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Red Lodge Mountain Palisades?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I just found out that my season pass gives me 50% off at Red Lodge in Montana and am thinking about going.


What's the deal with the Palisades area?  Reviews seem to indicate that it's often closed, but this doesn't make a lot of sense.  There's two high-speed lifts at Red Lodge and one serves the palisades.  Why would they go to the expense of putting in a HSQ for terrain that's not open very often?  Usually the "fringe" terrain is served by an ancient fixed grip double or a T-bar.


Any other tips regarding Red lodge greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 5

You could check the related threads at the bottom of the Red Lodge EpicSki Resort Page.  Added a link under Topics Discussed (right hand column).


Here's a TR from 2011:

post #3 of 5
Paging @mtcyclist
post #4 of 5

Hahahahaha.  Yes, there is a high speed quad serving the Palisades area, when there is enough snow for it to open.  The base of the Palisades lift is lower than the main base area, by a significant amount.  The entire decision to put in the Palisades lift was sort of a gigantic clusterf*** due to people looking at snowpack data during an exceptional 10 year period.  RLM calls it the "bonus" area and when there is enough snow it is great fun.  There are two blue runs and basically only two black runs,even though the map shows three black runs.  One black run, Flintlock, almost never has enough snow to cover the rocks and get scoured by the wind pretty quickly.  There are also a couple of secret runs that some of us know about and patrol would rather we didn't.  There are no facilities in the Palisades area anymore, used to be a tent where they served some food and a couple of port-a-potties, but that was like 16-17 years ago.  There's no snow making in the Palisades area because RLM has no water rights over there.  I thought they had negotiated some sort of swap last year but nobody's talking about it so I'm not sure what might be going on with water.  We are in a drought and water is more valuable than gold to the ranching community around Red Lodge, thousands of acres in hay much of which is shipped off to race tracks in AZ and CA.


Would I make a trip to Montana just to ski RLM?  Not a chance, much too iffy in terms of snow.  I'd make a trip to ski Bridger Bowl and Big Sky and, if there was plenty of snow, I'd make a detour to RLM but as a destination, no.  We do get lots of people from North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and they'll fill up the motels in Red Lodge around Christmas and President's Day.

Edited by mtcyclist - 9/28/15 at 7:11pm
post #5 of 5


The following post may contain dubious content.  I have never been to RLM and I in no way mean to diminish the value of the preceding post.


I do, however, tend to kick around the same environs as the OP both while at home and on ski vacation.



I'm not sure how much skiing you've done outside MI and CO or if you've ever skied MT.  I've made only one trip there but it was a bit of a revelation.  I would surely like to go back one of these years but if that happens I'll be glad to skip Big Sky but I'd mosdef get back to Discovery and Montana Snowbowl as well as RLM and a big handful of other small areas.  BS was just fine but to me big resort = big resort, I sure wouldn't go out of my way to ski Big Sky when Beaver Creek is more convenient for you.  The small hills, on the other hand, are a whole different world.


Going skiing in CO vs MT is kinda like being a football fan in Ann Arbor vs being a bowler in A2.


During football season, this town is consumed.  Whether you're a fan or not you can't turn around without seeing maize and blue or hearing the Victors, it's just part of the culture here.  When game day comes, the traffic gets all jacked up, Bozos come in by the bus load and if you're not at the game or watching the game you're probably out of town waiting for the game to end.  Ra ra sis boom bah.


Now, if you're a bowler in Ann Arbor there are a couple of nice alleys to enjoy and when you get there during prime time there will be plenty of enthusiastic folks who haven't missed a bowling night in ages.  If you show up on a weekday morning or afternoon you might see another bowler, you might not.  Back in town nobody is really all that interested unless they bowl.  It's kinda cool that way =)


So my advice, if the snow is good don't miss the opportunity to ski MT.  If you have a hankering to ski Big Sky by all means go there and do that but the small hills like RLM are a whole different ball game.  Don't miss it!

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