Winter 2017-18

Features

Bell Lake, early winter, snowfall
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Drew Pogge
Winter's standard-bearer. There’s a tree I watch. It’s an ancient spruce, and it’s been dead for decades, stripped of branches and bleached a rich gray by weather and time. Vibrant streaks of contrasting black and ocher grain bleed from knots where branches once grew—if it were barn wood, it’d sell... Details
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Jeff Brandner
How one Bozemaniac stepped outside his comfort zone and found more. At 2am, I bundled up, loaded up, and followed fellow racer Martijn Boonman out of the minimal warmth of the Rainey Pass cabin into minus-40 temps and 50-mph winds. Heads down, step by painstaking step, we pushed our fatbikes... Details

Departments

Bridger Bowl, Pierre's Knob
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David Tucker
Mid-mountain, mid-week. Even with relatively flexible work schedules, few of us are skiing bell to bell on a Tuesday. But that doesn’t mean we can’t maximize our days on the hill. A few hours in the morning or afternoon are more than enough to keep the dirtbag fires burning, but efficiency is key.... Details
Northern Lights, meteor shower, supermoon, eclipse, blue moon, planetary conjunction
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Jim Manning
Winter’s astronomical bucket list. Snowbound Montana offers many antidotes for cabin fever; you just need to bundle up, get out, and do things. One such venue is the winter night sky, where the stars shine bright and hard. There’s a lot going on “out there,” so put the following on your winter... Details
fly tying
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Jimmy Armijo-Grover
Tools & tactics for a new winter hobby. For some, the thought of taking up fly tying is overwhelming, while others just dive in. One of my pupils was only seven when he first attended my free fly-tying class at Gallatin River Guides. This summer, at the age of ten, he sold enough flies at the... Details
Bozeman crosscountry skiing, xc skiing
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Maggie Slepian
Mapping out your XC itinerary. Nordic skiing—both classic and skate—is an ideal winter activity to keep you active during Montana’s longest season. The catch is the grooming… classic skiers can get away with ungroomed trails, but skate skiers need that luxurious corduroy. Lucky for us, the variety... Details
photography, outdoor photography, ski photography
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Simon Peterson
Nailing the powder shot. Two feet of fresh powder? Check. Bluebird? Check. Directional morning light? Check. A protected slope with good stability and minimal objective hazards? Check. It’s go time.For me, the perfect powder photo boils down to that moment of bliss when the worries of everyday life... Details
Ice Climbing, Hyalite Canyon, Bozeman
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Joe Josephson
A mile of Hyalite classics.When local legends Jack Tackle and Alex Lowe were establishing classic climbs in Hyalite 30 years ago, they didn’t feel like most lines on this crag even warranted naming, referring to them as Unnamed #1, #2, #3, and so on. It wasn’t until my guidebook Winter Dance that... Details
Lone Peak, rock glacier
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Patti Albrecht
The geology of Lone Peak. Lone Mountain is the photogenic centerpiece of Big Sky. It is attention-grabbing in all seasons, but especially striking when snow-covered against a bluebird sky. The sharp peak and cone shape make some wonder if it is an old volcano. Although molten rock boiled beneath... Details
Bozeman, Winter, Outdoor Activities
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Drew Hulse
Quick, affordable winter activities.Sometimes, life hinders recreation. If you’re short on time and dough, worry not; this is Bozeman, by God; fun things can be found around every corner. Here are a few outdoor activities for this winter that fit neatly into the tightest of schedules and budgets.... Details
Custer Gallatin, National Forest
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Mariah Leuschen-Lonergan
Forest plan revision turns two. Two years into a four-year process, the Custer Gallatin National Forest finds itself right in the middle of making the new Forest Plan. Across the Forest, hundreds have attended meetings and been involved to date. Now, two years into the process, a document is out... Details
late season hunt, Bozeman
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Mike England
Ski-hunting the winter woods.Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods. —Ralph Waldo EmersonHoarfrost crackles underfoot as one ski, then another, slides across the surface. The thick slab of ice cantilevers out from shoreline, suspended above the stream like a low-hanging cloud.... Details
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Carol Polich
How animals respond to the cold. Intent, staring eyes; ears and tail erect; feet gather under thick gray fur: the predator is ready to pounce. Then, with a slight quiver, feet and legs shift as muscled legs tighten. Timing is everything as the coyote launches himself skyward with three feet of air... Details
Ice Fishing, Bozeman, Montana
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Joe King
Winter fishing reaches new heights.For most people, backcountry skiing is adventure enough—the physical challenge, the danger of avalanche, the exposure to the elements. But for a small group of Montana pioneers, backcountry skiing is just the beginning. Carrying up to 40 pounds of gear each—ice... Details
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the editors
Winter tips & tricks. Whether you're a longtime ski-town dirtbag (photo editor), or a wannabe weekend-warrior transplant (managing editor), there are tips and tricks to maximizing winter that only the experienced ski bums can teach. Here are a few.Up in Cold Smoke Apparently, from what we’re... Details
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Jack Jelinski
I remember the first sweet Swedish Augerbecause it made perfect, rifle-barrel holesthrough three feet of quartz-hard wintershaving cherry-syrup-snow-cone-saw-dustwith a razor-sharp, three-quarter moonthat looked like a giant spatula-shaped spoonwith a sky-blue shaft that turnedlike an agile brace-... Details
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Sid Gustafson
In your confounded struggleFor originality, nights lengthen.Snows flicker… drift… and fall…Heat departs the landscape—after all. Flurries list in; holding—cold.Summer stone laced with snow.Saddle Peak: See, behold,Blanketed white—surreal blow. Dendrites pique the memory.Graupel may sting your skin... Details
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Whitney Caldwell
Winter eye-protection tips. As a young kid in northern Minnesota, where it’s gray nine months of the year, I never quite understood why my mom was always wearing sunglasses. Shades in the summer, of course. However, in the middle of a frozen January with the sun barely making a guest appearance, my... Details
Winter Fly Fishing, Bozeman, Montana
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Callan Wink
Embracing Montana's multiple personalities. A warm spell in midwinter is a strange and disorienting experience. You go to sleep after a long day riding powder and as you lay in bed you can still feel the float in your legs from the board pushing through each fluffy turn. The next morning the steady... Details
Steak, Olivelle
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the staff of Olivelle
Coffee-rubbed steaks with balsamic-whiskey cream sauce.There’s something very Montana about combining coffee, meat, and whiskey all in one dish. Now that hunting season is over and you’ve got a freezer full of game, thaw out some steaks and put this recipe to the test—you won’t be disappointed, and... Details
well-being
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the editors
Tips from the O/B health experts. Recovery is an essential aspect of any recreational program. After a 20-year investigation into the preparation, exercise, and recuperation habits of multiple athletes, several highly-regarded experts concluded that after strenuously exerting yourself by skiing,... Details
Bridger Bowl, Big Sky, skiing
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the editors
The Ridge. The Tram. Both icons are so ingrained in southwest Montana ski culture that there is no confusion when their names come up. To answer any question about the conditions thereon with anything other than confidence and reverence is to expose yourself as a rube—a California Quack, Midwestern... Details
Wildrye, Bozeman Spirits, Dry Hills Distilling
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compiled by the editors
What to drink this winter.Like all other seasons, winter is a great time to drink. But unlike spring, summer, and fall, when cold beverages really hit the spot, winter is a time for hot booze. Here are some cocktails to concoct. Chocolate-Covered Cherry1-2 oz Wildrye Flathead Cherry Infused Vodka2... Details
avalanche, accidents, Bozeman
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Drew Hulse
Montana’s backcountry is a dreamland for skiers, snowmobilers, and ice-climbers, but sometimes, things go south. Last winter, the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center recorded 32 avalanche incidents, one of which resulted in a fatality. Though these untamed wilds give more than they will ever... Details
Bozeman, Dogs, Winter
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Vaia Barkas
It snowed last night, I can smell it. The dry air, the chill nudging the back of my throat. The tip of my nose feels numb. Engulfed in a lair of blankets I retreat into sleep. It’s way too early. And I forgot to set the coffee machine.I hear it softly at first, a whimper, thin, rising. Maybe it... Details
Bozeman Fatbiking, Story Hills
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Brandon Campisi
If you’re interested in fatbiking, check out our in-town options. The Southwest Montana Mountain Bike Association (SWMMBA), an International Mountain Bike Association chapter, is hoping to offer additional groomed singletrack in town this winter. As of this writing, fatbikes are allowed on the... Details
Quake Lake, close calls, fishing story
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John Fedorka
Finding a winter break on Quake Lake. Up early for the 100-mile drive to the “Between the Lakes” section of the Madison River, I sip coffee and look for wildlife. I see more elk than cars and before I know it, I’m at the head of Quake Lake. Quickly donning my gear and snowshoes, I roll over the... Details
Red Lodge Mountain
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the editors
Taking a mini-vacation to Red Lodge. You wake up and check the snow report. Nothing at Bridger, and Big Sky's reporting trace, again. It's Thursday morning and you're bored of the same old low-tide skiing without any change of scenery. And then you have an idea—why not call in sick and take a mini-... Details
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Debbie Drews
Modern sensibilities collide with tradition. Is Montana still a place for the “enterprising young men” of Jim Bridger’s day, or are activities like trapping doomed, as author Tom Reed asked almost 20 years ago? Half of the states in America have trapping restrictions or outright bans, and yet... Details
ski clubs
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Jenny White
Inspiring a lifelong passion. Sure, the terrain around here is incredible for any snow lover, but the secret to winter stoke for so many Gallatin Valley residents may be an unusual collection of nonprofits that are devoted to the hard skills—glide, turn, soar—and the soft skills—confidence, joy,... Details
Adventure Scientists, Water Sample, temperature sample
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Katie Christiansen
According to two years of research by the Adventure Scientists, Gallatin Valley has a plastic problem. From September 2015 to June 2017, volunteers collected over 700 one-liter water samples from 72 sites throughout the Gallatin watershed, of which 58% contained microplastics. These non-decomposing... Details
weekender, getaway, southwest Montana
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Drew Hulse
West Yellowstone outside of the Park. Visiting West Yellowstone without entering the Park is like visiting the gift shop outside the Sistine Chapel and calling it a day. Indeed, the best part of West Yellowstone is its proximity to nature and wildlife. That being said, this town is now as much... Details
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the editors
To resist gateway lingo. Everyone knows how gateway drugs work. Basically, if you smoke even one joint, you’re going to end up shooting meth between your toes while a guy named Sloth picks imaginary spiders off your back. Fact.Gateway words and phrases work the same way. One day you call a ski run... Details
Bridger Bowl, new beginner area
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Drew Hulse
This season, there will be an array of infrastructure improvements at Bridger Bowl. The resort moved the location of its retail shop, replaced Virginia City with a newer three-person lift, installed additions across four floors of the Saddle Peak Lodge, and shifted the beginner area to the south.... Details
Bell Lake, up front, skiing
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Drew Pogge
Awaiting the bounty of midseason. There’s a rhythm to ski season—a drumbeat of snowfall that counts out the winter. And like musicians warming up before a performance, the early season can be dissonant, with mountains and weather doing their own thing while we wait like groupies backstage, fawning... Details
Mt. Ellis, Bozeman, Backcountry Skiing
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Sam Haraldson
Full-value vertical off Mount Ellis. Backcountry adventures needn’t be epic or take all day. In fact, one of the best bangs for your buck is just a few miles from downtown. An icon of the southern skyline, Mount Ellis is the perfect way to scratch your mid-week backcountry itch.VitalsAscent: 4... Details
ditching, bailing, day off, powder day
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Emma Nord
What to say when the mountains call. While many people in our country spend these frigid months watching the news or Netflix in Snuggies, most Bozemanites keep warm by skiing or snowboarding Bridger, Big Sky, or the backcountry. Unfortunately, many of us must spend five of seven days inside an... Details
Arbor, Bryan Iguchi, Bozeman, World Boards
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Mike Harrelson
What comes down must go up.When I began snowboarding in the early ’90s, there were no efficient ways for riders to access the backcountry. Regardless, we donned our awkward snowshoes, ate our Wheaties, and ostensibly beat our heads against the wall in pursuit of backcountry nectar. Much to the... Details
creek skating, skater cross, Missouri River skating
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the editors
Bringing folly back to outdoor recreation. These days, seriousness abounds. Recreation has taken on a regimentation that confounds us, driven by increased social-media exposure and competitive apps like Strava and Map My Ride. What ever happened to being silly? What happened to drunkenly devising a... Details

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