Spring 2014

Outside Bozeman Spring 2014

Spring has sprung in southwest Montana, which means it's time to dust off the kayak, tune up the bike, and get outside. But before you trade the ski rack for your rod carrier and head for the rivers and lakes, check out the spring issue of Outside Bozeman—it’s chock full of articles, gear reviews, safety tips, and more to help plan your next Montana adventure. As promised, we hand picked some of our favorite spring stories from our archives for your enjoyment. 

 

   

Features

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the editors
Water churning over rocks, tumbling over falls, and eddying quietly behind boulders—there’s nothing more powerful or beautiful than spring runoff in the mountains. The same thundering rivers and creeks that inspire respectful awe in most people inspire action in whitewater kayakers. Theirs is a... Details
Illustration by Mike Russo
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Bilverstone, Bill
There's no bear like your first bear.No North American critter excites the imagination quite like a bear. Elk are cool, as are eagles, cougars, and moose. But bears establish a psychological foothold practically from birth. Teddy Bear shares our crib; Mom and Dad read to us from Winnie the Pooh;... Details
Photo by Daniel Stahler
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Baril, Lisa
Pilot Roger Stradley tracks from the air.It’s 6:15 on a cool, clear morning in May and I’m waiting for my ride at the Gardiner airport—a term I use loosely, as it’s no bigger than a strip of flypaper, with a few timeworn buildings off to one side. Finally, I see it—a yellow dot in the sky, backed... Details
Photo by John Juracek
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Reed, Tom
Time to seize the seasonThe mountain river shoulders up out of its banks, pushing into the willows and alder, washing flotsam upon new grass. The water, though, is clear. But it is big and fast and the run-out is not good: miss your footing on slippery stone and it is down through Class V with only... Details
Photo by Mike Cline
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Kesselheim, Alan
A month of Mondays on the East Gallatin.The East Gallatin River is, by most measures, a stream of little account. Hardly anyone floats it. Only a few people fish it. From start to finish, it spans barely 25 miles, as the raven flies.Although I’ve set a canoe into those waters a few times, it’s a... Details

Departments

Courtesy GVLT
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Pohl, Kelly
Gallatin Valley Land Trust at workFor almost 25 years, the Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) has worked toward the creation of a trail system that connects downtown Bozeman with the public lands surrounding town. More than 67 miles of trails now exist, and the “Main Street to the Mountains” program... Details
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Slepian, Maggie
Making the most of your first horseback rideThe West wasn’t won from the back seat of an RV, and as the weather gets warmer and outfitters open for business, what better way to see our chunk of the country than by horseback? It’s a quintessential Montana experience, and there’s no time like the... Details
Photo by Chuck Bartlebaugh
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Slepian, Maggie
How to stay safe.In southwest Montana, bear encounters are becoming increasingly frequent—and sometimes violent. In 2012, there were two highly publicized fatalities in Yellowstone Park, and increased reports of bear-related incidents occurred last summer as well. A majority of attacks occur... Details
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Pogge, Drew
A first-aid necessityWhether you’re biking the Bangtail Divide or backpacking through the Lee Metcalf Wilderness, you should always carry a first-aid kit, and that kit should include at least one SAM splint. These versatile, lightweight (4 oz.), reusable emergency tools are useful in a variety of... Details
Courtesy GVLT
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Overton, Mitch
Bozeman Parks and Recreation UpdateBozeman is a great place to be and it’s no secret. It isn’t just our proximity to mountains, rivers, and national forests, but a community vision for growth that will help to ensure that life is just as good Inside Bozeman as it is Outside Bozeman.For the Parks... Details
Illustration by Ryan Krueger
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Sheets, Jenny
Montana's natural soundtrackMeandering his way across America with his dog Charlie, John Steinbeck found himself swept away by the beauty of Montana, lingering far longer than he anticipated in the small towns and natural landscapes. He wrote, “I am in love with Montana… the land is rich with grass... Details
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Harris, Emily
Spring fever in Yellowstone ParkSpring camping in the Park.Yellowstone has yawned herself awake and begun to shake free her winter blankets of snow and ice. Freshly thawed riverbanks swell with the promise of willow buds, hillsides whisper green, and that steadfast mountain chickadee has shivered... Details
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Boyce, Dan
The fine art of the foul-hook“There’s one!” I say with the strained sort of exhale one uses to indicate a fish on the end of the line is bigger than it actually is.“Another? Seriously?” asks my friend Dave, a novice-enough angler to think three catches in one day is impressive.He walks over to... Details
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Dr. Daniels, Susan
Most of us who live in Bozeman are drawn to life outdoors, and once we have kids, we’re eager to share the wilderness with them. Kids thrive outside, but there are hazards that represent particular risk for young people and warrant extra caution.Kids Get ColdCompared to adults, children have a... Details
Photo by Meg Sommers
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DeWeese, Chelsea
Photographing Yellowstone’s shoulder season. Yellowstone in spring is a photographer’s dreamscape. Newborn elk, moose, and bison wobble in green meadows. Birds flock north in search of nesting areas. Bears emerge from dens with hungry cubs. Flowers bloom, and the weather makes for dramatic... Details
Photo by Ryan Turner
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Ryan Krueger
Studying CFS.As temperatures rise and a season’s worth of snowfall melts and pours down the mountains, area rivers and streams turn from frozen trickles into raging rivers.Sometime between the high water of spring and the low water of autumn, our rivers are perfect for floating and fishing. But... Details
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Pogge, Drew
Keeping the bears awayIn bear country, hanging your food, garbage, and scented items such as toothpaste, chapstick, sunscreen, deodorant, and toiletries is absolutely necessary. This easy and simple precaution will dramatically reduce your chances of a bear encounter and keep rodents and other... Details
Painting by Allison McGree
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Knight, Phil
Do you visit the high plateausMerely to hide awayOr have you come to the mountainsTo hear what they have to say?For the mountains sing of a timeWhen the Earth was young and green;Many’s the sunset and moonriseThese aged crags have seen.These foothills stood before the pyramidsAnd before the sea-... Details
Bike Fitting, Excel Physical Therapy
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Lunden, Jason
Fit your bike to avoid injury.While cycling is relatively easy on your joints, because of the constrained position and repetitive nature of the sport, it can be easy to develop overuse injuries. These injuries are often attributed to ramping up training mileage too quickly or being improperly... Details
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Baughman, Heather
Rolfing therapy explainedChances are you’ve heard of rolfing, but what exactly is it? It's not a mistype of golfing, nor is it something you do after drinking wine coolers, peach schnapps, and tequila at the same party. Rolfing Structural Integration (S.I.) is a form of bodywork related to massage... Details
Photo by Montana Panoramic
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Maggie Slepian
Outdoor options along the Yellowstone RiverPull on your climbing shoes, buckle your life jacket, and saddle your horse: Paradise Valley has all of the activities you need to satisfy your outdoor-adventure cravings this spring. With so much to do, you won’t even miss the snow.ClimbingReliable... Details
Courtesy Yellowstone National Park
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Lee, Barbara
All about Montana's horniest beastSouthwest Montana is home to one of the country’s finest wildlife viewing opportunities: Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep traveling along the high crags, rock walls, and canyons. Naturalist John Muir was thrilled by the sight of this agile climber, and because of the... Details
Painting by Edd Enders
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Kubat, Terry
landmarks are prominent in Bozemandistant constraints with low punctuationaspiring destinations capped in distant turbulencelife is a breeze across the expanseall to see and share the blue-rainbow-skythere is room for a view and the view is:snow and sun, warm and snow, smoke and snowand the pine... Details
Photo by Troy Batzler
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Saturdays March 15 - June 14Canine Rendezvous – Bozeman Dog Co. This free weekly event gives dogs the chance to socialize and play while their owners learn more about canine body language and social behavior. Bring your dog in from 12:45-1:30pm. Food and drinks will be available for two- and four-... Details
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England, Mike
Explore Bozeman's trails and support GVLT.It’s no secret that Bozemanites travel far and wide in search of outdoor adventure. But what about our own back yard? As any kid knows, there’s plenty of fun to be had right here at home—which is what the Southside Saturdays trail-exploration event is all... Details
Photo Courtesy WSE
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Harrison, Melynda
All about the Western Sustainability ExchangeFor years, Barb Dennis ran a pet-grooming business to help pay for her husband Per’s ranching habit. The ranch, called Wolf Ridge Lamb and Wool Company, was a solid business, but it needed something to turn it into a full-fledged operation. The company... Details
Lewis & Clark Caverns, Spring Mountain Biking, Montana
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Dave Dolph
Biking Lewis & Clark Caverns. It’s mid-April, the Gallatins, Bridgers, and Bangtails are still glazed with snow, and you’re having a tough go at finding a free weekend for the 11-hour drive to the desert. Fret not—desert singletrack is closer than you think. There are no guarantees in life, but... Details
Photo by Michael Flaherty
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Dehmer, Kurt
Springtime recreation in Madison CountyEvery outdoor excursion, even an early-spring overnighter, needs a good base camp. Ennis fills that niche quite nicely, providing adventure, entertainment, and accommodation all without busting the budget. For more information on Madison County, including a... Details
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Vinje, Eric
How to keep Bambi out of your gardenFew things are more picturesque than a deer trotting through a field—unless it’s on its way to your garden. That’s when Bambi turns into a destructive pest that you don’t want around. It’s happening more and more as deer populations grow and humans build homes in... Details
Photo by Moe Witschard
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Dr. Walters, Lou
Shedding winter weightThe sun slowly returns from the south, much like the migrating birds. Plants prepare to emerge from the earth and animals become more active. Spring is a time of transition as nature re-emerges from the scarcity of winter to the abundance of summer. It’s time to shed those... Details
Photo by Dane Christensen
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In the last issue, we gave a shout-out to Hit List entrant Dane Christensen—which was darn nice of us, except that we misspelled his name! (We called him “Dan.”) Apologies to Dane for the inadvertent truncation. In another inexplicable oversight, we mislabeled the story about ice-climbing Pine... Details
Photo by Steven Drake
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Lewis, Jimmy
Among Bozeman’s eclectic array of outdoor passions and pursuits, it pays to prioritize deer and elk hunting—nothing else can result in the kind of ongoing material gain like meat in the freezer. Sure, a day of skiing deep pow or summiting a lofty peak can really satisfy, but elk burger thawing on... Details
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Pogge, Drew
The meaning of experience.“We had the experience but missed the meaning. And approach to the meaning restores the experience in a different form.” —T.S. EliotIt seems obvious, at first blush, to think that we recreate for pleasure. Because it makes us feel good; because of what we see and hear and... Details
Illustration by Angie Mangels
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Slepian, Maggie
Looking to eat local and support your community farmers this season? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a cooperative agreement between farmers and members of the program. Members pay a fee for a seasonal subscription with the farm, from which they collect fresh weekly produce or other farm... Details
Photo by Troy Batzler
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Dr. Pogge, Michelle
Easing your dog into spring activitiesSpring means new opportunities for you and your faithful canine sidekick. To maximize adventures and minimize visits to the vet, be sure to slowly transition your dog from couch mode to weekend warrior. Lack of conditioning followed by sudden intense activity... Details
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The Editors
Winner:Kelly & Ryan MerkelPhoto 1: Glacier Bay, AlaskaNot many people can say they were married on a halibut boat, wearing rubber boots, in Glacier Bay, Alaska, while the officiant said our vows from an O/B magazine. Followed by a celebratory Bud Light shotgun toast and a Duck Fart shot of... Details
Photo by Dean Sauskojus
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Krueger, Ryan
The big thaw starts slow. Warm weather and sunshine soften the high mountains and a season of accumulation begins to morph beneath the changing elements.Growing heat torments the frozen landscape. Awakening a sterile world, the transition begins as winter lets go—sending water down below.Under snow... Details
Photo by Brian Grossenbacher
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Cohen, Anna M.
Not just for the boys“It’s so weird that you’re into fly fishing,” my friend said, looking at me from across the table. The responses that I get from other girls when they learn I’m a fly fisherwoman are varied. I’ve been told I’m an inspiration, and I’ve been told I’m only into it because of my... Details
Photo by Matt Parsons
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Coles, Franklin
Earning Montana at the Baldy BlitzWords of reflection around these parts frequently come accompanied by the adage: Montana doesn’t come free. You have to earn it. It’s never been truer than when applied to the Baldy Blitz—a cold, snowy, ten-mile roundtrip sprint to the top of Mt. Baldy (8,914 ft.)... Details
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Pogge, Drew
In December, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved and advanced Montana Senator Jon Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act to the full Senate floor. The four-year old bill would designate 670,000 acres of new Wilderness in western Montana (164,000 in Greater... Details
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Pogge, Drew
Outdoor gear companies like Simms, Mystery Ranch, Sitka, Oboz, and Spark R&D already call Bozeman home. But should Bozeman become a hub of outdoor industry? A group of local business leaders think so, and recently formed the Montana Outdoor Alliance to create opportunities for existing Montana... Details
Photo by Peter Ponca
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Dehmer, Kurt
'Shroom and shed hunting.Spring hunting in the Northern Rockies is most often dedicated to two critters—wild turkey and black bear. But there are other goodies to hunt this time of year, and you don’t even need a tag for two of them: wild mushrooms and shed antlers.ShedsMature male whitetail deer,... Details
Photo by Bob Allen
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Allen, Bob
Injured by a tenacious boogerI couldn’t make up this shit.I’ve been injured riding bikes for the better part of 50 years. While there have been a few spectacular crashes, I’ve gotten away with mostly minor scrapes, cuts, and bruises. But for my most recent injury, the most life-interrupting, I’ve... Details
Photo by Mark Genito
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Pogge, Drew
Where to climb in (relative) comfortThe soft skin and atrophied muscles of spring climbing are painful enough without enduring cold wind and icy approaches. Luckily, there are myriad crags to polish up those winter-worn climbing skills without undue hardship—places where low elevation, sunny aspect... Details
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Sheets, Jenny
Volunteering at local racesClouds thickened and rain fell hard on the Rut 50k running course, pelting 11,000-foot Lone Peak and the mid-mountain aid station. Volunteers huddled under tents as they laid out food and water, chatted with new friends, and excitedly anticipated runners coming around the... Details
Photo by Ryan Krueger
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England, Mike
Reasons to earn your turns this springIf you’re a skier, April may indeed be the cruelest month—it’s when the ski areas close for the season. For many, this marks the last turns of the year—no more long days on the slopes, carving effortless arcs down the mountain. Gone is the lively chairlift... Details
Illustration by Duncan Moran
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Manning, Jim
Ah, spring! The time of year when robins return and gophers peep their heads out of winter burrows with their little brains turned to thoughts of romance. But while the meek conspire to inherit the earth through sheer reproduction, the springtime sky above is filled with fiercer creatures: lions,... Details
Illustration by Zuzana Drobnik
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Icenoggle, Radd
Partners in timeDriving through the milky dawn twilight, the hills and forest of the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park begin to materialize. The air flowing over the vehicle seems to almost crackle with the intense cold. I started this drive in pitch-black darkness, coming to this place in... Details
Photo by Jeremy Thurston
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Sheets, Jenny
Top early-season trailsWhen the sun starts shining and the temperatures rise, Montanans itch to ditch the ski gear and make the change to warm-weather sports (until that late-May blizzard inevitably hits). Spring is a great time to stretch the legs and hit the trails running. Don't be turned off by... Details
Photo by Hank Jorgenson
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Jones, Andrea
Closed WMAs give Montana’s wildlife a breakMontana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) Region 3 is home to 12 Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) spread across southwest Montana. While three areas remain open year-round, the other nine managed for big-game winter range close to the public until May 15.... Details
Illustration by Kyle Rothweiler
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Mason, Michael
Camping adventures with kids.Look! Out in the woods! It’s a trapper… it’s a mountain man… no… it’s KamperDaddy! Gentle and unassuming, yet driven by the desire to provide “quality time,” he leads a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and camping.Ah, camping. The call of the wild, cooking over... Details

Gear Reviews

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England, Mike
It took me a long time to fall for aftermarket footbeds, but when I fell, I fell hard—I now have an entire harem. The latest recipient of my abiding insole affection is the ArchFlex AFS Premier by Icebug. These soft, flexible footbeds offer shock-absorbing support without adding much weight or... Details
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Allen, Bob
In the thick of the action is not a time to be hindered by cameras dangling from your neck. Photo shoots are rarely static, and pursuing the action requires spontaneous movement—how you move with your gear will determine how productive you are behind the lens. For this reason, I’m a fan of chest-... Details
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Howlett, David
Nothing dampens the adventurous spirit of a multi-day whitewater raft trip like wet clothing. Therefore anything I need to keep dry gets stuffed deep into my trusted Black Canyon Dry Bag from SealLine. These waterproof polyester bags are lightweight and pliable, yet double-coated in urethane,... Details
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England, Mike
If you're like me, you sport flips long before the long, lazy days of summer arrive, in an optimistic (read: futile) attempt to usher the season in sooner. For lightweight spring footwear, the Flojos Clove is the best I've found—it's got great cushion and arch support, plus a tacky footbed so I'm... Details
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Loftin, Jaute
Stylish in an Annie-Oakley-meets-Jackie-Kennedy kinda way, Trask’s Dillon boots are handcrafted from high-quality calf-skin and designed specifically for a woman’s foot. These boots are a great fit for anyone seeking a solid walking boot—for low-impact outdoor activities or just around town. From... Details
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England, Mike
For an all-around mountain boot, I found the Scarpa Mont Blanc GTX to be ideal. Snug and comfy right out of the box, with an Advanced Mid-Sole System for shock absorption and increased sensitivity, the Mont Blanc served me well in a wide range of alpine applications. It’s got all the standard... Details
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Mangels, Angie
Comfort and functionality are at the top of my list when shopping for new footwear, and Keen’s Gypsum hiking shoe meets and exceeds both criteria. These lightweight shoes marry the best traits of a sneaker and a hiking boot, with no break-in period needed. The proprietary waterproof and breathable... Details
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England, Mike
If I hear the word “game-changer” applied to one more piece of new gear, I’m gonna lose my shit. So no, the new Redington Vapen hasn’t changed the game of fly fishing—but it is an innovative rod, one that demonstrates a noticeable difference from its predecessors. Fast, responsive, easy to cast,... Details
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Howlett, David
My iPad is an amazing device, but with my hectic lifestyle it felt susceptible… vulnerable… naked. With my tendency of killing expensive devices, I opted for the nüüd iPad Case from LifeProof. Now that my iPad is water-, shock-, snow-, and dirt-proof, I can take my iPad almost anywhere without... Details
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Howlett, David
I find it difficult to carry enough water to keep up with the demands of my favorite outdoor activities, and I’m also a stickler about saving precious weight when loading my pack. So it’s no surprise that the Gavityworks 2.0L pump-free microfiltration system from Platypus has become one of my most... Details
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McCarthy, Danielle
No more heel lift! Say goodbye to heel wedges, J-bars, C-bars, or any other special insole and hello to the Passage snowboard boot from K2. The Passage comes with the Boa Closure System, which helps distribute even pressure across the top of your foot and up the ankle. The real magic is that K2’s... Details
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England, Mike
You may have heard of the GoRuck Challenge—the all-night, military-oriented sufferfest designed to take people past their perceived mental and physical limitations. What you may not know is that the company has an office right here in Bozeman, and they’ve got a new product on the market: the GoRuck... Details
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England, Mike
Smartphone apps and GPS devices may be all the rage, but nothing will ever replace the classic topographic map. It doesn’t need batteries or cell service, requires no updates (mountains don’t move much), is inexpensive and replaceable, and can be opened wide for a bird’s-eye view of the terrain.... Details

Additional Articles

Painting by Allison McGree
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March 15, 29, April 12Winter Farmers’ Market – Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture. This market focuses on food and agricultural products, and shoppers can find grassfed meats, goat cheese, root vegetables, greenhouse fare, farm-fresh eggs, starter plants, baked goods, preserves, and more, all... Details
Illustration by Blaise Arsenault
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Damn MantanaI was looking through your 2014 wall calendar, and while I think the pictures are very nice I take exception to the fact that they are almost entirely devoid of women. Typical. —Ann WilbertActually, there are three women pictured in the 2014 calendar, and possibly more. We select... Details
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Allen, Bob
Unmanaged water erodes our trail resources quicker than you can say, “mud puddle.” Trails are only as safe and sustainable as the maintenance they receive, and our local land-management agencies are stretched to the limit—every user must become a trail steward.Trails are designed to shed water with... Details
Photo by Ryan Krueger
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England, Mike
Part of the spirit of backcountry skiing is finding sweet spots on your own—but everybody can use a head start. First on the list is the resorts themselves: Bridger Bowl is on Forest Service land, meaning after their annual lease date passes, you’re free to hike at will. The North Bridgers are a... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
Spring season is mud season—there’s no avoiding it. But no matter how eager we are to take to the outdoors after a long winter, it’s important to avoid using the trails until they’re dry.Why? Because hiking, biking, or other activity on wet or muddy trails can create ruts and widened trails,... Details
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Strainer, Chris
Spring runoff. For the fly angler, this season of muddy torrents means one of three things: 1) wait it out; 2) fish still water (ponds and lakes); or 3) fish a tailwater river (controlled by a dam). Option 1 sucks, and option 2 ain’t no picnic either. Luckily, there are some excellent tailwater... Details

Book Reviews

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Hessman, Pat
In Montana, the management of gray wolves is right up there with religion and politics on the list of things to avoid discussing in good company. The Real Wolf: The Science, Politics, and Economics of Co-Existing with Wolves in Modern Times (Farcountry Press, $21) purports to be a balanced, well-... Details
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Tucker, David
A Montanan’s Short Stories (self-published, $16) is just that: small glimpses into Harlan Frank Pollmann’s life and times. The Harlowton, Montana native recounts anecdotes from his own experiences—adventures that could happen for anyone living under the Big Sky. That accessibility is part of what... Details
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Pogge, Drew
Any time the word “epic” is used, I’m skeptical, but in the case of the Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone (St. Martin’s Griffin Press; $20) nothing less would suffice. Author George Black paints a vivid portrait of the region and its people with patient pacing and careful... Details
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England, Mike
A combination of meticulous research and superb story-telling, David Baron’s The Beast in the Garden: A Modern Parable of Man and Nature (W.W. Norton, $15) never fails to engage, from the first page to the last. Though originally published in 2004, and oriented around a deadly lion attack in... Details
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McCarthy, Chris
Having grown up on Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front, I was excited to review the book Landscape and Legacy (Farcountry Press, $20) by John A. Vollertsen; I figured it would make a great coffee-table book. To my surprise, it had only two pictures of the Front: one on the front cover and one on the... Details

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