Winter 2011-12

Features

  • Wings on the Wind

    With the blinding sun streaming through my frosted windshield, I drove toward the M trailhead early on a cold morning. Just to be prepared, nearly every piece of skiing equipment I owned was packed into the trunk of my car…
  • The Road of Excess

    Avalanches and aphorisms on Mount Blackmore.“If you get buried down there and die,” Kent asks, “what do you want inscribed on your tombstone?”Right now, my friend’s question—and his matter-of-fact tone—couldn’t be more…
  • Up and Over Lone Mountain

    On a Friday morning in early February, 1971, George Claggett called up from Bozeman, just over the hill from where I lived in Ennis, to inform me that we were getting too fat from sitting behind our desks all winter and it…

Departments

  • A Bull and Beer Market

    Debts paid properly.There’s no such thing as a free lunch. So in the interest of preserving karmic balance, if a buddy does you a solid and saves you from a long afternoon of sitting in the lodge—say, fixes your bindings,…
  • Frozen Fun

    Once the domain of hardened alpinists, ice climbing has come a long way in its evolution and now anyone (thanks largely to modern equipment and Gallatin County snowplows) can enjoy a sense of adventure, complete with…
  • Dutch Lovin'

    Between Yellowstone Park in the south, Ted Turner in the middle, the National Bison refuge at Moiese in the northwest, and all of the smaller bison-ranching operations in between, Montana has become a virtual bison factory…
  • Cabin Fever

    For the average outdoor enthusiast, winter can be a difficult time to squeeze in a fun-filled overnight or multiday adventure without freezing your buns off or breaking the family budget. Sure, a few days and nights in a…
  • Big Fun

    Beyond the slopes at Big Sky.Stretching a cavernous 1,500 feet from the top of Chet’s Knob to Tippy’s Tumble, Big Sky Resort’s Twin Zip spans the entire base area. But such sprawling magnitude isn’t the only bennie of this…
  • Tree Skiing

    Snow fell late in the season last year. So in spite of the nearing arrival of spring with pleasant dreams of sunshine and warm rock, there were untouched fields of snow demanding attention.With the sun just starting to…
  • Sidecountry Silliness

    The greatest gift given to Bozeman-area skiers since the Lone Peak Tram has certainly endured some growing pains during its infant years. When the Slushman’s lift started turning three seasons ago, it immediately opened…
  • Powdery Playground

    Bozeman insiders know that for those of us who love the great outdoors—especially in the winter—the Gallatin Valley’s offerings can’t be beat. But, hey, sometimes you just need to get away. We live in a really big—and…
  • Winter Wonderland

    Want to ride like the wind across a frozen wonderland? Jump in the car and head south. Situated high in the mountains at an elevation of 6,667 feet and in the center of a 400-mile snowmobile trail system that spans three…
  • Powder Parenting

    For the past two seasons, I’ve been taking my four-year-old up to Bridger for laps on the Snowflake chair. I’m sure there are plenty of other Bozemanites out there who, like me, are making the sometimes-painful transition…
  • Snow Days

    In some places, staying inside during winter is standard procedure—but not in Bozeman. Snow, hail, whipping winds, or below-freezing temperatures? Bring it on! And just like us, our kids don’t let a little snow stop them…
  • Fathers, Sons, & Ski Days

    It’s late November. It’s dumping—the first good snow of the season. I’m standing on my porch watching the white flakes fall seamlessly out of the darkness above, letting them gather in my hair, on my jacket, on my eyelashes…
  • Get Your Ass in Shape

    Between your job, family, and skiing as much powder as possible, there’s little time left for training. That’s where this workout comes in—you can do it anywhere and no weights are required. It will help you build leg and…
  • And a Side of Gluten, Please

    I admit it—I love the free bread when dining out. At a restaurant the other night, and after the waiter returned with our drinks, I asked if we could have bread. He replied, “We have gluten-free sourdough or gluten-free…
  • Balneotherapy

    Considered power spots in nature, hot springs have been utilized by cultures worldwide for meetings, sacred gatherings, purification, and healing. Today, in our scientific era, controlled studies are validating the health…
  • Survival with Style

    Owing to the fact that humans have two legs and two arms, many items come in pairs: gloves, socks, shoes, boots, crampons, poles, skis. Most of these items are nearly useless without their mate—just like your humble author.…
  • Head First

    How to shoot action sports like a pro.The use of wearable cameras is expanding rapidly in all action sports, and the technology is keeping up with it. Manufacturers are racing toward better resolution, higher frame rates,…
  • Wolves, Ducks, & Big Game

    Montana’s Second Wolf Hunting SeasonWith more than 16,000 wolf hunting licenses purchased, hunters had the opportunity to hunt in 14 wolf management units with an overall harvest quota of 220 wolves. As of November 8, a…
  • The Double G

    The Double G is a sweet little pattern that can be used any time there are midges clustering up on the water. It is a must from late fall all the way through to late spring—with its simple materials, it floats well and,…
  • I Know What You Did Last Ski Run

    Andy Rooney nailed a verbal bulls-eye when he said, “Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.”This is especially evident as I approach hour five…
  • Nordic Nut

    Do you like to sweat in cold weather? Do you like to wear tight clothing? Do you like to ski with great difficulty up hills before flailing down on flimsy gear? Do you know what lutefisk is, and how it’s made—and still eat…
  • Bridger Bowl Vs. Arapahoe Basin

    Arapahoe Basin, otherwise known as “The Legend,” is a small resort hidden among giants in the Colorado Rockies, just outside Denver. Unlike its money-grubbing neighbors, A-Basin has remained humble. But how does it really…
  • Risk Management

    “Living with the immediacy of death helps you sort out your priorities in life. It helps you to live a less trivial life.” —Sogyal Rinpoche, Buddhist teacher My femur couldn’t be broken. If the thick phonebook of ice had…

Gear Reviews

  • Fusion Ice Tool

    The economy is still in the toilet, so a quiver of ice tools just isn’t an option for most ice junkies. A climber needs one tool to rule them all, and from G1 walk-ups to the horizontal madness of the Bingo Cave, Black…
  • Cold Avenger Expedition Balaclava

    When those mid-January winds take the temps down to 20 below, it’s time to reach for the Talus Cold Avenger Expedition Balaclava. At first glance, you may think you look like Darth Vader or a Navy SEAL, but your face will…
  • Orbiter

    Going from skiing with sunglasses to hitting the slopes with the Julbo Orbiter goggles is akin to switching from Ten High whiskey to Jameson—they’ll both do the job, but Jameson is actually enjoyable. The Camel lens is…
  • Beartooth Boots

    The Oboz Beartooth is a great blend of trail hiker and burly work boot. The rubber sole provides traction in a variety of conditions: on trails, through deadfall forests, and along wet creekbeds. Although they resemble a…
  • Flair Skis

    If you want to keep up with your little shredder, you’re going to need a good pair of skis. The Flair is a new ski in the women’s line, aimed at advanced to expert skiers. It’s a mid-fat ski with all-mountain potential. So…
  • Bot Headlamp

    If you’re sick of your kid stealing—and more often than not, losing—your headlamp, get the little rugrat a Bot, the new child’s headlamp from Princeton Tec. It’s got those cute colors and patterns that kids like (way neater…
  • Ski Ultralight Pro

    What feels better than ripping through fresh powder? Ripping off your boots and socks when you get back to the car! After putting up with itchy socks season after season, I decided to put a new foot forward (pun intended)…
  • Arbora Tall Waterproof Nurl Boot

    When the weather turns and it becomes too cold to wear sandals, there are those of us who stubbornly layer on socks in order to wear our Chacos just a few weeks longer. As it turns out, there’s an alternative to stacking…
  • Nunavut

    Truth be told, I am a girly girl. And true to form, I do not like having my feet cold. Solution: Baffin’s Nunavut boots, designed for girls like me that hate cold feet! Rated to -148°F and waterproof, these boots won’t let…
  • Aria

    Dog walks on crisp cold days become a little more enjoyable when you have a jacket like the Aria parka. This 650+ fill down jacket will help to keep you warm from your head to your knees—without making you feel like a…
  • Attlee Tie Boots

    My new Attlee Tie Boots from Patagonia weathered the first big Montana snowstorm of the year and kept my feet warm, comfortable, and totally dry. They fit like a glove, look slim, and offer great traction with thick rubber…
  • Omnijore Dog-Joring System

    Sick of trying in vain to tire out your hyperactive pup? Does she consider your five-mile hike a mere warm-up? Then click into your cross-country skis, slip on a Ruff Wear Omnijore, and give your pooch a workout while…
  • Bark'n Boots

    Dogs love snow, but their paws don’t. Featuring lug-pattern Vibram soles for traction, Ruff Wear’s Bark’n Boots help keep ice chunks, rocks, and mud out of your buddy’s tender toes and pads. The softshell boot provides…
  • Cloud Chaser Dog Jacket

    Yes, I put clothes on my dog. And yes, I’ve used a kid’s fleece to cover up my pooch. Obviously, design can be an issue—so let’s just say Higgins was pleased when we got the Cloud Chaser. This softshell offers reliable and…
  • ePulse2 Heart Rate Monitor

    The ePulse2 is a great improvement over the traditional heart rate monitors that utilize an uncomfortable chest strap and a separate wristwatch. The entire lightweight instrument comfortably fits on your forearm and—because…
  • Virtue & Vice

    During winter, ski tuning gives me an excuse to grab a pint of Plum Street Porter, head out to the man-cave, and hone my ski edges while dreaming of the perfect waist-deep powder run. I love skiing but also have a wallet…
  • Lightning Ascent

    Snowshoes have come a long way since the old wooden tennis-racquets of yore, and the MSR Lightning Ascent is a prime example of modern technology done right. I used and abused these ultralight, super-sturdy shoes in all…
  • Backstop

    Searching for a lightweight winter glove, I stumbled upon the Backstop by Outdoor Research. Considered a technical liner, this glove is well-suited for activities where normal-weight gloves are just too much. Thin and…
  • Uplander Boots

    High-ankle boots can make one less nimble, especially when bushwhacking, and they’re heavier at the end of the day—but the extra support and warmth is usually worth it. This is definitely true with the Lowa Uplanders, which…

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