By RACHEL ANDERSON/Montana State News

Snow sports enthusiasts are eager for the next winter storm-system to hit Lone Mountain and the Bridger Range.

Spring-like temperatures have made conditions less than desirable for avid skiers and snowboarders. With temperatures reaching into the mid-forties, the snow is slowing beginning to melt away.

Rock exposure is causing already difficult terrain to become more technical to maneuver. Backcountry terrain is unsafe because of avalanche danger.

“Groomers are riding fast, but other than that it’s becoming bony in spots, especially for this time of year,” said Kelsey Rice, a salesperson at Gallatin Alpine Sports sporting goods store in Big Sky.

Powder-hunters have to hike higher and farther to search for the conditions they like. “Good snow exists; it is just more difficult to get reach,” said Rice.

With no significant local winter storm in sight, the Bozeman area forecast is calling for a chance of rain or snow showers.

And temperatures aren’t predicted to drop anytime soon.

On a positive note, “It’s a good time to practice techniques that you want to perfect,” said Rice. Many skiers practice tricks and riding backwards while snowboarders may develop their riding switch skills.

– Edited by Hannah Ballantyne

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