As older, somewhat slower, skiers we found Red Lodge Mountain a true delight. The facts that it snowed for 72 hours before our trip, that the temperature varied from -8F to +5F, making the snow light as down feathers, and that the sun came out the morning of our first ski day, we found a delightfully slower pace of life and skiing one of the best features.
The majority of the mountain's 2400 vertical feet and 65 runs are served by three double chairs and one triple chair that move at the speed of life in the adjacent small (population 2155) western town of Red Lodge. There are also two high-speed quads that serve the upper mountain and 'bonus' ski areas.
Even with bottomless powder off the groomed runs, no wind and +5F with Montana's famous big sky a brilliant azure blue, there were no crowds, no lift lines and plenty of places to make first tracks. The only place we waited was at the bar for an after-ski local craft brew, and then only for about 1 minute. The bar and grill, incidentally, was the only place we found a crowd.
It was not the cold weather that kept a smile frozen on our faces throughout the day. It was the absolute joy of skiing perfect conditions with friendly locals and the professional staff on the mountain.
We'd make this a 5 star save for one small frustration. The mountain is loaded with intermediate and expert runs with a nice mix of easy. Unfortunately we found ourselves in tougher terrain than we wanted a few times due to a dearth of signage. We started a couple runs marked intermediate only to find it branching off into 3 or more runs. Without signs we couldn't determine which way our intermediate run continued. A few more signs and this would be a 5+ stars review.
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