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Since 1996, when Red Lodge added two new lifts (and bolstered its amount of expert-only terrain from 25 to 40 runs), skiers have been making the pilgrimage from Wyoming, Montana, and the Midwest for steep glades and snow-filled chutes. True, the precipitation can be paltry (a scant 160 inches of snow fell in 2004). But only a handful of people even know the place exists. Come for the Cole Creek chair (to access 700 acres of expert-grade steeps on Nichols Peak), the waving cowboys, and the bars – which outnumber ski shops 10 to 1.
Want a pocket guide to carry up to the mountain?