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  1. #1
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    Apr 2002
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    Summer MT (Beartooth Basin)/road trip TR (2018)

    So, did this one last summer and am starting to plan a repeat (immediate impetus for posting this now, 9 months late). Long story short, we put together a small training (ski racing) camp for a few of our coaches and kids. Kicked around Whistler, Hood, and even Europe, but then I mentioned that I had heard of this kind of under the radar place in MT (turned out one coach has a brother who did a camp there decades ago), and when we looked into it the price and the vibe seemed right. So for 6/25-7/4 we'd be in Montana (the skiing is actually in WY, barely, but Red Lodge, MT, is the town).

    TR teaser of the ski area:

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    For the repeat this summer I am hoping to take twice as long to get there as last time (we drove as I had anticipated having to haul gates from VT, and even without gates the amount of gear the two of us brought would have been difficult going by plane).

    Making our escape I thought maybe Bobby Stainless and his (one of his?) Lambos was parked behind us:

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    Did the 2100 miles in three days, but still managed to catch up with family friends for an evening in Cleveland followed by a morning at Cedar Point (kind of between Cleveland and Detroit on Lake Erie--anyone who likes big roller coasters owes it to themselves to get there--pretty sure there is no place with as high a concentration of big rides in the world).

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    Unexpected camel appearance (she likes animals, as will also be evident when we hit MT).

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    Coaster (it was raining, which was actually great since we got to ride the really big ones multiple times--no lines):



    Moving on, we accidentally drove more or less through downtown Chicago (but didn't stop):

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    For some reason I allowed her to purchase a bag(?) of fondant (the stuff you can decorate cakes with), which she ate, but then used what was left to create a friend (who remains on the dashboard to this day):

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    (I guess another example of the animal thing...)




    Coming from the east to get to Red Lodge, MT, you can drive either through ND or SD with a fairly small difference in mileage and virtually no difference in time. I had originally like the idea of ND's desolation, but someone convinced me that due to the Badlands, Wall Drug, and Mt. Rushmore (which we ended up not doing) SD was the only way to go. Initially I thought we'd skip the Badlands, but when I googled the images I was pretty surprised and realized we had to stop, especially since it's about 5 minutes off the highway.

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    Skipping over the part where we stopped across the highway from the Badlands at the Minuteman Missile Museum (necessitated an explanation of what the Cold War was to the 15 year old) and the keys ended up locked inside the car, we made one more stop before MT.

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    I guess it's kind of like South of the Border in GA but western--nowhere else to stop, so you might as well, I guess.

    Next day we were on snow:

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    So, pretty small ski area, but pretty steep at the top (the upper lift at its top is one of the steeper surface lifts I have ever been on). I saw some decent skiers kind of intimidated by the first turn. One cool thing, if you look at far looker's right in the second photo above you'll see a notch in the cornice, and people were routinely hitting that drop (I was pretty tempted, but visions of a massive yardsale in front of the kids and potential injury kept me from it). I would guess it's a 30 footer, maybe a little more.

    The training was pretty good.

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    We're hoping this year to set on something with a little pitch to it (our lane at the lower lift was really flat), but for NA end of June/start of July skiing it was definitely good enough.

    The next day I relented and allowed a mountain goat excursion just off the road (she'd been looking at them both days from a mile or two away on the snow while they did their thing up above us).

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    She didn't really believe me that they wouldn't be interested in being petted and let her get about 30m away before taking off across a ravine (I imagined them looking back at her and thinking to themselves, 'Yeah, right kid--as if you're going to get close to us.').

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    A little skiing on the upper part (yeah, she skis pretty timidly when not skiing gates):



    Gate action:



    Snowstorm on June 29th!



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    [quote][//quote]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    Dammit, if someone could tell me how to make some of those photos upright...I tried resaving them rotated but it didn't work (they looked OK to me when I tried inserting them here, PITA).

    cont.

    Took an afternoon to do the drive on the Beartooth Hwy to Yellowstone:

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    A few more days on snow, and then nothing to do but make the drive back home...

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    Big Sky for a reason:

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    Wisconsin, or something...

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    Bottom line: Beartooth is pretty sweet with some legit terrain, the road trip is great, I still love Cedar Point...I went out there with the intent of getting a day of touring in on some of the cool looking lines right off the road all around the Basin (thanks to anotherVTskibum for offering to help me with that) but got too sucked in to the grind of maximizing training time. Was great for our kids to get in a solid 8-9 days in the summer and am looking forward to getting in some more of the same this summer.
    Last edited by Dexter Rutecki; 03-03-2019 at 07:29 PM.
    [quote][//quote]

  3. #3
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    Nov 2009
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    Duluth
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    Billings to Mpls. is much faster on I94 than I90 FWIW. Better drive too.
    If the shocker don't rock her, then Dr. Spock her. Dad.

  4. #4
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    Not really interested in going to Minneapolis. Don't go through Minneapolis on 90, and taking 90 is 21 miles shorter (so I guess a 1% mileage difference over a 2100 mile trip). Time difference is like 15 minutes or something, assuming traffic is the same, according to the googlez.
    [quote][//quote]

  5. #5
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    Jul 2005
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    Moose, Iowa
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    Great trip report I watched all the videos. Your daughter rips. Charging hard on terrain like that on race skis would just be stupid knee suicide. I'd love to make it out some summer with my little now U10 racer girl sometime if she stays interested in racing. Been past many times and always stop and walk around but it has always been after everything is shut down for the season.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by uglymoney View Post
    Charging hard on terrain like that on race skis would just be stupid knee suicide.
    Things you could've told me before I fucked my knee skiing fast in variable snow on SL skis...

    I'd love to make it out some summer with my little now U10 racer girl sometime if she stays interested in racing. Been past many times and always stop and walk around but it has always been after everything is shut down for the season.
    You totally should--I think especially for younger racers it's good training. See your location--we had a young, girl racer from Iowa drop in with us one day. Kind of didn't know they had ski racers in Iowa...
    [quote][//quote]

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