We’ve noted the relative lack of snowpack at various times this winter, but there always was the chance a snowier-than-normal spring would make up for this shortfall. Didn’t happen; the rest of winter and the beginning of spring didn’t see much in terms of serious precipitation, and for those living outside the Yellowstone area, the lack of snow can be summed up in views from the Big Moose Resort webcam (where as of today there’s less than four feet on the ground), the Cooke City Exxon webcam and the Old Faithful webcam.
So, faced with the lack of snow on the Beartooth Pass, managers of the Red Lodge International Summer Ski and Snowboard Camp decided to scrap this season. (Not a surprise; we chatted with someone who snowmobiled up the pass last week and reported there was plenty of bare asphalt on the road, which could make for an anticlimactic opening on Memorial Day weekend.) More ominous, though, is what this portends for the rest of the season. Dry weather in the spring usually means drier weather in the summer, which means an increased chance of forest fires and lower water levels in the streams, which means lots of stress on the fish. It’s not a good situation, and we’ll be monitoring it closely.