Winter 2010-11

Features

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England, Mike
The fracture line arced up and across the slope, traversing the ridgeline like a diagonal bolt of lightning. A chest-high crown appeared as the massive slab detached and moved downslope. From the hurtling snow came a whirr, a rushing tremor that magnified into a muted roar as the avalanche gained... Details
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Reuss, Dave
After 35 years of making packs, longtime Bozeman local Dana Gleason is busy. And his company–Mystery Ranch–shows no signs of slowing down, ramping up production to meet the massive demand and expanding into new fields. With a dedicated staff, hands-on design, and passionate consumers, creating an... Details
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Pape, Jay
Many folks believe that we can ski Saddle “safely.” How can we safely ski any slope with people hidden below and out of view while others are dropping in on top of you? It would be more accurate to say we ski Saddle “luckily.” The 2009 season began with ample snowfall in October and November in the... Details
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With three million people swarming its gates every year, Yellowstone can get a little crazy in the summertime. Not so in winter, when the endless human hordes are replaced by open roads, vast fields of white, and a cold, quiet beauty. There’s no shortage of activities in the off-season, just a... Details

Departments

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Yost, Aaron
I turn my face skyward to soak in a little reassurance before I cross into the Ridge’s shadow. I’m riding the Pierre’s Knob chair at Bridger Bowl by myself on a weekday. Empty chairs ahead of me glide silently out of sight, and as I turn to scope my favorite line down Flippers, I see a vacant... Details
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Metrick, Dee
There’s a wise older woman in my life who told me, “Don’t give advice, just tell your story.” So as we head toward winter and the plethora of outdoor recreational activities associated with cold smoke, I can’t help but give in to the urge to tell all women under 30: Do not learn skiing or... Details
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Patnode, Angela
The demand for avalanche education has literally exploded in the Bozeman area. There are now numerous courses to choose from depending on experience and interest.For the novice, the Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center (GNFAC) offers several one-hour avalanche-awareness talks... Details
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Reuss, Dave
Getting your dog high might sound like a funny thing to do, but it’s ultimately no laughing matter. “The dogs that come in are not having a good time,” says Sean East, emergency veterinarian at PETS in Bozeman. Since the passage of the medical marijuana law, he’s seen a noted increase in cases—... Details
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Pogge, Drew
Licks of window frost, blue in the darkness of morning, frame the distant glow of Gallatin Peak. You roll over in your sleeping bag, and the ancient bunk mattress beneath you squeaks in the cold. The fire is out. You hear the others waking as well—yawns and groans, sniffles and coughs—but no one... Details
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Leahy, Mike
Winter is a fine time in Montana, not just for skiers, but for wilderness aficionados as well. Elk are in the low country, bison are often on the move, and wolves are visible against the pale palette of snow. And tracks tell stories when animals won’t. Wilderness is effectively expanded due to... Details
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McMahon, Amy
Last winter I tagged along on a snowshoe trip through MacDonald Pass near Helena as part of a recent Defenders of Wildlife effort to involve the public in its research and causes. Defenders is a well-known proponent of wolf rights, but what may come as a surprise is that the organization has a... Details
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Andersen, Travis
Getting good action shots can be tricky—if you don’t do it right, your high-speed freeriding friend will look like he’s creeping down the bunny slope. Here are a few things to think about when you’re trying to capture those perfect images of your favorite winter pastimes.EquipmentUnfortunately, the... Details
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Dehmer, Kurt
Typically, the term ice fishing conjures images of crotchety geezers hunched around a hole in the ice, slapping back macro-brews, and jawing about the good ol’ days. But you don’t have to be a geezer to get a rise out of ice-fishing. If hitting the same old chutes, slopes, and trails is leaving you... Details
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Pogge, Drew
Anyone can succeed. It takes a rare and special talent, however, to fail—and fail with such gusto that the failure becomes secondary to the triumphant achievement of mere survival. This is the definition of epic failure—where legends are born.Be honest: Do you care to hear about someone’s perfect... Details
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Byerly, Travis
Here’s a great winter recipe that’s simple, tasty, and hearty. After a hard day of skiing or snowshoeing, come home and fire up the BBQ for this classic meal.Ingredients: TURF1 12-16oz Montana natural New York beef steak1 tablespoon olive oilSeasoned salt and pepper to desired tasteSURF6 each jumbo... Details
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McMahon, Amy
People generally don't associate Boy Scouts with ice climbing. But Bozeman's Troop 679, composed of eight boys all around the age of 14, is far hardier than most: last winter, the boys went ice climbing with Ron Brunckhorst, a world-class ice climber and Climb Montana guide. Ron showed the troop (... Details
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Stoops, Kira
Why is there a chairlift in that one guy's front yard? If you've lived in Bozeman in the last 20 years, you've probably noticed it—Greg Beardsley's two-chair setup in his front lawn on Church Street. As a 30-year veteran of Bridger Bowl (and a skier for 45 years), Beardsley picked up one Bridger... Details
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Walters, Lou
Nagging joint and muscle injuries can limit winter wonderland fun. Nothing sucks more than having to hear about how epic the slopes were from your friends while you were stuck inside icing your knee and watching reruns of CSI: Kansas. So here are some things beyond warming up and stretching you can... Details
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Editors
Who’s bad to the bone? Round two of the annual Top Dog contest brought in photos by the dozen of Bozeman’s most beloved beast—Canis lupus familiaris, that happy-go-lucky, four-legged friend who shares and enriches our outdoor experience. Backcountry buddy, climbing companion, paddling pal—we saw... Details
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Westmoreland, Wendy
In the latest installment of the Outside Bozeman gym round-up, we break from the routine-based facilities and investigate CrossFit gyms: a certification, a brand, a trend, a cult, a fad, a fitness phenomenon. Say what you will about the trendiness, but this strength-and-conditioning workout is... Details
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England, Mike
In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy. –William BlakeIn most parts of the country, people dread the winter season. Griping about the “God-awful weather,” their faces contort into stubborn scowls as they rush from one climate-controlled environment to the next. Freezing winds, icy... Details
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Editors
Bozeman’s Top DogWith dozens of enthusiastic entries, this year’s Top Dog Contest again proved one of our most popular. Proud humans from all over southwest Montana praised the virtues of their beloved canine companions. Tom and Liz McGoff-Hayes and their dog Juniper take top prize, with a great... Details
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Weller, Traci
It’s no secret that Bozeman is a dog-friendly town—make that dog-loving town. In the summer months, dogs are everywhere—on the trails, in the streams and lakes, downtown, and in the parks. Like their handlers, they crave the fresh air of Gallatin County. The winter months are no different, but it... Details
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the Editors
We've all seen him: the guy up on the ridge who looks like a total mess. He's holding the line up, he's swinging skis and poles everywhere, and he's stopping in the middle of everything to fix his gloves. His I've-never-done-this-before friends have tagged along just to make things worse for... Details
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Muennich, Pete
March 12, 2011 marks the second annual Big Sky Hope on the Slopes. This fundraising event, hosted by the American Cancer Society, raised over $7,000 last year and aims to double that this winter. Participants register teams for $150 or individuals for $50, then get pledges from the community to... Details
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Warren, Becky
Without a doubt, offering local and organic food is definitely a trend in Bozeman's restaurants these days. Norris Hot Springs, Wild Joe’s Coffee House, the Emerson Grill, Weebee’s Café, Nova Café, and John Bozeman’s Bistro are just a few examples. For some proprietors, it's simply a way to get... Details
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Stoops, Kira
No pair of devoted, loyal skis should ever be left to rot in the garage—no matter how unshaped, heavy, geriatric, or neon. Fortunately, there are more than a few ways to reincarnate your skis and give them a useful second life, long after even their rock-hopping days are over. In Bozeman, stories... Details
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Reuss, Dave
This winter, our nation’s wounded warriors converge on Big Sky January 7-11 to attend Operation SAS (Sports, Afield & Stream), a five-day event hosted by Operation Never Forgotten (ONF). Kicking off with a sportsman’s dinner banquet at the Big Sky conference center, this event features famous... Details
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Stoops, Kira
While Big Sky has a reputation as a ski town, there are plenty of other diversions in this little mountain hamlet. For starters, there's skimming for skiing discounts. Big Sky Resort offers a Half-Price Week from January 3-9 for frequent ski cardholders, or you can consider volunteering for a... Details
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Pape, Jay
If you're buried in an avalanche, you have a 93% chance of being recovered if you're found in 15 minutes or less. That is, if you survive the ride. So when was the last time you actually practiced with your transceiver? More important, does your partner practice? Now you have no more excuses. The... Details
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England, Mike
Cross-country skiing aficionados of all types—lycra-clad skate-skiers, classic-track kick-and-gliders, and wool-bearing backcountry explorers alike—will converge on Lone Mountain Ranch for the annual Big Sky Nordic Ski Festival, a week-long celebration of all things Nordic. Honoring the sport’s... Details
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Baker, Alicia
In winter, it's just as important to consume Vitamin D and Vitamin C as it is to keep up physical activity. However, intakes of these micronutrients tend to decline in winter due to limited sunshine (for Vitamin D production) and limited access to fresh fruits (which contain Vitamin C). Eating... Details
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England, Mike
It’s the contest that just keeps on giving! On display at Sola Café for the months of December and January: The winners of the 3rd annual Outside Bozeman Photo Contest. Nearly 300 of the Bozeman area’s best photographers submitted over 2,500 images of southwest Montana’s wildlife, landscapes,... Details
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Reuss, Dave
87: reported avalanche incidents in our area last winter21: people caught in avalanches9: partial burials3: full burials3: fatalities35: total avalanche fatalities last year in the U.S.0: days the avalanche danger was rated "low" during the entire season64: local avalanche classes taught, reaching... Details
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Setzer, Shannon
Hooray, winter is here! Get out your skis, snowshoes, and ice skates—it’s time for fun in the snow. As an outdoor enthusiast, you might ready your body, strengthening knees, legs, and arms for the activities ahead. But do you think about your skin? Winter can bring an uncomfortable dryness to your... Details
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Pogge, Drew
Skiing down through deep powder snowSpinningAnd as I spun, the mountain fell,Laid down at its foot like the curve of a bell,Crumpled and dead, and fearsome to seeThe power of tension and gravity,Rocks lay exposed, trees broken and rippedA scar on the mountain where it slid and slippedNo less a king... Details
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Leahy, Mike
Walking through a Jefferson County ranch one summer day, I inadvertently flushed a great horned owl. Before I could clear out so she could return to her roost, two ravens and a golden eagle swooped in from above. The eagle didn’t think much of the owl's attempt to look large and took her to the... Details
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the Editors
It’s hard to admit, but we’ve all committed them—outdoor sins. You’ve discovered a muddy trail and biked it anyway, borrowed your buddy’s gear and neglected to own up to the subsequent thrashing, stepped on the rope wearing crampons… the list goes on. Clearly some are more serious than others, but... Details
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Calio, Alexa
Montana weather may be blissful for skiers, but it can be notoriously hard on homeowners’ wallets. Luckily there are a variety of things you can do to reduce energy costs. Conventional methods include water-heater wraps, CFL light bulbs, repairing leaky faucets, turning down the thermostat on your... Details
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the Editors
As the temperatures cool down, the age-old rivalry heats back up: skiers versus snowboarders. Both have an unjustified sense of superiority over the other, and jokes abound about each type. Here’s a short list of some good insults to hurl at members of the opposing camp, whoever they may be.What’s... Details
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Reuss, Dave
As the snow piles up around Bozeman, the touristy outdoor town of Moab in the deserty south of Utah starts to look like a welcome respite from the cold. But does this climbing and biking haven have what it takes to take down the champion?National Parks: The world’s largest collection of rock arches... Details
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Corinne Garcia
There are some places that many women try to avoid, and let’s face it, a locker room full of sweaty guys—along with their stinky, unwashed capilene—is one of them. And some women would shy away from waking in the wee hours to hike in the dark with heavy explosives in their backpacks in temperatures... Details

Gear Reviews

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Bass, Rick
Comparing these to the big Gregory Serrac 45 would be to compare grapefruit and grapes. I’m partial to the kitchen-sink style of daypacking, so the Serrac suits that need wonderfully. It has a very good-fitting waist-belt and it, too, rides smooth and firm, which, at the end of a 16-hour walk, is... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
For years I struggled with AT boots that were only good at one thing or another. They climbed well but skied terribly, or vice versa. Finally, I found a boot that bridges the gap. During a month-long ski expedition, the Scarpa Skookum were the only boots I wore—skinning with heavy loads for miles,... Details
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England, Mike
Last year, Scarpa joined the eco-friendly party with their specially designed T2 Eco tele boot. The key distinction is in the shell—it’s built with Pebax Rnew plastic, which is made from castor plant oil rather than petroleum. I expected to notice the difference, as one can with most... Details
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Bass, Rick
The Talus and Salish are two sweet little packs from the Jansport Cloud Ripper series. Both are small and snug and tight on the body, resulting in high functionality no matter the activity. They’re attractive, good for raingear and a lunch; to load them with much more would require excessive stuff-... Details
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Bell, Ian
Black Diamond’s new Cyborg crampons may not the lightest on the market, but they'll last forever—no need to get new ones when your front points go out; just hop on the Web and order up another set. BD has also ditched the paint job—the stainless steel shine always keeps them looking new and puts BD... Details
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England, Mike
After ten years of reviewing boots, I’ve become a shoe snob. So when it came time for a winter boot review, I had very specific requirements: it had to be comfortable, warm, water-resistant, and breathe well; it must provide a snug fit and firm, above-the-ankle support; it needed a soft sole for... Details
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England, Mike
Post-holing through deep snow is my definition of a cold day in hell. Luckily, snowshoes are a dime a dozen and the only problem is choosing the right pair. For unparalleled traction on hardpack, shallower snow, and slippery sub-surface layers, the MSR Evo Tour is a solid choice. Constructed of... Details
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Barba, Katie
Most people don’t think a hood on a vest is necessary—sort of like screen doors on a battleship. To the contrary, however, I found the hood on the Whisper Hoodie Vest delightful. I wore the vest for a week straight as a base layer, gym cover up, and a just plain stylish layer when heading out on... Details
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Sundborg, Caitlin
Night hiking, camping, or biking, the Byte keeps you going after the sun stops shining. Weighing in at a mere 64 grams, its lightweight structure and comfy elastic headband let you forget that it’s strapped to your skull. The headlamp provides three settings to shine light on any situation. A 3mm... Details
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Reuss, Dave
What’s the next new product at Mystery Ranch? “We’re bringing out a ski pack that has an avalanche buoyancy system built into it,” Dana says. When activated, the Blackjack deploys a 150-liter inflatable airbag designed to keep the skier’s head and body above the slide. “The Euros have been doing it... Details
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Wells, Andrew
Outdoor Research has made some great improvements in its Mentor jacket this year. Built with Gore-Tex Pro Shell and fully taped zippers, moisture stays out but the jacket still breathes well. The double-sliding TorsoFlo hem-to-bicep zippers are a nice upgrade. For many years I've had to take my... Details
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Barba, Katie
If you’re looking for an indestructible option to the woven dog leashes on the market, look no further. The Perfect Leash is like a chew toy made for hard-core dogs. It’s made of 100% polyurethane that stretches when your dog pulls and takes away the shock to your wrist and shoulders. Our puppy is... Details
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Muennich, Pete
Trusting four tiny pins to hold each boot in place in my new bindings took some getting used to. But that is exactly what I do when riding the Garmont Shogun and G3 Onyx. This was my first touring setup, and I really lucked out. Pairing up the Shogun’s ultracomfortable, lightweight design with the... Details
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Bass, Rick
Some luxuries are worth sharing with our canine friends. The Doggy Snooze bed delivers human-level comfort on an elevated canvas platform—it’s like sleeping on a trampoline without the bounce, or an ultra-firm hammock, perhaps—so that the dog is essentially suspended in space. Assembling the... Details
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Reuss, Dave
After years of smuggling sunglasses out of the lost and found and “borrowing” them from friends for indefinite periods of time, I decided it was time to get a pair of actual shades. As soon as I put on the new Native Grind, I instantly remembered what I had been missing. The Rhyno-Tuff Air frames... Details
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Whittenberg, Jon
I had no idea what I was in for. Even though my roommates and colleagues teased me for wearing the Injinji Toesocks, the joke was on them. After a day hike and a long day in the mountains, my feet felt fabulous. These socks are a pain to get into and they may look a little goofy, but the comfort... Details
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Ingleman, Brad
The Planet Dog Wood Chuck is perfect for earth-conscious Bozemanites with hyperactive canines. Made from bamboo and cork scraps—instead of the usual hard plastic of its forerunner, the Chuck-It—this is one ergonomic, eco-friendly ball-flinger. Which is good, because it’s a bit stiffer than the... Details
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Sundborg, Caitlin
The Peony Foldover Turtle top and the Peony Long Jane bottoms are essential layers for tackling powder. Breathable, lightweight, and moisture-wicking, this top and bottom combo is one of the best ski layers I've worn. The duo’s seamless construction prevents chafing, and the nylon and spandex... Details
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England, Mike
How many times, in a rush to gather gear for an outdoor excursion, have you forgotten your dog’s food? How about his leash or pills? Enter the K-9 Cube by Mountainsmith, an ingenious organizer that keeps a kibble bag, food and water dishes, and Frisbee toy all packed together in a single, self-... Details
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Barba, Katie
These insulated winter boots were a little girly for my taste but extremely functional in wet, slushy weather. They have a plush fur lining to block out snow, and the lacing system is very secure. The Vibram soles are great for tread, but the shoe felt a little high for me, almost like a platform... Details
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Muennich, Pete
The Sandstone Active Jac by Carhartt is tough, warm, and made by a trusted name in work and outdoor clothing. Finding a jacket that insulates, breaks wind, and feels like it could protect you in an amateur knife fight is hard to do. The Active Jac does all of these. Two internal pockets hold... Details
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England, Mike
YakTrax are all the rage in Bozeman, and they’re fine for mild hardpack; but if you want to take your traction up a notch, pick up a pair of Diamond Grip Ice Trekkers. These lightweight yet sturdy mini-crampons will grab the slickest of ice and rock-hard snow, keeping your feet secure and your mind... Details
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Barba, Katie
This coat rocks. There, I’ve said it. I honestly couldn’t find a thing I would change on it. It’s crazy warm, insulated without being puffy, and stylish to boot. The Haven is an updated version of an East Coast toggle coat for prepsters. It fits snugly, so at first I was worried that I wouldn’t be... Details
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Sundborg, Caitlin
When Mother Nature’s out for vengeance, the North Face Venture Jacket will keep you dry come rain or snow. The coat is made with a HyVent nylon fabric that utilizes a polyurethane coating, protecting you from all forms of moisture. Although the jacket is engineered to withstand intense rainstorms,... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
Do not underestimate the need for a bomber sleeping bag when spending time outdoors this winter. Long, frigid days and cold, stormy nights take their toll without a solid refuge from the elements. The Sierra Designs BTU-20 is a four-season, 800-fill goose down refuge with a waterproof shell that... Details

Book Reviews

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Krueger, Ryan
In 2006, Chris Davenport set out to ski all of Colorado’s 14,000’ peaks in one year. Ski the 14ers: A Visual Tribute to Colorado's 14,000-Foot Peaks from the Eyes of a Ski Mountaineer (Wolverine Publishing, $50) chronicles Chris’s journey with photos and stories from each of the 54 peaks in the... Details
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Reuss, Dave
It’s hard to get excited about pieces of paper, but Beartooth Publishing has printed a few new maps that are nothing short of badass. Its extensive Outdoor Recreation maps cover a huge portion of the Rockies, including Yellowstone, Wyoming, and Idaho. Long gone are the days of tape-covered maps... Details
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Reuss, Dave
The talented local author Carol Buchanan debuts her second novel based on the Vigilantes of Montana with Gold Under Ice (Missouri Breaks Press, $17). This gripping Montana tale details life in the lawless gold-mining town of Alder Gulch, where the government greenback is in constant struggle... Details

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