Winter 2014-15

Features

  • Soon

    Waiting out winter.Autumn ended in December, and with it came that same old wash of emotion that has followed you like a lonesome dog almost all of your life: melancholy. Hunting season is over.This one ended on a patch of…
  • Inflated Statistics

    Avalanche airbags 101. It’s windy; you hear it whistling across the ridge as you kick into your skis and stare down at 2,000 feet of untouched powder. You’ve hiked all day for this shot, and the reward is going to be sweet…
  • Snow's the Limit

    The wide, wide world of snowshoeing.“Let’s go over that way,” I say to the dog, pointing to a slight gap in the trees that seems to run for ten or 20 yards. On this hillside thick with lodgepole, it’s the only direction…
  • Ridge Zones

    A mini-guide to Bridger's expert terrain. It’s a powder day at Bridger and you’re craving the white like Pacino in Scarface. Where do you go? Here are nine tried-and-true Ridge zones: three for Ridge freshmen, three for the…
  • A Woman in Motion

    The life and times of Frieda Johnson.If you were to meet Frieda Johnson while cross-country skiing on one of Bozeman’s many groomed trails this winter, the encounter would be brief. She’d probably whiz by you with a wave…

Departments

  • Slip & Slide

    Top sledding spots around Bozeman. Whether on a toboggan, saucer, kicksled, or trashcan lid, sledding is a beloved winter pastime in Bozeman. Here are our favorite places to plop down and slide.  Peets Hill The best-known…
  • Season of the Ditch

    There's no shame in crashing.  Winter in Montana is the season of snow and ice, skiing and snowboarding, ice climbing and snowmobiling. It’s the season of shoveling and scraping, plowing and salting. And for many Montana…
  • SPEW Less, Ski More

    Only the experience matters. The man who is dissatisfied with himself, what can he do? —Henry David Thoreau If there’s one thing I hate about skiing (and I LOVE skiing), it’s that skiers are totally, completely obsessed…
  • Frozen Bozeman

    Demand for ice time in Bozeman is on the rise, and in response, a second skating rink is going in adjacent to the Haynes Pavilion at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. This new rink will be open all year and service both…
  • Biathlon in Bozeman

    Some combos just seem right—peanut butter and jelly, Jack and Coke, and now in Bozeman, skiing and shooting. This season at Bohart Ranch, thanks to the efforts of the Bridger Biathlon Club (BBC), Bohart pass holders will be…
  • Game Relocation

    During the nationalistic fervor of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games last winter, word on the street was a that formal bid to bring the 2026 Winter Games to Bozeman was underway. In fact, it’s been in the works since at least…
  • Fat Chance

    Fat-bikers have a new winter home in Bozeman: Bohart Ranch. The cross-country ski center will open its 30-plus kilometers of trails to bikers for the 2014-15 season in response to the growing popularity of the sport. “We…
  • Tech Tools

    Apps to try this winter.  It’s hard to believe that a few years ago, most people weren’t glued to a ubiquitous, palm-sized device containing a wealth of downloaded information. These tech-savvy days, a bevy of programs can…
  • To Winter

    There’s no bad season for beer, but winter has to be one of the best—at least in the top four. Here’s a look at what’s on tap this winter around the Bozone.Bitter Root Brewing: Enjoy a taste of Hamilton with Bitter Root’s…
  • All Wrapped Up

    The great burrito battle.The burrito: arguably the most well-loved handheld meal. It’s versatile, healthy, and delicious, and its combination of heartiness and portability makes it the ultimate outdoor culinary indulgence.…
  • Open-Air Gym

    Close-to-home ski trails. Whether you are training for a Nordic ski marathon or just need to work off a few microbrews, cross-country skiing is a great workout with plenty of options to fit any schedule. Pull on your…
  • Plowing

    Hours ‘til dawn, coffee’s all gone. It’s snowing and blowing and carryin’ on.  Been at it since three, just the night and me. Moving snow into piles, clearing the streets.  Spinning black tunnels. Black-bottomed runnels.…
  • Two for One

    A long weekend ski road-trip.The high-altitude mountains of western Montana usually get all the attention come it comes to skiing. But nestled away in central Montana are two of the state’s best-kept ski-resort secrets:…
  • Back to the Basics

    The ultimate two-day ski road-trip. It’s tempting to wax nostalgic about the old days of Montana skiing, of tow-ropes and creaky double-chairs, of wide-open roads leading to unknown powder stashes, of small-town saloons…
  • Shades of Grey

    Skiing the Yellowstone burn.Trees reduced by flame scrawl charcoal shadows on the deep winter snow. My skis etch their own mark onto the mountainside as I silently pass beneath the ebony skeletons of yesterday’s trees,…
  • Waste Not, Want Not

    New ways to reduce, re-use, and recycle."Waste is a tax on the whole people."—Albert W. AtwoodSustainability is the name of the game these days, and the outdoor industry is attempting to rise to the challenge. While top…
  • When Fur Fails

    Cold-weather tips for your dog.With winter underway, you’ve probably spent time winterizing your home and vehicle. But have you thought about winterizing your pet?Frosty FurYour dog won’t notice frostbite developing on its…
  • Waiting for the Sun

    Avoiding Seasonal Affective Disorder.We’ve all woken up on a pitch-black winter morning to get ready for work or school. Eight short hours later, we drive home and what do you know? It’s already dark. The majority of…
  • Winter's Pantry

    An omnivore’s delight. The global economy affords us certain luxuries, such as cantaloupe in Montana in January. However, having the same fruits and vegetables year-round is not a natural phenomenon. When we eat the same…
  • On Thin Ice

    How to survive a fall through the ice.One minute you’re strolling across seemingly solid ground, and the next you’re fighting for your life—you’ve plunged into 35-degree water and are turning hypothermic. What do you do?…
  • Youth Movement

    Bozeman’s young rippers.Bozeman has long been a breeding ground for mountain-sport talent. With big terrain and six months of snow cover, it’s no wonder that skiers, snowboarders, and other winter athletes start early,…
  • Snowy Signs

    Bozeman winter astrology. AriesMarch 21 – April 20The stars understand that you aren’t evil; you just want a closer look at the rare beast. Best, though, not to chase that wolverine with your snow machine. He will likely…
  • Mouthin' Off

    Rollerblade Recap.To paraphrase the immortal words of Hannibal on The A-Team, “We love it when a prank comes together.” Yep, every so often (read: all the time), we like to pull the editorial wool over our readers’ eyes—and…
  • Cat & Mouse

    Following a photogenic bobcat.It was a rather balmy January day by Montana standards: temperature in the mid 20s, a hazy sky, and a fresh four-inch layer of snow covering the landscape. I was at my desk in my apartment in…
  • Dog Days of Winter

    A day in the life of a patrol hound.When will he wake up? It must be time to go! I’ve been up and waiting all night to go to work, but I don’t have thumbs, so I can’t drive myself. Come on! We have to go! I’m going to jump…
  • Obscure Ice

    Climbing around Cooke City.At the end of the winter road through Yellowstone National Park you’ll find the unique and isolated town of Cooke City, Montana. Beyond this snowmobiler’s mecca lies a winter playground…
  • More Than a Mouthful

    Tying the Soft Hackle Sow Bug Bead Head. Some might think fishing in winter is akin to hot-tubbing in Hell, but we addicts understand. Winter is a reprieve from the crowds and an opportunity to experience our favorite…
  • Willful Weasel

    Pine marten with a sweet tooth.Pine martens are silky-haired, cat-sized members of the weasel family that are native to Montana’s mountainous terrain, but rarely seen by humans. Shy and generally solitary, martens are known…
  • Canyon Caretakers

    Opening access to our backyard playground.Hyalite Canyon is one of the most utilized and best-loved canyons in Montana. Locals and visitors alike flock here each winter for every activity imaginable: sledding, Christmas-…
  • Old Man River

    Riding high in the heavens.Ol’ man river,Dat ol’ man river,He mus’ know sumpin’But don’t say nuthin’Joe, the dock worker in Show Boat, was thinking about the Mighty Mississippi when he sang these words, but the song applies…
  • Celebrate the Season

    With Coldsmoke Winter Film.Bozeman is quickly becoming America’s outdoor capital. The city plays host to an internationally sanctioned ice-climbing competition, our mountains set the stage for the Freeride World Tour…
  • Human Hibernation

    A vision of a better world.I have a friend with a lively mind. To save money on Christmas lights, she parks her car in the driveway with the hazards blinking, creating a warm Martha-Stewart-shacked-with-the-Pep-Boys holiday…
  • Share the Snow

    Winter etiquette on public lands.Bozeman is home to a broad spectrum of athletes ranging from world-class to couch-class. No matter where you fall, our public trails are here for everyone to use. Winter road closures…
  • Eastbound & Downhill

    If time’s short and all you can spare is a single day, point the car east and head for Red Lodge. Be sure to get an early start: it’s about a 2.5-hour drive. On the way out of town, stop by Sola Café for coffee and a…
  • East to Eden

    The winter wonderland of Paradise Valley.Whatever you’re looking for this season, Paradise Valley has you covered. Just a short jaunt over the pass, this amazing swath of grandeur between Livingston and Gardiner offers…
  • Brush-Bunny Blues

    A tale of bad friends and splintered stew. It was Saturday evening and I couldn't have been living in Montana more than a month when the big guy I was talking to at the Korner Klub shouted over the music, “Hey, you wanna…
  • Across the Ice

    Winter camping by bike.The doldrums of 2011-12’s El Niño hit in February. Little snow had fallen since Christmas and a persistent high-pressure system reduced the skiing to hard and scratchy snow at the resorts, or a…
  • Safe & Sound

    Low-risk backcountry spots.In Bozeman, we’re fortunate to have ample backcountry skiing and riding within striking distance of town, ranging from mountaineering adventures on high peaks and wide-open bowls, to gladed tree…
  • Joint Venture

    All about the ACL.Kevin was excited, and if he was honest with himself, more than a little nervous. This was his first time. All of his friends had done it, some of them more than once. He wasn’t positive about Ben, who…
  • Elk Infirmity

    Understanding brucellosis.Increasing numbers of elk in southwest Montana are testing positive for brucellosis (a bacterial infection responsible for aborted pregnancies and other harmful symptoms), and FWP has been…

Gear Reviews

  • Review: Garmin Delta Upland

    Training your hunting dog requires patience, consistency, and good tools. One of the best tools I’ve found is the Delta Upland electronic collar from Garmin. With a multitude of stimulation settings, from simple tones and…
  • Review: OnXmaps HUNT Premium Map

    With waterfowl, special-weapons, and crop-damage hunts, it’s easy to remain afield well after the last leaves of fall disappear beneath the snow. And knowing whose land you’re on is vital—which is where the HUNT Premium Map…
  • Review: Jelt Belt

    The Jelt Belt is an ideal piece of gear, although calling it gear might be a bit of a misnomer as it is just as practical around town as it is on the trail. The belt is simple yet highly functional; its elastic design is…
  • Review: Arborwear Staghorn Fleece

    During the rigors of a cold Montana winter, comfort can be every bit as important as warmth—our snow-saddled psyches need a little insulation as well. To protect your temperament from Old Man Winter’s icy barbs, slip into a…

Additional Articles

  • Crockpot Rabbit

    Cooking cottontail. Tradition has it that one should hunt rabbits during months containing the letter R to avoid the infectious disease, tularemia. I stay well within the frost zone by limiting my rabbit hunting to…
  • Feelin' Scrappy

    Nothing warms both body and spirit like a fireplace or woodstove in wintertime, not to mention the boon to your electric bill. The standard process around here is to harvest a truckload from the national forest, or buy a…
  • Winter Driving Kit

    Just the essentials.For several years, I’ve been driving to Billings once a week—snow or sleet, rain or shine. There have been many icy days when I’ve driven past a dozen cars stuck in the ditch, and one when I slid…
  • Car vs. Wild

    Wildlife Collision Stats.Vehicle-animal collision stats are out for 2014, and the numbers don’t look good for Montanans. While there has been a 15% decrease from deer-related collisions compared to last year, we still rank…

Book Reviews

  • Montana Required Reading, Part I

    A primer of classic Montana texts. “If you want to know a country, read its writers.” ―Aminatta Forna As a people, we’re quickly becoming a society of non-thinking know-it-alls, content to recite snappy headlines and…

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