Foot, Skin, and Screen

Your backcountry ski season just got better.

Alpine Skiing Gets the Boot
During the past several years, there has been a big push to deliver alpine ski-boot performance in backcountry boots. To accomplish this, bootmakers started to use an overlapping cuff rather than the traditional plastic tongue. The overlap design eliminates this tongue barrier and allows a nice progressive flex. It also provides a bit of spring-back under pressure, and that consistent flex leads to very efficient transfer of power from leg to boot to ski.

The folks at Black Diamond in Salt Lake City have caused heaps of commotion with their new lineup of overlap-style AT and telemark boots. Developed over the last several years, the boots are designed and built by a bevy of engineers with a serious passion for skiing. This is obvious when you check out the myriad of useful features that have improved fit and performance. Garmont, Scarpa, and Dynafit also offer several models constructed with alpine overlap construction.

New Backcountry Yurt
Ever since Potosi Alpine Yurts closed up shop several years ago, backcountry skiers around Montana have yearned for a replacement to that sweet high-country setup. Pine no more—Montana Backcountry Adventures will operate a new yurt at 8,500 feet in the Tobacco Roots this season. The Bell Lake Yurt, accessed via South Willow Creek Road outside Pony, will have a full kitchen, wood-burning stove, and sleeping accommodations for eight people. Visit or call 995-3880 for more info.

Free Ski Flick
Just in case you haven’t been paying attention the past several months, Bridger Bowl has a new lift that accesses 300+ acres of in-bounds terrain and the backcountry of Saddle Peak. In order to promote avalanche awareness and safe backcountry skiing in the area, Sam Lowe produced the film Stay Alive in partnership with Bridger Bowl, Friends of the Avalanche Center, and the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.

The film aims to raise awareness of the risks involved in leaving the ski-area boundaries. The film has great ski footage and animation, but it also warns that poor hazard assessment and poor decision-making can kill you. To help you get skookum for the season, check out this movie, take an avalanche class, and call the daily avalanche advisory at 587-6981.