Styling a headband at Bridger Bowl – 1990.

Some variation of the “how the hell did you end up here” conversation seems to be a staple in this community of so many people from elsewhere. It’s never been an easy place to find, especially so before the internet made everything just a Google search away. I first heard of Red Mountain in the summer of 87, from the fellow Beetle driving dude who lent us his spare for the borrowed Volkswagon Beetle we’d flatted on a desolate logging road, driving back from climbing Fischer Peak (near Cranbrook). To one who’s experience of Canadian skiing started and finished at Whistler, he made Red sound like the wild frontier.
In the winter of 1990 I was ski bumming at Bridger Bowl Montana, drawn to this comparably obscure mountain because 1) it had the most snow of the half dozen or so ski resorts I called from the bus station in Seattle, and 2) it was where my then skiing idol Scott Schmidt had developed his moves on the notorious “Ridge”. Joining the Ridge Hippies required checking your beacon, negotiating a steep 20 minute boot pack above the top chairlift (adjacent to the rope-tow that only the patrol could use), and as much as another 20 minutes of side-stepping, before dropping in to your chosen 500′ to 1000′ line. All options were steep and challenging. One day on the Ridge I got chatting with a Red Mountain patroller visiting on exchange, and casually asked what the skiing was like at Red. He told me that it was “sort of like Bridger, but that the lift went to the top”. I made my way to Red the very next winter, and it’s been everything he suggested and more.


Filed under Eclectica, Red Mountain

3 responses to “Origins

  1. Gid

    Ahhh, such sweet dreams…

  2. Ken

    Stew, your blog serves as my Kootenay umbilical cord during my extended time away. Beautiful writing, sir!

  3. Simon

    Hey Stew. I went to Red originally because of an article I read in Aus which I think was written by one of your brothers. Glad I read that issue.

    Love reading your words.

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