Trailside Geology - Bridger Bowl

When buying ski passes, or heading up Slushman’s with protein bars and avalanche beacons, we don’t normally think about the mountains themselves—our minds are on deep powder and first tracks. But just for a moment, forget the skiing and let the millions of years of mountain building, volcanism, inland sea formation, and glacial periods wash over you. Earth’s history is right under our feet—or, in this case, our skis.

Dave’s Emerger

An emergence took place here in Bozeman that shoved some classic fly patterns to the back slots of many local fishermen’s fly boxes. Their Brassies, Sawyer Nymphs, and Peacock Nymphs have had to move over for the Dave’s Emerger.

The Dave’s Emerger was actually developed nearly 20 years ago by Dave Corcoran, the former owner of The River’s Edge Outfitters in Bozeman. As Dave explains, "I was over on the Bighorn River in 1983, sometime in early spring, and we needed just a touch more than what we had in our boxes."

The Celestial Ski Course

Winter's bracing air and muffling blanket of snow may send the grizzly into its seasonal coma, but for outdoors lovers, it simply means a change of gear. It's the same for the sky, which this season trots out a set of starry accents to rival the brightly-garbed ski bums and bunnies inhabiting every groomed slope or trail. Follow the celestial signposts, and you'll soon be schussing about the winter sky like a pro.

Blasting Over the Hill

Freida Johnson is proof that it’s never too late to learn something new and even excel at it. She began Nordic skiing in her late thirties alongside her teenage son Greg (who went on to race for MSU, then coached the MSU girls’ Nordic ski racing team), taking him to his high school races and signing up to race in her age group as well.

Yellowstone's Natural Events

This fall, as visitors from around the world stopped to gawk at bison and ooh & ahh at Old Faithful, scientists scrambled to record some "unusual" geothermal events.

Steamboat Geyser in the Norris area erupted for the second time this year. The world’s tallest geyser, Steamboat pumped out three times its normal water volume at two times its normal pressure—pretty impressive for a spout that hadn’t vented in fifty years.

Season Opener: Taking It to the Next Level

This issue of Outside Bozeman is something of a milestone. It was just over three years ago that a certain MSU graduate, a bit loose-lipped after several pints of Black Dog Ale, told his friendly bartender (also an MSU grad) about an idea that had been bouncing around in his brain for years.

Lift Lines, Winter Kiting on the Fly

I enjoy flying a kite on a breezy day, and I look forward to skiing every winter. But I must confess, I have never wanted to do both at the same time. I'm one of those skiers you're just as likely to see maneuvering downhill with furrowed brow as with a blissed-out powder face, so operating a kite while staying upright on skis seems to me about as relaxing as say, trying to skateboard while juggling.

Thomas McGuane, Knifemaker

He's got the big hammer out now, raising it high with a thick-gloved hand. It comes down hard, smacking the glowing metal bar with a dull slapping sound. Bright orange flakes fly outward from the anvil and land on the floor, where they cool to dark gray. The steel is dented only slightly. After twenty or so hits, he clutches the heavy bar with tongs and flips it over. Ten more fierce hammer blows are struck and the bar is now cooling to a cherry red. He's sweating, but the steel has barely budged—maybe a quarter of an inch smaller.

Song of the Dodo by David Quammen

Shoot the moon. That’s what Bozeman writer David Quammen attempts in his 700-page environmental epic, Song of the Dodo. It’s big, but in that space he manages to travel to the most remote spots on earth, chronicle wild scientific adventures, and explain the cause of worldwide ecosystem decay. It is complex material, but through Quammen’s gentle handling, the reader feels securely moored in an ocean of dense science. The major tenet of the book is that through development, we have made the planet into a series of biological islands.

Into the Wild

Originally an article in Outside magazine, Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild was received rather contemptuously by many Alaskans. It is the true story about a young man from a well-to-do family who starved to death in the shadow of Denali. They said he was an idealistic fool. He didn’t have the proper equipment, couldn't tell moose from caribou, didn't know Alaskan rivers become unfordable torrents as the summer melt comes down; they said youthful ignorance dictated his fate.

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