Winter 2017-18

Features

Departments

  • 'Tis the Season

    Winter tips & tricks.  Whether you're a longtime ski-town dirtbag (photo editor), or a wannabe weekend-warrior transplant (senior editor), there are tips and tricks to maximizing winter that only the experienced ski…
  • True Tales: Surf's Up

    Finding a winter break on Quake Lake. Up early for the 100-mile drive to the “Between the Lakes” section of the Madison River, I sip coffee and look for wildlife. I see more elk than cars and before I know it, I’m at the…
  • D.A.R.E.

    To resist gateway lingo.  Everyone knows how gateway drugs work. Basically, if you smoke even one joint, you’re going to end up shooting meth between your toes while a guy named Sloth picks imaginary spiders off your back…
  • Backyard Bounty

    Full-value vertical off Mount Ellis. Backcountry adventures needn’t be epic or take all day. In fact, one of the best bangs for your buck is just a few miles from downtown. An icon of the southern skyline, Mount Ellis is…
  • One Turn at a Time

    Nailing the powder shot. Two feet of fresh powder? Check. Bluebird? Check. Directional morning light? Check. A protected slope with good stability and minimal objective hazards? Check. It’s go time.For me, the perfect…
  • Fire & Ice

    The geology of Lone Peak. Lone Mountain is the photogenic centerpiece of Big Sky. It is attention-grabbing in all seasons, but especially striking when snow-covered against a bluebird sky. The sharp peak and cone shape make…
  • Time Flies By

    Tools & tactics for a new off-season hobby.  For some, the thought of taking up fly tying is overwhelming, while others just dive in. One of my pupils was only seven when he first attended my free fly-tying class at…
  • The Way We Ski It

    Mid-mountain, mid-week. Even with relatively flexible work schedules, few of us are skiing bell to bell on a Tuesday. But that doesn’t mean we can’t maximize our days on the hill. A few hours in the morning or afternoon are…
  • Swedish Auger

    I remember the first sweet Swedish Augerbecause it made perfect, rifle-barrel holesthrough three feet of quartz-hard wintershaving cherry-syrup-snow-cone-saw-dustwith a razor-sharp, three-quarter moonthat looked like a…
  • Surviving the Extremes

    How animals respond to the cold. Intent, staring eyes; ears and tail erect; feet gather under thick gray fur: the predator is ready to pounce. Then, with a slight quiver, feet and legs shift as muscled legs tighten. Timing…
  • Icers Gettin' High

    Winter fishing reaches new heights.  For most people, backcountry skiing is adventure enough—the physical challenge, the danger of avalanche, the exposure to the elements. But for a small group of Montana pioneers,…
  • The Ridge vs. the Tram

    The Ridge. The Tram. Both icons are so ingrained in southwest Montana ski culture that there is no confusion when their names come up. To answer any question about the conditions thereon with anything other than confidence…
  • That Snow Excuse

    What to say when the mountains call. While many people in our country spend these frigid months watching the news or Netflix in Snuggies, most Bozemanites keep warm by skiing or snowboarding Bridger, Big Sky, or the…
  • What's Your Spinach?

    Tips from the O/B health experts.  Recovery is an essential aspect of any recreational program. After a 20-year investigation into the preparation, exercise, and recuperation habits of multiple athletes, several highly-…
  • Gateway Getaway

    West Yellowstone outside of the Park. Visiting West Yellowstone without entering the Park is like visiting the gift shop outside the Sistine Chapel and calling it a day. Indeed, the best part of West Yellowstone is its…
  • Stoke the Fire

    Inspiring a lifelong passion. Sure, the terrain around here is incredible for any snow lover, but the secret to winter stoke for so many Gallatin Valley residents may be an unusual collection of nonprofits that are devoted…
  • Cowboy Kitchen

    Coffee-rubbed steaks with balsamic-whiskey cream sauce.There’s something very Montana about combining coffee, meat, and whiskey all in one dish. Now that hunting season is over and you’ve got a freezer full of game, thaw…
  • Hot Booze

    What to drink this winter. Like all other seasons, winter is a great time to drink. But unlike spring, summer, and fall, when cold beverages really hit the spot, winter is best for hot booze. Here are some cocktails to…
  • Blue Moons Rising

    Winter’s astronomical bucket list. Snowbound Montana offers many antidotes for cabin fever; you just need to bundle up, get out, and do things. One such venue is the winter night sky, where the stars shine bright and hard.…
  • The Wall with No Name

    A mile of Hyalite classics.When local legends Jack Tackle and Alex Lowe were establishing classic climbs in Hyalite 30 years ago, they didn’t feel like most lines on this crag even warranted naming, referring to them as…
  • Here's to the Salad Days

    Awaiting the bounty of midseason. There’s a rhythm to ski season—a drumbeat of snowfall that counts out the winter. And like musicians warming up before a performance, the early season can be dissonant, with mountains and…
  • More Space in the Base

    This season, there will be an array of infrastructure improvements at Bridger Bowl. The resort moved the location of its retail shop, replaced Virginia City with a newer three-person lift, installed additions across four…
  • Bite of the Beartooths

    Taking a mini-vacation to Red Lodge.  You wake up and check the snow report. Nothing at Bridger, and Big Sky's reporting a trace, again. It's Thursday morning and you're bored of the same old low-tide skiing without any…
  • Bozeman America

    In your confounded struggleFor originality, nights lengthen.Snows flicker… drift… and fall…Heat departs the landscape—after all.  Flurries list in; holding—cold.Summer stone laced with snow.Saddle Peak: See, behold,…
  • Quiet Time

    Ski-hunting the winter woods. Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods. —Ralph Waldo Emerson Hoarfrost crackles underfoot as one ski, then another, slides across the surface. The thick slab of ice…
  • Low-Cost Lineup

    Quick, affordable winter activities.Sometimes, life hinders recreation. If you’re short on time and dough, worry not; this is Bozeman, by God; fun things can be found around every corner. Here are a few outdoor activities…
  • Glide & Groom

    Mapping out your XC itinerary.  Nordic skiing—both classic and skate—is an ideal winter activity to keep you active during Montana’s longest season. The catch is the grooming… classic skiers can get away with ungroomed…
  • Trapped Between Two Worlds

    Modern sensibilities collide with tradition. Is Montana still a place for the “enterprising young men” of Jim Bridger’s day, or are activities like trapping doomed, as author Tom Reed asked almost 20 years ago? Half of the…
  • Fat-Tire Fun

    If you’re interested in fatbiking, check out our in-town options. The Southwest Montana Mountain Bike Association (SWMMBA), an International Mountain Bike Association chapter, is hoping to offer additional groomed…
  • Made in the Shade

    Winter eye-protection tips. As a young kid in northern Minnesota, where it’s gray nine months of the year, I never quite understood why my mom was always wearing sunglasses. Shades in the summer, of course. However, in the…
  • Why So Serious?

    Bringing folly back to outdoor recreation.  These days, seriousness abounds. Recreation has taken on a regimentation that confounds us, driven by increased social-media exposure and competitive apps like Strava and Map My…
  • A Place to Call Homey

    Settle into your new private oasis. You may have heard of it: south of Bozeman, not far from the idyllic Gallatin River, a small private community nestled in the mountains. It’s a place of privacy, endless recreation,…

Gear Reviews

  • Review: Power Practical Sparkr

    Despite the hegemony of modern headlamps, the handheld flashlight is still going strong, and its future seems bright as ever. There’s just something about it: the tactile fit in the hand, the mythic romance of wielding a…
  • Review: Stio Skycrest

    The STIO Skycrest Snap Shirt is a puffy-jacket-style shirt with Thermore Ecodown insulation. It’s made from 100% recycled fabrics, so the green police won’t get snappy with you. The insulation and exterior is poly fiber and…
  • Review: Ortovox Ascent 30

    Addressing the two primary drawbacks of avalanche airbags—weight and cost—Ortovox has produced a winner in the Ascent 30 Avabag. With a much smaller and lighter (removable) airbag system taking up less space in the pack,…
  • Review: Ruffwear Overcoat

    In this crazy, mixed-up world, not all dogs are created equal. If mom and dad left the mutt a little short in the fur department, what better way to show some love to your best friend than a fitted overcoat for those frosty…
  • Review: Black Diamond Traverse

    They had a good run, those old Life-Link backcountry poles I picked up from the Huffine shop back in 2001. But it was finally time to upgrade, and I chose the Black Diamond Traverse. Boy, what an improvement—they’re…
  • Review: Dryguy Force Dry

    Whether warming up your gloves on a brisk winter morning, drying out your running shoes after a day on the trails, or just unthawing your ski boots, the gently heated forced air of the DryGuy Force Dry has you covered. The…
  • Review: Orsden Lift

    For those who don’t hibernate, Orsden’s Lift jacket is a sleek and insulated shell to outfit almost all winter adventures. After seeing the need for affordable ski-wear that didn’t sacrifice technical quality, Sara and…
  • Review: Smith Code

    For the last ten years, I’ve been using Smith goggles. And in that time, the company has introduced dozens of integrated products, meaning the fit of their helmets matches the fit of their goggles. This winter, I wanted to…
  • Review: Stabil Stabilicers Run

    Around here, running season never ends—at least not for fanatics, and those of us who want to stave off winter flab. But hikers don’t quit, either, and the trails get hard and slick, making cleats a necessity. Numerous…
  • Review: Schnee's Mission

    You know those jacked-up 4x4 vehicles that get folks in and out of steep, and sometimes treacherous, places?  That’s exactly what I think of when I look at the new Mission boot from Schnee’s. The Mission is a jacked-up…

Book Reviews

  • Calm after the Storm

    Wind down with a good book. From the fireplace to first chair, winter days are a glorious mosaic of outdoor intensity and cozy, indoor relaxation. We live for the outdoor part, but every great adventure has a story that…

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