoe size for boots

• weight for skis

• height from floor to armpit for poles

(Only) if you are unable to attend the swap, and want ski equipment for your child, please contact Janet Peterson prior to the event at (406) 425-3806 or

Free Kids Cross-Country Skiing Lessons

Our popular kids cross-country ski lesson program will again be offered this year at no cost to children ages 5 to 12 at the Red Lodge Nordic Ski Center. 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. 14, 21, 28 and Feb. 4, 2012 from 1 to 2:30 pm. A make-up day is set for Feb. 11 in case of bad weather. Space is limited, so parents need to register their children by emailing Elise Fouts at

Parents and any interested skiers from the community are invited to volunteer with the program as class assistants. A training clinic for ski instructor’s and assistants will be held on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012 at the Nordic Center from 1 to 2:30 pm.

Participants will learn class-management techniques, skills progression, how to instruct with games and how to use the provided lesson plans. If you are interested in helping with the classes, please call Les Hedquist (406) 425-3804 or email Elise at

Nordic Center Groomers Needed

Our grooming team needs a few more groomers to help share the load of keeping the Nordic Center trails in top shape for the winter season.

Groomers work in teams of two. This provides safety in wintery conditions with your partner close-by to help with difficulties. This team approach also cuts the grooming time in half and allows for easy consultation over grooming decisions.

Grooming begins at a civilized 7ish AM and takes about 1-3 hours depending on snow conditions. With enough team members, groomers would need only to work 1-2 times per week. The grooming schedule is irregular, based on snowfall, temperature, and forecast and is a judgment call each day. For those persons with weekday jobs, we have a weekend only team.

Here’s what we expect from you:

  • Be available on a consistent, on-call basis, weekday or weekend. Weekend only if unavailable weekdays.
  • Have a working computer with email, and check it daily.
  • Be a team player.
  • You don’t need to be a skier.
  • You don’t need to know how to drive a snowmobile or groom-we provide training. New groomers will team up with a mentor.

To sign up, call Les Hedquist at (406) 425-3804 or email

Fun Run 8

BRTA has received $4,547 through the Red Lodge Community Foundation for Fun Run 8, almost a thousand dollars more than 2010!  This is predominantly due to the direct donations made by 90 individuals and organizations as well as the match funds provided by the Fun Run sponsors. We are a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization with no membership; we depend on your donations and a grant to operate the Red Lodge Nordic Center and to support non-motorized trails in and around Red Lodge. THANK YOU!

BRTA also sponsored the Set-Up Team for Fun Run activities responsible for trash and recycling, water and drinks, ice, and fruit for the runners.

BRTA at the Health Fair

BRTA participated in the Beartooth Billings Clinic Health Fair on Saturday 15 October.  We were one of 45 exhibitors and were able to sign people up for this newsletter, and make them aware of our various projects including the upcoming Gear swap on 5 November.  Many visitors were old friends, but there were new folks as well.  This was a great opportunity to meet and greet folks from the community and surrounding area.  As time permitted we visited other exhibitors and found this to be a wonderful event.

Today’s Ski Tip by Grant Barnard

Off season storage of all your skis, no matter what the base material, should start by thoroughly scraping off the old wax and dirt with a metal scraper. Then iron on a generous layer of soft, warm temperature wax. (Do not scrape this layer until you bring your skis out for the first ski of the season). This wax will keep the pores in the bases from drying out, making them better prepared for those important first layers of wax when the snow flies.

Supporter Spotlight

Bill Foisy moved to Red Lodge in February 2011 from Birmingham, Alabama with his wife, Sue. He retired after working for 38 years as a community and regional planner with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham.

Bill is an activist concerning the importance of integrating land use and transportation plans in order to insure sustainable community development and multi-modal transportation systems.  He is a promoter of bicycle, pedestrian and greenway components of community and regional transportation plans and recognizes the importance of updated, strategic plans as the basis for obtaining local, state and federal grants.

A long-time board member of a Birmingham based nature center, Bill now serves on the Fun Run Steering Committee for the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, the Red Lodge Lions Club, as well as the BRTA. He was an integral part of the Fun Run 8 set-up at Lions Park coordinating a BRTA set-up team for sanitation, trash and recycling, water and drinks, ice, and fruit for the runners.

Bill is an active trail user to include hiking, backpacking and running. Wave to Bill when you see him out running!

Quote of the Month

“Weather forecast for tonight:  dark.”  ~George Carlin

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.