Ralph's Montana Ski Report
Here's the Report from Thursday, February 2, 2017

Wild end of the week weather impacts travel in Montana.

Northern Rockies Snow Depth

A before and after photo from my 36th American Birkebeiner ski race
from Cable to Hayward, Wisconsin on February 21, 2015.

Lone Mountain Ranch at Big Sky

Thursday February 9: Today should be a fast one! All of our lower trails are freshly groomed and ready for you. Snow conditions are packed snow with moisture.

Lone Mountain Ranch Conditions.

Photo: Steve and Juliane Bantz skiing the Ranch Loop at Lone Mountain Ranch.

Rendezvous Trails in West Yellowstone

Thursday February 9: About an inch of new snow, 32 F and snowing. Trails groomed: Rendezvous, Dead Dog, FIS 5 KM. Skate and classic on all trails but the 5 K race course, classic only there.

Rendezvous Trails Grooming Reports.

Photo: Skiing Windy Ridge to Doug's Doodle, December 31, 2011.

Bohart Ranch near Bozeman

Thursday February 9: 40F at 6:15 am; Cloudy and breezy. High yesterday 28F. No new snow. Re-groomed packed powder conditions. Prinoth grooming today.

Bohart Ranch Grooming Reports.

Silver Crest Trails
near Neihart, Montana

Friday February 3: All trails are groomed and track-set. The conditions are beautiful, and the weather is warming up. Check the website on Feb. 2 for an update. Silver Crest Nordic Challenge Ski Races are February 18, 2017.

Silver Crest Trails Association

Homestake Lodge near Butte

Wednesday February 8: 4" new snow. Groomed this morning. 22 degrees at 8am.

Homesteak Lodge Information.

Glacier Nordic Center on the
Whitefish Golf Course

Thursday February 9: 9:30 32 F All groomed. Soft conditions. Classic track was set yesterday. PLEASE STAY ON GROOMED TRAILS.

Red Lodge Nordic Center

Anna skiing at
Red Lodge Nordic Center.

Wednesday February 8: Nearly 6 inches of new snow was rolled out on all trails. If the wind stays down we will be tracking and grooming all trails in the next couple of days, and will continue grooming through the weekend.

For more information on these trails go to the Red Lodge Nordic Center.

Other trails I have reports from:
Please note the date of each report.

Seeley Lake: The wet and heavy snow conditions today are seldom experienced here. Accordingly, Dave S. and I embraced the unsolicited gift from above and machine packed the 3K, 5K, Intrepid, Occam's Razor and Galadriel's Secret, leaving the remaining trail system to meditate peacefully until tomorrow. (2/9/2017)

Izaak Walton Inn: 20F and snowing at 6:00 am. 55 inches of snow last 7 days. All trails were groomed last weekend but many have over a foot of powder on them as of this morning. Powder skiing conditions EPIC ! Essex Creek Complex groomed Wednesday morning early as well as upper Essex Road. (2/9/2017)
Daily grooming report.

Blacktail Mountain Nordic Trails in Lakeside: Due to rain on snow, there will be no grooming today! (2/9/2017)
Daily grooming report.

Pattee Canyon: With the forecast of rising temps and snow turning to rain I tried to groom before the snow got too wet. Rain came earlier than expected. Was able to get most of the northside done. Hopefully the rain stops, and the skiing will be ok in the morning. My guess is the earlier the better. (2/9/2017)

Rattlesnake Trails: The Rattlesnake trails were groomed Tuesday morning. The lower 1/2 mile remains a bit icy, but after that the trails are very good. (2/7/2017)

Lolo Pass: No report this week. (2/9/2017)

Back Country Ski Conditions
Avalanche forecasts and conditions at the Flathead Avalanche Center and Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. Forecasts are usually posted on Friday and Tuesday.

Thursday February 9: Last weekends 50 to 65 inches of snow in the Northern Rockies and this weeks warm windy trend has impacted backcountry skiing. I'd wait until the weather pattern sorts itself out before venturing deep into the backcountry right now. The Flathead Avalanche Center has published the Final Report on the January 5, 2017 Avalanche Fatality in Glacier National Park.
The North American Avalanche danger Scale is now in use.
Click HERE to see the specifics of this better way of reporting potential avalanche Danger.

My view up the Route Creek Pass Trail on January 6, 2017.

The National Weather Service Map for West Central Montana:

A very unusual weather week or two. First 50-65 inches of snow in the Northern Rockies, the -20 to -30F temperatures and now a forecast that includes high winds, blizzards, warm above freezing temperatures and the possibility of snow and/or rain.

Western Montana Snow Depth
The map below shows the snow depth across the Northern Rocky Mountains as of the date shown on the map.

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