By BARBARA ANNE GREENE
“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” is the wish of Bear Lodge owner Rick Young, with the Big Horn Mountains traditionally a top snowmobile destination.
Young, who also owns Elk View and Arrowhead Lodge on the Big Horns, said “Not enough snow this year. We were spoiled last year.” The overall average depth is around 12 inches. Although depending on where you go there are places that have two to three feet, he said.
It was lightly snowing Friday afternoon. Young hoped it would keep on snowing the same type of snow for another 24 hours. “If this snow keeps up we could easily get a foot of snow by tomorrow.”
Young added, “Eighty percent of the trails have been groomed. There is no snow to 12 inches as you head south. Granite Pass has 20-30 inches. The backside of Crooked Creek has two to three feet.” Snow conditions are spotty thoughout the state. He said that while places like “Cooke City and Togwotee have 30-50 inches, Pinedale doesn’t have enough to even groom.”
The three resorts owned by the Youngs are pretty much full on the weekends. About 80 percent of them are out-of-staters.
Young was excited to report that they had been approved by the Forest Service to do snow coach tours. “We are starting off with a snow cat pulling an open wagon. We will be buying an enclosed cab for next year. People have been asking about snow cab tours for quite a while. We are excited to be able to offer them. People can video tape at a speed much slower than on snowmobiles.”
Holli Jones, who owns Deer Lodge and Meadowlark Resort along with her husband Wayne, said they have, “Great snow … fantastic for skiing” when asked about conditions at the ski resort. “We’ve been open since Dec. 1. Some places in the state like Casper haven’t even opened yet.” Jones added that “Rapid City has only two lifts open and they had to make snow to do that. All our runs are open and both lifts are running.”