Missoula Nordic Ski Club is grooming Lolo Pass this season!

Posted: Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 9:56 am

Missoula Nordic Ski Club is grooming Lolo Pass this season! Image

Grooming at Lolo Pass is changing this year –the previous groomer has tended the trails reliably and diligently for many years but the increasing demands and costs of aging machinery and federal contracting requirements have rendered it not feasible for the coming season. We were entering the 2014/15 season with the possibility of not having groomed trails!  Understanding the popularity of the area and desire for high quality trails the FS approached the Missoula Nordic Ski club and the Missoula Snowgoers for ideas.  The outcome is a 3-way agreement that is in its infancy, between the USFS, Missoula Nordic Club and the Missoula Snowgoers Snowmobile Association. We are excited about the potential this agreement has and know there will be some growing pains.

The Snowgoers will use their heavy groomer to transform the ski trails into a wide, well packed path of corduroy. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to set classic tracks this winter due to the significant investment required to purchase and install the necessary track setting equipment. Each of the three participant groups has expressed clear intent to make classic track setting possible for the next winter season. In order to realize this goal, a source of funding will have to be identified.

Initially, a few bumps are expected as there will be a learning curve with the transition to new grooming. However, with collaboration between the USFS, the Missoula Nordic Club, the Missoula Snowgoers Snowmobile Association, and a strong volunteer effort the goal is to improve the cross country ski experience for everybody.

The Missoula Nordic Ski Club is excited about the improvements this new agreement will bring to the ski trails at Lolo Pass. To ensure the success of this new collaboration, the Missoula Nordic Ski club will need volunteer support. For more information on how you can help please contact- the club at webmaster@missoulanordic.org. For any other questions or concerns please contact the Powell Ranger Station at 208-942-3113. Thanks you for your patience and support!