Winter 2012-13

Our Winter 2012-13 issue explores winter's unsavory side, from a harrowing near-death experience to a profile of Bozeman's preeminent avy-science practitioner. The lesson to take away is this: avalanches happen, and while avoiding one is up to you, surviving one is pure luck. In this issue, you’ll also find how-to articles about winter photography, building an ice cave or a cold-weather fire, and identifying animal tracks in the snow. Learn all about ski exercises, conditioning, and injury treatment to ensure that your snow-sport season lasts until the final snow melts. You can also find the results from our 2012 Top Dog Contest and Hit List Contest, as well as How Far winners. Enjoy the winter issue, and stay safe out there! 

Features

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Babcock, Adam
With soaring peaks that remain snow-capped much of the year, the Crazy Mountains have drawn me like a moth to flame since I arrived in southwest Montana six years ago. So when my friend Bob said he’d like to do a ski trip in the Crazies, I jumped on board. Our plan was simple: snowmobile to a... Details
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Cunningham, Terry
The Dos Equis–hawking character dubbed “the Most Interesting Man in the World” has a rival in Bozeman resident Doug Chabot. The 48-year-old was arrested and jailed for a week by border guards in Tajikistan. He spent a night on an ice platform chopped into a knife-edge ridge at 6,100 meters, his arm... Details
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Barrett, Bradley
Super Bowl Sunday of 2011 was an unpredicted snow day, and I woke up to a ringing cell phone. It was a close friend looking for a ski partner. Before fully awakening, I’d left the house and was heading toward the northern Bridgers. Our destination was Frazier Basin; with 18 inches of light powder... Details

Departments

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Pogge, Drew
   One snowflake said to another,“You’re a real dick, you know?”Taken quite aback,The other flake replied,“Really? What makes you say so?” “Well, you just don’t fit in,”The first angrily cried,While ten, twenty new snowflakes,Came to his side. “We’re all so different,”The accused came back,“No one... Details
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Longing for HomeAfter graduating high school in 2002, I left Bozeman to go to California for college… I know, terrible choice. After a few years there I had to get out, so in 2007 I joined the Air Force and was sent to Okinawa, Japan for three years. Now my wife, daughter, and I are back in the... Details
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Rogel, Christine
The Wild West Winterfest at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds returns to Bozeman with Western-style fun for the whole family—including Fido. Back at the festival for its eighth year is the Dog Keg Pull, where contestants hook their Great Dane or Dachshund to everything from a beer keg to a single 12-... Details
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Pogge, Drew
It was the loudest thing in my world at that moment. Soft brushing sounds resonated like long strokes on stiff canvas. The sound intensified as I opened my eyes and slid from shadow to light. Each turn initiation was soft, followed by a sharp, energetic swoosh through the apex and a diminishing... Details
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Gustafson, Sid
       In your confounded struggleFor originality, nights lengthen.The snow falls…Heat departs.Flakes blow yearning hearts about—Graupel stings your summer skin...Wind wails, eyes water.Clouds tumble over the Saddle.Snow lilts in, drifting.Summer stone covered.Saddle PeakSaddled White.The cantle... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence. –Hermann Buhl The decision had been made: we were turning back. A careful examination of the snowpack told us to call it a day. We were being cautious, not letting the desire to summit and ski influence our decision-making. The sirens of fresh... Details
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Mathies, Chris
It’s a clear, sunny afternoon at the top of the M, and everyone is taking in Bozeman’s picturesque sights below. You ask yourself, “Does it get any better than this?” The answer is, “Absolutely.” It gets way better, as you launch a speedwing and crank into your first turn right above all the... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
It’s a debate as old as time, when buffalo still roamed downtown, wolves howled through campus, and the unobstructed waters of Bozeman Creek roared through it all. Surely our ancestors shared many a duel over the issue, and now we will attempt to settle the age-old rivalry: north Bozeman or south... Details
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Jelinski, Jack
         Sculpted in the snow,From whence they rose to the sky,The wing-tips of birds. The ermine freezesAs the winged shadow passesOver snow on snow. Brook trout strike flies asWoodcocks explode from coverWith whistling white wings. The rainbow trout leaps,Tail-dancing on the water.Such desperate... Details
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the editors
Believe it or not, there are actually people in Bozeman who get genuinely upset when faced with a couple feet of fresh snow. Instead of greedily eyeing the Bridgers or the Gallatin Range, dreaming of powder turns and face shots, the rare nonskier loathes this fluffy white crap that clogs the... Details
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Reed, Molly
Get your throttle going with these snowmobile events happening in our area this winter. January 11-13Island Park WinterFestCheck out this weekend full of winter events and competitions for all ages, including snowmobile races, “extreme” competitions, and parades—and even a “best dressed” snowmobile... Details
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Proemm, Diana
They wait all year for ski season to come around—sometimes they’ll even ask in the middle of summer when they can ski again. Once the slopes finally open, they arrive with huge smiles and excitement in their eyes. We help with their ski gear and then it’s straight onto the hill where the real fun... Details
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Rogel, Christine
Every so often, a blue light flashes on top of the Baxter Hotel, alerting anyone within view of the tallest building in Bozeman that snow is falling at Bridger Bowl. The light—a repurposed airport runway strobe that flashes for 24 hours when the ski area receives at least two inches of snow—was... Details
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Lewis, Jimmy
The true force behind ice fishing is that it is better than no fishing at all. –Jim Harrison, “Ice Fishing, the Moronic Sport”While many agree with the sentiments of Mr. Harrison, it’s worth considering that winter fishing, whether by means of a hand-tied #22 midge, a shiny chrome “Swedish pimple... Details
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Pogge, Drew
“Suck it up, you worthless lump of bison dung. You suck. Why can’t you be less of a tool and do something right, for once? Stop bitching you whiny little girl. OH. MY. GOD. You’re terrible! Are you going to cry? Are you going to give up and finally admit that you’re not worth the sweat on your brow... Details
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Sinay, Ken
Once the snow falls, there’s no better time than winter for “reading sign.” Whether snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or surveying the landscape from a chairlift, picking out animal tracks and trails can enhance any outdoor experience.Tracking is more than identifying individual footprints. Other... Details
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Cunningham, Terry
Avalanche safety is all about information and preparation. To maximize your chances of staying safe in avalanche country, we’ve compiled a list of avalanche “do’s and don’ts.”DO:Visit the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center (GNFAC) at mtavalanche.com to read their daily avalanche advisory and... Details
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Reed, Molly
Think fishing competitions are only for the summer? Think again—here are three ice-fishing derbies around southwest Montana this winter.January 26-27Lions Club Perch Ice Fishing Derby, Canyon Ferry Reservoir, Townsend January 26Stan Shafer Memorial Ice Fishing Derby, Clark Canyon Reservoir, Dillon ... Details
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Coil, Mike
A while ago, I spotted an article in Outside which discussed the numerous words in the Inuit language for “snow.” The editors of the magazine were impressed that the members of the far northern tribes would have so many descriptive names for frozen water, which as I recall was around 40. Since I... Details
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the (female) editors
It’s an admirable title: a true Bozeman girl. After years of careful research, we’ve devised this simple test to see if you qualify as a bona fide Bozeman lady. Each item in the following list gets you one point; add ‘em up then read what it all means at the end.You’re a true Bozeman girl if…Your... Details
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Harrison, Melynda
Trail GroomingSome of the trails in Yellowstone are machine-groomed, while others are skier-tracked. Visit travelyellowstone.com, click on “Things to Do,” “Winter Things to Do,” “Nordic Trails,” then “Daily Trail Status” for up-to-date trail conditions. TransportationGetting into the Park and to... Details
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Fish, Annalisa
The secret to keeping those small nagging pains from becoming chronic injuries is often early intervention. Here are a few tips for some common pains you may encounter this winter.Knee PainSCENARIO: After half a day of skiing, you notice some mild pain around your knee. There hasn’t been any trauma... Details
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Hill, Ty
After you trim the prime cuts off your animal this hunting season, you’re going to have a lot of scraps. In fact, after bagging an elk, you can end up with over 50 pounds destined for the grind pile. What’s the best way to enjoy all this meat? If you’re tired of the same old boring burger patties,... Details
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Rogel, Christine
Snowmobilers have unique avalanche risk factors built into their sport. Today’s high-powered sleds are capable of reaching new heights at greater speeds, and each year riders venture farther into remote terrain. As a result, it’s more important than ever for riders to understand how to stay safe in... Details
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Murie, John
Whether you’re an expert skier dropping into steep chutes or just making mellow turns on groomers, staying injury-free this winter ought to be high on your priority list. You can do these four exercises at home, and they’ll help keep you strong and balanced to improve your durability on the... Details
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Kimm, Chad
Coffee is an integral part of life in the outdoors. From simmering on cowboys’ campfires a hundred years ago to the requisite cup before any early morning outdoor activity, coffee has always been there to give us a little extra kick. But why does coffee taste and smell the way it does? Without milk... Details
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Sauskojus, Dean
You’ve heard the saying “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” This could apply to all seasonal photography, but it’s critical to taking great photos in the winter. Here are some tips to help you stay comfortable and come away with great shots. Prepare for BattlePreparing to take winter photos... Details
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Robinson, Jon F.
Once the ski season gets rolling, I often see skiers and snowboarders (referred to collectively as “skiers” from here on out) complain about pain in their anterior shins. It’s called “shin bang,” or sometimes “boot bang”: a condition where the shin pushes or hits against the boot every time you... Details
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Reed, Molly
While “brewing” in Bozeman usually brings to mind pints of handcrafted beer, local coffee roasters add their own meaning to the art of Montana brewing. Here are some of our favorites. Ghost Town Coffee RoastersFamily-owned and roasting locally, Ghost Town Coffee Roasters focuses on creating organic... Details
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Overton, Mitch
Bozeman is a winter wonderland, and there are lots of opportunities in and around town to get out and enjoy it. With the help of Bozeman’s Parks and Rec Department, here are some fun activities at your local parks this winter. In-Town Nordic TrailsWe partner with the Bridger Ski Foundation to... Details
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Bartley, Jamie
Yoga for athletes.Athletes often suffer from chronic back and joint pain stemming from muscle imbalance. By increasing core strength and flexibility, and therefore balance, Pilates can help correct and alleviate that pain so you can enjoy all your favorite winter activities. These exercises help... Details
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Manning, Jim
Move ‘em on, head ‘em up, head ‘em up, move ‘em out, move ‘em on, head ‘em out—Rawhide! Those of a certain age will remember these bouncy lyrics from the theme of the old TV show about rough-and-tumble cowpokes drivin’ a herd to market. The winter sky also has some cowhide on display, but nobody... Details
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Durr, Carson
I’ll be honest—the first time I saw a three-foot foam roller, I didn’t get it. What was this big white tube all about? Ten years later, I believe they are one of the best physical health multitasking tools you can own. (My apologies to Chuck Norris and the Ultimate Gym.)In the last decade, we’ve... Details
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Pogge, Drew
Snow caves are windproof, warm, and can accommodate several people. But improperly built caves can kill—trust me, I’ve written the obituaries. The carbon dioxide you exhale is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that accumulates in poorly ventilated caves and kills silently. Here’s how to build a... Details
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Lach, Devon
With more and more food-production designations and corresponding specialty labels, it’s getting hard to tell what exactly you should be eating. What do all the terms and grocery-store labels mean? In an attempt at truth in advertising, here’s what to look for when you’re shopping around. Local. ... Details
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Heath, Andy
The always-changing conditions of winter in Montana increase your chances of getting stuck outside for the night, whether it's after a day of skiing, snowmobiling, or hunting. When it's cold out, the first survival step is starting a fire. The good news is that even if you take all the proper... Details
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Beaudoin, Kate
There’s no shortage of fun stuff for short stacks around southwest Montana during the winter. Branch out and try something new with your little one: ice fishing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, skating. Plus, learning has never been better disguised as fun. With this list of safe, family-friendly weekly... Details
Lone Mountain Ranch
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Melynda Harrison
I’m kicking and gliding along the impeccably groomed Nordic trails at Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky. Snow-laden trees line the edge of the trail, threatening to drop gobs of snow; North Fork Creek gurgles near the trail, verdant green moss peaking out from under the snow. I ski past the high-ropes... Details
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Ben Hilleboe
What do you envision when you think of “therapy”? If you’re like most people, you probably see a settee in a dimly lit room with “ocean sounds” coming from a CD player. Sound about right? While this is proven to be a beneficial environment for therapy, there is a growing body of research indicating... Details
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Each winter, the Big Sky area brings us more than just the biggest skiing in America. Here are some of the best events around town and the surrounding resorts that you don’t want to miss.  December 15 – March 31320 Guest Ranch Sleigh RidesMonday through Saturday, conditions permitting, these one-... Details
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Lavelle, Sarah
With the snow falling in Bozeman, local biologists from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with the Forest Service, are underway with another season of capturing wolverines. It’s an ongoing project to profile and track the elusive animal, to assess the effects of trapping... Details
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Dave Reuss
Looking for a new venue for your favorite winter activity? Just head over the hill. Doesn’t matter what blows your hair back—once the snow comes down, you can find it in Paradise Valley.Winter camping doesn’t have to be miserable—swing by recreation.gov and rent out the Mill Creek Cabin. Once you... Details
Cross-country skiing, Yellowstone
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Harrison, Melynda
One winter morning, after spending the night at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge in the middle of Yellowstone, I woke early for a short solo ski tour. The boardwalks around the Upper Geyser Basin were still covered in a thin layer of snow. No one was around. I swished past an erupting Old Faithful,... Details
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Top DogWho’s Bozeman’s best beast? Nearly a hundred dogs clawed their way toward the coveted Top Dog title this year, and picking a winner wasn’t easy. We saw, and read about, it all—four-legged fly fishers, dock divers, snow runners, lake swimmers, duck hunters, rock scramblers, mountain climbers... Details
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Rogel, Christine
Now that winter is here, high-energy activities for your dog don’t have to end. Consider taking up skijoring, where two of Bozeman’s favorite things—skiing and dogs—are combined for a team-oriented adventure.Skijoring is a sport where you actively cross-country ski while your dog pulls you. The... Details

Gear Reviews

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Davies, Colton
I’ve never kept up with gear trends too well. I blame my college and post-grad budget—or maybe I’m just cheap. Nevertheless, I’m quickly learning the importance of quality products. Take the North Face Gold Kazoo, an ideal candidate for backpacking excursions. This lightweight yet durable bag... Details
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Mangels, Angie
Whether it’s rain, snow, or slushy conditions, you don’t need to worry when you have the Mara Waterproof Boot from Chaco on your feet. The full-grain leather boot is stylish enough to wear to work or school, but isn’t too overly warm or stuffy when worn inside. The LUVSEAT footbed cradles your foot... Details
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McCarthy, Chris
I’ve never been one to wear an “outfit” while running, so putting on the Helly Hansen Racing Light Jacket and Pants was a stretch for me, and it didn’t help when my wife told me I looked metrosexual. But the performance of the jacket and pants quickly put those concerns out of my mind. Their front... Details
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England, Mike
Having just spent a few weeks in the Andes, I know that alpaca wool is about as good as it gets—and now my feet are reaping the benefits, too. Dahlgren’s Mid-Weight Hiking Sock is super warm and snug-fitting, with an impressive ability to quickly absorb moisture and efficiently wick it away. I wore... Details
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England, Mike
Halfway up a 19,000-foot peak, watching one’s ropemates struggle for solid footing on near-vertical ice, a guy naturally starts wondering how good his gear really is. Luckily, when I found myself in this situation a few weeks ago, I had a Snow Picket and a Snow Fluke from MSR. I’d practiced... Details
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Beaudoin, Kate
What first appealed to me about The North Face Maddie Raschel was its comfort—it’s lined with what the company calls “super soft, super lux Silken fleece,” and it certainly lives up to that colorful (albeit uninspired) description. I was expecting a cozy jacket that I could use as a mid-layer under... Details
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Mangels, Angie
As a well-endowed and active woman, I’ve always struggled to find the perfect sports bra. Over the years, I’ve tried different bras with mixed results and usually resorted to the best underwire option I could find. With the ENELL SPORTS Bra, I can finally stop searching. It works just like a good... Details
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Beaudoin, Kate
The Joan of Arctic Boot by Sorel is a modern twist on the classic boot we’ve all come to trust from the first name in winter footwear. There’s nothing special about these boots—beyond the fact that they’re going to last for 20 years if properly maintained and they’re going to keep your feet dry and... Details
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Sanderson, Maria
Seeing “Chaco” on the box of my new hiking boots raised an eyebrow: Chaco makes hiking boots? But my beloved Chaco sandals have been with me for over ten years and we’ve covered a lot of ground together, so I had high expectations nonetheless. The Tedinho looks a little like the fly-fishing boots... Details
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Sundborg, Caitlin
I love the snow, hate the cold, and used to believe that I was a little high-maintenance… until I slipped into the Chaos. One of the toastiest jackets I’ve ever owned, this baby is perfect for those chilly Ridge days. It’s waterproof and wind resistant, while still remaining semi-breathable. Plus,... Details
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Mangels, Angie
I’ve never been a fan of standard trail bars, but I do like small energy snacks I can easily stash in my backpack—so I was happy to discover Honey Stinger Organic Waffles. These handy treats are based off the energy waffles eaten by professional cyclists all across Europe. And just like a real... Details
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McCarthy, Chris
The new H2 Flow Jacket from Helly Hansen works great as a mid-layer or stand-alone jacket. The exterior is a wind- and water-resistant fabric that provides a barrier from the elements. Inside, a mesh liner helps wick moisture away from your body. Sandwiched between these two solid strata is a layer... Details
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Kujat, Sam
As an avid snowboarder and general outdoorsman, I’ve worn my fair share of wool socks, shirts, and gloves—and whether it’s on the bottom of my foot or in the dead center of my back, the wool never fails to give me an itch I just can’t scratch. And it seems that wool clothing is always slightly shy... Details
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Howlett, David
I’ve always complained about the weight of all the water bottles I have to pack into the backcountry, and to make matters worse, I tend to deplete my supply quicker than anticipated. These problems have been solved by the kickass Reactor Stove System from MSR. This compact and lightweight... Details
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McCarthy, Chris
Whether you’re scouting for big game, birding for fun, or watching the wildlife in Yellowstone, you need good optics. The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42 binocular is perfect for whatever activity you’re doing. Weather isn’t a factor with the RainGuard HD water-repellent lens coating, meaning rain,... Details

Book Reviews

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England, Mike
Many wildlife guides claim to be “comprehensive,” but Mammals of Montana (Mountain Press, $32) by Kerry R. Foresman reminds us what that oft-abused term really means. Over 400 pages outline everything you wanted to know (and much you didn’t) about all the 109 mammal species with whom we share our... Details
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Reuss, Dave
What makes a great Montana cookbook? Written by Jay Bentley (owner of the Mint in Belgrade) and Patrick Dillon, Open Range: Steaks, Chops & More from Big Sky Country (Running Press, $33) has the right recipe. It starts with nearly 300 pages of hearty recipes covering every meal and variety of... Details
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Reed, Molly
Remember the old adage about not judging a book by its cover? Despite its outward appearance, Laid-Back Skier (Friday Jones Publishing, $10) isn’t just another kids’ book about skiing; rather, it’s a lighthearted look at life that contains something inspiring for every skier. With bite-sized... Details
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England, Mike
From Spearfish, South Dakota to the islands of the Western Pacific, Making Up Amelia (Yokoi Books, $18) takes the reader on a sweeping journey through time and place, all centered around the disappearance of American aviator Amelia Earhart. Local author and Chronicle columnist (and former O/B... Details
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Nostrant, Chloe
Dean Sauskojus’s Yellowstone: The Ultimate Photo Guide to Yellowstone National Park (self-published, $15) is a great companion for any photographer venturing into Yellowstone. Since it’s an e-book, you can bring it anywhere with you—on your laptop, smart phone, iPod, or tablet. The author, a... Details

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