Winter 2015-16

Features

  • On the Hunt

    When a coyote comes calling.He appeared to me near the river, alone in the cold, and stood watching as I skied closer. Mangy-looking thing, I thought.But I was alone too. The backcountry is my sanctuary from humanity. It’s…
  • Ahead of the Carve

    The innovation, influence, and altruism of Jay Moore. How many people do you know who’ve legitimately built a community from the ground up? That rare individual who has stayed true to his earliest calling, on-point with his…
  • Cabins Calling

    Retreating to Forest Service getaways. Picture this: you and your friends gathered around a wooden table, perched on benches padded with your sleeping pads. The table is spread with the feast you have laid out. Steaming…
  • Ivory Tower

    Winter on Elephanthead.One of the most enjoyable and scenic one-day ski descents in Greater Yellowstone lies in the north end of the Western Beartooths on a mountain geologist Thomas Jaggar called “a strange looking knob”…

Departments

  • Addict ID

    How to spot a snow-lover. As passionate lovers of that fine white powder that energizes us throughout the long dark winter and keeps us up nights with restless anticipation, we’re proud of our particular obsessions and…
  • Chairlift Charlie

    A case for conversation.Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. —Mark TwainKnow what makes me feel like a crazy person even more than people telling me that I’m a crazy person? When I start a friendly…
  • Mammoth Adventure

    Nordic fun on a grand scale. Undeniably, winter is the best time to visit Yellowstone. Geysers throw steaming water through the snow and into the robin-egg sky. Elk and bison, followed by wolves and coyotes, fill the…
  • Look the Part

    A winter style guide for Bozemanites. In Paris, haute couture rules. Seattle is still reeling from late-‘90s grunge. Hawaii has flip-flops and boardshorts. And Bozeman is the reigning king of Patagucci Cowboy Chic.In order…
  • Indoor Escapes

    A winter reading list. The Ultimate Winter Survival Handbook, by Tim MacWelch  As computers and smartphones integrate ever further into our lives, it becomes increasingly easy to justify informational outsourcing—why waste…
  • Big Sky, Revisited

    Recreating beyond the resort.Sure, Big Sky is the destination for awesome snow, unrivaled scenery, and kick-ass terrain—but you don’t have to be up at the resort to get your recreational kicks. Here are some other winter…
  • Powder Hogs

    Fat-biking the Custer Gallatin. Dedicated cyclists, injured skiers, and those looking for entertainment between big powder days have a new winter-sport opportunity: fat-bikes, or wide-tire bicycles with low tire pressure.…
  • Bosom Buddies

    Winter traditions among friends. Soft laughter escapes unconsciously as I burn my lips on hot coffee and examine the fresh snowfall, awaiting the arrival of friends for our next fat-bike adventure. I have the advantage of…
  • The Back Wall

    Olivia hikes by. Some follow, others cry. She lured us Upward, oh so high.  Climbing chert She scales the cirque. Quads afire We all kick higher. Off the top She does her hop. A cadenced thing, She floats, she swings. …
  • Seeing Red

    Blood control on the ski hill.While skiing at Bridger Bowl last year, I got poked in the leg by a tree branch. It tore my ski pants, leaving a large bruise on my thigh. As I checked for blood in the Schlasman’s lift line,…
  • Rock Out

    The geology of Pipestone and Homestake.Montana is full of interesting history, but one chapter often overlooked is our copper heritage. Strap in and let’s take a trip from Butte to the Jefferson Valley, up and over…
  • Mountain Man

    Q&A with Jason Matthews.Jason Matthews drifted into the northern Rockies in 1993 like a modern-era Huck Finn. Like many of us, the path of this young vagabond was stoked by something not easily defined and nearly…
  • Biathlon and Beyond

    A Bozeman skiing legacy.  Imagine trying to shoot five targets with only five shots. Then imagine doing that with your heart pounding, your lungs feeling like they’re about to burst, and your hands quivering, having just…
  • Keep Moving

    Health tips for the season.The shorter, darker, colder days are upon us. ‘Tis the season of making up any excuse in the book not to work out, and while it’s certainly a little harder to stay fit during winter, it’s not…
  • Practice Makes Perfect

    Downhill skills for the backcountry.  After three hours of laborious skinning, you’re grinning as you gaze down into a powder-filled bowl, ready for your big reward. You ease off the cornice, get up to speed and start your…
  • Odd-Balling

    Beyond skiing this winter. With the arrival of winter, Bozeman feverishly gears up for the upcoming ski season—but not everyone gets their kicks from these pursuits. Winter offers a number of other activities and even the…
  • Join the Cult

    All about the art of ice fishing. Thanks in large part to a certain feature film, fly fishing has anchored itself into a recessed part of the American narrative as something that all “outdoors” people in southwest Montana…
  • West in the Winter

    So much to do, so little time. On December 15, the west entrance to Yellowstone Park opens to a unique experience and adventure. Each day, commercially guided snowcoach and snowmobile tours travel over groomed snow-covered…
  • Impaired Parking

    O/B’s answer to parking-lot wars. Parking can be a sensitive subject, so naturally, we’re inclined to play on people’s emotions and offer up our two cents. The issue reaches a boiling point during ski season, when it’s a…
  • Pay to Play

    New winter-recreation pass pays for trail grooming.When the snow piles deep, snowmobilers around Montana hit their favorite trails in search of winter fun. Yet few of them give any thought to how those trails are created.…
  • Slow & Easy

    Slow-cooker tactics. Hunters happen to be a handy bunch. Tips and tricks from antiquated issues of Field & Stream or Outdoor Life prove as much. What other group of folks would think to use a chew can as a decoy anchor…
  • Silhouettes

    silhouettes of rugged range devoid of depth wild with change blackened ridge in sharp relief grand clear dusk, contrast so brief  drama framing home’s commute westward lies my normal route shadows grow beyond immense…
  • This Bar's for You

    Winter watering holes. That snowy winter road to your favorite weekend fun-spot can be long and winding and, let’s admit it, a little stressful. But there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel… and under the light is a…
  • Frostbitten

    Canine considerations for cold weather.While waxing your boards and sharpening your crampons, don’t forget your furry friends—use these tips to keep your pets safe and happy when the mercury drops.1.) Minimize time outside…
  • Best Foot Forward

    The benefits of custom orthotics.Do you ever feel like you have balance problems when you ski? Or perhaps you have more difficulty turning one direction than the other? Have you ever considered that the problem may be…
  • By the Numbers: Montana Skiing

    The sport's economic impact.The last decade or so has brought major changes to Montana, especially when it comes to population growth and tourism. Bozeman is more popular than ever, and nowhere is this more apparent than on…
  • Snowschool for You

    Winter outdoor programs for kids.When it comes to kid-friendly fun, summer gets all the credit. But Montana Outdoor Science School (MOSS) is changing that. The local organization has partnered with the Winter Wildlands…
  • Kickin' the Hive

    Exploring Beehive Basin. Nestled high in the Madison Range near Big Sky, Beehive Basin provides one of the best access points for backcountry skiing in the entire region. This classic backcountry zone is a fantastic place…
  • iTune

    DIY ski repair. So you bought your dream setup and boy are you in love. You’re also hell-bent on taking care of it yourself, so you’re going to build a ski-tuning bench. The question is, when do you tune and what do you…
  • Jiglet, Just a Little Bit

    Winter's go-to fly.The jiglet is a workhorse: a fly you can have confidence in any time of year, on almost any type of water. Originally it was designed to imitate small sculpins, but it’s one of those attractor patterns…
  • Trail Boss in the Sky

    Winter’s starry nights.If John Wayne were a constellation, he would be Orion.Big, bold, larger-than-life, and easily identified, Orion rides the trail every clear night of winter, high in the southeast by 9pm around New…
  • Leading the Way

    Local guides offer expert assistance.We all have our sport—the one we can execute confidently and safely no matter the conditions or location. But in Bozeman, why settle for just one? The outdoor offerings within two hours…
  • Outlook

    With frozen digits and cold weather causing a malfunction in the camera’s auto-focus system, this photo of Colin “Bubba” Ahearn was captured in the Crazy Mountains above the Cottonwood Lake drainage. The adventure was…
  • Book: What in the World

    The latest from Parks Reece. Famed Livingston artist Parks Reece has a new book out, and you’re going to want to pick this one up. What in the World ($15, self-published) puts a new spin on environmental issues, presenting…
  • Backcountry vs. Resort

    Showdown for the ages.For many of us, skiing brings back memories of slurping hot cocoa in the lodge after a day of lapping our favorite zone at the resort. But it also reminds of us skinning through a silent forest toward…

Gear Reviews

  • Review: Lawson USA TitanStraps

    You’ve probably seen them around town—bright-orange straps lashed around ladders, PVC pipe, and extension cords. They’re called TitanStraps, and they’re not just for construction equipment; in fact, they were designed with…
  • Review: G3 Alpinist

    Nothing ruins a day in the backcountry like iffy skins. It can’t be “all about the uphill” if snow is piling up between your skis and your skins, your skins won’t stay attached to your tails, and you’re losing traction…
  • Review: Scarpa Freedom RS

    These boots are made for skiing, and that’s what I plan on doing in ‘em. Scarpa’s “stiffest freeride boot yet,” the Freedom RS, is a powerful AT boot that can handle all conditions on the downhill, but also gives you a 25-…
  • Review: G3 Ion LT 12

    I'm a big fan of KISS (the acronym, not the band.) Keep It Simple, Stupid. And that's exactly what G3's latest tech binding, the ION LT 12, does. Following on the heels of the much-lauded original ION (now in its sophomore…
  • Review: Smith I/O

    Seven winters ago, I bought a pair of Smith goggles because they had a slight scratch on the lens and were therefore discounted. Dirtbag move, I know, but now, the better part of a decade later, I am finally saying goodbye…
  • Review: Selk'bag 6G

    There’s gear you need, gear you don’t need, and then there’s gear that you don’t know you need. The 6G Original from Selk’bag falls into the last category. To be fair, calling this fully insulated bodysuit “gear” is a bit…

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