Book: Peaks & Couloirs of Southwest Montana

book, ski guidebook, backcountry skiing

The Bozeman area has long been in need of a quality ski guidebook. Finally, with Peaks & Couloirs of Southwest Montana (Kussmaul Backcountry Ventures, $45), Chris Kussmaul gives us a gift that'll keep on giving. Over 100 newly-documented descents will keep you chasing the cold smoke in new locales for years to come, while a tasteful selection of essays on history, geology, and land management provide entertainment en route to the trailhead. Oriented towards experienced backcountry skiers, this book omits the mundane low-angle meadows and glades (which you can find on our Ski Tours page) in favor of striking high-alpine lines. It's clearly authored with the local skier in mind, and before you sound the alarm on blowing all the "secret spots," consider that many of the routes described are so remote and demanding that most readers will only ever go there in imagination (Taylor-Hilgard Traverse, anyone?). Still, there's a healthy portion of accessible classics such as Blackmore's East Face and the Fourth of July Couloir on Beehive, plus obscurities that have always had you wondering, "has anyone ever skied that?" The answer is yes, but very few. So pick up a copy and find out what's been sitting right under your nose all along.