Winter 2017-18

Features

Bozeman, Ski Bums, Backcountry, Bridger Bowl
facebook twitter email
the editors
Four fanatics who make skiing a top priority. First chair. Last call. Whiteout. Bluebird. Fall line. Front-side. Backcountry.These are the words that make up the skier’s language, and in Bozeman, many of us are conversationally proficient. But some are masters of the tongue, their fluency exposing... Details
Bell Lake, early winter, snowfall
facebook twitter email
Drew Pogge
Winter's standard-bearer. There’s a tree I watch. It’s an ancient spruce, and it’s been dead for decades, stripped of branches and bleached a rich gray by weather and time. Vibrant streaks of contrasting black and ocher grain bleed from knots where branches once grew—if it were barn wood, it’d sell... Details
facebook twitter email
Jeff Brandner
How one Bozemaniac stepped outside his comfort zone and found more. At 2am, I bundled up, loaded up, and followed fellow racer Martijn Boonman out of the minimal warmth of the Rainey Pass cabin into minus-40 temps and 50-mph winds. Heads down, step by painstaking step, we pushed our fatbikes... Details

Departments

Mt. Ellis, Bozeman, Backcountry Skiing
facebook twitter email
Sam Haraldson
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 the perfect way to scratch your mid-week backcountry itch.VitalsAscent: 4... Details
facebook twitter email
the editors
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. Fact.Gateway words and phrases work the same way. One day you call a ski run... Details
Arbor, Bryan Iguchi, Bozeman, World Boards
facebook twitter email
Mike Harrelson
What comes down must go up.When I began snowboarding in the early ’90s, there were no efficient ways for riders to access the backcountry. Regardless, we donned our awkward snowshoes, ate our Wheaties, and ostensibly beat our heads against the wall in pursuit of backcountry nectar. Much to the... Details
ditching, bailing, day off, powder day
facebook twitter email
Emma Nord
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 backcountry. Unfortunately, many of us must spend five of seven days inside an... Details
Bridger Bowl, Pierre's Knob
facebook twitter email
David Tucker
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 more than enough to keep the dirtbag fires burning, but efficiency is key.... Details
Adventure Scientists, Water Sample, temperature sample
facebook twitter email
Katie Christiansen
According to two years of research by the Adventure Scientists, Gallatin Valley has a plastic problem. From September 2015 to June 2017, volunteers collected over 700 one-liter water samples from 72 sites throughout the Gallatin watershed, of which 58% contained microplastics. These non-decomposing... Details
creek skating, skater cross, Missouri River skating
facebook twitter email
the editors
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 Ride. What ever happened to being silly? What happened to drunkenly devising a... Details
Bozeman crosscountry skiing, xc skiing
facebook twitter email
Maggie Slepian
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 trails, but skate skiers need that luxurious corduroy. Lucky for us, the variety... Details
Bridger Bowl, new beginner area
facebook twitter email
Drew Hulse
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 floors of the Saddle Peak Lodge, and shifted the beginner area to the south.... Details
Bozeman, Winter, Outdoor Activities
facebook twitter email
Drew Hulse
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 for this winter that fit neatly into the tightest of schedules and budgets.... Details
Bell Lake, up front, skiing
facebook twitter email
Drew Pogge
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 weather doing their own thing while we wait like groupies backstage, fawning... Details
fly tying
facebook twitter email
Jimmy Armijo-Grover
Tools & tactics for a new winter 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 Gallatin River Guides. This summer, at the age of ten, he sold enough flies at the... Details
late season hunt, Bozeman
facebook twitter email
Mike England
Ski-hunting the winter woods.Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods. —Ralph Waldo EmersonHoarfrost crackles underfoot as one ski, then another, slides across the surface. The thick slab of ice cantilevers out from shoreline, suspended above the stream like a low-hanging cloud.... Details
Custer Gallatin, National Forest
facebook twitter email
Mariah Leuschen-Lonergan
Forest plan revision turns two. Two years into a four-year process, the Custer Gallatin National Forest finds itself right in the middle of making the new Forest Plan. Across the Forest, hundreds have attended meetings and been involved to date. Now, two years into the process, a document is out... Details
photography, outdoor photography, ski photography
facebook twitter email
Simon Peterson
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 powder photo boils down to that moment of bliss when the worries of everyday life... Details
Ice Fishing, Bozeman, Montana
facebook twitter email
Joe King
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, backcountry skiing is just the beginning. Carrying up to 40 pounds of gear each—ice... Details
Ice Climbing, Hyalite Canyon, Bozeman
facebook twitter email
Joe Josephson
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 Unnamed #1, #2, #3, and so on. It wasn’t until my guidebook Winter Dance that... Details
Lone Peak, rock glacier
facebook twitter email
Patti Albrecht
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 some wonder if it is an old volcano. Although molten rock boiled beneath... Details
facebook twitter email
Jack Jelinski
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 giant spatula-shaped spoonwith a sky-blue shaft that turnedlike an agile brace-... Details
Northern Lights, meteor shower, supermoon, eclipse, blue moon, planetary conjunction
facebook twitter email
Jim Manning
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. There’s a lot going on “out there,” so put the following on your winter... Details
facebook twitter email
Carol Polich
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 is everything as the coyote launches himself skyward with three feet of air... Details
facebook twitter email
Sid Gustafson
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,Blanketed white—surreal blow. Dendrites pique the memory.Graupel may sting your skin... Details
facebook twitter email
the editors
Winter tips & tricks. Whether you're a longtime ski-town dirtbag (photo editor), or a wannabe weekend-warrior transplant (managing editor), there are tips and tricks to maximizing winter that only the experienced ski bums can teach. Here are a few.Up in Cold Smoke Apparently, from what we’re... Details
Steak, Olivelle
facebook twitter email
the staff of Olivelle
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 out some steaks and put this recipe to the test—you won’t be disappointed, and... Details
Winter Fly Fishing, Bozeman, Montana
facebook twitter email
Callan Wink
Embracing Montana's multiple personalities. A warm spell in midwinter is a strange and disorienting experience. You go to sleep after a long day riding powder and as you lay in bed you can still feel the float in your legs from the board pushing through each fluffy turn. The next morning the steady... Details
Wildrye, Bozeman Spirits, Dry Hills Distilling
facebook twitter email
compiled by the editors
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 a time for hot booze. Here are some cocktails to concoct. Chocolate-Covered Cherry1-2 oz Wildrye Flathead Cherry Infused Vodka2... Details
facebook twitter email
Whitney Caldwell
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 middle of a frozen January with the sun barely making a guest appearance, my... Details
well-being
facebook twitter email
the editors
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-regarded experts concluded that after strenuously exerting yourself by skiing,... Details
Bridger Bowl, Big Sky, skiing
facebook twitter email
the editors
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 and reverence is to expose yourself as a rube—a California Quack, Midwestern... Details
Bozeman, Dogs, Winter
facebook twitter email
Vaia Barkas
It snowed last night, I can smell it. The dry air, the chill nudging the back of my throat. The tip of my nose feels numb. Engulfed in a lair of blankets I retreat into sleep. It’s way too early. And I forgot to set the coffee machine.I hear it softly at first, a whimper, thin, rising. Maybe it... Details
Bozeman Fatbiking, Story Hills
facebook twitter email
Brandon Campisi
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 singletrack in town this winter. As of this writing, fatbikes are allowed on the... Details
avalanche, accidents, Bozeman
facebook twitter email
Drew Hulse
Montana’s backcountry is a dreamland for skiers, snowmobilers, and ice-climbers, but sometimes, things go south. Last winter, the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center recorded 32 avalanche incidents, one of which resulted in a fatality. Though these untamed wilds give more than they will ever... Details
Red Lodge Mountain
facebook twitter email
the editors
Taking a mini-vacation to Red Lodge. You wake up and check the snow report. Nothing at Bridger, and Big Sky's reporting trace, again. It's Thursday morning and you're bored of the same old low-tide skiing without any change of scenery. And then you have an idea—why not call in sick and take a mini-... Details
facebook twitter email
Debbie Drews
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 states in America have trapping restrictions or outright bans, and yet... Details
Quake Lake, close calls, fishing story
facebook twitter email
John Fedorka
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 head of Quake Lake. Quickly donning my gear and snowshoes, I roll over the... Details
weekender, getaway, southwest Montana
facebook twitter email
Drew Hulse
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 proximity to nature and wildlife. That being said, this town is now as much... Details
ski clubs
facebook twitter email
Jenny White
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 to the hard skills—glide, turn, soar—and the soft skills—confidence, joy,... Details

Gear Reviews

Ruffwear Overcoat Review
facebook twitter email
Bob Allen
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 days? The Overcoat Jacket from Ruffwear delivers a wind- and water-... Details
Stio Skycrest
facebook twitter email
Brian England
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 is plenty warm for those cold evenings and mornings. It works well as a... Details
Dakine Snorkel Fleece
facebook twitter email
David Tucker
With the Snorkel fleece, Dakine brings a little of its surfing roots to the mountains. The Snorkel looks and feels like a wetsuit; its collar comes way up, covering your chin and nose, and the hood clings tightly to your head. This sounds suffocating, but the fleece’s material is stretchy enough... Details
Farm to Feet Big Cottonwood
facebook twitter email
David Tucker
You know you’re getting old when you want socks for Christmas. But there may be no greater pleasure at this point in life than sliding into a fresh new pair, especially when that’s a pair of Big Cottonwoods from Farm to Feet. These are backcountry-specific socks made from 100% American merino wool... Details
Flylow Richie
facebook twitter email
David Tucker
Hoody season is my favorite season, and if you know what you’re doing, in Montana, hoody season can last all year. That’s why I’m stoked that FlyLow released the Richie for the 2017-18 ski season. It has all the comfort and convenience of a standard hooded cotton sweatshirt, but FlyLow threw in... Details
Smith Code
facebook twitter email
David Tucker
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 take advantage of that integration, so I got myself the Code helmet. I... Details
 Black Diamond Traverse
facebook twitter email
Mike England
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 lighter, stronger, and get this: the adjustment lock actually works! No more... Details
Icebug Diana BUGrip
facebook twitter email
Angie Mangels
Nobody really enjoys the slick conditions that are a part of getting around during winter, but with Icebug’s Diana BUGrip boots you will no longer have to worry about slipping on those patches of ice. These winter boots have both style and functionality in spades. You might be drawn to them for... Details
Popticals PopH2O Review
facebook twitter email
David Howlett
When Popticals broke the mold with their pop-out sunglasses, I was curious to give them a try. I opted for the POPH2O, which is well-suited for fishing. Popticals’ FL2 micro-rail system, which allows the lenses to slide compactly together, takes some time to get used to. When I first put them on, I... Details
Orsden Lift Review
facebook twitter email
Emma Nord
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 Steven Segall created Orsden. Their Lift Jacket not only looks and feels great... Details
Helly Hansen Lifa Review
facebook twitter email
David Tucker
Helly Hansen’s Lifa base-layer is a classic alpine piece. This ultra-warm shirt looks like it was plucked from the slopes of Verbier or Chamonix, but it’s just as at home on the slopes of Big Sky as it is in the Alps. It’s thick, so definitely pull it out of the drawer on those cold winter days,... Details
Ortovox Ascent 30
facebook twitter email
Drew Pogge
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, and a huge front-entry zipper, there’s plenty of room for essential features... Details
Power Practical Sparkr Review
facebook twitter email
Mike England
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 torch in the darkness. And with the Sparkr by Power Practical, it’s a little... Details
Schnee's Mission Boot
facebook twitter email
Chris McCarthy
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 version of a day-hiker that can handle the gnarly Montana conditions. Built on a... Details
Alpacas of Montana Ski Sock Review
facebook twitter email
Melissa Doar
Ever ask your significant other to smell your feet after a long day of skiing? Did they do it? Mine neither. But, after wearing Alpacas of Montana Over-the-Calf odor-resistant alpaca fiber socks, I bet they won’t mind as much. I wore mine for three weeks without a wash, and my husband couldn’t tell... Details
Dryguy Force Dry Review
facebook twitter email
Melissa Doar
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 Force Dry is a great alternative to larger, bulkier dryers. I found it to be... Details
Therm-a-Rest Down Pillow Review
facebook twitter email
David Tucker
At first glance, the Down Pillow from Therm-a-Rest looks like a scam. Out of the box, it’s flat, has no loft, and wouldn’t support a puppy’s head. But the small, compact size is actually the genius of the product. While the pillow does contain some down, the underside has a cinch cord around the... Details
Stabil Stabilicers Run
facebook twitter email
Mike England
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 products exist, and one can easily get option paralysis; but I’ve found the... Details
Lezyne Port-a-Shop Pro Review
facebook twitter email
Angie Mangels
It felt like Christmas came early when I opened Lezyne’s well-designed Port-a-Shop Pro toolkit; it’s a beautiful, classic-looking set that anyone would be proud to own. Whether you’re a bike mechanic, a DIYer, or on a road-trip, this is the tool kit for you. It contains all the tools you’ll need... Details
Toad & Co. Double Bock
facebook twitter email
Simon Peterson
Resurrected from the Toad & Co. archives, the Double Bock jacket is a stylish jacket that will make you feel like a rugged mountain man when you order that pumpkin-spiced latte. That may be a joke but the Double Bock is most certainly not. It’s equipped with a heavy-duty organic cotton shell... Details

Book Reviews

facebook twitter email
Drew Hulse
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 inspired it. Here are a few of the latest books for all those times you need to... Details

© 2000-2017 Outside Media Group, LLC
Powered by BitForge