BOZEMAN, Mont. — On June 2, local non-profit Crosscut Mountain Sports Center (CMSC) announced closing on the long- awaited acquisition of Bohart Ranch in Bridger Canyon. This landmark deal represents a commitment to continuing the Nordic skiing legacy at Bohart Ranch that Bozeman residents have cherished since the 1980s.
“After nearly sixty years of skiing in Bridger Canyon, it’s really special to see this legacy of mountain recreation continue,” said Cliff Montagne, longtime Bozeman resident and CMSC Board member. “It’s an honor to have a role in this once-in-a-lifetime project.”
Bohart Ranch is one of two iconic Bridger Canyon properties that CMSC plans to assemble in 2017. When conjoined, this iconic property will comprise over 500 acres adjacent to the Bridger Bowl Ski Area, and will include a network of trails for non-motorized outdoor recreation and mountain sports.
Hal Stanley, CMSC Board member who grew up skiing at Bridger Bowl, sees this project as the Nordic equivalent. “CMSC has everything it takes to be as successful and as important to the Gallatin Valley as Bridger Bowl has been,” said Stanley. “I’m excited to give back to the community and look forward to working with other community members who want to help shape this vision.”
While CMSC has raised close to half of the funds necessary to acquire the two properties through cash donations and pledges, there remains the need for continued philanthropic support. CMSC plans to exercise on their remaining Crosscut Ranch purchase agreement by year-end, with the aim to start designing new facilities in 2018.
“It is the generous support of the Bozeman community that has allowed us to take this major first step, and this support is critical to ultimately see this project through. Investing in Bohart Ranch is an investment in outdoor recreation now and for future generations,” said Lowell Bailey, CMSC’s Executive Director. “Now that we own the land, we can truly begin to think about how to design a venue that will best serve the community for decades to come. We look forward to working closely with Bridger Bowl and other partners to create a mountain venue that serves all ages and abilities.”
In 2017, CMSC’s focus will be on maintaining Bohart Ranch’s Nordic ski trails and connecting this network to new trails on Crosscut Ranch. Together, these properties will encompass a total of over 50 kilometers of groomed, tracked trails for skate and classic skiing. Bohart Ranch will be the home-site for both the Bridger Biathlon Club (BBC) and U.S. Paralympic Nordic and Biathlon Teams.
“I grew up training at places like Lone Mountain Ranch where community members and Olympic hopefuls overlapped on the ski trails everyday,” said Kari Swenson, former U.S. Biathlon Team member and BBC Board member. “That’s unique, and it’s a valuable experience for novices and experts alike. I look forward to working to help deliver the Crosscut Mountain Sports Center vision on behalf of our community.”