Winter 2009-10

Features

Schlasman's, Bridger Bowl, Saddle Peak
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Travis Andersen
Bridger's bounty opens for business.What's the most important factor in determining the greatness of a chairlift? The terrain it serves. In one bold move, Bridger Bowl stepped into the big leagues by building a lift that brings skiers a few steps from the top of the Ridge and directly into some of... Details
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Kent Orms
Comfy digs and steep lines at the Bell Lake Yurt.It’s not hard to understand why most people don't take ski-camping trips in the winter. It can be uncomfortable: alternately sweating and freezing, then more freezing. It takes some skill, and nature discriminates against the unprepared. Camping out... Details
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Dave Reuss
After one very early morning phone call to cancel our ice-climbing plans (too warm for ice), Conrad Anker and I agreed to meet at a coffee shop and head out to some rock instead. At just a little past 8:30 on a crisp fall morning, he rolled into the parking lot on his bike, backpack bulging with... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
The forest, once too thick to ski through, had thinned and opened itself up, granting us the opportunity to explore its altered terrain. Standing on top of the ridgeline, we look down at the burn, toward the ruins and all of the subsequent hillsides that fell victim to the fire. Countless Lodgepole... Details

Departments

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Schneider, Bill
I’m not a gun nut. I’m a regular nut who owns guns, but only to hunt, not to defend my home and family, join the militia or fight the forces of tyranny.Gun nuts don’t scare or intimidate me. Instead, I’m learning a few things from them. You can, too.I don’t use the word, “nut,” lightly. I mean it... Details
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Patterson, Amber
West Yellowstone has long been famous as a hub for cross-country skiing and hosts two awesome events every year that draw skiers from all over. Closing out the winter tourist season is the 31st annual Rendezvous Ski Race, held March 6. This event is part of the American Ski Marathon Series, which... Details
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Knight, Phil
Hyalite… the Wild Rockies… land of frozen falls, bristling buttes, U-shaped valleys of glacial grace. We are headed deep into the heart of it, in search of solid, vertical water—also known as ice.Gripping the wheel of my churning jeep, I grimace through the frozen windshield, scanning the snow... Details
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Frost, Melissa
Listen to GrannyWho doesn’t listen to their grandmother? A Citizens’ Advisory Committee of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks hopes everyone listens to Granny—Granny Trout that is. “Respect Your Rivers” is a new campaign that’s hit the television airwaves to build awareness about river etiquette.... Details
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Reuss, Dave
Offering a little something for every outdoor enthusiast, two awesome film events are rolling through Bozeman this winter. First up is the Banff Mountain Film Festival, January 22-23 at the Willson Auditorium. The Mountain Film Fest features amazing outdoor footage of world-class adventures,... Details
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Edwards, Becky
I feel a snort. A wet misting of doggie mucus slightly scented with Eukanuba and a deer carcass that McKinley happened upon on the trail the day before. As I was unresponsive to the canine hydrating-facial-mist, my aging Siberian husky stepped up his game a bit. Sitting back on his haunches (this I... Details
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Spurr, Andra
Last February, a motley crew of four couples from the Gold Coast of Florida convinced me that taking a snowmobile tour into Old Faithful was a good idea. I'd been living in Bozeman for nearly 10 years and never been on a snowmobile, so it seemed like a good opportunity to experience the Park in... Details
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the editors
Bozeman-area skiers and snowboarders have plenty of hazards to deal with on the hill: rocks, ice, tree wells, unmarked cliffs, poor visibility, half-stoned trust-funders poaching your line. The last thing you need is an inadvertent run-in with a gaper. This invasive species is most prevalent from... Details
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McKnight, Doug
A winter fly.I designed this streamer pattern several years ago for fishing stillwaters for trout. Every part of this fly, the marabou tail and the bunny fur body, has a ton of movement and makes the fly look alive, particularly on a slow, passive retrieve.Big lazy stillwater toads eat this fly... Details
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Soule, Brian
For years I sat in humble awe on the chairlift, content to be carried to the tops of runs. Content to sip coffee and eat overpriced french fries in lodges with noisy tourists. At some point, all that chair-gazing awakened me to the perfect paradise just over the boundary ropes. So I began to... Details
Bridger Bowl, Schlasman's, Bozeman
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Brian Thompson
From the time of the proposed boundary expansion at Bridger Bowl to the moment I first arrived at the Schlasman’s lift line, I was nothing but ecstatic. But in the minutes leading up to my first ride, I began to waver. It was then that I thought about what "Slushman’s" really was. It all goes back... Details
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Farrell, Brian
Winter in Montana can present some unique challenges when taking photos outdoors. Every situation is unique but there are some general guidelines that will help you take consistent photos during the long winter months.How to keep snow from looking grayUnder extremely bright conditions where large... Details
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Pogge, Drew
Jack Frost nipping at your nose? Frostbite nipping at your toes? Nothing beats back the cold like a Thermos full of hot, delicious liquid. Especially if it’s boozy. Whether you're curled up next to the fireplace or charging in the backcountry, these ten concoctions will keep you toasty warm (or at... Details
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Tomkinson, Katie
Aside from skiing, what do you do to stay in shape in the winter? That’s right, hit the gym. I’d prefer to use nature's gym—the outdoors—but running and biking on ice is not my idea of a good time. Besides, there's something to be said for treadmills, classes, entertainment, and warmth. So I... Details
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Pogge, Drew
“Jimi Hendrix, man.” He flashed an impish grin and skied off into the trees. I stood there for a moment, confused, searching for any interpretation I might have overlooked, and then turned to my friends with what must have been a baffled expression. They burst into incredulous laughter. “What the... Details
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Reuss, Dave
This past October marked the 10th anniversary of Alex Lowe's passing, after a tragic avalanche in the Himalayas in 1999. A Bozeman local, Lowe was known throughout the climbing community and the world for his extraordinary talent, drive, and stamina. With an array of highly descriptive nicknames (... Details
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Editors
Geocaching ContestStolen caches, bad coordinates, three-foot-deep snowdrifts… the2009 Outside Bozeman Geocaching Contest was definitely dealt its share of mishaps. Nevertheless, dozens of intrepid navigators scoured southwest Montana for 17 well-concealed caches throughout the month of October.... Details
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Yost, Aaron
I recently started skiing Bozeman's backcountry via snowmobile. Sort of a dream come true, but because my buddy and I share the snow machine and we're new to this, we've had to do a lot of experimenting. Packing our skis has proved the most problematic. Because we lack the funds to by a... Details
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MacArthur, Don
Well, you've driven miles and miles to spend a long weekend freezing your ass off, growing more and more irritated with your buddies as you sit humbly waiting for at least a few ducks to fly by so that you might have the opportunity to prove that you are in fact a good shot. Well, let’s say you got... Details
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England, Mike
A community needs a soul if it is to become a true home for human beings. You, the people, must give it this soul. -Pope John Paul IIOf all the stories that stream into Outside Bozeman's editorial inbox each season, the most common is what I call "Exile's Encomium." This little-known literary genre... Details
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Sveen, John D.
If you watched any of the 2008 Beijing Olympics or the 2009 world track and field championships, you probably couldn’t help but notice that dozens of those celestial bodies were adorned with brightly colored athletic tape in odd-looking, if not bizarre, patterns. So what’s the deal? And why is... Details
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Matt Jennings
Bike commuting in winter definitely takes commitment. Sure, spring, summer, and fall can all have their wet and cold days, but most of the time it's dry, the days are longer, and the temperature is above freezing (usually). When winter hits, not only does the temperature drop, but rain, snow, and... Details
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Tina Orem
A scant 90 miles north of Seattle and 21 miles south of the Canadian border, Bellingham, Washington is home to about 75,000. Let’s see how this west-coast hamlet hangs with a real Rocky Mountain town.All-Encompassing-Race SceneDon't get us wrong, Bozeman's race scene is top notch and our courses... Details
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Patterson, Amber
Now it's a little easier to support the valley’s farmers in the dead of winter. Starting January 17, 2010, the Emerson Center hosts a winter farmers’ market every Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm. Through March, the winter market will open only once a month, but by April, with some early bird,... Details
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Tina Orem
$3.7 million: highest bid (unaccepted) for "Samson," a fossilized T. Rex offered in a Las Vegas auction in October$5 million - $8 million: estimated purchase price for Samson one month later$8.3 million: price paid for "Sue," a similar T. Rex, in 1997 $760 million: U.S. retail sales of snow sports... Details
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Edwards, Becky
I am a proud participant in Extreme Saucer Sledding. It's not your average five-year-old's sport. Extreme places tend to attract extreme people, which is no exception in our cozy little mountain berg.More years ago than I care to remember, a group of college friends and I hiked up Sacajawea one... Details
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Reuss, Dave
"There's Nothing Here." That was the 2009 tagline for the state's Travel Montana advertising campaign to attract tourists. "Nothing but grizzlies and wolves and bison and trout," one of the magazine ads continues, "Nothing but fresh huckleberry pie for breakfast—with a friendly conversation on the... Details
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England, Mike
I'm standing in chaos. Twenty-some Alaskan Huskies lurch and leap amid a morass of trucks, trailers, sleds, and riggings. Kennel doors open and close; rope, webbing, and harnesses line the ground; blankets and duffel bags pile up. Binding together this sprawling salmagundi of gear and activity is... Details
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Randy Roberson
Every year West Yellowstone welcomes winter visitors from throughout the county and around the world. They will come, as they do each winter, to see timeless wonders of nature, such as Old Faithful geyser, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, wolves (if they are lucky), and certainly the primal... Details

Gear Reviews

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Ryan Krueger
One of the most innovative designs to make its way into the market in years, the Rossignol S7 uses a combination of rocker, camber, sidecut, and tip shape to bring us the best of all worlds. Underfoot, the S7 has a traditional camber allowing it to perform well on hard snow; but near the tip and... Details
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Abby Carruthers
Since getting the Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch Jacket in the mail, I haven’t taken it off. It has the comfort of my favorite hoodie, and it has a soft outer shell and a fleece, brushed inner layer that keeps me cozy. The advanced "surface-fusion polymer" for wind and water resistance is good for... Details
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Jensen Powers
The Tailgate Industries 49R goggle case is a handy design that holds a pair of goggles in one compact enclosure. The hard plastic shell protects your lens and keeps your goggles from getting crushed in a bag full of gear, and the spandura pouch holds them snug inside the case. Use the 49R to store... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
I enjoy inclement weather. Most people stay inside when the cold front hits, but in my opinion, that's the best time for a run or a bike ride. Merrell's Alloy jacket is built for people just like me. With its wind-blocking wicking material, this jacket is ideal for working up a sweat in the cold.... Details
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Ryan Krueger
With the exception of a few larger, less personal companies, the custom ski market is modest—and it shows in the lack of customizable options available today. For a person who spends the better part of their season, or year, on skis, why wouldn’t he or she want every option offered?  A local... Details
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Sullivan, Megan
Here are two of our favorite new boards to try out this winter that shred in both form and function.For those interested in spending quality time in the mountains while being good to Mother Nature, Venture’s Zephyr-C board is the board for you. The snowboarding industry may not be the most... Details
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Ryan Krueger
The reincarnation of the original Raichle boot design, the Full Tilt Seth Morrison Pro may just be one of the most practical boots on the market, no matter what your skiing style. The Full Tilt 3-piece design features heat-moldable intuition liners in each pair, the option for interchangeable... Details
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England, Mike
Whether you’re hooking up your sled dog team, putting on your running shoes, or clamping on your ski boots, Missoula’s Talus Outdoor Technologies ColdAvengerPro mask is a must for those who are fearless in frigid temps. Designed for 20 degrees above zero and colder, this mask allows you to stay out... Details
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Mike England
Ah, the T1. Amazing how such a simple letter-number combination can evoke so much unbridled lust. Like most developing tele skiers, I’ve always wanted a pair. And now, thanks to the established protocols of gear-review reciprocity, I have them. And yes, they’re everything I thought they would be.... Details
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McQuiston, Carol
I was looking for a lightweight jacket with about everything you could ask for when I found the New Balance Extreme Jacket. Talk about extreme—this jacket definitely has durability, a great fit, and performance features. It’s extremely comfortable, highly waterproof, and is ready to protect in... Details
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England, Mike
I’ve had enough Old Navy jeans fall apart in a matter of months to appreciate a truly well-made pair of pants. Which is why I love my new Arborwear Double-Front Blue Jeans. Not only are they about as durable a jean as you’ll find anywhere, but they also look good and accommodate my tree-trunk... Details
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Mike England
Per capita, can anywhere in the country lay claim to more outdoor dogs than Bozeman? Our mountain mutts go everywhere with us: hiking, camping, hunting, biking, even skiing and climbing. Yup, Bozeman dogs get after it—which is why we like Ruff Wear, a company devoted to equipping our loyal canines... Details
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England, Mike
Does your running routine screech to a stop once winter sets in? Do icy pavement and drab urban environs lack a certain romance, driving you to you opt for other activities—all the while ruing your diminishing fitness level and the re-entry pain you’ll feel come April? That pretty much described me... Details
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England, Mike
Few things make a Bozemanite as giddy as a brand-new winter fleece. It’s our security blanket, a grown-up version of the Woobie from the movie Mr. Mom—except that we’re not giving it up for anything. This definitely holds true for my new Point Success Jacket by Eddie Bauer. In addition to being... Details
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Ryan Barba
Backcountry telemark touring just got easier. The new G3 Targa Ascent binding combines the renowned Targa T9 platform with a stainless steel, free-pivot toe bar; the result is a freeheel trail-breaking machine. The platform is rotated three degrees, making it more active for touring, and the entire... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
At long last, a pair of pants designed for any activity and built strong enough to last through all of them. The Mountain Khakis Original Mountain Pant is the best pair of pants I have ever owned. After getting a pair of these over a year ago and wearing them from one adventure to the next, I have... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
Once again, the people at Mystery Ranch have built a ski pack that raises the bar. The Fuze is a larger-volume version of the famous Saddle Peak pack that hit the slopes last season. Designed for a day in the backcountry or for the resort skier who leaves nothing at home, the Fuze is large enough... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
New this season is the Kode 38 pack by Osprey, specifically built for those who prefer to play in the backcountry. Designed for winter tours and backcountry trips, I was impressed at how Osprey has put together a winter pack with so many different features. The top-loading main compartment has an... Details
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England, Mike
Every so often, the stars align, fickle Fortuna deigns to smile upon us, and we somehow score the ski gear of our dreams. Praise the snow gods! After years of fumbling around on skinny sticks, ill-fitting boots, and secondhand skins, I managed to put together the ultimate backcountry tele setup.... Details
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Ryan Krueger
In one compact design, the Backcountry Bomb allows you to cut cornices quickly and efficiently. This ingeniously simple backcountry tool—which is basically a long, thin cable with two handles—lassos and cuts overhanging cornices much easier then a snow saw or rope, especially on larger chunks of... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
This might just be my new favorite piece of gear. With a burner and cooking vessel combined into one compact design, the Jetboil Flash is easy to use and store, enabling me to break for a meal and then throw it back in my pack, continuing on to the next adventure. The Flash is up and running with... Details

Additional Articles

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Reuss, Dave
“In life, you only get one chance,” Anker told me, referring to first impressions, experiences in life, and on-sighting routes. Here are a few of Anker's attempts to make the most of it.1992: East buttress, Middle Triple Peak, Kichatna Spires, Alaska. Second ascent with Seth Shaw. 1993: Tien Shan,... Details

Book Reviews

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Reuss, Dave
Montana is known for its big skies and even bigger skiing, but how did it all start? Downhill in Montana (Pictorial Histories, $25) features hundreds of detailed photos and documents detailing the birth and development of skiing in Montana. Covering dozens of ski hills all around the Treasure state... Details
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Reuss, Dave
As soon as snow covers the ground, you can count on Bozemanites rushing to their favorite spots for some sweet sledding action. Before you hit the hills or after the adrenaline wears off, The Sled Book: Notes Concerning Winter’s Favorite Pastime (Mountaineers Books, $13) by Brice J. Hoskin makes... Details
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England, Mike
Blending fact and fiction, Kevin Emmet Foley tells the dramatic and engaging story of the infamous Montana vigilantes who doled out their own brand of justice in the gold-mining camps around Virginia City in the late 1860s. Where Law Ends (Pronghorn Press, $22) challenges the widespread belief that... Details
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Shappee, Dave
If you’ve wondered why your favorite mountain continues to pound all that beautiful powder into corduroy cruisers, a partial answer can be found in the book Geezers, Groomers, and Parabolics: The Senior Skiing Revolution (self-published, $18). Citing more of a demographic evolution than revolution... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
Since the first version was published in 1960, Freedom of the Hills (Mountaineers Books, $38) has been the most comprehensive reference for those traveling into the mountains. A true classic, this "climber's bible" is practically an encyclopedia of all aspects of mountaineering, climbing,... Details
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Reuss, Dave
Meticulously researched, Two Planks and a Passion (Continuum, $30) might just be the definitive text on the development of skiing, period. Starting with skiing as it began thousands of years ago, the author documents the growth of a simple mode of snowy transportation into the worldwide phenomenon... Details

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