Fall 2019

Features

  • The Many-Sided Massif

    A photographic study of Ross Peak.  It’s not the highest point in the Bridgers. It barely falls within the range’s ten-tallest summits. But for whatever reason, we’re drawn to Ross Peak. Perhaps its counter-intuitive…
  • Make a Statement

    Gaining access to school-trust lands.  While the debate over public-lands access has hit the mainstream, the issue has been brewing for decades. Even back in the 1950s, recreationists argued that Montana’s 5.2-million…
  • A Horse for Clare

    Raising a daughter in the mountains of Montana. When you were tiny and squalling, I carried you out to the horse pasture and we stood among them and listened. As soon as we were in them, among them, you quieted. Switched…
  • A Bad Day in Bear Country

    On October 1, 2016, Todd Orr was attacked by a grizzly bear—twice. This is his story. It was an early-fall morning as I began my hike up into the high country of southwest Montana. Three miles in, I spotted a sow grizzly…
  • An Open Book

    Local climbing legend Ron Brunckhorst.  Enigmatic climber, route developer, guidebook author, local legend: for more than 40 years, Ron Brunckhorst has been quietly exploring Montana’s vertical realm of rock and ice. In…

Departments

  • A-Peeling Pastry

    Making banana cream pie. The cooler temps of fall always bring with them the desire to dine on comfort foods, savory and sweet alike. Autumn’s rich palette seems to incite cravings held at bay through the stifling heat of…
  • Droppin’ Bodies

    Carcass-dumpers take their turn in the pillory.  When you think of Montana hunters and Montana hunting, you think horsemen and elk. You think snow-capped mountains and amber meadows. Earnest, reverential hunters and time-…
  • True Tales: Raging Bull

    A moose and an angler square off.  It was a blustery afternoon in late October. The weatherman predicted that the sun and mild temperature early in the day would give way to late showers. It looked like he was right as the…
  • Instant Impact

    Artist Mimi Matsuda talks inspiration.  Montana’s stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife have long inspired a variety of artists, from painters to poets. It was no different for Mimi Matsuda, whose whimsical work has…
  • Lead Away

    Switching to copper rounds. It was late summer when my fiancé Lisa and I began planning her first pronghorn hunt. Casually, over an elk-steak supper, she announced that she would not be using lead ammunition to harvest an…
  • Big-City Sippin'

    Making a Manhattan. As colder temperatures become the seasonal norm, there is a noticeable shift in the consumption of spirits, from clear liquors such as vodka, gin, and tequila to darker ones such a rye, bourbon, and…
  • Beach Bodies

    The fossils of Frazier Basin. Living in Montana gives us easy access to beef, wild game, and freshwater fish. However, few people realize that millions of years ago, lobster and other marine life lived in the warm, shallow…
  • Eccentric Approach

    Strength training for ski touring. Screaming hip flexors, cramping calves, tight shoulders, breathless climbs in the skintrack—we’ve all been there. Ski touring combines demanding aerobic output with uphill-specific muscle…
  • Autumn Ascension

    Classic fall climbs. Ahhhh, fall: when the weather goes from surface-of-the-sun hot to deep-space cold in a flash. To stay in orbit on the chilly fall days, you’ll want to head to a crag where you can drink in those ever-…
  • Dogs' Years

    Osteoarthritis in canines.  Most Bozeman dogs lead an active lifestyle, taking part in all the outdoor activities the rest of us enjoy. For both people and pets, as we age and recover from injury, we’re sometimes confronted…
  • Amble On

    Fall is for the road. This autumn, I think I’ll head west on I-90 to retrace an exploration of more than 20 years ago when my daughter and I happened upon a scrap of Montana history that remains in my mind like a half-…
  • Paint the Town Red

    Living where people hunt. Try as they might, there’s one thing newcomers will never change about Bozeman: this will always be a hunting town. Elk will always bugle come September, grouse will always scatter at the sight of…
  • Review: Hometown Hunting

    Gear up with these local companies.   Finding quality hunting gear can be just as challenging as bagging an elk. With so many options, and with standards changing all the time, how do you know where to start? Luckily,…
  • Can It

    Extending the harvest's bounty.  After a summer harvest, there’s an abundance of produce to consume. Our growing season is short, but you can extend your consumption of local produce by canning, all while gaining health…
  • Dream vs. Reality: Bowhunting

    Hunting the wily wapiti. Few pastimes elicit as visceral a response as hunting elk with bow and arrow. It’s at once ancient and modern, both art and sport, as challenging as it is rewarding. And for the few hearty souls…
  • Chain the Monkey Brain

    And think like a dog. I saw a cartoon showing a person and a dog hiking in the woods with thought bubbles juxtaposed over their heads. The caption read, “Why your dog is happier than you.” The dog’s thought bubble showed…
  • A-Holes Among Us

    A plea for better stewardship. I always boast about Bozeman, about the public land and the freedom to roam. I boast about the gratitude the locals have for the landscape. While we’re fortunate to live in a wild and…
  • Lessons of the Fall

    Finding peace in transition. "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." —Oscar WildeIn Montana, when the nights settle softly into frost and aspens blaze behind a half-cocked autumn sun, there is…
  • Au Natural

    Nature-photography basics. When you see a stunning photo of a picturesque Gallatin River or a bugling bull elk on a misty morning, it can be hard to tell on the surface how much work went into its creation. Spoiler alert:…
  • The Not-So-Secret Weapon

    Tying the Shakey Bealy. As the rising sun crests the mountains, anticipation sets in. Cool, crisp air fills your nostrils as you rig your rod, taking added caution to ensure that every knot is flawless. It’s fall in…
  • Light Show

    Celestial gatherings in the autumn sky. Fall is rendezvous time. Birds flock and head south. Bison and elk head for lower elevations. Cattle are rounded up for their winter pastures.The sky offers a rendezvous of its own…
  • Wet & Wild

    Hot-tub hunting takes off.   What, exactly, is hot-tub hunting? Well, it’s just as it sounds: killing wild game from the steamy, aquatic comfort of your spa. First conceived in Texas, as a tongue-in-cheek option on private…
  • Galleries of Gear

    Bozeman’s version of performance art.   In Bozeman, a gear garage (or shed or room or wing, as the case may be) is a badge of honor. The more varied the contents, the more esteemed their owner; the more ingenious the…
  • The Lost Art

    Relearning the map & compass.   We have become the ET Phone Home generation. Don’t get that reference? Google it. It means we are so dependent on our phones that we are lost without them—in some cases, literally. How…
  • A Lower Standard

    Fall fishing on the lower Madison.  Fly fishermen tend to have impossibly high standards. Their tools of the trade alone are the pinnacle of angling technique, and between their ethics and their antics, it’s hard not to…
  • Liquid-Hot Hiking

    The Trail to Lava Lake. The tumbling whitewater of Cascade Creek rushes down between Jumbo Mountain and Table Mountain into Lava Lake, a 40-acre tarn formed by a landslide damming the creek. The forest-lined lake sits in a…
  • Shed a Little Light

    Stay visible while running. If you’re a road runner, you understand the importance of visibility. You need to make sure that drivers notice you, especially in the fall when sunrise and sunset line up with morning and…
  • Hummocks & Uplands

    Biking Big Sky’s basics. Winter comes early to the Madison Range, which is why we’re grateful for the trail development in Big Sky’s Meadow Village. If you’re itching to sneak in some singletrack before the powder piles up…
  • Retreat to the North

    Fall mountain biking in Whitefish.  Certain bucket-list items never get checked off. They move from one sheet of paper to the next, always written in ink but never struck through by Sharpie. On my bucket list, that item…

Gear Reviews

  • Review: Schnee's Kestrel

    When I got my Kestrel boots from Schnee’s, I pulled them straight out of the box and went on a 25-mile backpack. It wasn’t the most challenging hike ever, but it had a little bit of everything, including mud, rock, water,…
  • Review: Redington Prowler Pro

    Like other frugal fishermen, I refused to replace my beloved wading boots, instead modifying them with sheet-metal screws, duct tape, and other jury-rigging, season after slippery season. Until this year, when I discovered…
  • Review: Nemo Spike

    Nothing beats chasing elk through the high country—and nothing’s worse than being caught in a nasty squall five miles from camp. Unless, of course, you packed along the Spike tent by NEMO. This clever little shelter is…
  • Review: Zenbivy Bed 23

    When I opened Zenbivy’s ultralight sleep system and saw instructions for a video tutorial, I was skeptical. Why do I need instructions to sleep? But after snoozing on the Bed 23 all summer long, I’m a convert. Zenbivy’s…
  • Review: Lowa Aerox

    The Aerox GTX Lo Surround is a multifunctional trail shoe that combines Gore’s Surround concept with Lowa’s direct-injection midsole ventilation channels to give the foot 360 degrees of breathability. Combine that with an…
  • Review: Kammok Kuhli Pro

    When backpacking, an easy way to lighten the load is to carry a tarp instead of a tent—and if you choose the Kammok Kuhli Pro, you won’t sacrifice much in terms of comfort, either. Hypalon-reinforced anchor points make for…
  • Review: Orvis Upland Softshell

    When upland bird hunting, you face a variety of conditions, from open fields to nasty brush. Orvis’s Upland Hunting Softshell Pants repeatedly rise to the occasion. The outer shell is water-resistant, plus an extra layer on…
  • Review: Gregory Wander Youth

    Gregory’s Wander 50 is youth-focused, but its features and durability are comparable to adult packs. It’s designed to grow with young adults and its adjustability is a stand-out feature. Youth packs are often one-size-fits-…
  • Review: DNX Bars Grass-Fed Beef

    Gorp and Clif Bars may stop a growling stomach, but nothing pleases the trail-worn palate like an old-fashioned hunk o’ meat—which is where the DNX Grass-Fed Beef Bar comes in. Various flavors exist; I like the Beef &…
  • Review: Nemo Switchback

    Compact air mattresses may be the new backpacking norm, but they’ll never be as comfy as traditional foam pads—especially those with modern upgrades. The NEMO Switchback is one such pad: it’s thick and plush, insulated to…
  • Review: Soundcast VG1

    Whether it’s an all-day float or one last hoorah at your favorite swimming hole, music goes a long way. For a bomber bluetooth speaker that won’t fizzle out from a few splashes, check out Soundcast’s VG1. Light and compact…
  • Review: Camp-Cooking Gear

    Upgrade your outdoor kitchen.  The height of camping season may be over, but it isn't too late to check out some new kitchen products for your outdoor kitchen. Here are a few of our favorites. GSI Outdoors Destination…

Additional Articles

  • Bearing Witness

    Making sense of grizzly-bear encounters in southwest Montana. One of the paradoxes of bear and human safety is that the practices associated with successful hunting inherently put hunters at a higher risk of encountering…
  • Battling the Bruin

    Guns vs. bear spray. One of the most perilous hazards of hiking or hunting in western Montana is finding yourself between a grizzly bear and her cubs. In this worst-case scenario, you must think and act fast. Preparation…

Book Reviews

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