Winter 2018-19

Features

  • Lonely at the Top

    These days, Lone Mountain is a ski-world icon. But before they built a tram to the top, you had to earn your turns. Few other mountains, even the great Cascade volcanoes, exhibit as perfect a cone shape as Lone Mountain.…
  • Certainly Unstable

    Finding clarity in the oft-obstructed views of the backcountry. “I’m in,” Evan said, finishing off his espresso in what he’d dubbed the “Poet’s Corner” of what was at the time the only real coffee shop in Belgrade. It was…
  • On a Wing and a Prayer

    Snowkiting in Montana. The temperature lingered just above zero while the wind howled and gusted well over 30 miles per hour. The snow was deep and the ground blizzard felt like a firestorm of white. Overhead, I could see…
  • Denim Diaries

    Before skiing was a scene, people skied in jeans. The man who taught me how to ski was a child of the Rockies himself, born in the shadow of 14,000-foot peaks, helping his family scratch a living from serving the whims of…
  • The Waiting Game

    Anticipation is happiness. In the best of times, snow is a slow and quiet tease. Each lily-white flake that spins down brings with it an avalanche of possibility. Every inch that accumulates amplifies the drumming beat of…

Departments

  • The Pillory: Sloppy Skaters

    Calling out the jerks of winter.  In the days of yore, citizens who committed offenses against society were condemned to the pillory—so long as that offense wasn’t grave enough to warrant the gallows. The pillory offered…
  • Hog Heaven

    Tying the Wally's Pool Pig. When I’m asked about sculpins, a few things always come to mind. They have fat pectoral fins, they lack an air bladder so they can’t maintain their position in a water column without effort, they…
  • The Ghosts of Two Top

    Exploring a haunted winter wonderland. As the cold air wrapped itself around me, I had second thoughts about climbing another 2,000 feet of elevation. But my excitement about a new adventure prevailed and I buried my face…
  • Risky Business

    The lift-accessed sidecountry of Saddle Peak. Saddle Peak sits south of Bridger Bowl as a pair of equally high points on the ridgeline. The familiar eastern slope rises 3,500 feet above the highway on the way to Bridger…
  • Across the Ice

    Traversing terra incognita on skates. We all have them: places that call to us, from near or far, for reasons that defy easy explanation. What draws us toward yon mountain, beyond the tawny foothills? That land across the…
  • Intimate Orbit

    This winter's lunar eclipse. The mortal moon hath her eclipse endured. —William Shakespeare, Sonnet 107In the old days, when life was truly an endurance test, people sought stability wherever they could find it, as in the…
  • Thermal Attraction

    Enjoying winter in Yellowstone. The crowds have dissipated, snow has softened the landscape, and access is limited throughout the Park: this is winter in Yellowstone. Keep in mind that road access is weather-dependent and…
  • The White Pages

    Reading secrets in the snow. The day began with a cougar track in the snow, followed by a mystery. The solution to that puzzle once again demonstrated how tracking during the winter reveals startling insights into the…
  • Winter of Our Dogs' Content

    Keeping your pooch safe this season. Winter’s here and we’re scrambling to find ways to keep our pups exercised and happy, even in the cold and snow. Rather than tell you what NOT to do, here’s advice on how to be active…
  • Here's Johnny

    Q&A with the gear guru. After a several-year hiatus, #overlanding across the Mongolian steppe, Johnny Bozeman is back, ready to answer your most pressing gear-related queries. Bozeman’s unbridled growth and demographics…
  • Get the Skinny

    Crossy-country skiing in Hyalite. The ski trails in Hyalite will boast a few upgrades this year, but for those who relish the backcountry feel of this nearby recreational haven, don’t worry. This won’t lead to resort-style…
  • The Speed of Lite

    You get out what you put in. In ski racing, whether contesting the Olympic downhill or aiming to bury your buddy in the Community Dual GS at Bridger, mass is your friend. But it’s also your enemy. Under the influence of…
  • The Old Fashioned, New

    Simple twists on a classic cocktail. There are currently 18 distilleries operating in Montana, including three right here in the Gallatin Valley. With that much variety, why go beyond the borders of the Treasure State when…
  • Big Sky Basecamp

    A weekend at Lone Mountain Ranch. Sliding across the snow, a gentle stream beside us and the big blue sky above, we make our way toward the mountain. All is quiet. An hour passes, then another, and what was once an…
  • Kin Stoke

    Family harmony on the ski hill. A family day on the slopes: it can forge new memories of whooping it up in powder, giggling your way through the trees, and high-fiving over hot cocoa. Or, it can invite chaos, bruised egos,…
  • Shooting Stars

    Astrophotography tips. It’s no secret that whenever it’s not snowing, Montana winter nights are long, cold, and crystal clear, creating a winning combination for spectacular images of the night sky. Astrophotography is the…
  • Gas Guzzlers

    Fueling up for winter activity. Bozeman provides endless opportunity for outdoor recreation. For those of you exploring the mountains in winter for competition or adventure, your mood, cognition, and overall performance…
  • Rules of Engagement

    Staying active in the public-lands fight. As we roll into winter, Montanans are preparing for the 2019 Legislature. That means that once again, every hunter, angler, hiker, biker, backpacker, wildlife-watcher, and anyone…
  • Winter Wheels

    Tips for cold-weather bike commuting. For many southwest Montana residents, winter means the start of ski season, but that doesn’t mean that cycling season has to end. Here are some tips for winter cycling to keep it safe,…
  • Frozen Feet, Warm Souls

    Winter running in the Bozone. Fall running is fantastic—the leaves are changing and you wake up in the morning looking forward to hitting the trail. Winter running, on the other hand, can suck. There’s ice lurking around…
  • Full Range of Motion

    Kick, glide, and drop a knee with this burly backcountry setup. “Specialization is for insects,” science-fiction superstar Robert Heinlein famously penned, and when it comes to winter travel in the backcountry, I couldn’t…
  • Negate the Nightmare

    Helpful hints for winter camping. From exceptional icefalls for climbing to vast expanses for backcountry skiing, southwest Montana is a hallowed winter-recreation destination. Winter camping is not one of those destination…
  • Night & Day

    Change your perspective. “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ―W.B. Yeats It’s midnight on a Thursday in February. From a ridge crest in the northern Bridgers, the lights of…
  • Alternate Routes

    Ice climbs beyond Hyalite Canyon. On the northern fringes of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, over 225 ice and mixed climbs lie easily accessible in what has become an ice-climbing mecca: Hyalite Canyon. Hyalite’s classic…
  • The Sweet Spot

    Skiing the M. Some ski descents are desirable because they’re great lines. Other objectives are appealing because they are so seldom in. And some things you ski because they’re right there. Skiing Bozeman’s M is a…

Gear Reviews

  • Review: Dakine Ranger 60L

    Before hitting the road for a powder-chasing road-trip, grab a Ranger 60L duffle from Dakine.This thing is like a black hole when it comes to sucking up gear. Its simple design allows you to toss everything into one…
  • Review: Pearl Izumi Versa

    The Pearl iZUMi Versa Quilted Hoodie is bright in color and dim in disappointment. With a softshell fabric and insulated core, it provides welcome relief on cold, windy days. Use it as a middle layer this winter, and as an…
  • Review: Petzl Bindi

    From dawn patrol to post-work dog walks, the Bindi from Petzl hasn’t left my pocket since I got it. And why would it? It’s the size of a ping-pong ball and weighs about as much. The ultra-thin headband cord grips whatever…
  • Review: Smith Quantum

    Two seasons ago, when skiing through some trees, I cracked my helmet colliding with an overhanging branch. I wasn’t going that fast, and its flimsiness was disconcerting. Now, I’ve upgraded to the Quantum from Smith. It’s a…
  • Review: Gregory Praxus 45L

    Whether you’re going home for a weekend, traveling abroad for a month, or taking a road trip across the country, you’re going to need a pack that is functional and efficient. The Gregory Praxus 45L is that pack. It's great…
  • Review: GSI Microlite 500 Twist

    The MicroLite 500 Twist stainless-steel vacuum bottle from GSI Outdoors is coming out to play. This trim little thermos weighs only half a pound and holds 17 ounces, making it a great companion for mini-trips on the trail.…
  • Review: Espro Ultralight

    In southwest Montana, we’re never short of coffee or trails—and when given the chance, I combine the two. And so it was with great anticipation that I headed out for a brisk ski up Bear Canyon with my new Ultralight Press…
  • Review: Hydrapak Stow 1L

    I was skeptical of the collapsible-bottle craze, but after a recent trip into the backcountry, I now see the light. Hydrapak’s Stow 1L actually fits in my pocket, making it easier to hydrate in the skintrack. As I drink,…

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