Spring 2009

Features

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Garcia, Corinne
Whether it’s the quest for monster trout, the search for the Flathead Monster, or the snagging of prehistoric fish, Montana lays claim to some impressive big-fish lore. Here’s a look at some of the best-known Big Sky fishing legends.Old Fighter: The Quest for the Big Daddy TroutThe stereotypical... Details
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Pape, Jay
By the time May rolls around, most of us are looking forward to the mountain biking season and miles of twisting and turning single-track bliss. The problem is, area trails usually don’t dry out until mid-June. Solution: check out some new terrain. Selected from Montana Singletrack (Beartooth... Details
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Siberell, Kate and Hance, Nina
Throughout history people have been inspired by mountains in different ways. Some for the beauty and solitude, and others for the recreation they offer—such as the challenge of ascending and descending them. In the spring of 2007, Kate Siberell, 15, Nina Hance, 14, and Michael Asay, 16,... Details

Departments

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Stoops, Kira
Mountain biking is not a crime—unless you’re in a Wilderness Protection Area. That’s why the Montana Mountain Bike Alliance (MMBA) seeks a relatively new bike-friendly designation: A National Protection Area, or NPA, for some of their beloved backcountry. Since this June, the MMBA has been... Details
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Pogge, Drew
The ability to easily and cheaply rent professional-grade whitewater rafts in Bozeman is a beautiful thing. It allows inexperienced, impulsive morons like me and my friends to get into potentially hazardous, hydraulically charged situations with a minimum of paperwork or forethought. Adventure... Details
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Schneider, Bill
I used to avoid entering fishing tournaments because of some false impressions I had about competitive fishing, mainly my concern that it had a negative impact on the fishery. But based on my limited experience as a competitive fisherman—I entered my first tournament last year—it seems that the... Details
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Fella, Monica
Which one is better?Approximate number of scoville heat units in a Habanero pepper = 300,000Approximate number of scoville heat units in bear pepper spray = 3.2 millionGary Clutter, a big-game hunter from Bozeman, had a face-to-face encounter with a grizzly while hunting a few years ago, and bear... Details
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Wilke, Joanne
I turned 40 and had a baby and knee surgery all within a year. It took me two years to recover. The doctor told me that with bone on bone in that knee, the one thing I should never do was run. Of course, having been a runner for 25 years, I tried it anyway. After two months of pain I realized I was... Details
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Rich Perkins
Late spring in southwest Montana is a glorious time indeed—wildflowers garnish the foothills, meltwater cascades down matted slopes, and the sun yields more light each day. But the shoulder season, as it’s known, is not without its drawbacks. Namely, there’s no snow to ski on; it’s often too wet to... Details
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Kurowski, Becky
I think my sister coined the term trucker butt during one particularly memorable trip back to Iowa after a Colorado backpacking foray. At about hour 14 of the 16-hour push, I recall, in my groggy haze, gazing over at her from the driver’s seat and watching her playing air drums with two striped... Details
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Montague, Ada
Urban trails may get overlooked, but they help us thrive by offering opportunities for recreation, alternative transportation, and a higher quality of life. It seems trails ought to be a key part of the valley’s infrastructure, but more often they are only an afterthought. Consequently we have a... Details
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England, Mike
I feel like I’m gonna hurl.It’s round four of “The Chief,” a brutal combination of power cleans, pushups, and squats. We’ve been doing all three exercises—in rapid succession and with painfully short breaks between rounds—for 20 minutes now. I’m panting like I just sprinted a half-mile; sweat pours... Details
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Soukup, Grant
In Montana, it's a sin to not take a kid fishing. Thankfully, most Montana communities are blessed with ponds and streams managed and stocked specifically for kids. Sadly, I see few kids or parents taking advantage of these great “daycare centers” because today's fast-food society promotes on-... Details
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Dehmer, Kurt
As pursuits go there is nothing that turns the proverbial crank quite like a hunt. But alas, spring is not usually considered the season for such things. Although this may be the case, and aside from the hibernation-thinned bruin, nothing considered big game is in season. Be that as it may, spring... Details
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Carolyn Hopper
Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder where you—went?Have you looked for the North Star lately anywhere around the northeast side of town or downtown? Wasn't it brighter just a few years ago?What’s happening in the land where the “heavens are bright with the light of the glittering stars”?... Details
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Stix, Amy
A fisherman, Buddhist monk, and a blonde meet on a riverbank in Inner Mongolia.This scenario might sound punch-line perfect, but it actually represents the real-life collaboration between anglers, Mongolian monks, and the Bozeman-based conservation organization The Tributary Fund (TTF). Beginning... Details
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Tina, Orem
It's time again to take a swing at other cities and see who comes out on top. This issue, we're picking on the tiny little Utah town of Salt Lake City. With a metro area that is home to about 1.8 million people, Salt Lake is more than just mountains and Mormons. There are national parks in just... Details
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Editors
DOGMATIC DOCTORIn your Summer 2008 issue Dr. Liz Layne has an excellent article on preventing heat exhaustion in pets. Then Mike England undoes all the good she did in his sidebar about the To-Go Bowl. He says, "Now [that you've installed the bowl in your car's cup holder] you can take your time at... Details
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Stites, Jon
As we trade our skis and skates for bikes and boots, our animals are entering the most dangerous time of year for parasitic disease. Many parasites affect pets, but the two I am asked most about are fleas and heartworms. Here’s the skinny.FleasI saw very few cases of fleas in the early 2000s, but... Details
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Orem, Tina
Montana is slotted to receive about $625 million from the new stimulus package, an amount Sen. Jon Tester says will save or create 11,000 jobs in the state. The lion's share of the package, about $333 million, is for the Montana Stabiliziation Fund, which is largely dedicated to education and water... Details
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England, Mike
Nothing gets us outdoor folk more psyched for the season than watching kick-ass films of people shredding the proverbial gnar. If you’re a whitewater paddler—or just enjoy watching them do their thing—April 22 is the day and the Emerson Cultural Center is the place. Three original films, a raffle... Details
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Sawyer, Kit
I discovered the Zirdle my first season working at the fly shop. It was hidden in the top row of the streamer bin, on a need-to-know basis. Of course, that prompted my curiosity. On my next day off I fished the bird float (Grey Owl to Mallards) with a couple buddies. The Yellowstone was dropping... Details
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Caplette, Jenna
Here's the deal with photographing action: if you don’t get it right, you can't save it later with Photoshop. Out of focus is out of focus. Kathy Eyster, who teaches digital imaging and has created a specialized website (essentialdigitalcamera.com) with helpful information for learning to create... Details
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Patterson, Amber
With the ski hills shut down and the local trails slathered in mud, spring’s a great time to jump in the car for a close-to-home road trip—and Gardiner is a great place to start. Spectacular views, friendly folks, raging whitewater, and abundant wildlife are just a few reasons to make the drive... Details
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Donatelle, Ben
Although some folks are still enjoying what snow can be found, others have already shifted toward traveling on two wheels. Bicycle season is approaching, and nothing kills the spirit of the season more than finding your bike still caked with red mud from last fall’s trip to the desert. When your... Details
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Conant, Steve
Although humans no longer need to run for basic survival, cardiovascular exercise still helps us to reduce our risk of chronic disease and offers many other preventive benefits as well. A heel strike during a running stride, however, produces at least four times the force your body creates when... Details
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Perkins, Rich
The rock looked flat to me; nothing to grab but tiny protruding nubs. How the hell do people do this? I thought. Our instructor Coop, scampering up the wall easily a few minutes before, had made it look so simple.Just reaching for my first hold was a struggle. Slowly I worked my way up the rock,... Details
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Pogge, Drew
Whitewater boaters—like Trekkies—have a jargon all their own. But instead of completely fictional, original terminology, most river terms also translate into land-lubber. So to clarify, I’m offering complete definitions—both river-rat and land-based—just to muddy the waters a bit more. Get it,... Details
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Spurr, Andra
What a Wednesday in Yellowstone! Whether you just need a lift to Mammoth or Old Faithful, or want to stay aboard for an entire day’s guided adventure, a Yellowstone Park shuttle is the way to go.Leaving Bozeman about 7 am, our first stop was for a latte and scone at Tubby’s in West Yellowstone. I... Details
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Spurr, Dan
"Let's go llamas!" So sings German-born Susi Sinay, with emphasis on the first and last words, as she sets off down the Daley Creek Trail in the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park. Her refrain is repeated each time we return to the trail from a rest period, as if the llamas require... Details

Gear Reviews

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Tomkinson, Katie
I tested this jacket during a three-day fly fishing show in Seattle. It rained, it poured, it was cold and dismal. But I stayed warm and dry in even the most inclement early-spring weather. The Gore-Tex soft-shell fabric is waterproof, windproof, and easy to move in. The interior is lined with a... Details
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England, Mike
At first I didn’t like the Mount Logan because my foot didn’t feel snug. But I soon learned that a glove-like fit is not the sole measure of a good boot. Once I doubled up my socks, the fit improved tremendously, and I was able to assess the boot’s other features—like its excellent traction and... Details
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Wilson, Ryan
A good night's rest can make all the difference on a multiday trip, and a punctured mattress can kill your back and turn a camping trip into a countdown to get back to town. With the new puncture-resistant base of the Therm-a-Rest Tough Skin, I knew it would be one less worry waking up flat or... Details
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Peterson, Simon
The Gramicci Organic Cazide t-shirt is the perfect shirt for all you green lovers out there. This shirt is made out of exclusive Camu fabric, containing 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton, and is from a new line of sustainable clothing called Greenicci. The Cazide has great ventilation and is... Details
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Wilson, Ryan
For those wet winter days spent commuting on your bike or riding in the mountains, the need for a truly waterproof bag is sometimes overlooked. Whether your need is to separate a camera from a waterbottle inside another bag or to encase all your possessions during a downpour, Seal Line has you... Details
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Spurr, Andra
I bought a pair of Red Ants Pants at the Bioneers Conference last October and have been wearing them most days since. Based in White Sulphur Springs and made in the U.S., these pants are designed exclusively for women (though men wear them too). Made of chocolate brown, 12-ounce canvas duck, they'... Details
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Peterson, Simon
The Gramicci Quick Dry G Pant is a new and improved outdoor version of their Original G cotton pant. The quick-dry feature uses a high-density nylon weave with a special finish that helps to keep the zippy noise down and the comfort level up. Plenty of pockets, including a handy zipper cargo pocket... Details
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Patterson, Amber
If you're looking for the ultimate cold-weather coat this spring, Sessions Softshell Hoody is it. This hoody is durable, functional, extremely warm, and pretty damn cute. It is made of three layers of fabric, including a breathable exterior waterproof/windproof stretch fabric and an interior fleece... Details
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Harrison, Melynda
The top compliment a pair of pants can receive is that they are unnoticeable. Such is the case with the Nanda Devi Pant from Isis. When I wear them cross-country skiing, it’s like they aren’t even there. I’m not hot or cold; I move comfortably; there is no adjusting or pulling up—the pants fit and... Details
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Harrison, Melynda
I’ve been wearing a baggy men’s down jacket for 10 years. It has served its purpose, but it was time to upgrade to something with a better fit and bit more style. The Niobe Jacket is the cure to my baggy-coat blues.The stats are these: 650 fill down, velvet-lined collar, front zip with no-snag... Details
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Strickland, Tanner
These are not for every Bridger in the bunch. If the most exercise your dog gets is running down Peets Hill to catch a Frisbee, you’re definitely alright with letting him go au naturale on his paws. However, if your pup routinely has to chew ice out of his pads while running after a Nordic-skiing... Details
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Peterson, Simon
Featuring Garmont’s new overlap design, a duel-injection Pebax upper cuff, Dynafit compatibility, and four buckles, the Garmont Radium is the ultimate AT boot for all your spring expeditions and beyond. The Radium weighs only 4 lbs (size 27.5 men's) and maintains plenty of lateral stiffness while... Details
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Strickland, Tanner
These shoes stuck to everything but ice. The outside construction, a blend of saffron-colored leather and high-tech molded rubber, is a fierce and sturdy tool for attacking trails, while the inside cradled my feet like swaddling clothes on a newborn. After a day hike over packed trail, some scree,... Details

Additional Articles

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Sheehan, Joe
There are plenty of fun and inexpensive ways to enjoy your own local community and culture right here in Bozeman. The Downtown Bozeman Association (DBA) is sponsoring several spring events starting with the Bridal Walk on Saturday, April 11 from 11-3. Brides-to-be are can roam the streets and take... Details
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Drexler, Grace
As a Montana transplant who has recently suffered through frost-bitten spinach, hypothermic cilantro, and watching a layer of snow drift with funereal finality on my definitely dead basil sprouts, I sometimes wonder, “Can anything grow here?” The questioned seemed largely hypothetical until I saw... Details
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Orem, Tina
On December 3, 2008, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks director Joe Maurier approved the controversial Royal Teton Ranch Grazing Restriction Agreement, which calls for the National Park Service, a handful of non-government groups, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) to pay $1.5 million, $... Details
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Montague, Ada
When it comes to sustainability, planet and pocketbook are often at odds. Some practices, however take care of both. Xeriscaping, for example, is the wise use of water through water-efficient landscaping. Studies have shown that incorporating appropriate design with native plants can cut down on... Details

Book Reviews

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DiSanti, Mary Jane
Glacier National Park: The First 100 Years (hardback $40) by C. W. Guthrie is a stunning coffee-table book full of history and wonderful old photographs. Did you know that more than 4,000 people attended the opening ceremony for the Going-to-the-Sun Road? This volume made me want to revisit all my... Details
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Tomkinson, Katie
I met my fly fisherman in the month of January, the off-season. Skiing together by day, dinner together at night… I was blissfully unaware of the compromises I’d soon learn to make to keep things together. Stopping the car for “just a minute” to see if that hole has any fish in it, trading lazy... Details
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DiSanti, Mary Jane
We are excited to have two new children's books about Greg Mortenson's work building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea (hardcover $17) is written for kids in preschool up to about eight years old. It is a fascinating exploration... Details
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Perkins, Rich
Robbins divides Montana into seven regions in this recreationist’s guide to Montana’s public lands. Each region has 50-odd pages of description, complete with color pictures, maps, travel tips, and history to describe its wealth of habitat, wildlife refuges, and state parks. Focused on Montana’s... Details
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DiSanti, Mary Jane
Books on avalanche safety have been flying out the doors. They include ABCs of Avalanche Safety by Sue A. Ferguson and Edward R. LaChapelle (paperback $8), Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper (paperback $19), and Snow Sense: A Guide to Evaluating Snow Avalanche Hazard by Jill... Details
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Tina Orem
50 Recipes for camp and trail.Paying $12 for freeze-dried camping "entrees" that taste like crap is for lazy bastards. At least that's what I think to myself when I'm standing in line to pay $12 for freeze-dried camping "entrees" that taste like crap. So when the Backcountry Cooking Deck ($15;... Details
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Perkins, Rich
The title gives it away; this is one hell of a guide to two of our country's finest national parks. Although you’ll have to leave Montana, these parks have more to offer than you could dream of fitting into just one trip. Whether you want a tour of Yellowstone’s thermal features, a list of day-... Details
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Pape, Jay
Kudos to Kyle Vassilopoulos and First Ascent Press for shedding new light on the many rock climbing gems hidden in Southwest Montana! Inspired by the dearth of current climbing beta, Vassilopoulos has filled a long-vacant void. Rock Climbs of Southwest Montana—the first local guidebook since the... Details
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Perkins, Rich
Serving as a complete guide, Montana: An Explorer’s Guide Details
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Spartas, Dale
100 Best Trout Flies for Montana Trout ($25; wildriverpress.com) by Tom R. Pero and Ted Fauceglia, is a fascinating and beautiful little book with the best fly photographs I've ever seen. The selection of patterns includes dry flies, nymphs, streamers, midges, terrestrials, and emergers. Fauceglia’... Details

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