Winter 2011-12

OB_Cover_Winter2011-12

Winter 2011-12 is about taking risks and reaping the rewards. From rocketing across a frozen lake in a fiberglass bathtub to strapping on a speedflying wing for the first time, or taking a chance in the backcountry to deciding your tombstone inscription as you drop a cliff, Montana can always promise one thing—adventure. In this issue we also have tons of suggestions for family-friendly activities, including the low-downs on West Yellowstone and Red Lodge events, as well as area hot springs and winter fun in Big Sky. See the winners of our Top Dog and Hit List contests, and enter our video competition to be featured in the next issue.

 

Features

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Johnson, Terry
On a Friday morning in early February, 1971, George Claggett called up from Bozeman, just over the hill from where I lived in Ennis, to inform me that we were getting too fat from sitting behind our desks all winter and it was time to go on a trip. Fine, I said, and proposed a ski trip from the... Details
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England, Mike
“If you get buried down there and die,” Kent asks, “what do you want inscribed on your tombstone?”Right now, my friend’s question—and his matter-of-fact tone—couldn’t be more appropriate. We’re standing on a small saddle, looking down a steep face of powder. To our left is Mount Blackmore, its... Details
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Reuss, Dave
Blasting across the frozen wasteland of Canyon Ferry Lake, the skinny fiberglass frame of the ice boat rattles like an unbalanced washing machine. Hardened-steel runners spit ice chips at me, the tiny bullets bouncing off the face shield of my helmet. With each buck and turn, my ass oozes lower... Details
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Yost, Aaron
With the blinding sun streaming through my frosted windshield, I drove toward the M trailhead early on a cold morning. Just to be prepared, nearly every piece of skiing equipment I owned was packed into the trunk of my car: two pairs of skis, touring boots, helmet, skins, avy gear, hiking boots,... Details

Departments

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Forbes, Sean
Snow fell late in the season last year. So in spite of the nearing arrival of spring with pleasant dreams of sunshine and warm rock, there were untouched fields of snow demanding attention.With the sun just starting to emerge and the temperatures still chilly, I spent a few days “on tour” in the... Details
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Dave Reuss
Beyond the slopes at Big Sky.Stretching a cavernous 1,500 feet from the top of Chet’s Knob to Tippy’s Tumble, Big Sky Resort’s Twin Zip spans the entire base area. But such sprawling magnitude isn’t the only bennie of this new zipline—with two lines right next to each other, you can race your... Details
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Pogge, Drew
Do you like to sweat in cold weather? Do you like to wear tight clothing? Do you like to ski with great difficulty up hills before flailing down on flimsy gear? Do you know what lutefisk is, and how it’s made—and still eat it? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Nordic skiing is for... Details
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Martin, Jenna
Back in the day, men had a formidable reputation to uphold. To be a man was to be strong, enduring, and capable of killing an elk with your bare hands. Chest hair and an identifiable musk was indisputable proof that you had indeed successfully completed puberty and could now hold your own among the... Details
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Bentley, Jay
Between Yellowstone Park in the south, Ted Turner in the middle, the National Bison refuge at Moiese in the northwest, and all of the smaller bison-ranching operations in between, Montana has become a virtual bison factory. I think that’s great… although there are a lot of cattlemen who would take... Details
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Wozer, Jeff
Andy Rooney nailed a verbal bulls-eye when he said, “Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.”This is especially evident as I approach hour five of sitting at my desk, before two notebook computer screens, gathering ski... Details
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Tapley, Peter
Once the domain of hardened alpinists, ice climbing has come a long way in its evolution and now anyone (thanks largely to modern equipment and Gallatin County snowplows) can enjoy a sense of adventure, complete with warming afternoon sun and hot cocoa between rounds on the vertical. Here are a few... Details
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Devon Lach
Even for extreme yokels, buying local can prove a challenge—especially when you’re looking to outfit yourself for the brutal chill of a Montana winter. One Bozeman company, Alpacas of Montana, has faced this issue head-on. While most alpaca farmers merely breed and sell livestock, these guys take... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
Arapahoe Basin, otherwise known as “The Legend,” is a small resort hidden among giants in the Colorado Rockies, just outside Denver. Unlike its money-grubbing neighbors, A-Basin has remained humble. But how does it really stack up to our Northern Rockies favorite, the awesome and equally unassuming... Details
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The Editors
There’s no such thing as a free lunch. So in the interest of preserving karmic balance, if a buddy does you a solid and saves you from a long afternoon of sitting in the lodge—say, fixes your bindings, donates his extra pair of gloves, or wrestles you from the jaws of a yeti—you’re honor-bound to... Details
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Reuss, Dave
“Living with the immediacy of death helps you sort out your priorities in life. It helps you to live a less trivial life.” —Sogyal Rinpoche, Buddhist teacher My femur couldn’t be broken. If the thick phonebook of ice had snapped my leg like a concrete dowel, it would’ve made a very distinct sound... Details
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Knight, Phil
Owing to the fact that humans have two legs and two arms, many items come in pairs: gloves, socks, shoes, boots, crampons, poles, skis. Most of these items are nearly useless without their mate—just like your humble author.Lost socks usually turn up under the bed or in a packrat nest. If not, you... Details
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Self, Willy
The Double G is a sweet little pattern that can be used any time there are midges clustering up on the water. It is a must from late fall all the way through to late spring—with its simple materials, it floats well and, like clustered midges, is easy to see. Unlike a Griffith’s gnat, where you can... Details
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Stoddard, Jan
Want to ride like the wind across a frozen wonderland? Jump in the car and head south. Situated high in the mountains at an elevation of 6,667 feet and in the center of a 400-mile snowmobile trail system that spans three national forests and three states, West Yellowstone has earned the reputation... Details
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Savage, Nicholas
It’s late November. It’s dumping—the first good snow of the season. I’m standing on my porch watching the white flakes fall seamlessly out of the darkness above, letting them gather in my hair, on my jacket, on my eyelashes. My girl sits inside, watching TV with our boy—a week overdue and the size... Details
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Flowers, Pat
Montana’s Second Wolf Hunting SeasonWith more than 16,000 wolf hunting licenses purchased, hunters had the opportunity to hunt in 14 wolf management units with an overall harvest quota of 220 wolves. As of November 8, a total of 58 wolves were harvested statewide. The 220 quota is projected to... Details
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Harrison, Melynda
In some places, staying inside during winter is standard procedure—but not in Bozeman. Snow, hail, whipping winds, or below-freezing temperatures? Bring it on! And just like us, our kids don’t let a little snow stop them from playing outside. To make sure your little ones are on the right track to... Details
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Johnston, Holcomb
Considered power spots in nature, hot springs have been utilized by cultures worldwide for meetings, sacred gatherings, purification, and healing. Today, in our scientific era, controlled studies are validating the health benefits of hot-water therapy (called balneotherapy) for numerous medical... Details
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Dehmer, Kurt
For the average outdoor enthusiast, winter can be a difficult time to squeeze in a fun-filled overnight or multiday adventure without freezing your buns off or breaking the family budget. Sure, a few days and nights in a swanky slopeside condo is nice, but once you factor in lift tickets, food, and... Details
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Kinser, Karen
Bozeman insiders know that for those of us who love the great outdoors—especially in the winter—the Gallatin Valley’s offerings can’t be beat. But, hey, sometimes you just need to get away. We live in a really big—and beautiful—state, after all, and maybe there’s more to experience than our own... Details
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Baker, Alicia
I admit it—I love the free bread when dining out. At a restaurant the other night, and after the waiter returned with our drinks, I asked if we could have bread. He replied, “We have gluten-free sourdough or gluten-free wheat.” I told him I’d like regular bread. They didn’t have any.It got me... Details
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Dowaliby, Shane
The use of wearable cameras is expanding rapidly in all action sports, and the technology is keeping up with it. Manufacturers are racing toward better resolution, higher frame rates, and crisp optics. They’re working as hard as they can to have the latest and greatest product—which sparked the... Details
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Henrichon, Jeremy
Between your job, family, and skiing as much powder as possible, there’s little time left for training. That’s where this workout comes in—you can do it anywhere and no weights are required. It will help you build leg and core strength using bodyweight exercises. Don’t slack—go hard and work up a... Details
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Yost, Aaron
For the past two seasons, I’ve been taking my four-year-old up to Bridger for laps on the Snowflake chair. I’m sure there are plenty of other Bozemanites out there who, like me, are making the sometimes-painful transition from tearing it up solo to toting the tots. I’ve learned some hard lessons... Details
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The Editors
There’s an old inspirational quote that reads, “It’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at.” To Bozemanites, though, it’s both. No matter where they might be at—camping at Kilimanjaro, spotting gorillas in Uganda, or smirking like a doofus at the highest point in Germany—Bozeman locals always... Details
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Allen, Tyler
The greatest gift given to Bozeman-area skiers since the Lone Peak Tram has certainly endured some growing pains during its infant years. When the Slushman’s lift started turning three seasons ago, it immediately opened vast acreage of exciting, lift-accessed terrain, and it ushered in an open-... Details
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Bossenbrook, Mark
With the Occupy Wall Street movement gaining momentum across the country—from Wall Street to Oakland to demonstrations here in town—it’s clear the American people are fed up with the way things are now. For some, the “occupy” mentality is a nuisance. For others, it’s a mantra. At heart, it’s the... Details

Gear Reviews

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Westmoreland, Wendy
Yes, I put clothes on my dog. And yes, I’ve used a kid’s fleece to cover up my pooch. Obviously, design can be an issue—so let’s just say Higgins was pleased when we got the Cloud Chaser. This softshell offers reliable and effective water resistance, and the sleek lycra sleeves don’t hinder his... Details
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England, Mike
With ski-area access gates opening up around the country, a new breed of apparel has been born: “sidecountry” clothing, designed for beyond-the-boundaries skiing without the all-day approach. The OR Stormbound jacket is one such piece, and I found its slight modifications well-suited for everything... Details
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Westmoreland, Wendy
Dogs love snow, but their paws don’t. Featuring lug-pattern Vibram soles for traction, Ruff Wear’s Bark’n Boots help keep ice chunks, rocks, and mud out of your buddy’s tender toes and pads. The softshell boot provides warmth as well as protection with triple-layer weather-resistant, wind-resistant... Details
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Bass, Rick
The Julbo Hike is about what you’d expect from a high-end French company: sturdy—if not indestructible—and well made. The Falcon lenses are super-large, and they adjust to ambient light in roughly 20 seconds. There’s no doubt that these glasses do the job. I’d be the last person on Earth to... Details
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England, Mike
Sick of trying in vain to tire out your hyperactive pup? Does she consider your five-mile hike a mere warm-up? Then click into your cross-country skis, slip on a Ruff Wear Omnijore, and give your pooch a workout while taking a fun ride across the snow. The system is simple and easy-to-use; I... Details
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Teasdale, Aaron
The Scarpa Wasatch is what telemark boots used to be before everything got huge and plastic and sick, bro. They’re finally back in the American market, thanks to a quiet trend in the backcountry skiing world toward simpler, lighter gear, exemplified by the growing popularity of wide, single-camber... Details
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Reuss, Dave
Whether skiing, sledding, or ice climbing, a good base layer can turn the dreaded plea of “Can we go home?” into a euphoric “Let’s go again!” Utilizing its military-grade Extended Cold Weather Clothing System, Cabela’s now offers Thermal Zone tops and bottoms for all of your favorite winter... Details
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Reuss, Dave
The economy is still in the toilet, so a quiver of ice tools just isn’t an option for most ice junkies. A climber needs one tool to rule them all, and from G1 walk-ups to the horizontal madness of the Bingo Cave, Black Diamond’s Fusions excel on ice, rock, and everything in between. The Fusions... Details
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Davies, Colton
Who needs water? Everyone, that’s who. And for outdoorsy folks who value hydration more than most, CamelBak’s 2011 Rogue is a welcome improvement from the classic Nalgene/carabiner combo. Stealth is this product’s strong point—once the pack is slung and secured, its presence goes virtually... Details
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McQuiston, Carol
My new Attlee Tie Boots from Patagonia weathered the first big Montana snowstorm of the year and kept my feet warm, comfortable, and totally dry. They fit like a glove, look slim, and offer great traction with thick rubber soles. The detailing on the top makes it a great boot for either casual or... Details
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Bass, Rick
High-ankle boots can make one less nimble, especially when bushwhacking, and they’re heavier at the end of the day—but the extra support and warmth is usually worth it. This is definitely true with the Lowa Uplanders, which provide all the big-boot benefits with less additional weight. Just about... Details
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Mangels, Angie
If you like to get out into the woods to explore in the winter, the Rossignol BC 90 Positrack is a great ski for you. These wide and stable touring skis eat up the snow both on the trail and off. With full metal edges and a waxless positrack base you get the best of both worlds with some great grip... Details
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Mangels, Angie
Dog walks on crisp cold days become a little more enjoyable when you have a jacket like the Aria parka. This 650+ fill down jacket will help to keep you warm from your head to your knees—without making you feel like a puffball. The ultralight ripstop polyester shell sheds light rain and snow,... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
Searching for a lightweight winter glove, I stumbled upon the Backstop by Outdoor Research. Considered a technical liner, this glove is well-suited for activities where normal-weight gloves are just too much. Thin and dexterous, the Windstopper material provides protection from the elements while... Details
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McCarthy, Chris
The Oboz Beartooth is a great blend of trail hiker and burly work boot. The rubber sole provides traction in a variety of conditions: on trails, through deadfall forests, and along wet creekbeds. Although they resemble a typical trail hiker, these moderate-duty boots do require a break-in period (... Details
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Truth be told, I am a girly girl. And true to form, I do not like having my feet cold. Solution: Baffin’s Nunavut boots, designed for girls like me that hate cold feet! Rated to -148°F and waterproof, these boots won’t let your toes feel the chill. The traction makes slipping and sliding a thing of... Details
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England, Mike
Snowshoes have come a long way since the old wooden tennis-racquets of yore, and the MSR Lightning Ascent is a prime example of modern technology done right. I used and abused these ultralight, super-sturdy shoes in all conditions and was unable to make them fail. The four-strap PosiLock bindings... Details
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Lach, Devon
When the weather turns and it becomes too cold to wear sandals, there are those of us who stubbornly layer on socks in order to wear our Chacos just a few weeks longer. As it turns out, there’s an alternative to stacking socks and looking like a dork: Chaco boots! The Arbora Tall Waterproof Nurl... Details
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England, Mike
Been searching in vain for a fat ski with great flotation in powder that’s still light enough for touring the backcountry? Strap on a pair of G3 Manhattans and prepare for takeoff. I tried out this ski early last spring during those ongoing late-season dumps and couldn’t believe what I’d found—here... Details
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Sundborg, Caitlin
What feels better than ripping through fresh powder? Ripping off your boots and socks when you get back to the car! After putting up with itchy socks season after season, I decided to put a new foot forward (pun intended) and stepped into the Ski Ultralight Pro. Made from Merino wool, these socks... Details
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Pape, Jay
During winter, ski tuning gives me an excuse to grab a pint of Plum Street Porter, head out to the man-cave, and hone my ski edges while dreaming of the perfect waist-deep powder run. I love skiing but also have a wallet tighter than the skin on summer sausage. So to cut the hefty shop fees over... Details
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McCarthy, Chris
Going from skiing with sunglasses to hitting the slopes with the Julbo Orbiter goggles is akin to switching from Ten High whiskey to Jameson—they’ll both do the job, but Jameson is actually enjoyable. The Camel lens is photochromic and polarizing, so it blocks glare quickly when the lighting... Details
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England, Mike
Of all the survival tools to stash in your pack, a firestarting device is arguably the most important—but neither a lighter nor waterproof matches are immune to a dousing in water (the matches need a dry striker, and the lighter’s shot altogether), and both tend to falter in wind and at higher... Details
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Well, Andrew
When those mid-January winds take the temps down to 20 below, it’s time to reach for the Talus Cold Avenger Expedition Balaclava. At first glance, you may think you look like Darth Vader or a Navy SEAL, but your face will thank you. This mask keeps your mug 40 to 60 degrees warmer than outside, it... Details
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England, Mike
One of the hardest things on guns is getting banged around during transport. The best thing for your valuable firearms, then, is a sturdy case—and you won’t find anything tougher than the Pelican 1720 Long Case. This stout plastic container has thick open-cell foam and four burly double-throw... Details
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England, Mike
If you’re sick of your kid stealing—and more often than not, losing—your headlamp, get the little rugrat a Bot, the new child’s headlamp from Princeton Tec. It’s got those cute colors and patterns that kids like (way neater than your utilitarian, black-and-grey Petzl), is small and light, and has a... Details
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Harrison, Melynda
If you want to keep up with your little shredder, you’re going to need a good pair of skis. The Flair is a new ski in the women’s line, aimed at advanced to expert skiers. It’s a mid-fat ski with all-mountain potential. So, whether you are hiking the ridge with friends, or playing around on Powder... Details
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England, Mike
For an affordable, easy-to-use video camera with loads of features in an astoundingly small package, try the ContourROAM. This ultra-compact, streamlined featherweight (5.1 oz.) straps to head, helmet, handlebars, and more with a variety of optional mounts—including a waterproof case for full-... Details
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Murphy, Terri
The ePulse2 is a great improvement over the traditional heart rate monitors that utilize an uncomfortable chest strap and a separate wristwatch. The entire lightweight instrument comfortably fits on your forearm and—because it’s one unit—the signal doesn’t get lost in the middle of your workout.... Details
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England, Mike
Specialized camera mounts notwithstanding, there’s always that one time you just can’t get a stable base for hands-off shooting. Enter Spiderpodium, a weird-looking but surprisingly useful mounting tool, designed to secure your camera, phone, or other small gadget in just about any position... Details

Additional Articles

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Lach, Devon
No matter how much our lives can revolve around snow, there comes a day when you just can’t take another minute of ass-freezing ski turns and you want to do something with the family. Fortunately for the residents of Bozeman, mid-February offers an escape at the Fairgrounds with The Wild West... Details
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Keyes, Fletcher
For exact dates, check out our Events page.JanuaryBridger Alpine Community Ski Race—Three-part race series for citizen racers of all ages. bridgerbowl.com/events.Youth Ski League—Bridger Bowl hosts a weekend of alpine races for the kids. bridgerbowl.com/events.Bridger Telemark Community ski race—... Details
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Beaudoin, Kate
America’s Biggest Skiing gets even bigger this winter. Moonlight Basin offers nine new gladed runs off the Iron Horse lift, as well as a Freestyle Forest with natural features coming together to make a park experience in the thick of the woods. Next door, Big Sky has five new gladed runs slated to... Details
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Fletcher, Kevin
A couple years ago, my friend Darren and I figured the best way for us to climb and ski Gallatin Peak in May—without getting caught on the mountain too late in the day—would be to drive to the trailhead the night before, wake up at 3am, and start skinning. It hasn’t occurred to me until now that I... Details
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Lach, Devon
When winter hits, trying to get vegetables locally becomes a seemingly grueling task, whereas eggs, dairy, grains, and meats may still be easy to find. So this winter, use these helpful tips for ways to keep your veggies local this winter.Attend the Bozeman Winter Farmers’ Market. Held in the... Details
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Pinet, Carolyn Pettit
Ahead of me Hardscrabblecracks knuckles against clouds.Behind the Bridgers splaycrags in the oystery air.I move to a tango.Skies and poles glide, cut, break.I am partnered by the windagainst whom I tangle, kick.A flake catches my lash,blurs tracks and trees.Snow, manna from heaven,cascades in a... Details
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Foster, John Clay
The last of the geese have frozen over in my backyard,covered in a foot of snow. I dig one out each weekand thaw it in the fridge—with a high success rate;even the runt is able to take flight after a few days at 50 degrees.I set them on their feet, tell them “You’re free, go home!”They thank me and... Details
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England, Mike
Every so often, our attentive and meticulous readers catch an oversight—a proofreading or photo-editing gaffe committed by overworked O/B staff after one too many Chuggles (see Fall 2011, p. 91)—that puts us, quite deservedly, in our illiterate little places. And it just so happens that one of... Details
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Beaudoin, Kate
Shakespeare wrote “thy breath be rude,”but I think thy breath has little attitude.Dullness, neglect, but not vulgarity—of emotions you haven’t even slight sincerity.While your chill betrays some tempered winds,your stillness renders still their sin.And while gray clouds wrestle out the sun,your... Details
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Orem, Tina
By now you’ve heard about our digital edition—a full-fledged, super-cool online version of Outside Bozeman. It’s getting a lot of traffic! Here were some visitor favorites. 1. How Far Will You Go? If you’ve ever doubted Bozeman’s hometown pride, look no further. Our readers know exactly what to... Details
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Keyes, Fletcher
Developed:Bozeman Hot Springs. 586-6492; bozemanhotspring.comNorris Hot Springs. 685-3303; norrishotsprings.comChico Hot Springs. 333-4933; chicohotsprings.comUndeveloped:Boiling River. Mammoth, YNPUpper Potosi Hot Springs. PonyRenova Hot Springs. Whitehall Details
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Orem, Tina
Like a cooler version of your overzealous fifth-grade scout leader, the all-new, much-improved, and downright dashing outsidebozeman.com is here to save you from outdoor ignorance. Need downloadable maps? We’ve got ‘em. Want to research a nearby state park, or find out about the latest trail... Details
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Beaudoin, Kate
JanuaryNordic Moonlight Ski – ski along the shadow of the aspens then relax by a warm fire at the Red Lodge Nordic Center. beartoothtrails.org.Red Lodge Mountain Rail Jam – competitors perform tricks on rails and boxes in the “jam” format. redlodgemountain.com.Red Lodge Mountain Town Series Race –... Details
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The Editors
Every season, we receive a few letters from our lovely readers around the Bozone. Sometimes they’re nice, sometimes they’re nasty. And sometimes they’re just plain silly, like this letter from longtime reader and fellow gadfly Jason Wilcox. We adore irreverence ‘round here, which means Mr. Wilcox... Details
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Beaudoin, Kate
Ambitious to say the least, the proposed $1- to $3-million Bozeman Ice Tower would be the first large-scale, competition-grade ice climbing venue in the U.S., potentially putting Bozeman in the running for the first U.S.-hosted Ice Climbing World Championships as soon as 2013. Part of an initiative... Details

Book Reviews

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Krueger, Ryan
Guidebooks are like treasure maps to outdoor enthusiasts, promising rich adventures in previously unknown locations. And Ben Werner’s new book, The Bozeman and Big Sky Backcountry Ski Guide (WS Publishing, $40) offers insights into many of the best backcountry skiing locations in our area. From... Details
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the Editors
You might not believe it, but there will come a day when you don’t want to go skiing this winter. Either your quads will be too blasted or the thermometer won’t crawl above zero, but you’ll spend one day entirely in your sweatpants, promise. And when that day comes, here’s some choice media for... Details

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