News & Notes– Winter 2013-14

Finding the Coldsmoke:

On January 18, the Emerson Center buzzes with an energy that only winter mountain culture can create. Snowsports enthusiasts from around the Northwest gather for the Coldsmoke Awards, a one-night-only show where filmmakers, athletes, and presenters come together on stage to celebrate the best in winter film.

According to the organizers, the idea for the awards sprang from a rapidly growing mountain community looking to encourage winter activity through partnerships with like-minded organizations. The Coldsmoke team defines winter culture as “not just skiing or snowboarding, but anybody who gets out there and recreates with frozen water.” The Coldsmoke Awards bring the community together through a celebration of winter culture and life in the mountains.

Every year, the Coldsmoke Awards recognizes films showcasing tales of winter life through various perspectives. Featuring films that reach out to the heart, soul, and spirit of winter culture, the Winter Film Tour starts in Bozeman and travels to other mountain towns around Montana, Colorado, and Wyoming. The Coldsmoke Tour concludes in Bozeman with live music—complete with an “anything goes” vibe. —Anya Bean

For more information, visit

Bridger Bulks Up:

This summer, Bridger Bowl backed its commitment to intermediate skiers and snowboarders by installing two lifts on the north side of the mountain. One lift serves the north end of North Bowl above Powder Park and the other travels to the north end of the ski area, above Montagne’s Meadow. In addition, the road that previously traversed from Alpine to the North Bowl has been removed, which provides a better descent for skiers dropping down from the Ridge via Bridger Gully and the Apron. The downside is that with the installation of these new lifts, tickets prices have increased: adult full-day tickets rose from $49 to $51, while a half-day pass now costs $42. —Anya Bean

A Better Bell Lake:

Nestled deep in the Tobacco Root Mountains west of Bozeman, the Bell Lake Yurt has long been Bozeman’s most convenient backcountry retreat. An exclusive non-motorized permit area covers thousands of acres of pristine backcountry powder, with peaks rising to over 10,000 feet just out the front door. Now, the experience is even better—new ownership has resulted in custom bunks and memory-foam mattresses, a solar-powered LED light system, and a revamped kitchen with restaurant-quality cookware. When you’re done skiing some of Montana’s finest terrain and deepest snow, the cozy yurt makes a great refuge in which to relax and recharge.

In addition to guided and catered trips, self-guided yurt rental, and custom itineraries, Bell Lake Yurt offers three Level 1 avy courses this winter, along with a new “Intro to the Backcountry” camp on March 8-11, designed to teach backcountry basics with an emphasis on safety—and skiing a lot of powder.

To learn more about the Bell Lake Yurt, see pictures of the terrain, and check out pricing, visit Their Facebook page has condition updates and special offers. —Mick Sprede

Hall of the Mountain Slayer:

Have you ever wanted to ride Lone Peak while riding on Lone Peak? Now you finally can. In collaboration with Never Summer, two local shops now offer custom-designed boards—but only for a short time. Jay Moore, owner of World Boards, designed the Mountain Slayer at Never Summer HQ in Denver. Drawing on his experience of riding over 500 different boards throughout his 30-year snowboarding career, he created a top-to-bottom overhaul focusing on the board’s camber to create a well-rounded quiver-killer. “It was great to walk into Never Summer and come away with the board I’ve always wanted to ride,” says Jay.

Exclusive for the ‘13-14 season, each one features custom graphics: boards at Gallatin Alpine Sports feature a Ryan Turner shot of Lone Peak, and those at World Boards will prominently display a classic Travis Anderson shot of the east side of the Bridgers. Either would look equally handsome under your feet as it would mounted above your fireplace, but you might want to act fast—produced in a limited-edition run, there are only 50 at each store. Find out more at or —Dave Reuss