Cross-country skiing is bigger than ever, and Herb Davis, the Director of Skiing and Activities at Lone Mountain Ranch, wants everyone to know.

It’s not too late to purchase a Lone Mountain Pass, which helps support the grooming of the 100 K trail system that runs through the area. Lone Mountain Ranch encourages community members to kick and push
their way onto the professionally groomed trails by offering members of the Big Sky Homeowner’s Association season passes for $50, Chamber of Commerce members for $150, and volunteer ski patrollers can grab theirs at no cost.

Davis says skiers should always have their pass visible, and should never walk on the carefully groomed trails. Some trails are on private properties: 90 different landowners have agreed to allow the groomed trails on their land through a co-op effort, so please stay within the designated trail signs.

Remember that not all trails are dog friendly – Fido can only come along on trails south of the Spur Road, and please clean up after your pup. Check with LMR for more information on dog-friendly trails.

When skiing on the trails off of Yellow Mountain, a LMR pass is required as well as avalanche safety
equipment, which is available for rent. Check out the nordic terrain park, built new for 2011.

Also, it’s time to start training for the Big Sky Nordic Ski Festival on March 6-13. Individual events are $10, and it’s $99 to join the entire week of festivities including a race from Andesite to Lone Mountain on anything that slides.

“Our other goal is to generate more interest and enthusiasm for Nordic skiing among kids and families, and to really share how accessible, fun and family oriented the sport is,” Davis says.

Proceeds support the Nordic programs of the Big Sky Ski Education Foundation. Stay tuned for more information.

Contact: ncook@lmranch.