Spring 2018

Features

Black Mountain, Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone, Thomas Turiano, Bozeman
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Thomas Turiano
Ascending Black Mountain. Black Mountain is the highest and most spectacular mountain in the Western Beartooths north of Mount Cowen. It owes its stature to the tremendous erosive power of Pine Creek and the Pleistocene glaciers that once gouged this spectacular canyon’s three forks. Credit must... Details
Trout, Parks Reese
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Greg Keeler
Finding one's place in the grand stream of things. On evenings when the spring thaw is going full blast, I like to sleep with the bedroom window open. Though I live just two blocks off Bozeman’s Main Street, I can hear Sourdough Creek swollen and roaring down from the Hyalites where elk are dipping... Details
Gallatin Valley, Gallatin County, Gallatin River
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the editors
For these three stalwarts of southwest Montana's recreation scene, building an outdoor community is a labor of love. Bozeman didn’t become an outdoor town by accident. Over the last several decades, many, many people have dedicated countless hours to races, trails, parties, and festivals to create... Details
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Mike Fiebig
50 Years of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Here on the northern edge of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, we sit perched on the headwaters of the continent. The mighty Missouri, Green, Yellowstone, and Snake river systems all originate within this landscape, and while the headwaters of these... Details

Departments

Natural Bridge, Boulder River
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Robert Stone
Nice and easy along the Boulder. Natural Bridge State Monument is located in the main Boulder River valley 25 miles south of Big Timber. The area is named for a limestone arch that once spanned the river. The 25-foot natural arch collapsed in July 1988. Natural Bridge Falls, a 105-foot cataract on... Details
Fly Tying, Montana, Fly Fishing, Gallatin River Guides
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Jimmy Armijo-Grover
Tying the Mega Prince.  Designed on the Madison River by fishing guide, fly designer, and shop owner Dan Delekta, the Mega Prince combines many great flies and materials. The end result is a mega-fish catcher! How could a trout pass up a T-bone steak after feeding on frozen chicken fingers all... Details
Billings Rimrocks, Rock Climbing
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Drew Pogge
Spring climbing on Billings’ Rimrocks. Spring in Bozeman can be tough for climbers—the ice is long gone, but most of the local rock isn’t quite dry or warm enough for climbing. Plus, after months of wading through kids at Spire, you’re itchy for space, quiet, and the ability to curse loudly without... Details
Foxes, Montana, Photography, Wildlife
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Carol Polich
Capturing the kits at play. It’s late spring, the animated season of rejuvenation, when new life abounds amid a profusion of color. Buds burst open and birdsong fills the air. Baby animals, such as this lively fox litter I’ve discovered, enhance that seasonal spirit.Their den is in an open area 200... Details
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the interns
Book reviews for spring. For some Bozemanites, spring means multi-sport. For others, it means mud. If the ficklest of seasons has you indoors, here are some books to consider.Montana’s Hot SpringsAfter a long day afield, I enjoy a hot-springs soak as much as anyone. However, like most, I lack the... Details
Camping Madison, John Arnold
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David Tucker
A multifaceted kick-off to warmer weather. Like most folks around here, I love winter—but by spring, sun and warmer temps become a psychological necessity. I also need to sleep outside, and since I’m not an idiot, I don’t do much winter camping. So on that first warm spring weekend, I’m looking for... Details
Montana Wildlife Federation, Conservation, Public Land, Hunting
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Nick Gevock
Protecting our public land. Public lands are getting a lot of attention these days, and not for good reasons. Our incredible conservation legacy is more threatened now than it has been in decades. These are the mountains, forests, foothills, and prairies where Montanans go to hike and hunt, fish... Details
Black Canyon Trail, Eagle Creek, Yellowstone National Park
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Anthony Pavkovich
Running the Black Canyon trail. For the last four years, I’ve celebrated the arrival of spring by stashing my skis in the closet and lacing up my running shoes. I leave the mountains and head down to low country near the northern entrance to Yellowstone National Park. There, by early spring, one of... Details
Baby, kids, backpacking
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the editors
DIY cost-savers for kids.Being an outdoor parent can be expensive. Kids are constantly growing and interests shift from day to day. But there’s no need to break the bank to keep your children outside and properly outfitted; simply follow the tips below. Kid-Carrier.Take an old daypack and cut out... Details
Big Timber Creek, Montana, Whitewater Kayaking
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Kevin Kennedy
An epic crash on Montana's steepest creek. Shouldering heavy kayaks, we opened the gate and started up the rocky trail. One mile of steep hiking separated us from our put-in rapid. The crew consisted of Joe, Connor, Nick, Zach, and me: five dirtbags whose only real concern was chasing flowing water... Details
Bike Seat Angle, Bike Fitting, Excel PT
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Jason Lunden
Adjusting your bike seat. For valley cyclists, the first warm days of spring signal a shift from powder to pedals. Road biking is typically devoid of the aches and pains of more jarring pursuits, but as the rides get longer, pain and dysfunction can start to take a toll, especially if your bike is... Details
Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle, Montana, Raptors
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Claire Gower
Montana raptors play copycat. In 1978, there were 12 known breeding pairs of bald eagles in Montana. Over the next 34 years, thanks to extensive national recovery efforts, the nesting population steadily increased. In 1995, bald eagles were down-listed from “Endangered” to “Threatened”, and on June... Details
Biking, Yellowstone National Park, West Yellowstone
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Mike England
A weekend at Montana’s outdoor multiplex.  “In the spring,” Tennyson famously penned, “a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” That may be true in the city, or in the insipid suburbs; but around here, there’s more than amour to titillate the winter-weary soul. With warm sunshine in... Details
Buffalo Jump State Park, Montana
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Patti Albrecht
The Madison Valley’s oldest butcher. Today, when we get a hankering for a burger or steak, we swing by the store. However, for the Native Americans that traveled through our valley, harvesting meat was far from easy. Their archery skills worked well when game was plentiful and mobility easy, but... Details
Whitewater Rafting, Montana, Bear Trap Canyon
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the editors
Getting your raft river-ready. A new season means new gear—or rather, old gear that needs to be dug out of the closet, shed, or garage and put back into the rotation. One such item that is frequently neglected is the raft, from the moment it’s stored in the fall to the moment it goes back into... Details
Fly Rod Box, DIY
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Mike England
DIY rooftop rod-holder. Set-up and break-down of a fly rod takes time, and if you’re moving around, rigging up at every spot—or worse, waiting for a hung-over friend while the hatch is on—it gets old real quick. Which is where the rooftop rod box comes in: a full-length locker where you can safely... Details
Mountain biking, Peets Hill
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David Tucker
This spring, ride in town. Come spring, dry trails are more valuable to local mountain bikers than all the Treasure State’s oro y plata combined. We champ at bit for tacky dirt on which to ride, but the reality is, mountain trails aren’t really ready until June. So, we’re stuck road-tripping to... Details
Bozeman Pedal Project, Women Outdoors, Bozeman
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Becky Edwards
Getting after it together.  I’ve always been more of a tomboy than a girlie girl. I grew up driving combines and tractors and taking laps in my brother’s sprint car after Saturday-night races—for whatever reason, it seemed that men had all the fun.Upon moving to the mountains at the tender age of... Details
Whitewater Safety, Bozeman, Montana Rivers
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the editors
Water is always working, reorganizing the land. —Tim Palmer, Endangered Rivers and the Conservation MovementIn spring, water is released from the bonds of winter, let loose on the land. It’s impatient in its freedom, rushing down from the high alpine, through the canyons, and out into the valleys.... Details
Bozeman, Montana, Mountain Strong
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the editors
Reconciling the outdoor dichotomy. We all have dreams—some big, some small—that fuel our outdoor ambitions. A bigger fish, steeper ski line, harder climb, or faster race can be the ultimate motivator, pushing us to new personal heights. Sometimes, though, reality gets in the way. And by “reality,”... Details
Missouri River, Tailwaters, Spring Fishing, Montana
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Jimmy Lewis
Where to fish this spring. In March and April, there exists the perfect scenario for the spring angler: it is pre-runoff and our favorite freestone rivers are low and clear. But what happens when the sun swings high overhead and overnight lows fail to reach freezing? This is when the Mother’s Day... Details
Gallatin River Task Force, Gallatin River
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Kristin Gardner
A plan to protect Big Sky’s water. As the days grow longer and warmer, our local rivers roar back to life after a long, quiet winter. Paddlers and anglers return to enjoy the abundance of water. Soon, the rivers’ roar will turn to a hypnotic song as summer settles in, streamflows wane, and... Details
Gallatin River, Bozeman, Whitewater, Kayaking
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Drew Hulse
One newcomer’s account of Bozeman-area whitewater. My kayak was bone dry. It traveled 2,000 miles from Georgia to Bozeman, my new home, only to collect dust in the garage. Outside, the rivers swelled with snowmelt. Inside, a newcomer contemplated where to begin.New rapids and new paddling partners... Details
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Sid Gustafson
Fecundity, a veterinary term, livestock to configure;Wives, students, parents, Thymallus arcticus—Salmonids expected to deliver:Trout;Birth more, suckle, hustle, hybrid vigor,Spring yo mama that profligate trigger.Reproduction of animals;The study of theriogenology. That’s it,The branch of medicine... Details
Bozeman, Dog Parks, Dogs, Pets
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the editors
Dog-Owner Quiz.  As the old saying goes, there are no bad dogs, only bad owners. Same thing goes for good dogs. Point being, dogs are what we make of them. So the question is, are you and your dog well-behaved, or are you the reason we have leash laws and crap-covered trails? Take this quiz and... Details
Vanlife, Montana, Sprinter Van
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Joe King
Redefining “down by the river.” If millennials have shown the world anything, it’s that people in their 20s really do have it all figured out. One example of this unprecedented generational wisdom is the phenomenon of #vanlife. Eschewing the day-to-day comfort, financial leverage, psychological... Details
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Mick Frost
Alexander Pope did say it best:True wit is nature to advantage dressed.And since mankind will endure and prevail.‘Tis only fitting we study his travail. But all springs first from fertile earth,And therein lies true nature’s worth:A lofty peak, a rushing stream,Dark forests holding life unseen.This... Details
Damsel Fly, Bozeman, Fly Fishing
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the editors
A few of Bozeman’s piscine practitioners. As many famous writers have noted, fishing is religion to Montana anglers. And few churches are more well-attended than the Temple of Bozeman, where congregants receive the word of trout daily. Devotion is so strong here, in fact, that many have decided to... Details
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Barbara Helfgott Hyett
—Haliaeetus leucocephalusArchitect of twigs and sorrow,she nests in the oldest forestsbelow the tops of dying trees;most of the eggs too soft to survive. Still, she builds up a brooding basketdecorated with a spray of pine.In the egg cup, moss-mounds, feathers,the heads of fish. Crouched on the... Details
Turkey hunt, standup paddle board
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Mike England
A standup turkey hunt.  All of us, from time to time, need a plunge into freedom and novelty, after which routine and discipline seem delightful by contrast. —Andre MauroisVariety, of course, is the spice of life—and that applies to the outdoor life, too. How many times can a person kayak the same... Details
Montana Stargazing, Bozeman
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Jim Manning
The season’s astronomical bucket list.  Spring in Montana: when snow turns to mud and we bet on whether the tender new shoots and flower buds will survive the errant late frosts—and if the snowmelt will overflow the riverbanks. Spring has a sketchy reputation in these parts, but the sky, at least,... Details
Hot-Smoked Trout, Smoked Trout Recipe
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Simon Peterson
Hot-smoked trout.  Due to their manageable size, even texture, and awesome flavor, trout are a perfect fish to hot-smoke. Great for a meal or an appetizer, smoked trout can also be combined with a plethora of other dishes including cheeses, soups, dips, and salads. Hot-smoking, with a higher... Details
Bozeman, Montana
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Mike England
Inside all of us is the spirit of adventure—a longing passed down through the ages, from the first man and woman who set off into the unknown, leaving behind the comfort and safety of the cave to climb a distant mountain, cross a great desert, or load a handmade boat and row toward an empty horizon... Details
Gallatin Range, Forest Planning, Devil's Backbone
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Anthony Pavkovich
Across the Gallatin Range. Crossing the corniced ridge, my ski partner Zach Altman and I looked down on the transitioning land. In the valley, brown gave way to green while snow blanketed the crest; spring wouldn’t be long from the high country. Over the next two days, we would leave our solitary... Details
Bozeman, Trail Maintenance, GVLT
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Maria Weidich
Helping hands for public lands. Amid the recent public-lands whirlwind sweeping the nation, you might be inspired to roll up your sleeves, tighten your bootstraps, and get involved. No matter your age, abilities, or allegiance, there are a number of ways citizens can pitch in to help maintain our... Details
Coyote Tracks, Wildlife Tracking, Yellowstone Safari
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Mike England
Reading the signs left behind.  Clumps of whitish-grey fur cover the ground, scattered across an oblong area a couple feet across. In some places the clusters are tinted red. The scene resembles a plane wreck on an empty hillside, viewed from high above.“What happened here?” Ken asks.We ponder a... Details
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Emma Nord
The stars and pants align. As our crags begin to thaw out, climbers will shed a few puffy layers in preparation for their spring rock projects—their native climbing pants accompanying them in both successes and failures. Since the alignment of the planets isn’t a reliable source to forecast... Details
Whitewater canoe, Gallatin River
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Mike England
Gearing up for spring snowmelt. Few activities combine the holy outdoor trinity of skill, thrill, and terror like whitewater canoeing. The elegance of a well-executed cross-draw; the gleeful triumph of a clean run; a wide-eyed tumble downstream, paddle in one hand and gunwale in the other as you... Details
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the editors
It’s spring, and you know what that means: it’s time to load up the car and take a road-trip to your favorite climbing, biking, or trail-running destination. Here are some stats to consider as you plan your next journey.12,008—Miles of highway in Montana12.73—Times you can listen to Metallica’s... Details
Spring Skiing, Backcountry Skiing, Montana
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Drew Pogge
Anticipating warm-weather avalanche problems. There is no better time for backcountry skiing and riding than the spring. Long days, comfortable temps, sunshine, and deep snow—perfect.With the changing season, however, comes a changing avalanche paradigm. Traditional wisdom holds that a spring... Details

Gear Reviews

Review: First Lite Uncompahgre Vest
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Chris McCarthy
The Uncompahgre insulated vest from First Lite packs down to nothing and keeps your core extremely warm. With its light weight and snug fit, it’s a great part of any layering system, but it also serves as outerwear over a heavy shirt or fleece on cool spring days. What’s more, the durable rip-stop... Details
hunting gear
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Drew Hulse
Like many outdoor enthusiasts whose hobbies outnumber their savings, I must choose my gear wisely—new skis are purchased only at the expense of a new bike, and so on. My rain jacket from First Lite, however, is an exception to that rule. First Lite specializes in hunting gear, but the SEAK... Details
Climbing Addicts, Wall Street Gold, chalk
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Luke Ebeling
This chalk isn’t going to keep you glued to small holds, but it will keep those holds looking better. Wall Street Gold is the first of its kind, a rock-colored chalk meant to lessen the impact of climbers on the places they use and love. The performance shows it’s a first try, but this family-owned... Details
Stio Sweetwater, hoodie
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Joyce Pollastro
Slip on Stio’s Sweetwater fleece hoodie and it will become a quick favorite. What you’ll appreciate most is its versatility—wear it to work with a skirt, under your ski jacket as a midlayer, and around the house with pajama bottoms on those off-days. The soft fleece and unique neckline may just... Details
Good to-go, granola
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Luke Ebeling
Search no longer for lightweight backcountry food that’s both tasty and nutritious. Good To-Go’s Granola is breakfast, lunch, or a snack, with 580 calories and natural ingredients to keep you going all day. Rip open the top, pour in some water, and enjoy. And once you’ve devoured the contents, use... Details
Icebug, Pytho4 bugrip
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Angie Mangels
When your favorite trail takes forever to thaw out, a studded running shoe comes in handy. Check out the Pytho4 W BUGrip made by ICEBUG for a superior traction sole with integrated studs that grip great on all terrain. These shoes fit like a glove and give you the confidence to run up and down... Details
Kammok, Roo Single, hammock
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Mike England
For an impromptu nap or overnight on early-season hikes or river trips, you can’t beat the Roo Single hammock by Kammok. At a wispy ten ounces and stuffing down to the size of an apple, you won’t even know you’re carrying it. Set up the Wallaby and spend the night in comfort, ready for action the... Details
Yakima, rack, Full Swing
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Mike England
Load up the whole family, or any friendly foursome, and hit the trail together with Yakima’s FullSwing bike rack. Padded arms, two-point straps, and a built-in cable lock keep up to four bikes safe and secure, and the entire load swings away from your tailgate or hatch with the press of a button.... Details
MPOWERED Luci Pro Series
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Melissa Doar
The MPOWERD Luci Pro Series inflatable solar lantern is possibly the coolest outdoor contraption I own. It recharges quickly using the two-way USB port, and can hold a single solar charge for up to two days. It’s super affordable, weighs practically nothing, and collapses for easy storage. It’s now... Details
Stealth, Professional
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the editors
Usually, we train cores by drinking beer and eating wings. But now that we’ve gamed our cores with the Professional core trainer from Stealth, we might finally get those coveted six packs of abs everybody talks about. Stealth uses a gyrating platform affixed to a stand to mimic planking, and then... Details
Plano, Guide Series 3600, fly box
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David Howlett
The Guide Series 3600 tackle bag boasts a cool rail system, with 34 accessory-attachment points, easy topside access to a StowAway utility box, and a raised over-molded surface with tie-down slots. Five additional utility boxes are included in the soft-sided main compartment, and the bottom of the... Details
Cotopaxi, Tarak del Dia
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Mike England
Refreshingly devoid of superfluity, the 20-liter Tarak del Dia is a multi-pitch climbing pack from Cotopaxi that works equally well as a hiking daypack. Gone are the overwrought elements so common in contemporary packs; the Tarak’s streamlined design includes slim straps, minimalist hook-and-loop... Details
Salomon, Bonatti WP
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Chris McCarthy
 Salomon’s Bonatti WP isn’t the perfect wet-season jacket, but it makes a strong case. It’s lightweight, packs down into its own chest pocket, and provides great protection against rain, sleet, and wind. The jacket is breathable, but can get damp inside after a long, vigorous run. The no-slip hood... Details
Review: Fishpond Headgate Tippet Holder
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Mike England
With all the doodads and thingamajigs dangling from fly vests these days, it can be difficult to know where necessity stops and excess begins. One arguably indispensable doohickey is the Headgate Tippet Holder from Fishpond, which keeps spools handy and organized instead of piled up in one’s pocket... Details
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Drew Hulse
When I think bison wool, I think thick, durable, and warm—as in capable of plowing trenches through snow as our national mammal. The Buffalo Wool Co.’s Bison Merino Sock confirmed my suspicion, especially on the thickness front. These socks are the closest wool ever came to bullet proof. They... Details
Review: Patagonia Descensionist Jacket
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David Tucker
It’s easy to work up a sweat trudging around the mountains in fresh snow, and that’s why the breathability of Patagonia’s Descensionist is such a bonus. Take this waterproof, lightweight shell on high-output tours in inclement weather (which describes spring in Montana to a T) and enjoy the... Details
Patagonia Powslayer Bibs
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Simon Peterson
Patagonia’s PowSlayer bibs are everything you want in a ski pant: burly enough to handle a day of lift-serve pow-slaying, yet nimble enough to keep one comfortable in the backcountry. They nailed it with the minimalist design and two-way slider side zips for venting. My only complaint is having no... Details
hola one one, clayton 2
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David Tucker
Good running shoes offer three things: comfort, stability, and durability. Hoka One One is the king of the first two, but when it comes to the latter, they’ve come up short in the past. Not so with the Clayton 2. These road shoes won’t break down like some previous Hoka models—they’ll hold up for... Details

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