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Big Sky Weekly

Big Sky

Big Sky’s Locally Owned & Published Newspaper

December 30, 2011 Volume 2 // Issue #23

2011 Best of big sky results Candidate Q+A: Jeff Essman


jack creek grille Moonlight to host Subaru Freeskiing World Tour qualifier, Jan. 26-29

Photo by Daniel Bullock

Top stories of

Publisher of the big sky weekly



2011 big sky chamber of commerce

Business of the Year December 30 2011 Volume 2, Issue 23

A look back

Here are a few of our 2011 stats from the Weekly and





rate since Jan. 1, 2011


read in countries and continents

papers printed



original stories

>400,000 readers

Check out the Big Sky Weekly’s ‘Top 10 stories from 2011’ in this issue, plus the reader-awarded ‘Best of Big Sky.’


>50,000 visits 2000% growth


Positive local news and events included the Biggest Skiing in America community marketing campaign, the Professional Bull Riding tour, the new six-man football team, and the creation of the Big Sky Trails Recreation and Parks Special District.


Big Sky Weekly

2011 was a big year for Montana: epic snowfall, the legislative session, widespread flooding, the APEC conference, medical marijuana reform and another look at our eminent domain law.


new users


Thank you to our readers locally, regionally and across the nation for your support in 2011. We’re looking forward to continuing to grow, and to more great coverage in 2012.

EDITOR Abbie Digel Assistant Editor Taylor Anderson Distribution Director Danielle Chamberlain

returning users


of readership accesses from a mobile device

Pierre Family Fundraiser a success

VIDEO director Brian Niles

big sky weekly staff writer

videographer Chris Davis Account relations coordinator Kacey Brown

The Pierre family fundraiser, which took place on Dec. 26 at Buck’s T-4 Lodge, was a great success thanks to a collaborative community effort. Area restaurants and businesses contributed food and auction items, and more than 100 people attended the dine-around dinner and silent auction event, raising funds to help cover living expenses for the Pierres. Anyone interested in contributing can contact the Big Sky Western Bank Pierre Family Fund (P.O. Box 160489, Big Sky, MT 59716 or (406) 995-2321)

Operations director Katie Morrison

Distribution Point of the Week The Wrap Shack

WEB Programmer/Designer Sean Weas

The new owners of The Wrap Shack, Karen and Don, have been working hard to provide excellent burritos and Mexican food to the locals and visitors of the Big Sky area. Next time you’re craving a wrap or a margarita, check them out and grab a Big Sky Weekly as you enjoy their tasty treats.


Torie Bentley, Alex Black, Karen Davids, Nick Engelfried, William Farhat, Siri Fossel, Frederick Gientke, Kelly Gorham, Jessica James, Chris Kamman, Jamie Kujawa, Mike Mannelin, Jennie Milton, Eric Ossorio, Angela Patnode, Tom Vilsack, Brandon Niles, Ersin Ozer, Mark Parlett, Scotty Savage, Greer Schott, Doug Wales

Editorial Policy

Outlaw Partners LLC is the sole owner of the Big Sky Weekly. No part of this publication may be reprinted without written permission from the publisher. The Big Sky Weekly reserves the right to edit all submitted material for content, corrections or length. Printed material reflects the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the opinion of Outlaw Partners or the editors of this publication. No advertisements, columns, letters to the editor or other information will be published that contain discrimination based on sex, age, race, religion, creed, nationality, sexual preference, or are in bad taste.

Letter to the Editor Parameters This is a platform for readers to express views and share ways they would like to effect change. The Weekly will run letters, positive or negative, of 250 words or less that are respectful, ethical, state accurate facts and figures, and are proofread for grammar and content. We reserve the right to edit letters. Please include: first and last name, address, phone number and title. Send letters to

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Table of Contents A year in review...4 Community...7 Op-ed...9 Local News...10 Regional...13 Montana...14 Health & Wellness...17 Real Estate...20 Business...21 Business Profile...22 Classifieds...24 Environmental Column...27 Sustainable Living...28 Food and Dining...33 Gallery...34 Sports...37 Outdoors...39 Column...45 Back 40...47 Best of Big Sky...49 Fun...51 EVENTS...53 Word from the Resorts...54

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Big Sky Weekly

A Year in Review Top stories from 2011 By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

While compiling this list, the Big Sky Weekly editors asked prominent community members what they thought were the most influential and memorable stories of 2011. The overarching theme was continued economic and community growth in the face of adversity. “We made great strides this year with bringing the community together around big plans and common goals,” said Ryan Hamilton, project manager for the Big Sky Town Center. Taylor Middleton, Big Sky Resort’s general manager, echoed this. He said hosting the APEC conference was an honor that also marked the first time the resort was open in May. Middleton also pointed out successful results from the Biggest Skiing in America community marketing program: “all time record-breaking visitation” for the season of 2010/11. But Big Sky does not exist in a bubble. It’s part of Montana, and many of the same issues affect people in Big Sky, Bozeman, West Yellowstone, Ennis, and other towns around the region. This is reflected in the chronology below.


Medical marijuana goes up in smoke

In March of 2011, the Federal Drug Administration carried out raids on medical marijuana dispensaries across Montana, including one in Big Sky and several others in Gallatin County. It was the same day Montana Legislators passed a statewide repeal act that would later be vetoed by Gov. Brian Schweitzer. The legislation eventually passed several bills to restrict medical marijuana’s availability in Montana. The moves came after the number of Montana residents using pot medically boomed to more than 30,000. Officials recently announced that number has decreased. T.A.

3. APEC conference In May, more than 500 international representatives and 100 Montana businesses convened in Big Sky, as part of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Trade and SME Ministerial meetings. This was the second of four APEC meetings held in the U.S. in 2011. APEC works to strengthen and drive economic growth and create an open and liberal environment for trade and investment, said Michael Camuñez with the International Trade Association. Montana’s export revenue doubled in the last five years, and exports support 9,000 Montana jobs, said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke. Of the 800-plus Montana companies exporting goods, over 80 percent were small and medium-sized enterprises. Their main markets: Canada, Korea, China, Japan and Taiwan. Top exports include wheat, meat, high tech products, tourism and education. E.S.


Epic winter snowfall and spring flooding

Last winter it dumped. Face shots, tram laps, powder in the Headwaters, and a stable backcountry snowpack were the results of La Nina. Snowfall on Lone Mountain was at 150 percent of the previous season, and 20 percent above average. By late May, the Gallatin River basin was recorded at 189 percent of average and the Upper Yellowstone at 175 percent. These numbers were representative of mountain snowpacks across the state. In June 30, the Gallatin River reached its maximum peak flow. The USGS gaging station in Gallatin Gateway measured 8,410 cfs, the highest since 1997, when it reached 9,160 cfs. Spring thaw and continued precipitation caused road closures around the region, and destructive flooding in other parts of the state. At least 38 other rivers flowed in the 90th percentile of the 30-year average. In June, Gov. Schweitzer requested and received a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Montana. A.D.

4 December 30, 2011

APEC was held in big sky in may 2011. Photo by Kene SPerry


Big Sky Weekly

The search for Brad Gardner

24-year old Brad Gardner was skiing by himself out of bounds last March on Lone Mountain, when he disappeared. His family moved to Big Sky full time to spread awareness and look for him on the mountain. Big Sky Search and Rescue spent hundreds of man-hours scanning the mountain in helicopter, airplanes, on skis and feet and with K9 units. Gardner’s friend and his father discovered several clues (including a pole lodged in a rock on a cliff and eventually his ski), which led to the discovery of his body in July. T.A.

Local search and rescue digs Brad out of the snow 136 days after he went missing. Photo by Matt Sitton


The Professional Bull Riding tour stops in Big Sky

This past August, the PBR touring pro division visited Big Sky, selling out to a crowd of locals, statewide visitors, and tourists from across the country. A local group organized the now annual event, bringing the town together on a cool summer evening that’s been called the “best night in Big Sky.” The Big Sky PBR made an estimated $250,000 local impact, and added another $100,000 in the days surrounding it. More than $25,000 was raised for local charities. The Tax Board helped support the event with a $12,000 contribution, and in turn, the event could result in $33,000 in new tax revenue in the next 12 months. The BSCC was recently granted $12,201.35, from the Montana Department of Commerce to help market the PBR for 2012. This success inspired a local group to apply to be the new host town for the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center. Big Sky made the list of finalists among Livingston, Madison County and Miles City. The site will be announced in February. A.D.

Photo by Mike Coil


The rise of the Big Horns

Lone Peak High School had its first six-man football team in the history of Big Sky and Ophir School District this fall, thanks to the efforts of school administrators, the booster club, parents and community members. On Saturdays, the new blue and white bleachers at Big Horn Field were swarmed with students and onlookers who cheered the boys to their first touchdown, and their first win on Sept. 17 against Billings Christian. Led by coach and athletic director Tony Beardsely, the team traveled across Montana to other rural districts, and eventually made the playoffs. “This story is much bigger than football,” said Taylor Middleton, Big Sky Resort’s General Manager. “It's about community.” A.D.

Beau Hill scored an 86 and became the first rider to advance to the final round. PHOTO BY JOHN MARSHALL

Continued on page 6

December 30, 2011 5

Big Sky Weekly

Year in review continued

Photo by chris davis


Creation of the parks district

In 2011, a collaborative group led by the Big Sky Community Corp. worked with the Madison and Gallatin county commissions to create two park districts in Big Sky. The districts will work together as one Big Sky Trails Recreation and Parks Special District.

The new district is self-funded and intended to work cooperatively with the BSCC. It will offer funding opportunities for parks, trails and recreation in the area, as well as provide Big Sky the ability to control its parks, trails and recreation through a government entity.

The BSCC also finished the initial phase of the Big Sky Community Park. This entailed building two ball fields, a multiuse field, a basketball court and a parking lot, and resurfacing the tennis courts and refurbishing the skate ramp. Climbing boulders, a state-of-the-art skate park and a concession stand are in the works for the west end of the park. K.M.



The Airport: expansion, re-naming and the Big Apple

The airport completed a two-year $40 million airport expansion in July. The new terminal added about 125,000 square feet to the existing building, and four gates, making it the largest in Montana. The Gallatin Airport Authority board also voted to change the name to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport at Gallatin Field, in an effort to compete with other regional airports. A coalition including the airport authority, the ski resorts in Big Sky and other regional businesses raised $1.6 million to fund a new nonstop seasonal flight between New York and Bozeman. The goal is to have the service by June 2012, and for it to be self-sustaining after two years.


Lehman Brothers and Moonlight settle

In late October, a federal judge confirmed a settlement plan between Moonlight Basin and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Under the plan, Lehman agreed to supply funds to satisfy claims from Moonlight’s administrative creditors and provide a recovery for unsecured creditors. As part of the resort’s chapter 11 reorganization, this signified the dismissal of claims between the two companies. “It was a major milestone in a series that were necessary to get us through and out of bankruptcy,” said Russ McElyea, Moonlight’s Chief Operating Officer. Lehman is scheduled to close the deal with Moonlight and its former owner Lee Poole on Jan. 9, and all assets will be transferred to Lehman.

“To have a direct flight from the most densely populated city in the U.S. to the vast open spaces in our backyards is an obvious boon to both communities,” said Big Sky realtor Tallie Jamison. “Personally, I look forward to vacationing in Manhattan during the mud season.” E.S.


Spanish peaks bankrupt, LIFT rises from the ashes

In October 2011, Spanish Peaks Holdings, LLC, the parent group of The Club at Spanish Peaks, sent a letter to its members and employees saying it closed its doors and laid off all employees indefinitely. Days later the group filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in a Delaware court 2,000 miles away.

McElyea says the new plan should help the resort stay open in the long run, and continue to provide more than 200 jobs seasonally.

Members of the club formed an ad hoc committee group to oversee court proceedings and deal with the trustee in charge of liquidating all assets at the former club. In December, more than 50 vehicles were auctioned off to raise much needed cash for the club.

The resort’s brand, employee structure and “all the things that have always been associated with Moonlight” will remain, McElyea said about the resort’s future. This means continuation of its trademark hospitality and access to inbounds alpine terrain like the North Summit Snowfield will remain a priority. E.S.

Meanwhile, members raised funds for LIFT, a general grant award for the more than 100 employees that were laid off suddenly and without notice by the owner of Spanish Peaks Holdings. Nearly $100,000 was raised in that effort. T.A.

6 December 30, 2011


Big Sky Weekly

How you can get involved in Big Sky, part one Because Big Sky is an unincorporated town, there is no local government. Instead, it’s run by a group of diligent county districts whose decisions directly impact the community. This is the first in a two part series that will provide an overview of 11 different boards and show citizens how to get involved. To run for a seat on any of the districts below, contact the Gallatin County elections office, or visit its website to see current board vacancies. Big Sky County Water and Sewer District No. 363 The Big Sky County Water and Sewer District is a special purpose unit of government organized to regulate and operate the water and sewer systems in Big Sky. Created in 1993, the district is governed by a seven-member board of directors. Board meetings are held monthly at the district office, generally on the third Tuesday of each month. The public is welcome. Get involved: Elections occur about every other year, or whenever a board member’s term is up. The most recent election was November 2011. Appointed directors have six-year terms, and elected directors have four-year terms. There are no term limits. One appointed director must always be from Madison County. In 2012 the appointed seat terms will be up and in 2013 two more terms will expire All current directors can re-run or be re-appointed. Board members must reside or own property in the district. (406) 995-2660 Big Sky Fire District The mission of the Big Sky Fire District board is to represent its constituents, provide resources needed by the Big Sky Fire Department, preserve the trust and property of constituents, and protect the lives, health and safety of residents and visitors. Get involved: The board is made up of five elected, three-year termed positions. There is no term limit. Elections are staggered, depending on when terms expire. The public is invited to attend Fire District meetings on the third Wednesday of every month at the fire station at 8:30 a.m. Contact the fire station for updates and times. (406) 995-2100 Gallatin Canyon/Big Sky Zoning District This advisory committee is made up of five people appointed by the Gallatin County Planning and Zoning Commission for two-year terms. Every September, at least two of the seats are up for appointment. Look for notices for new applications in late summer from the Planning and Zoning Commission. There are always opportunities to apply, but knowledge of current events within the district is required.

The GC/BS Zoning district advisory committee meets the first Monday of every month at the Water and Sewer building in Big Sky. The Planning and Zoning commission hold hearings on the second Thursday of every month at the courthouse in Bozeman. Get involved: Call the county planning department at (406) 582-3130 for more information, or check the Water and Sewer building in Big Sky for meeting times. Big Sky property owners in Gallatin County may be affected by proposed changes to the Gallatin Canyon/Big Sky Zoning District regulations. A public hearing to review and take comment on the proposed changes is set for Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. at the Water and Sewer building Resort Tax Board The Big Sky Resort Area District is governed by a five-member elected board of directors. Board members must live within the boundaries of the district and serve a four-year term once elected in a November general election in odd-numbered years. Registered voters who live within the boundaries of the Big Sky Resort Area District may vote in the election. Get involved: Board meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month. The upcoming meeting is Jan. 11 at 11 a.m. in the district office (above Grizzly Outfitters). The first half of the meeting is open to the public. Contact Whitney Brunner, the administrative officer, with questions on how to become involved, or for future meeting dates. The Ophir School District The Ophir School District is governed by a five-member Board of Trustees. The noard’s powers and duties include the broad authority to adopt and enforce all necessary policies for the management and government of Ophir School. Trustees hold office for terms of three years, or until their successors are elected and qualified. Terms of trustees are staggered as provided by law.

School board elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May of each year. Any qualified voter of the district is can legally become a trustee. Get involved: Upcoming meetings are Wednesday, Jan.18 at 3:30 and Wednesday, Feb. 15 in the library. ophirschool. org Gallatin County Water quality district Created by the Gallatin County Commission in 1995, this district covers the middle third of Gallatin County and includes the municipalities of Bozeman, Belgrade and Manhattan, along with Gallatin Gateway and the Four Corners area. In 2010, the Gallatin Local Water Quality District Board approved expanding the district boundary to the north, west and south. The communities included in the expanded area are Logan, Amsterdam, Churchill and Big Sky. The District is governed by the nine-member Water Quality District Board of Directors. Get involved: There is still no official position for someone from Big Sky, but community members are invited to the Water Quality district’s monthly meetings on the first Thursday of the of every month at 8:15 a.m. at the Bozeman courthouse. For more information contact Alan English, District Manager, at (406) 582-3148.

THANK YOU Aline Systems Alpine Water Barbara Van Erp Big Sky Blooms Big Sky Conoco Big Sky Resor t Big Sky Western Bank Black Bear Blue Moon Baker y Broken Spoke Bucks T-4 C&P Grocer y Cinnamon Lodge Countr y Market Creighton Block Galler y Distinctive Reclaimed Wood Furniture Fish Eye Guy Photography Greg Pack Half Moon Hoopla Hungr y Moose Jack Creek Grille Jill Zeidler Ceramics Leki Lib Tech Lone Peak Brewer y Lone Peak Playhouse Lotus Pad

Michael Haring Montana Backcountr y Adventures Moonlight Basin Mountain Home Technology Mountain Hoop MT Aerial Photography OneBallJay Outlaw Par tners Rainbow Ranch


JAMIE PIERRE FAMILY FUNDRAISER AT BUCK’S T-4 LODGE Ryan Turner Photography The Cave Toby Morris-Sysco Montana Tori Pintar and Kene Sperr y Veda Barner Yellowstone Club Yelowstone Tour Guides Zippo Zone 4

1973 - 2011

big sky weekly editor

Jamie Pierre

By abbie digel

December 30, 2011 7

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Big Sky Weekly

Obituary Steven Carnehl aka 'Buck' Steven Carnehl passed away on Dec. 16 in Bozeman, Mont. The son of Irv and June, Steve was born Nov. 26, 1965, in Park Ridge, Illinois.

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Steve moved to Montana from Illinois in the mid-1970s to work in Yellowstone Park in the hospitality industry. He spent a few summers working in the Park, and then moved to Big Sky, where he continued his career in the hospitality and restaurant business. Steve worked for many years at Chet’s Bar at Big Sky Resort, followed by many years as a bartender and cook at M.R. Hummer’s Restaurant. He then moved to Bozeman and most recently worked at Riverside Country Club. A natural athlete, Steve was a yearly all star in little league and pony league baseball. His high school church basketball team won the National Championship with Steve as a top scoring guard. Steve enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, and treasured the friendships he made throughout his life in Montana. Most all, he enjoyed sports and being outdoors camping, fishing, hunting and playing golf. He was also an avid Chicago Cubs, Blackhawks and Bears fan.

Big Sky Fire Department

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD is a unique opportunity to make Big Sky your own. It takes just 15 minutes to take our online survey, but the benefits could last for generations.

We’ll miss you, Buck! Thanks for your love, friendship and memories—we love you and will see you again at Heaven’s gates. We want to thank Hospice of Southwest Montana for all the care and support they offered Steve. Cremation has taken place, arranged by K and L Mortuary. Steve was a member of First Lutheran Church and a memorial service will be held in mid-April, followed by a potluck at his home. - Mark Fisher and Jeff Carnehl

Big Sky Fire Department happenings by William Farhat

He is survived by his mother, June Carnehl, of the family home in Chicago area, brothers Dennis (Karen) and Jeff (Janet), sisters Chris (Nick) and Pam (Joe) Flannery, nieces, nephews, his companion, Vi Green, and many, many cousins and friends across the country.

It’s hard to believe emergencies occur regularly in Big Sky, especially when you’re not directly involved—it’s such a small, pleasant community. But in reality, we’re just like any other community and have our share of emergency medical calls, rescues and fires. Emergency medical, motor vehicle accident and rescue responses make up 70 percent of our annual call volume. In 2011, that was 316 calls. This large percentage may come as a surprise considering we’re the Big Sky “Fire” Department; however, this is less than the national average, which can be more than 80 percent in some areas. It’s for that reason that all of our paid staff and the majority of our volunteers are state licensed emergency medical technicians (six are paramedics), and that we have several ambulances to handle the load.

The remaining call volume is comprised of fire responses, hazardous materials incidents, false alarms and service calls (assisting citizens with non-emergency issues). Although infrequent, the threat of fire in Big Sky cannot be minimized for a number of reasons. Firefighting water supplies are inadequate in much of our area. Limited assistance from neighboring fire departments compounds that, and makes bringing water and additional resources to a fire a slow process, at best. The close proximity of our structures to the forest areas, the larger size and value of many of them, and the limited access to other areas also poses concerns for the annual wildland fire season. For these reasons, we maintain a well-trained and equipped department to quickly address fires when they occur. I hope you all have a safe holiday season. For additional information about Big Sky Fire, visit or our Facebook page. Bill Farhat became fire chief of Big Sky in September 2011. He can be reached at 995-2100 or

Big Sky Weekly

op-ed New federal livestock and poultry rule a step in the right direction By Tom Vilsack

60,000 public comments to help guide the rulemaking process.

Time and again I meet livestock and poultry producers emphasizing the need for a fair and competitive industry and workable, commonsense rules to address bad actors. USDA recently finalized a rule to implement the 2008 Farm Bill to help remedy some of these concerns.

This public input was essential in shaping our decisions, especially for targeting areas where farmers, ranchers and poultry growers were susceptible to unfair treatment in production and marketing of livestock and poultry, and avoiding costs where the market was functioning properly. For example, it helped identify parts of the proposed rule that may have hindered producers receiving higher income through specialized products like grass-fed, organic, source or breed verification; those provisions were not included in the final rule.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary

We were committed to taking further steps to prevent anti-competitive behavior and address bad actors, but were stopped by Congress. Despite this unprecedented action by Congress, we’ll continue our effort to make sure markets are fair and as transparent as possible. In the last 30 years, the livestock and poultry marketplace has become more concentrated and vertically integrated. Although concentration brings efficiency, the potential for increased unfairness and decreased transparency persists. Just as I observed these trends with concern, so did Congress in the 2008 Farm Bill when it required USDA to update regulations promoting fairness in the livestock and poultry marketplace.

In the end, the rule was changed for the better. Our new rule, while smaller in scope than we initially anticipated, provides real and meaningful improvements. It will set criteria for: •

Determining if a poultry dealer has provided reasonable notice to growers when delivery of birds is suspended

When requiring additional capital investments is a violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act

Much of the livestock and poultry industry does a good job and treats their producers well. But as with any industry, there are some bad actors that don’t follow the rules.

Determining if a packer, swine contractor or live poultry dealer has provided a grower reasonable time to remedy a breach of contract

Since the enactment of the 2008 Farm Bill, there has been a healthy debate about what these rules should look like. As the discussions carried on in Washington, D.C., it was easy for some outside of farm country to lose sight of what’s most important—the men, women and families that wake up before dawn each day to care for the poultry, hogs and cattle destined for our dinner table.

Eighteen months ago we proposed implementing provisions from the 2008 Farm Bill on the livestock and poultry markets, and collected over

Considering if the arbitration process is fair for a producer, and allowing them to decline it

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Farmers, ranchers and producers of all sizes deserve to compete in a marketplace that treats producers with respect and equity. Despite significant setbacks from Congress, President Obama’s strong commitment to our nation’s farm and ranch families hasn't diminished, and we will continue to look for ways to make sure they’re treated fairly and enjoy the benefits of robust competition.

December 30, 2011 9

Big Sky Weekly

local news

Moonlight Basin to host Subaru Freeskiing World Tour qualifier, Jan. 26-29 Big Sky Weekly wire services

BIG SKY–Moonlight Basin is finalized as host of the sole qualifier stop on the 2011-2012 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour. This event is an important component to the tour because it gives unknown athletes a chance to pre-qualify for the rest of the 2012 stops. The comp will be held in the Headwaters, a cirque with consistent, steep, plumb line chutes and more than 1000 vertical feet. It will be a chance for Moonlight to showcase its “incredibly challenging inbounds terrain,” said Greg Pack, the resort's general manager. After scouring resorts in the western U.S., the event team found many good options to host a qualifier, said Event Director Bryan Barlow. They chose Moonlight over the rest based on its unique terrain and the resort culture that embraces freeskiing. The exact runs selected for competition will not be announced until the start of the event.

"[We] can’t wait to see some of the local talent that has been hiding up there,” Barlow added. The caliber of skiing at qualifying events is always extremely high, as athletes vie for the coveted spots on the Freeskiing World Tour. After Moonlight Basin, and the first North American stop at Revelstoke, the tour heads to the steeps of Crested Butte, Kirkwood and Snowbird. An overPhoto by emily stifler all Subaru Freeskiing World Tour Champion will be crowned at the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour Championships at Snowbird.

A small group of athletes will be pre-qualified into the Moonlight event based on last year’s tour standings, and the rest of the spots will remain open to the public. Registration opened Dec. 29.

Changes proposed for Big Sky zoning Public hearing to be held Jan. 9 Big Sky Weekly staff writer

Amendments proposed would include:

BIG SKY—Property owners in Gallatin County may be affected by proposed changes to the Gallatin Canyon/Big Sky Zoning District regulations.

Accessory structures, apartments and dwellings

Hill and ridgeline development

A public hearing to review and comment on the changes is set for Monday, Jan. 9 at 9:30 a.m. in the Big Sky Water and Sewer District conference room, in the Meadow Village.

Lighting, entry corridor standards, enforcement and definitions

Bed and breakfast inns

Short-term rentals

Commercial uses

In March 2010, the Gallatin County Planning and Zoning Commission adopted a resolution to amend certain sections of the zoning regulations, originally adopted in 1996.

House counts in Big Sky on the upswing By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

BIG SKY — House counts in Big Sky were up over the holidays, according to the resorts and local property management businesses. Big Sky reported a record year for holiday house counts for December 2010, and the numbers this December were right up there with those record numbers, said Greer Schott, with Big Sky Resort’s public relations department. Moonlight Basin and the Yellowstone Club were both pacing ahead of last year in terms of nights stayed. At Moonlight, December was up 17 percent over 2010 for nightly rentals. River Rock Lodge, which also runs Resort Property Management, reported December bookings that were 7 percent higher than 2010.

getting so many more last minute reservations than we’ve ever had before,” said general manager Susie Leach. “This shows that we’re going to get back on track.” Big Sky is forecasting similar bookings to 2010 for the rest of the winter, Schott said. “With more bookings coming in every day, we expect to have another great, hopefully record, season.” And Schott echoed Leach: “We’ve seen a trend over the last couple of years that people are booking much more last minute, and Big Sky has done a great job of recognizing that and using it to our marketing advantage by offering last minute packages and deals. So, while it’s hard to forecast accurately when people don’t book far in advance, it bodes well because we expect to see a lot more people book later on, closer to their vacation.”

“It’s not a tremendous amount. The most exciting thing is we’re so

10 December 30, 2011

The committee is now looking at development rights in residential zoning districts. Existing regulations allow construction of both residential and non-residential accessory structures, such as apartments, guest homes, caretaker residences, shops and barns. To better match development with a property’s size and surrounding neighborhood, the committee is proposing a new, more organized approach. A comparative chart can be viewed at under ‘special projects.’ To comment before the meeting, contact Tim Skop at the Gallatin County Planning Department, 311 W. Main St., #108, Bozeman, Mont., 59715.

$5,100 check to Ophir School District art department Big Sky Weekly Staff Writer

BIG SKY–In mid-December, the Ophir School District art program received a serious boost: a check for $5,100 from a group of Montana artists. The funds came from a partnership between the Missoula-based Dana Gallery, two Big Sky residents, Patricia Scott and Debbie Crowther, and a group of well-known Western artists. The Dana Gallery hosted a three-day plein air paint in Big Sky in August, and sold works from Tom Gilleon, Robert Moore and Steven Oiestad, among others, at two shows immediately following. 10 percent of the proceeds went to a charity of Scott and Crowther's choice. They chose the Ophir School District art department. "It was important to us that the money spent [during the shows] came back to the community," Scott said.

(l-r) Jolene Swanke, Jerry House, Debbie Crowther, Patricia Scott Photo by Kacey Brown

"It really generated a lot of enthusiasm, and we'll probably do it again next year," she added. Upon receiving the check, Ophir School Superintendent Jerry House called it a gift for the kids. "That's what we're all about," he said, complimenting the work art teacher Jolene Swanke does in the classroom. "This is such a blessing," Swanke said. "There are things we've really been needing but haven't had the funds."

local news Big Sky strengthens application for Cowboy Hall of Fame

Big Sky Weekly

Integrity. Vision. Craft.

Cowboys on Grant-Kohrs Ranch, Montana, around 1910

By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

BIG SKY–The clock is ticking. In late January, the board for the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center will announce its future home. The board interviewed finalists this fall, among them, Big Sky, Livingston, Big Timber, Miles City, Wolf Point and Madison County. In Big Sky, a committee of community leaders has led the charge to host the destination museum. Now, with a new proposed site for the museum, this group believes it has strengthened its bid. The Simkins family, developers of the Town Center, has offered the site at a discount of about 85 percent off the estimated value of the land. This amounts to a $3-4 million dollar in-kind donation to the MCHF and WHC, according to Bill Simkins, Town Center developer. The original proposed site was located in the Canyon along U.S. 191, but a high asking price combined with difficult permitting issues would likely remove it from consideration. The committee maintains that Big Sky is a strong contender for many reasons, among them the millions of visitors who come to Yellowstone and Big Sky annually. Many fly in to Bozeman, drive up to Big Sky, and then head south through Yellowstone to Jackson. Offering these visitors a broader view of Montana’s heritage would be a chance to honor the state’s strong cowboy history.

“Big Sky’s got tremendous opportunity,” said one committee member during a meeting with the MCHF and WHC board. “You hear we’re not known for our cowboys. But we’re known for our dime store cowboys—the people that are going to pay to go to this museum.” This concept appealed to the board, a varied group with deep Montana roots that drove to Big Sky in a snowstorm for the November 18 meeting. “It’s not our job to guard the ashes, but to fan the flames,” said MCHF and WHC finance director Aaron Lyles. “[Our job is] to try to pass the culture forward before it does truly die, to share this culture with the world.” A final effort to bring the facility to Big Sky will come in the form of emails and postcards sent to potential supporters. “For those of you who would like to see this facility in Big Sky, here’s how you can help—look for an email or direct mail postcard in your mailbox in the next couple of weeks,” said Ryan Hamilton with the Big Sky committee. “Fill it out and help us show the MCHF and WHC board that we really want this facility in Big Sky, that we can and will support it as a strong community partner, and that we will help market the museum facility to the millions of people visiting Yellowstone and Big Sky annually.” For more information, contact Ryan Hamilton at (406) 580-2260, or contact Christy Stensland, Executive Director of the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center at (406) 653-3800.

406-995-2174 To view a video tour of this property visit: December 30, 2011 11

local news

Big Sky Weekly

Effluent snowmaking pilot project on track Preliminary test results positive By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

On a 30-degree day in November, Rich Chandler and Alicia DeGroot filled two large Hefty trash bags with manmade snow, skimming the top few inches of the pile beneath the snowmaking gun. This spot, above the Yellowstone Club’s golf course, is the site of a pilot for effluent snowmaking that’s run by the Big Sky Wastewater Solutions Forum. This group is the result of a partnership between the Big Sky Water and Sewer District and the resorts, and works with The Blue Water Task Force, a local nonprofit where DeGroot works, to coordinate the water sampling. The gun, donated by Techno Alpine, roared in the background, using 60 gallons of water per minute pumped uphill from an 80 million gallon holding pond that is winter storage for BSWSD and the YC. During this 20-day period, the gun blew approximately a million gallons over the two-acre plot, which drains directly back into the pond. This snow has about 20 percent snow water equivalent, explained Chandler, who manages the Yellowstone Club’s environmental program. That’s the same as normal snowmaking. “Pretty cool it’s not yellow, huh?” he joked. “Everybody thinks it’s low end treated, but it doesn’t smell.” He later pointed out it conforms to California title 22 reclaimed water standards, a very high treatment standard that allows for non-restricted irrigation use. Nate Johnson, a snow maker with the Yellowstone Club, monitored the generator, piping and gun as part of a 24-7 coverage of the project. The club donated these employee hours, along with the site and much of the equipment. Next, Chandler accessed the pond with a rope, carefully descending down the slippery liner to the frozen surface. He cut a hole at the edge and filled several sample bottles with the original treated effluent water, then checked the PH and connectivity. DeGroot took the trash bags that afternoon back to the BSWSD lab, melted it, and sent the water samples to Energy Labs in Billings that evening for testing. The

water samples set baseline parameters to which the levels of nitrogen and phosphorous in the melted snow were compared. Total bacteria, as well as E coli coliforms, solids and turbidity were also tested. The sampling results that came back in late December were promising, Chandler said. “After receiving preliminary testing results it seems as though the snowmaking process is reducing some of the elements in the reclaimed water,” he said. “We are excited to prove this process throughout the winter months and during runoff.” The decrease in several of the contaminants in the water is good news, and is likely the result of the snowmaking process having atomized the water molecules, treating them further. However, the results are too preliminary to discuss in detail, Chandler said.

Long term The project’s aim is not ultimately to blow snow onto ski trails.

The real test will be in the spring when the stuff melts off, which is when they’ll sample the groundwater and the melt water, Edwards said. Engineer Ray Armstrong with Billings-based HKM Engineering designed the project. He estimates it will take several years to get going, and says the immediate goal is to prove to the DEQ it’s an environmentally safe process. Sugarloaf Resort, in Carrabassett Valley, Maine, has had a large-scale effluent snowmaking process since 1995.

Instead, it’s creating additional winter storage for effluent during the busy winter season, and relieve the burden in ponds in the meadow, says Ron Edwards, general manager of the Big Sky Water and Sewer District. When Big Sky is fully built out (it’s at 40 percent now), there won’t be enough storage.

“It blended in well with the ski resort,” said Dave Keith with the area’s sanitary district. “People understand snowmaking. To apply that same technology to waste—it was embraced by everyone.”

Currently in Big Sky, treated effluent is stored in the ponds and then irrigated onto the golf courses in the summer. Big Sky doesn’t discharge anything into rivers, which is what happens to the majority of effluent in Montana, Edwards said.

Keith says it allowed his district to continue residential commercial growth at the resort, without having to build additional lagoons. He says the water melting off these piles is, in most cases, cleaner than the groundwater it’s being introduced to.

For now, the snow guns are shut off until spring. This winter, Chandler and DeGroot will return to take snow core samples once a month. That, Chandler says, will test the whole profile of the snow.

“We’re an arid high desert and we rely on snowpack recharge for our aquifers,” Edwards said. “We need to protect those drinking water aquifers from over depletion. If you’re filling water for your golf course out of the stream or wells, it could impact our source water for drinking water.”

“We’re hoping to find out if any treatment takes place in the snowpack itself.”

Big Sky LIFT takes off

More than $50k awarded, $40k left By Taylor Anderson

21 individuals were awarded $1,000 grants, and 13 families received the $2,500 grant, totaling $53,500.

big sky weekly assistant editor

We have lift off. After a sputtered start, the program established to give aid to Spanish Peaks employees who were laid off when Spanish Peaks Holdings filed for Chapter 7 last October has granted half of the available funding. In total, 34 grants have been awarded affecting 61 people, according to Nicole Rush of the Montana Community Foundation, the nonprofit group that is organizing the Big Sky LIFT effort.

12 December 30, 2011

The group had originally assigned a Dec. 15 deadline for employees applying for money, but only few applied and close to $100,000 had been raised, so they extended it through January. In the first weeks the grants were available, only five former Spanish Peaks employees had applied and received money. Besides, Rush said, the original deadline was to get people to come in before the holidays. And it seems to have worked.

“We got about 22 last week,” Rush said. All of the $91,000 raised so far has come from current and former Spanish Peaks members. Rush said they aren’t very selective in who receives grants, and unless employees were fired rather than laid off, most applicants should be accepted until funding runs out. If it runs out. “We have awarded people with jobs. The main goal of the LIFT program is to help with the transition after they’ve been laid off,” Rush said. “If they have jobs that’s great. Most of them took at least a month to find a new job.”

After seeing the influx of applicants well into the process, and because of an estimated $40,000 left in grants, the officials coordinating the effort— John Haas, Loren Bough and Marcus Dash—extended the deadline through January 2012. “This saved my bacon. I am incredibly grateful for the gift,” grant recipient Latimer Watson said. “Big Sky LIFT has helped build a strong community in Big Sky.” To apply, contact John at


Big Sky Weekly

Jack Creek Preserve roundup 2011 by Siri Fossel

jack creek preserve foundation

BIG SKY—The Jack Creek Preserve took a number of major steps toward its mission of wildlife conservation and youth education this past year. The seventh annual youth camp taught 56 attendees outdoor skills ranging from archery to outdoor photography. The preserve also sponsored a wildlife after-school program and an archery day camp for young people from Big Sky, and provided instruction for a summer day camp in Ennis. Altogether, a total of 353 people utilized the preserve and its services in 2011, up 89 percent from 2010. A group of Duke University graduate students are creating a strategic plan to guide the preserve in achieving the proper balance between expanding educational activities and protecting wildlife and its habitat. The preserve provided college scholarships to Ryan Hamilton and Madison Traucht from Harrison High School, and also awarded a number of science fair prizes to students from the Ennis and Big Sky schools who presented outstanding projects relating to conservation. Architectural plans for the Conservation Education Center have been completed, and fundraising has started. Designed as an outdoor classroom for up to 50 people, the center will serve students and teachers from around the country. There will be an indoor classroom area, overnight accommodations and cooking facilities. A wide variety of conservation and wildlife exhibits will feature topics like wolves, forest fires, hunting and logging. The center will serve as the nucleus for an interpretive nature trail system, which will connect the north and south sections of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. Construction of these trails started this year, with help from Big Sky and Ennis high school students. In addition, Ennis Eagle Scout Matt Skillman built a

handicapped accessible footbridge over East Hammond Creek to connect the Conservation Center to the 3D archery range and other portions of the trail system. To help meet operating expenses, the preserve auctions off six archery and one rifle elk hunt each year. The hunts are auctioned through the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Pope and Young Club, and the Montana Bowhunters Association. Joanie Spears, from Wyoming, shot a bull scoring 320 points. Horace Smith, from Florida, shot a bull scoring 344 points. Due to September’s unseasonably hot weather the archery season was difficult and climbs into the high country were essential. Nonetheless, two bow hunters were successful. 15-year-old Katie Dunn, who never drew her recurve bow but came close several times, described her hunt as a “memorable experience." Each year, the preserve also offers a bear or elk hunt to severely wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars. This year’s bear hunter was an army soldier from Georgia, Josh Holubz, who’d suffered such serious machine gun injuries that he was originally pronounced dead. He shot a beautiful cinnamon bear on the second day of his hunt and was a patriotic inspiration to those of us who met him. The preserve added a full-time Executive Director, Katie Alvin, to work with Alde Feskanin to help achieve its mission. Additionally, four new members were elected to the Board. They included: Mike Baugh, western regional chairman for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation; Robert Garrott, Professor of Ecology at MSU, Kevin Germain, Director of Planning and Development at Moonlight Basin, and Dan Metzger, CEO and Chairman of OppSource, Inc. Many organizations and individuals helped support activities on the preserve, making it an exciting and successful year.

New Deputy Forest supervisor, Custer and Gallatin National Forests BOZEMAN and BILLINGS —The Custer and Gallatin National forests will have a new deputy forest supervisor starting Jan. 17. Pam Gardner will join forest leadership, where she reports from the Central Coast Ranger District. “I enjoy working with people and helping to find solutions that work for the people we serve and the important lands we manage,” Gardner said. “We

can accomplish much more when we work together.” Gardner has served in several line officer positions, and the past eight years has been a district ranger in Oregon and Utah. Gardner has worked as a public affairs officer for the Rocky Mountain and Northern Great Plains regions in Colorado and Nebraska, respectively.

David Martinez, an employee at MSU's Renne Library, sorts through microfiche at the library earlier this month. Martinez helped pull more than 4,000 pounds of microfiche from the library's collection for recycling after the materials stored on the microfiche became available online for free through U.S. government resources. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.

MSU recycles microfiche, saving several tons of materials from the dump BOZEMAN—What could have resulted in the equivalent of 42,000 plastic bottles being dumped in the Logan Landfill will instead be recycled, thanks to support for recycling and the efforts of several employees at Montana State University.

Rossmann and EJ Hook, environmental services manager in Facilities Services, began researching various possibilities for recycling microfiche and chose to work with Green Disk, a vendor that primarily recycles computer materials but also recycles microfiche.

Earlier this year, MSU began looking at how to responsibly dispose of 4,200 pounds of microfiche that had been housed in Renne Library after the materials stored on the microfiche became available online for free through U.S. government resources. Last week the microfiche—and specifically paper sleeves, plastic and silver halide (a compound that makes films for capturing images)—was successfully recycled.

Recycling the materials will cost approximately $1,000 and will be paid for out of library revenue, such as late fees and proceeds from an annual book sale.

“We try to make sure that when we get rid of something, there is a combination of what is environmentally and economically sound,” said Doralyn Rossmann, team leader and collection development librarian at MSU's Renne Library. Microfiche are index card-sized slides with photographed images of materials that had once been available in print.

Sending the microfiche to the landfill would have cost only approximately $100, but disposing of the materials responsibly was worth the extra cost, Hook said. MSU disposed of nearly four million pounds of trash at the Logan Landfill in the last fiscal year. Other recent recycling efforts on campus have included recycling stations provided at football games, a phone book recycling effort and an initiative to recycle cardboard boxes during Move In Day. "Every person can make a difference, and every decision we make can make a difference," Hook said.

Bozeman Deaconess orthopedic services ranked among nation’s best for joint replacement Bozeman—With such an active population, Bozeman’s orthopedists get a lot of practice. And it’s paying off. The Denver-based HealthGrades, an independent source of physician ratings and hospital quality ratings, designated Bozeman Deaconess Hospital as a recipient of the Joint Replacement Excellence Award in 2012. Other awards in 2012 include: •

Among the Top 10 percent in the nation for joint replacement

Number three in Montana for overall orthopedic services

Number one in Montana for joint replacement

Top five in Montana for overall orthopedic services and joint replacement for three years in a row

HealthGrades also presented fivestar ratings to Deaconess for joint replacement and total knee replacement and, for the third year in a row, for total hip replacement. Patients treated at five-star rated hospitals are 63 percent less likely to experience complication compared to one-star rated hospitals, said Stan Moser, Bozeman Deaconess Chief Administrative Officer.

December 30, 2011 13



Candidate Q + A Jeff Essman By Taylor Anderson

big sky weekly assistant editor

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last time we spoke was July, when your bill aimed at drastically limiting Montanans with medical marijuana cards was due for a ruling in court. As it sits today, what are your thoughts on the outcome? SB 423 was a compromise bill endorsed by over two thirds of the legislature. It has worked to accomplish most of its major goals despite the ongoing court battle. First, many Montana cities, towns and counties have used the explicit power granted in the bill to prohibit the storefront sale and promotion of marijuana which many people felt sent an incorrect message to our youth. Second, the number of registered cardholders has dropped nearly 40 percent from May until December from 31,522, down to 19,239 due to more stringent requirements for obtaining a certification. Finally, a recent MSUBillings poll of 2,400 Montanans, a large sample size by Montana polling standards, revealed that 62.3 percent of the public supported the goals of the bill and only 28.3 percent opposed it. A slogan on your website reads: Lower Taxes, limited government. Do these come hand in hand? An ever growing, more powerful government requires higher taxes in order to support a growing number of public employees to enforce the increasing number of regulations. Bigger govern-

Answers have been cut for literacy and brevity by the Big Sky Weekly editors. This is the first in a series of interviews with the Montana gubernatorial candidates. Senator Essmam (R) is running for the Montana Governor’s seat in the 2012 gubernatorial election. He represents Senate District 28 in Billings.

ment and higher taxes are inextricably linked. As governor, I’ll continue the fight against both. Though your website doesn’t list what exactly you’re for or against, the tone falls along the lines of giving the power of government back to people—a common theme in Republican politics today. What would you do to give it back? First, I would put the state checkbook online so that every Montanan can see how their tax dollars are spent. If the money is spent wisely, which is a big if, there should be no shame in allowing everyone to see exactly how it is spent. Second, I will install a red tape hotline in the Governor’s office so that people who are having trouble getting a state permit can have a point of contact so that we can cut the red tape and get this economy moving again. This implies that you’re unhappy with the state of affairs in the Montana Governor’s office today. What has Gov. Schweitzer done wrong during his leadership? What has he done right? I have supported the Governor’s efforts that recognize a system of dual sovereignty that exists under our federal constitution and that the federal government has intruded into too many areas that are either legally or practically better handled on a state level. His efforts on the Real ID Act and bison issues come to mind. However, he has failed

to be consistent in efforts to be aggressive on the management of wolves, and his failure to encourage Attorney General Bullock to participate in the legal challenge to Obamacare. It was recently announced that Montana could have a larger budget surplus than estimated during the Legislature. Do you agree with these estimates? I think the legislature’s policy of following the estimates prepared by its nonpartisan professional staff has been wise. The only times I have offered different policy suggestions have been when our local anecdotal knowledge of the economic trends have indicated prudence and conservative caution. That brings to light some cuts that were made to the budget in 2011. It’s been said in the media that the current governor proclaimed Republicans were cutting too much. Here we are, and we find he may have been right. Why did we get two different outlooks? How does something like that happen and how could we eliminate that next time? The entire debate on whether the legislature cut too much is premised upon the assumption that every dime is being spent wisely and that every one of the hundreds of state programs we have is actually working. [But] in fact we have no idea whether these programs are performing because the

New bill assists National Forest Land cabin owners big sky weekly wire services

Rep. Denny Rehberg is co-sponsoring a bill that would establish an annual lease system for cabin owners facing fee increases on National Forest land. The Cabin Fee Act would institute a tiered system of fees, and would reduce the cost of overseeing the cabin system by eliminating the appraisal process mandated by a law passed in 2000. “This legislation will enable Montanans to pass along the family cabin to future generations without needing to sell the family farm to do it,” said Rehberg, who cosponsored a similar measure in the last Congress. “Because of this flawed system current cabin owners could be forced to give up their leases, some of which have been in the family for two, three, or even four generations.” The Recreation Resident Program was established in 1915 and set aside a small number of residential lots for Americans to build cabins on federal land. The individuals own the structures and pay a yearly fee for the use of the land. A 2000 law directed the U.S. Forest Service to use an appraisal process for determining cabin fees.

14 December 30, 2011

Many factors determine cabin appraisal value, such as limited ownership rights held by cabin owners, restrictions on year-round use of the site, or lack of privacy due to public access. According to Rehberg, when the Forest Service ignored these negating factors, it overevaluated many properties and led to unreasonable fee assessments. The new measure would establish a nine-tier fee system, based on the lot’s current value, with yearly fees from $500 to $4,500, adjusted annually for inflation. A transfer fee of $1,000 would be assessed when cabins are sold or ownership transferred within a family. For luxury properties between $250,000 and $500,000, an additional 5 percent fee will be assessed, and an additional 10 percent fee assessed on amounts that exceed $500,000. “Passage of the CFA will ensure fairer and more reasonable fees that accurately reflect the true value of our cabins,” said Jane Van Dyk, Montana C2 Cabin Coalition Coordinator. There are currently more than14,000 family-owned recreational cabins across the U.S., most of which are located in the west.

Big Sky Weekly

Gubernatorial Race Declared Democratic Candidates Steve Bullock Larry Jent Bullock leads the Democratic polls with 70 percent Declared Republican Candidates Jeff Essmann Bob Fanning Rick Hill Neil Livingstone Jim Lynch Ken Miller Jim O’Hara Corey Stapleton Drew Turiano Hill leads the Republican polls with 37 percent

Schweitzer bureaucracy has resisted almost every attempt the legislature has made to adopt performance standards and review. Even the most timid efforts are only begrudgingly followed. It also assumes that every dime available should be spent on growing the government and its programs instead of being returned to Montana families and small businesses where it could be spent more efficiently. I would start by eliminating the bias in favor of a growing government. What would you do with the extra money? I would return the money to its rightful owners, the Montana taxpayers.

2012 Youth Serve Montana Scholarships available to high school seniors Helena–The 2012 Youth Serve Montana Scholarships are available for up to 70 Montana high school seniors. This is the seventh year of this scholarship, which rewards students who will have completed 100 hours of volunteer service in their community by April 16, 2012. Students who apply and qualify may receive $1,000 dollars toward continued education at one of Montana Campus Compact’s 20 public, tribal, private, community or technical colleges and universities. The 2012 Youth Serve Montana Scholarships have been made available through a partnership with the Governor’s Office of Community Service and Montana Campus Compact, the largest higher education network in Montana. The scholarships are administered by the Governor’s Office of Community Service, which expands and promotes national service and volunteerism in Montana and engages citizens in service and emergency preparedness.


Keep ice fishing safe FWP Wire Services

It’s that time of year when ice anglers begin appearing on Montana's waters for the ice fishing season.

chance of finger frostbite. •

Tell someone where you plan to fish and when you plan to return.

"First ice is often some of the best fishing of the year too, but also quite variable from location to location and day to day," said Dave Hagengruber, FWP angler education coordinator. "With continued stable, cold weather, conditions are likely to improve."

Carry a pair of long spikes on a heavy string around your neck. That way, if you break through the ice, you can use the spikes to grip the ice and pull yourself out of the water.

The variability of ice conditions can’t be over estimated, Hagengruber said. Dressing to help prevent frostbite and hypothermia is also a basic rule, as is knowledge of ice safety and ice rescue.

Anglers should be familiar with the water they plan to fish, or go with someone who knows how ice forms and change there. For those without an ice fishing buddy, check out ice fishing blogs and websites like, with ice fishing updates, chat and a map of where ice is found in the U.S. and Canada. Be prepared: •

It's OK to wear a life jacket or carry a throwable floatation device—credible ice-anglers do it all the time. Wear a warm hat that covers your ears. In cold weather, 75 to 80 percent of heat loss from the body occurs from an uncovered head. Wear mittens—they’re warmer than gloves and reduce the

On the ice: Blue ice is usually hard. Watch out for opaque, gray, dark or porous spots in the ice that could be weak, soft areas. Ice also tends to thin more quickly at the shorelines. •

Watch for pressure ridges. These are areas of open water or thin ice where the ice has cracked and heaved due to expansion from freezing. •

Test the ice ahead of you with an ice spud bar or an auger.

Don’t leave children unsupervised on the ice.

Lakes and ponds don’t freeze at the same thickness all over.

Moving water—rivers, streams and springs—weaken ice by wearing it away from underneath. Avoid ice on rivers and streams, or where a river or stream enters a lake, pond or reservoir.

The least safe ice usually occurs early and late in the season, when the weather is warmer.

Big Sky Weekly

Resident mule deer hunter survey to play role in deer management Montana hunters value mule deer hunting, according to a FWP survey of resident hunters. Nearly two-thirds said hunting mulies is "one of my most important hunting activities." A full 85 percent rated the state's overall mule deer hunting experience as better than average, and nearly 50 percent rated Montana's opportunities to hunt large mule deer bucks as better than average. FWP hears requests for more trophy mule deer hunting, yet hunters rated a trophy hunt as the least important of 10 different potential reasons to hunt mule deer. About 91 percent of hunters surveyed said they go to enjoy nature and the outdoors. Other "important" or "very important" reasons to hunt mule deer included:

harvesting a mature buck, as compared to a little more than a third of the respondents who preferred the option of hunting once every several years with a higher probability of harvesting a mature buck. When hunters were asked "How important is it to you to be able to consistently hunt mule deer in the same place in Montana each and every year?" nearly 60 percent said it was important or very important to them. Most hunters said the single greatest barrier to gaining the type of mule deer hunting experience is •

Poor access to privately owned lands, locked gates, closed roads

Time and money, the costs of hunting

To be with friends who have similar interests (77 percent)

Physical limitation, due to age, disabilities, sickness or injury

To do something with my family (75 percent)

Not enough big bucks

To get venison for eating (65 percent)

Managing for higher numbers of mature mule deer bucks may require more restrictive regulations. Nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents preferred hunting mule deer bucks every year with a lower probability of

The survey participants said they hunt mule deer in Montana and average of 12 days per year, and their average age was 47. 88 percent were male and 12 percent were female. Adapted from a piece written by Diane Tipton, Montana FWP Statewide Information Officer

2012-13 hunting regulation proposals up for review FWP Wire Services

Last summer, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks held meetings across the state and received more than 150 comments that led to several new hunting season proposals. Now, it’s doing it again. Montanans can review and comment on hunting regulations proposals online or at one of 40 public meetings in January. Proposed regulation changes deal with season dates, as well as huntable species, including pronghorn,

black bear, bighorn sheep, bison, deer, elk, moose, mountain goat, mountain lion and upland game birds and waterfowl. A calendar of the meetings and information on each proposal are available at Comments may be submitted at local meetings, at, or to FWP—Wildlife Bureau, Attn: Public Comment, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701. Comments are due by 5 p.m. on Jan. 23. The FWP Commission will adopt final regulations at its Feb. 16, 2012 meeting in Helena.

December 30, 2011 15

16 December 30, 2011

Big Sky Weekly

Section 2:

health // business // real estate

Big Sky Weekly

December 30, 2011 Volume 2 // Issue #23

health & wellness

OZssage’s Serenity Suite and Barefoot Spa By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

BIG SKY–Jacquie Rager rubs a mixture of papaya fruit extracts, lavender and honey powder into my hands, scrubs them with pumas, then wraps them in a warm towel. “This is hydrating and relaxing,” she says. My feet are soaking in a warm bath of rosemary, eucalyptus, ginger, and Epsom and Dead Sea salts, which Rager says will help my sore muscles. I sit back in the massage chair and look out the window. Afternoon sun shines on the South Face of Lone Mountain and filters in through the glass. In a chair next to me, my friend Kacey is getting a similar treatment, only hers is meant as a detox. Rager pours the blended salts and milk powder into the warm water, plus bicarbonate of soda, which she explains is good for making the body more alkaline. Then she mixes in mustard and seaweed powder. We’re in OZssage’s new Serenity and Barefoot Suite, in the Big Sky Meadow Village. The space, which has a casual feel, is meant for folks who want to get away from everything, Rager says. The first booking, Rager says, is a couple that plans to bring champagne with them, and spend the evening starting with the Barefoot Spa for two followed by 60 minute massages. OZssage Therapeutic Massage and Spa has been around for a decade, and Rager, the owner, has the hands of a healer. Through a combination of training, experience and intuition, she knows where you need help—and sometimes why—and she can’t help herself but to help you.

“The feet tell a lot. According to Chinese medicine, the sensory nerves of the internal organs are mainly gathered around the soles of the feet. You can pick up on general energy level, tightness or fatigue.” While Asian points help massage therapists access and tailor the foot massage to a clients’ needs, they don't diagnose, Rager says. “That’s a clear boundary." She breaks the “crystal buildup” in my feet, and says she can hear the crunching. "Your feet could use some work.” Kacey, Rager points out, doesn’t have anything like this—instead, she has a puffy spot behind her toes that signifies a lack of day-to-day energy and general fatigue. Rager massages Kacey’s feet more gently, in an effort to get more flow, and then rubs hot rocks on her shins and calves. This, Rager says, is more supportive work. These type of treatments help people be more relaxed, and even sleep better, she explains, suggesting them as a way to unwind after travel, or to start a vacation off right.

“It doesn't seem like a lot happened, but you’ll feel a lot better,” Rager said as we left. Driving home from work that night, my back, which had previously felt tight and stiff from a weekend of ice climbing and eight hours at my desk, now was relaxed and no longer sore. My feet felt light and comfortable, something I never even knew I needed because I’d never felt it before.

“OZssage is about educating people on massage and its benefits,” she says, then shows us spots on our own feet we can massage at home to help us feel better.

This afternoon, she’s picked mellow music with female singers (not sappy, but totally chill).

Next we move to the massage tables, where Rager sets us up individually with a self-heating seaweed mud designed to help relax and detoxify the spine.

“The foot soaks are traditionally Asian based,” she says, comparing it to a tea ceremony. Her salts and herbs are all in separate glass jars, and she mixes them in ceramic bowls, presenting them on a beautiful tray covered in black cloth.

My back hurts, and I think it’ll be nice to lie down, but wonder how the mud could actually help me feel better.

When the ride down isn’t as smooth as the ride up

The room around us is private feeling, but open and airy. The decorations are simple. The suite, which just opened in December, also has two massage tables, and space for facials, wraps and yoga. It’s meant for groups of 2-6 to spend time relaxing and moving between different treatments.

I lay down on the cool mud, and it started bubbling as it warmed, like champagne on my back. Rager massaged our shoulders and feet, and my back began relaxing. We stayed there for five, ten or 15 minutes—I’m not sure.

Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned—even on vacation. That’s why Bozeman Deaconess Pharmacy at Big Sky is here for you.

Clients can pick from a menu of treatments, then tailor them to what they want when they’re in the suite. Because the feet have the biggest pores in the body, the soaks can really make people feel better, Rager says. She works on my feet, using acupressure points. “The Asian foot and Thai massage is meant to move and open the meridians,” Rager says, holding my one foot at a time and working with a gentle, firm touch.

The suite’s treatments have extra time built in, so there’s time for transition and lounging—time meant to let people feel at home.


We offer a full range of pharmaceutical items including bandages and OTC medicines and creams for aches and pains. And,

should you have forgotten your medications, we’re happy to assist you in getting what you need to fully enjoy life under the Big Sky.

Whether you’re here for the week or a lifetime, we want to help you enjoy a smooth ride— on and off the mountain.

December 30, 2011 17

Locally owned and operated We are Big Sky!

Phone:(406) 995-2022

The Club at Spanish Peaks - Elk Wallow Lodge Custom built home on 4+ acres. $2,295,000.

In the heart of Big Sky - The Pines L2 Fabulous views 4 bedroom, 4 bath. $399,000.

The Club at Spanish Peaks - Luxury Cabin #25. Ski-in/golf-out, 4 bedroom. $1,199,000. Furnished! Incredible location.

A River Runs Through It! Wonderful log home & guest cabin with an easy walk to the Gallatin River. $999,000.

Trophy Bull at Beaver Creek West Huge views, 3 bedroom, 5 bath on 20 acres. $1,950,000.

The Club at Spanish Peaks - Big EZ Duck’s Pond Cabin. 20 acres, pond, 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath. $2,250,000 $1,725,000. Furnished!

350 Low Dog Road - Big Sky retreat. Ski-in/out, 5 bedroom, 4.5 bath. $1,699,000.

343 Grey Drake Road - 4 private suites, 5.5 bath, 5+ Acres. Gorgeous wine & cigar cellar. River frontage. $3,495,000 $2,950,000. furnished!

Stop by our office next to Grizzly Outfitters in the Big Sky Town Center for a market update and a glass of wine. Daily from 4-6 PM This information is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, change, withdrawal and approval of purchase by owner. All information from sources deemed reliable, but not guaranteed by Rivers To Peaks ~ Big Sky Real Estate, independent investigation is recommended. For properties being purchased at The Club at Spanish Peaks approval for membership is required prior to closing. If you are currently working with another real estate agent, this is not intended as a solicitation.

health & wellness

Big Sky Weekly

Living now: The value in a daily meditation practice By Angela Patnode

big sky weekly contributor

a better job, get married, divorced, have children, retire, or go on vacation. It’s all accessible this moment, every day, no matter what our life situation is. Living now means experiencing contentment, inner peace, more joy and more happiness.

In our day-to-day life, we tend to live in two places outside of the present: the past and the future. When our minds go to the past, we relive should or shouldn’t have’s, pleasant memories, or conversations gone right or wrong. But it takes practice. There’s no magic pill. Living in the future, we anticipate For some, meditaEvolutionary Teachings vacation, wishing tion is a lifeAngela Patnode is offering three we were there changing path meditation classes in Bozeman already, worry to this kind of this winter: about the what living. It’s taught if’s that haven’t to be a human Introductory meditation happened yet, or Wednesdays, Jan. 11 – Feb. 15, ‘being’ instead of hurry from one 7 - 8 p.m. a human ‘doing.’ YogaMotion Wellness Center, thing to the next, Emerson annex feeling overMeditation, or $38 for six classes whelmed with mindfulness, is a getting it all done. practice of sitting, Continuing meditation watching your This class is for adults of all ages What is it like to breath move in and focuses on aging with joy. be present with and out of your Tuesdays Jan. 10 – 31, 7 – 8 p.m. what we’re doing? body, without YogaMotion Wellness Center, With the simple Emerson annex the drive or need act of brushing $25 for four classes to do anything our teeth, feeling but be. It doesn’t One-day silent retreat the bristles on our need to be a For a full day of meditation, gums, the taste religious pracAngela, in partnership with Alice of the toothpaste tice, but instead, Robison, is offering a one-day swirling over one of making silent retreat on Sunday, Feb. our tongue, or time for yourself 5 from 9 a.m – 4 p.m. ($35) at the sound of the outside of the the Alchemy Health and Yoga brush on our ‘doing’ world of Center. Donations are accepted teeth, we can pracbeyond the initial cost. your day. tice being present, instead of rushing It takes committhrough it and to the next thing. ment and support to make this happen. Here are some tips for starting a daily When we’re present, there is no room practice of mindfulness: for worry, anxiety, stress, boredom, regrets or guilt. We have no problems • Set aside the same time each day in the present. Ask yourself if you to ‘be.’ have any problems, right now, in this • Set a timer for five minutes. moment, and you will likely find the answer is mostly likely no. • Choose a quiet, comfortable location. There is no reason to wait any longer • Close your eyes and observe your for life to become these qualities, no breath moving in and out of your need to wait to be happier when we get body.

When the mind wanders, bring it back to the breath without judgment.

Meditation is not about stopping thoughts. It’s about seeing the thoughts as just thoughts and not reality: Our thoughts are one perspective, and there are as many perspectives in the world as there are people. Through this practice, I learned to see my thoughts from an objective perspective, develop compassion for myself and others, and experience the benefits of joy, peace, clarity and contentment. You can too.

as eight weeks, it physically changes the gray matter density of the brain. The MRI shows that it decreases the gray matter that is connected to stress and anxiety, and increases the grey matter that is connected to learning, memory and empathy. Through her business Evolutionary Teachings, Angela Patnode offers oneon-one programs, classes, workshops and retreats to help you evolve in your daily life through connecting your mind, body, heart and spirit. For more information or to register for a class, call (406) 5223884, email evolutionaryteachings@, or visit

Meditation is also scientifically proven through MRI brain scans that in as little

10 suggestions for whole living By torie bentley

7. Make something, anything, from scratch.

Cheers to the New Year 2012! 1. Warm your soul: savor a hot drink

8. You can remember good times without losing yourself in nostalgia.

2. Be aware of the difference between anticipating and living. Joy is rooted in the present.

9. The best gifts let someone know how much you love, not how much you spent.

3. Let go of perfection: the most delicious moments are often messiest!

10. Rest is not a luxury, it's a necessity.

4. Living better doesn't always mean trying harder. Ease up.

Victoria Bentley is the owner and director of Bentley Bodies, a premiere mind-body wellness boutique committed to healthy lifestyle choices. Locations are in Big Sky and Bozeman.

big sky weekly contributor

5. Avoid getting trapped in someone else's story. Be the author of your own life. 6. Forgiveness isn't about them, it's about you.

• Pe d i atri cs • C hroni c C onditi ons • Wom en’s He a lth • Prenata l C are • Oste op athi c Manipu l ati on Prescheduled and same-day appointments available Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays Taking most local insurance carriers including Medicare and Medicaid

Maren Dunn D.O. Board Certified in Family Medicine 18 Meadow Village Drive, Big Sky, MT (across from the post office) Phone: 406-995-3111

December 30, 2011 19

real estate

Big Sky Weekly

This is Big Sky: A re-creation by eric ossorio

big sky weekly contributor

“Ahhhh... is that Lone Mountain?” asked Kuan, my son’s good friend, as we drove west onto the Spur Road from Highway 191. The peak was bathed in moonlight, the night sky a dark greyblue backdrop pierced by stars. The boys slept on the drive from Gallatin Field Airport, so it’d been mostly quiet. Kuan grew up in Nanjing, China, and this was his first trip to Big Sky. Now a college student in Washington D.C., he’s visited and seen many places in the U.S. Under his next breath the “wow” was almost inaudible, but unmistakable. “Beautiful, isn’t it?” my son asked. The lights from the Meadow Village and the Town Center came into view. The Meadow golf course looked like a white blanket scattered with diamonds, and the marquee identifying the new Lone Peak Cinema registered its unmistakable presence. Gallatin Field is approaching its 400,000th passenger for 2011. The recent expansion is a testament to the vision of the Airport Authority Board, which stuck with a plan to ensure the “Last Best Place” would be ready and available when travelers recovered

from the news cycles after 2008. They broke ground in 2009 and opened in July 2011. Since the dark days of 2008, Big Sky has seen ups and downs, but the underlying message remained one of defiant persistence. The past three years have been a recreation. Life cycles are part of the ecosystem and food chain here in Montana. It’s like fly-fishing: caddis hatch, stonefly or nymph... sometimes nothing works other times just about anything does, but there is always something emerging. The cycle claimed the OYC (Old Yellowstone Club), only to give us the NYC (New Yellowstone Club). Moonlight emerged from Chapter 11, though the fate of its golf course isn’t clear. Then in October, the owners of Spanish Peaks Holdings LLC sought protection by declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a liquidation path as opposed to reorganization. Some short sale activity has kept us on our toes and forced a few mortgage bankers to pull out atlases and figure out where Big Sky and Montana are located so they could assess what they were about to reclaim. The impact of these “distress” sales was apparent and gave some direction to the market, and

may have even helped expedite the process toward a more level market. Barring anything too far out, Big Sky seems to have moved past the worst of it. Choices are many, and absorption for improved property increased by 30 percent this year. In 2010, there were 139 sold homes, condos and town-homes, with a sold value of $71 million. By early December 2011, 182 closed sales totaled a sold value of $95.6 million for the year, and there were 12 more “pending sales”. On the raw land front, the numbers show a slightly different story: 213 listed lots valued at $190 million. During 2010, there were 36 closed land sales worth $15.2 million, 12 of which were in the Big EZ or the Club at Spanish Peaks. In 2011, there were 26 closed sales valued at $11.5 million, with seven in the Club at Spanish Peaks and the Big EZ. The demand for land has declined as the price point for already built product reset and the choices expanded. However, as building costs have realigned, we expect to see more land sales and custom home starts. I’ve been a student of the real estate market here since 1993. Sometimes it’s like hiking one of the beautiful nearby trails: No matter how familiar


Sold homes, condos and townhomes in Big Sky


$95.6 million




$71 million



you think you are with the trail, there’s always something new to see, a new twist, corner or crossing, and the experiences just keep getting better. With the moon positioned over the summit of Lone Mountain, we wound west up the Spur Road, upwards into the night. Faint lights were visible on Big Horn and in the Bowl, as the groomers lay down corduroy. It’s always nice to be in Big Sky. Eric Ossorio is a Managing Broker for Prudential Montana Real Estate in Big Sky, where he works with this wife and partner, Stacy. He’s been a Big Sky resident for 20 years and a broker for 35. Having almost seen it all, he sees no reason to live anywere else. (406) 539-9553

business Looking for 2011 Tax Relief? There’s still time Tips for saving on income tax Byjessica james If you’re just beginning to think about your 2011 income tax return, you’ve got a late start—but it’s still not too late to cash in on some savings. “A lot of the deductions associated with the economic stimulus package will disappear in 2012,” says Jessica James, CPA and author of Justice for None, an insider look at IRS tactics in a tax fraud investigation and trial. But, she says, there’s still plenty of time to take other measures to ease your tax burden. Now is also a good time to resolve to start earlier in 2012 to minimize the year’s tax bill. Here are some tips for both 2011 and 2012 savings. • Contribute to retirement accounts. If you haven’t already put money into your traditional or ROTH IRA account for 2011, you’ve got until April 17 to do it. If you have a Keogh or SEP (Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Arrangement for businesses), and you get a filing extension to Oct. 15, you’ve got until then to make your 2011 deposits. The maximum IRA contribution for 2011 is $5,000, or $6,000 if you’re 50 or older by the end of the year. For self-employed people, the maximum for SEPs and Keoghs for 2011 is $49,000. • Don't fear the home office deduction. In the past, many tax filers didn’t claim a home office deduction because it was seen as an IRS red flag. But the requirements and forms have been clarified so people can do that properly—and not make mistakes that can lead to an audit. Also, the rules have been expanded so more people can claim the deduction. If you use a home office exclusively for business, even if you don’t meet your clients there, you’re eligible. For instance, a handyman who does his work other people’s

Financial assistance for Montana exporters available through new federal grant montana department of commerce

houses can claim the deduction if he does his paperwork at his home office. Another change is that, in the past, if you claimed 10 percent of your home as an office, that amount would not be included in the $250,000 tax-free profit from the home’s sale that’s allowed for an individual by the IRS. Be sure to make your claim reasonable, or it will get questioned; a $25,000 home office deduction for a business with $50,000 annual gross revenue is not reasonable. • Maximize your Flexible Spending Account. The Health Care Act will limit the maximum you can put into these pre-tax medical expense accounts in 2013. So 2012 is the last year to use an FSA to pay for orthodontics and other large medical expenses using pretax earnings. A medical expense flexible spending account, or FSA, allows you to use before-tax earnings to pay for medical or health care expenses not covered by your health insurance. Assuming a 25 percent tax rate, you avoid $25 in taxes for every $100 you spend from your FSA.

Big Sky Weekly

A new federal grant from the Small Business Administration is enabling the Montana Department of Commerce to provide financial assistance to Montana exporters. The SBA awarded MDOC's Office of International Trade and Relations a one-year grant of $307,849 to provide financial assistance to qualified Montana small businesses for their promotional efforts in beginning to export or expanding exports into new markets. The Montana International Marketing Assistance Grant program is a result of President Obama's current initiative to double U.S. exports by 2015 through the rural and small business sectors. Funds are available for marketing expenses for attending international trade shows; language translation and production services for marketing materials and websites; and market research and other services from the U.S. Commercial Service.

"Ninety-five percent of the world's consumers live outside of the United States and as the world continues to grow, so do the demands for Montana goods," said Governor Brian Schweitzer. Small and medium sized companies with fewer than 20 employees make up the majority of growth in new exporters nationally. In 2010, Montana's combined bulk wheat and manufactured exports reached a near record high total of $1.96 billion. This is a 33 percent increase over 2009, making 2010 the second highest export year following 2008’s record high of $2.06 billion. Those numbers don't tell the whole story because it isn't only manufactured products and value added agriculture that make up Montana's exports. Tourism and education are both considered service exports. "We hope that major resorts, recreation associations, and colleges and universities consider using this opportunity," said Stimac.

• Need to sell an investment? Next year may be the time. The Tax Relief Act maintains the tax rate cap on capital gains and dividends at 15 percent through 2012. In 2013, the cap for capital gains will increase to 20 percent and for dividends, 39.6 percent. The Health Care Act also created a 3.8 percent Medicare tax on investment income, effective in 2013. Given those scheduled increases, plan to take advantage of the rates next year.


Jessica James is a CPA and the author of the novel, “Justice for None,” about her experiences as a minor target in a major federal tax fraud case. After her ordeal, she wrote about it as a warning to others who think they can take on the government and win. James is a pseudonym used because she fears her novel may provoke IRS retaliation.

Located in the Big Horn Center, north of signal light, at corner of Hwy 191 & Lone Mtn Trail, across from Bugaboo Café - Big Sky



The only Consignment Store in Big Sky!

Your local, best store for the resale of quality, lightly used: •

Home Furnishings / kitchen items & appliances

Furniture for all rooms / lamps, etc.

Artwork, wall hangings, décor items

Clothing (winter): women’s, men’s & children’s

Sports gear & sports clothing

Electronics + CDs, Videos & DVDs

Holiday decorations ON SALE!

and much, much more...!

Open: Tues – Sat, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sun, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Closed on Mondays Call: Janine & Dick @ 406-993-9333

December 30, 2011 21

business directory

Big Sky Weekly



Now in Bozeman and Big Sky

Business Profile Warmstone Fireplaces and Designs By abbie digel

big sky weekly editor

LIVINGSTON—“It’s just better,” is the typical reasoning behind heating a house with a Tulikivi fireplace. The structures, made in Finland out of soapstone, are a very efficient and environmentally friendly way to heat any home or space. Ron Pihl, owner of Warmstone Fireplaces and Designs, opened his business in Livingston in 1981. A resident of Paradise Valley and a mason since 1979, Pihl has become the only distributor of Tulikivi fireplaces in the Rocky Mountain Region.



Tulikivi fireplaces are the top-selling products out of Pihl’s showroom in Livingston. When these masonry heaters are burned three to four hours a day, they put out as many BTUs (a British thermal unit used to measure heat) as a wood stove would all day long, Pihl said. The soapstone stoves burn wood hot and fast, capturing the heat and slowly releasing it as radiant heat. It’s a more comfortable and safer kind of warmth, Pihl said, comparing it to radiant floor heating. “It’s like sunshine,” he added. Pihl’s business imports the Tulikivis from Finland, where they’re manufactured and tested. Having adapted to a radically cold climate, the manufacturers have found that using soapstone for the fireplaces is “genius. It captures heat and uses wood more efficiently,” says Pihl. Pihl visits Finland every other year to learn about the newest Tulikivi heating technologies.


es b e �

CAFE & ESPRESSO • 81305 Gallatin Road





Agency Insurance Division Protecting Your Assets

Call us today at 993 9242 or visit us on the web at

406.587.3114 4 blks S. of 4corners on Hwy 191 Mon-Sat / 8am-3pm Big Sky & the airport 22 December 30, 2011 between

Call us today at 993 9242 or visit us on the web at

Big Sky Weekly











“They have ongoing research utilizing natural products such as soapstone and wood burning.,” he said. Long time Big Sky contractor Packy Cronin has a respect for quality products. He also has a Tulikivi fireplace in his home.

100’s of your fellow business owners have either increased or maintained their advertising program in the upcoming directory.

“My house is my castle,” Cronin said. “I want it to be plush, and this stove fits right in with that mentality and quality of life.” The stove is usually the centerpiece of family gatherings, Cronin said. Some models come with built-in benches, and those spots next to the stove are always filled.

Where Quality Speaks For Itself.

Photo courtesy of Warmstone Pihl has a Tulikivi with a builtFireplaces & Designs in a cook stove, and says his family makes wood fired oven pizzas, roasted turkeys, prime ribs and vegetables. At annual baking demonstrations in his showroom, Pihl teaches clients how to best utilize use their ovens.

The best part about the business, Pihl says, are his customers. He’s made friends along the way, and says his customers are there for life. He has a growing clientele in Big Sky made of working families and aging baby boomers who want a quality, environmentally conscious way to heat their homes. Warmstone also sells wood stoves, soapstone countertops and sinks, and maintenance. Contact them at (406) 333-4383 or visit their showroom in Livingston.

• Quick Reference Section • Hard To Find Numbers Section • Separate Government Section • Complete A-Z White Pages • Phone Number Reverse Index • Community Maps

• Zip Codes • Calendar of Events • Community Information • Full Color Yellow Pages • Restaurant Menus & Dining Guide


5009 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite H Kennewick, WA 99336 Fax: (509) 734-5362

Call Today To Place Your Ad

Did you just get a new Computer? If you received a new computer this year, you may find that your old dial-up connection just can’t deliver everything your new computer can. Want to watch YouTube? Download music? Stream movies? If you want your new computer to work as advertised, now’s the time to upgrade to 3 Rivers High Speed Internet—sign up today, speed up your connection and save! $39.95 per month for 12 months!* Save $120!

Call today! 1.800.796.4567 ● 467.2535

* With 3 Rivers telephone service. New customers only. 12 months commitment required. After 12 months, cost is $49.95 per month. Speeds are not guaranteed. Not available in all areas. Call for details and qualification.

December 30, 2011 23

Classifieds for rent

help wanted

RENTALS Snowmobiles, Side by Side/Trax, Snowshoes, Baby Gear 406.587.4747

Excellent opportunity to join the team at First Security Bank as a F/T Teller at our Big Sky Location. Must provide excellent service to our customers! Requires cash handling experience. Full benefit package and competitive wages. Contact for a complete hiring package. ADA/EEO/AA employer


Office Space - Executive Office suites available in amazing building in Meadow Village, Big Sky - $300 to $500/mth depending on terms and office size. Each office has private door, shared conference rooms, shared kitchen space. Terms Negotiable. Call Eric 570-0639

services Victoria Bentley is the Owner and Director of Bentley Bodies, a premiere mind-body-wellness boutique committed to healthy lifestyle choices. Locations are in Big Sky and Bozeman.

Complete Line of Western & English Tack

One Stop Shop For All Your Horse & Rider Gear

Big Sky Weekly

Western & English Boutique: Fine Tack, Gifts, Housewares & Apparel


Program Manager - three years of experience working with at-risk youth - bachelor's degree or higher in a related field - significant experience working and recreating in the outdoors. apply online


Join us!

New Year’s Super Sale


Classifieds! Email classifieds and/or advertising requests to:

January 1 - 15

Gersemi Winter Apparel Boulet Boots Serretelli Hats Rock N Roll Cowgirl Jeans Rebecca Ray Designs Miller Ranch Wear for Men & more 406-995-2055

Four Corners Saddlery Located just south of Four Corners on the way to Big Sky

81720 Gallatin Road • Bozeman 406-587-7503

special offer Albany Sleigh Coffee Table

$1150 includes curbside delivery




any items at

use promo code:

Outlaw 24 December 30, 2011

A collection of Alpine Home

Decor and Chalet Style Antiques

D YOUR • N I F •

Big Sky Weekly


Eric & Stacy Ossorio With 19 years of local expertise, Eric and Stacy Ossorio are committed real estate professionals. They have an exceptional insight into the Big Sky market and are informed and savvy about every development in the area. While working with them they will share with you their expertise to help you make the best real estate choice for your family and lifestyle.

Eric Ossorio, Broker - 406.539.9553 Stacy Ossorio, Broker - 406.539.8553

Real Estate Group

some restaurants do italian food. some do chinese food.


we deliver 4069952305 serving breakfast lunch & dinner view menu at:

December 30, 2011 25

Big Sky Weekly 406.995.4060 • 800.995.4060 Big Sky Town Center • 55 Lone Peak Drive • Suite 3 Prudential Montana Real Estate is your statewide real estate company with 12 offices to serve you in the communities of Big Sky, Bozeman, Dillon, Ennis, Sheridan, Twin Bridges, Hamilton, Florence, Missoula, Seeley Lake & Polson.

PRice ReducTiON

beaVer creek weSt • • • •

$1,725,000 • #157935 • call don

4 bd, 6 ba, 4,001 +/- sf custom home furnished, deck on three sides 20 +/- acres, trout pond, stream tremendous views of the Spanish Peaks

North fork rd, tract 2

North fork rd, tract 8

PiNewood hiLLS eState

• • • •

• • • •

• • • •

$1,400,000• #180623 • call Stacy

20 acres Triple Triangle Ranch extraordinary views and nordic ski trail access desirable, private enclave contiguous to North Fork Tract 8

$1,100,000 • #180527 • call Stacy

20 acres Triple Triangle Ranch hiking and ski trails to lot desirable, private enclave contiguous to tract 2 to create 40 acres

$1,075,000 • #175582 • call George

3 bd, 5 ba, 4,500 +/- sf home 8 +/- acres (2 contiguous lots), pond beautiful natural landscaping, mature trees fabulous location w/great mtn views


craiL raNch towNhome

Powder ridGe cabiN

• • • •

• • • •

$990,000 • #180839 • call George

4 bd, 4 ba, 3,500 +/- sf furnished with over $124,000 furniture next to flowing creek with outstanding views heated 2 car attached garage

$795,000 • #176798 • call Stacy

4 bd, 3 ba, 2,577 +/- sf, furnished ski-in/ski-out to White Otter lift numerous upgrades, river rock fireplace see virtual tour:

LoSt traiLS Lot #6 $775,000 • #179325. • call Stacy

• • • •

20 +/- acres, 8 lot subdivision Spanish Peaks views, sunny lot 3 miles to Big Sky Ski and Summer resort fabulous location with outstanding views

uNdeR cONTRacT

beaVer creek w, Lot 13 • • • •

$695,000 • #176399 • call don

20 +/- acres, spectacular views located on gentle slope, private driveway ideal for a new home, well is drilled convenient to all of Big Sky

mooSe ridGe rd uNit a • • • •

• • • •

3 bd, 3 ba, 2,054 +/- sf gourmet kitchen, knotty alder cabinets gas rock fireplace, furnishings negotiable deck, 1 car attached garage

2,790 +/- sf free standing condo ski-in/ski-out timber framed home backing up to running creek/open space furnished with outdoor hot tub

caScade Lot 69b

aLPeNGLow coNdo 18c $396,000 • #174888 • call eric or Stacy

$649,000 • #181010 • call anne

• • • •

$299,000 • #174621 • call Stacy

premier mountin enclave Spanish Peak views close to Thunder Wolf lift Big Sky sewer and water

355 Low doG road • • • •

$759,000 • #180986 • call marc

4 bd, 3.5 ba, 3136 +/- sf, 1+ acre lot fresh paint, wood floor at the base of Wardance ski run nestled in the trees at Mountain Village


GaLLatiN hiGhLaNdS • • • •

$575,000 • #180951 • call Stacy

20 acre tract w/gorgeous mtn views price includes Locati Home plans south facing, old growth fir trees compelling price and offering

raiNbow trout ruN • • • •

$479,000 • #176526 • call Stacy

3 bd, 2.5 ba, 2365+/- sf, custom finishes bonus room above 2 car attached garage massive wood burning stone fireplace hot tub, flagstone patio with fire pit

aNtLer ridGe, Lot 149

LookiNG GLaSS rd Lot 63

• • • •

• • • •

$269,000 • #161824 • call don

.35 +/- acre lot, Lone Mtn. views exceptional building site, southern exposure community water system between Mountain and Meadow Villages

$225,000 • #181151 • call Stacy

.28 +/- acre beautiful lot mountain views looking over golf course located just minutes from new Town center community water and sewer adjacent to property

uNdeR cONTRacT

caStLe rock tract • • • •

$195,000 • #155585 • call don

1.84 +/- acres close river build home, B&B, or guest cabin great views of castle Rock electricity, Natural gas available

ramShorN, Lot 4 • • • •

$189,500 • #180395 • call don

nice level building lot all season easy access great views of Porcupine creek electricity and phone to lot

Don Pilotte, Broker, GRI, RRS, SFR, 406.580.0155 Eric Ossorio, Broker, 406.539.9553 Stacy Ossorio, Broker, 406.539.8553 Debbie Applebaum, Sales Associate, 406.570.7474

26 December 30, 2011

aNtLer ridGe LotS

$105,000 • #156549/#156551 • call George

• • • •

.46 +/- acres lots wonderful building sites, gorgeous views water & sewer (septic) metered purchase 1 lot or make an offer on both

1350 hiLL coNdo • • • •

$36,000 • #179795 • call eric

1 bd, 1 ba, 440 +/- sf top floor unit overlooks lake great condition very nice upgrades, short sale

Toni Delzer, Sales Associate, 406.570.3195 Anne MacKenzie, Sales Associate, 406.223.1095 Peter MacKenzie, Sales Associate, 406.223.1195 Mark Dobrenski, Sales Associate, 406.599.2175 George Hagar, Sales Associate, 406.580.2248 Marc Lauermann, Sales Assoc., ABR, SFR, 406.581.8242

environmental column

Big Sky Weekly

Australian Company plans to send coal to China By Nick Engelfried

big sky weekly contributor

The Australia-based Ambre Energy wants to mine Montana coal and ship it to China. At least, if Ambre can overcome local resistance from the communities that would be most affected by increased coal train traffic and proposed coal export terminals. The mining company is looking to increase its presence in the U.S., and recently acquired partial ownership of the Decker Coal Mine in southeastern Montana. Ambre also holds a majority stake in a proposed coal export terminal in Longview, Wash. The Longview terminal, first proposed in November of last year, was supposed to send U.S. coal to China and other international markets. With U.S. coal demand declining, coal companies see access to Asian markets as a way to keep their industry alive. But the coal export business comes with hefty environmental costs. Dry areas like eastern Montana are particularly sensitive to the

environmental impacts of coal mining. Due to the fact that vegetation grows slowly in arid regions, it takes more time for plant life to re-establish itself after mining. Because coal deposits tend to act as natural aquifers, mining in eastern Montana affects the availability of water supplies. Heavy metals released during the process of coal mining contaminate aquifers, in some cases making the water unusable for agriculture. Exporting coal would also contribute to climate change. China is already the world’s largest carbon emitter, mainly because of its reliance on using coal for power. Montana-to-China export proposals would connect the world’s largest energy market to some of the biggest coal reserves on the planet, making extreme climate change almost impossible to avoid. While environmental groups and many rural landowners oppose coal export proposals, Governor Brian Schweitzer supports the idea of sending coal to China. In June, Schweitzer visited China to give the keynote address at a conference focused on expanding the global coal

trade. And last year, the Montana State Land Board, which includes the governor and four other statewide officials, voted 3-2 to lease state lands in the Otter Creek area to developer Arch Coal. Arch, which is based in St Louis, Mo., owns a 38 percent stake in the Longview export terminal that Ambre is spearheading. The port is one of several proposed coal export terminals on the West Coast, all of which have run into local opposition. The Longview proposal encountered trouble in February, after leaked documents showed the company had supplied deceiving information about how much coal it meant to transport. While Ambre told local regulators it wanted to export only five million tons of coal out of Longview each year, company officials made plans to ramp up to five times that amount as soon as possible. In March, Ambre pulled its original permit application; it’s expected to submit a new application for a larger coal port. Another proposed coal terminal, near Bellingham, Wash., has also drawn local opposition. In rail line

communities like Bellingham, residents worry that dust from coal trains and diesel fumes from locomotives will impact the quality of their air. In June, 130 physicians from the Bellingham area came out with a statement formally opposing coal exports. Additional coal export proposals on the West Coast have yet to enter the first stages of the permitting process, leaving uncertainty as to whether they will be viable. There is one existing terminal in Vancouver, B.C., but it’s already operating at capacity. Thus Ambre’s acquisition of a Montana mine represents a gamble. The company is assuming it can navigate local opposition, and somehow get its coal to the West Coast—and from there to China. Along the way, Ambre will face opposition from environmentalists concerned about climate change, rural landowners worried about retaining their access to water, and communities affected by dust and other air pollutants from coal trains. Ambre may be staking its future on Montana coal, but its future is far from clear.

December 30, 2011 27

sustainable living Buying new electronics this season? Don't trash the old ones

Electronics dominated holiday shopping lists this season. Analysts with the Consumer Electronics Association predicted shoppers would spend 6 percent more on electronics this year compared to last—about $250 per consumer. For every new laptop, tablet, phone, TV or gaming system, an outdated device likely will be replaced.

This is how Big Sky gets into hot water.

Nordic Hot Tub We service what we sell!

Spa sales to fit your budget Pool and spa care after the sale Custom maintenance plans

Spa covers and custom lifts Lots of accessories for your spa Special orders available (406) 995-4892 • 47520 Gallatin Rd. • Big Sky, MT 59716

28 December 30, 2011

Re-compute in Bozeman recycles desktop and laptop computers and LCD monitors for free. It charges a fee for CRT monitors. Montana State University has an ewaste recycling program, but only for waste from campus.

Unfortunately, there are some bad seeds in the e-waste recycling indusWhat’s next for old gadgets? try. Since most e-waste collectors in Montana only handle the material Don’t throw them away. Electronic for recycling and don’t actually do devices are comprised of toxic comthe recycling themselves, it’s not ponents that clear with whom can be harma recycler does It’s important to make ful to human business. Not sure a recycler is either health and the knowing exactly a Responsible Recycler environment where your elecif discarded in tronics are being (R2) or e-Stewards certhe same waste recycled could tified, an indicator of stream as the put you—and the adherence to environrest of your environment—at household garrisk. mental best practices. bage. This “ewaste” contains It’s important to heavy metals such as lead, mercury make sure a recycler is either a Reand cadmium, which can leach out sponsible Recycler (R2) or e-Stewards of landfills and into groundwater or certified, an indicator of adherence to nearby waterways. environmental best practices. Also, even if you think your electronic But there are alternatives. The device has been cleared of personal Gallatin Valley Landfill in Logan data, be sure the recycler offers data has an e-waste drop off site open destruction compliant with the Monday through Saturday that National Institute of Standards and charges $27/ton for residential, or Technology. $48/ton for commercial. The materials get transferred to a company in The best recyclers are those that California that recycles it. “own the lifecycle,” offering a complete range of remarketing and Both Staples in Bozeman accept recycling services internally, thereby almost all used electronics for recyeliminating reliance on subcontraccling. Some devices can be re-sold, tors, and thus improving accountabilothers give you reward money at ity and security. the store, and others will cost a $10 flat fee. Some of the equipment is refurbished or utilized for parts, This piece was adapted from an and the remainder of the equipment article originally written by Steve and components are disassembled Skurnac, the president of Sims Reand recycled. cycling Solutions, the global leader in electronics reuse and recycling.

Big Sky Weekly

YO U ’ R E I N V I T E D Open House // Luxury Suite 6D 2:00 - 5:00 pm JANUARY






03 04 07 08 10 11 Look for signs at Moonlight Basin Big Sky Real Estate Update:

REFLECTIONS ON 2011 AND PREDICTIONS FOR 2012 From the local experts at Sotheby’s International Realty, Jeff Helms, Tallie Jamison and Ryan Kulesza First and foremost, we want to welcome you back to Big Sky, the best place to enjoy the holiday season. Since your last visit, we’d like to bring you up to speed on our local real estate market. What follows is an overview of the last year’s activity in our entire region including the Meadow, Mountain, and Canyon areas, as well as the four resorts. There is a lot of data and doing the research on your own can be daunting, so we’ve done the work for you. We invite you to review the numbers in our data driven report on pages 30 and 31 or visit us next to the Hungry Moose for a personal overview.


In 2011, we created a marketplace in which properties actually traded. That may sound insignificant, but in comparison to 2009 and 2010 where we saw a relatively inactive marketplace, we had difficulty determining values because there were so few sales. Thankfully, now, we can look at comparable data within distinct segments and discern true market value. Just over two hundred properties traded hands this year, for a total of $106,000,000 (excluding Yellowstone Club transactions). We hit an important milestone late this year: our inventory levels fell below 500, contracting by 38% since the highs of 2008, when we had over 750 listings in the entire Big Sky market. This absorption shows both confidence in the market and a correction in the balance of supply and demand. 75% of the transactions were under $500,000, leading buyers to seek value at price points over $500,000. We were encouraged to see many $1M+ sales in the fourth quarter.


The most important step a buyer can take towards making a purchase is to get an education on the finer points of their market segment. Well priced properties, foreclosures in particular, have seen multiple offers within 48 hours and even sold over the listing price. Buyers need to know when to strike so they don’t miss a great opportunity.

With the combination of decreased prices and very low vacancy rates in the long- and short-term rental markets, investors have begun to allocate money to acquire incomeproducing properties. We expect 2012 to continue to be a buyer’s market, with highend properties in particular.


Short sales, foreclosures and bank-owned properties are still affecting our overall market. In 2011, 24% of solds were technically classified as distressed, while only 10% of our active listings are distressed. In other words, we have a high demand for distressed properties, but the supply has been diminished. Buyers continue to ask for a list of foreclosures; that list is shrinking. The opportunity to purchase top quality distressed real estate is now.


We remain cautiously optimistic about the overall Big Sky market. Over the past year, we have watched Yellowstone Club stabilize, Moonlight Basin begin to emerge from bankruptcy, and Spanish Peaks Holdings II, LLC file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with all services coming to halt. Through it all, Big Sky Resort seemed to make wise and prudent decisions in all facets of their operations. Resort areas rely heavily on real estate sales in order to sustain their business models. Thus, you can anticipate new product development and releases in the later half of 2012 in order to generate much needed revenue to sustain operations in both Yellowstone Club and Moonlight Basin. For example, we expect the release of the final phase of the Powder Ridge Cabins (4B), a ski-in ski-out condo development at Big Sky Resort.

Inventory levels in Moonlight Basin will continue to diminish into the first quarter of 2012, which will lead to an increase in value for many of the ski-in ski-out properties there. Yellowstone Club will continue to see absorption in their secondary market, which will eventually lead to new developer releases. They are launching built product that the consumer can purchase ‘turn-key’. Yellowstone Club will continue to be our glimmer of hope in the high-end luxury segment. As occurred in 1998 to 2001, when YC values improve, the rest of the market follows. We confidently predict that in 2012, absorption rates in Moonlight Basin, YC and Big Sky Resort will increase over 2011. We guarantee that Big Sky remains an incredible destination with quality of life unmatched by any other mountain resort community. Our advice to you is to begin tracking the data in order to stay in tune with market dynamics. Insider’s Edge The Big Sky real estate market can be difficult to navigate. It’s hard to predict true market values, so we rose to that challenge by developing a solution called the “Insider’s Edge.” On this portion of our website, we will simplify local news and real estate updates. Now more than ever, buyers and sellers need a knowledge-based resource to make informed real estate decisions. Jeff, Tallie and Ryan are an integral component of the leading real estate firm in Big Sky and are proud to live, work, and play here.

We anticipate vacant land sales to increase in 2012 due to such low prices throughout Big Sky.



TA L L I E JA M I S ON Associate


Year in Review - Statistical Analysis Sold By Type

Price Ranges Sold by Transaction Count

Price Ranges Sold by Dollar Volume









































































With Condo values generally down as much as 60% from the highs of 2007 and long term vacancies staying below 3%, investor interest in this product type rose in 2011. Interest in vacant land continue to lag as replacement costs are still significantly higher than the cost of already built homes and condos. We traded two commercial properties in all of Big Sky and continue to see a high vacancy rate in commercial leases. *Data does not include all Yellowstone Club transactions

It is intersecting to see that while the lower end market (below $500K) represents 75% of the transactions, it is only 31% of the total market volume. It is many people’s perception that foreclosures typically occur in the low end market, but you can see in the list to the left that there were 4 distressed sales over $1M this year.

A wave of activity occurred in the lower end market (under $500K) and we expect it to flow into the higher end market (over $500K) in 2012. Value opportunities have been absorbed (read: sold) in the low end market and buyers have just started to participate in the higherend market in an effort to find value in well-priced inventory.

Profile & Status Updates for our Resorts Moonlight Basin Moonlight Basin is a 8,150 acre public business model situated between Lone Mountain and the Spanish Peaks range in the Jack Creek drainage of Madison County. There are 1651 residential units fully entitled for development of which 353 have been built and sold. Amenities include a spa, 8,000-yard Jack Nicklaus golf course (the back 9 holes are completed) and 1,900 acres of pristine groomers, tree glades, and challenging steep terrain (with more terrain to come). Vacant land parcels vary in size from 1 acre to 160 acres. Residential options include private ski-in ski-out homes, cabins, and condos. Much of their real estate can be accessed on skis to both Moonlight Basin and Big Sky Resort’s 5,512 skiable acres (with the Lone Peak Pass). Moonlight Basin filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008 and has worked to restructure their debt. A definitive settlement between Lehmann Commercial and Moonlight Basin is tentatively scheduled for December 16th (as of press time). The close of the sale of Moonlight’s assets to Lehmann and an issuance of final decree will mark an official end to the bankruptcy. # active listings: 39 # sold in 2011: 15 Average sold / sf : $521.26

$ active listings: $66,792,000 $ sold in 2011: $27,711,000

Big Sky Resort Area Big Sky Resort is a public business model that is owned and operated by Boyne Resorts and is capitalized by CNL based in Orlando, Florida. The iconic Mountain Village operates as the ski area’s hub of activity and nightlife. Amenities include 3,832 acres of worldclass skiing, including 150 named runs covering over 85 miles on three separate mountains and a tram-accessable 11,166 foot peak, heated outdoor pools, two hotels, 18-hole Arnold Palmer golf course located in the Meadow. and a variety of on-mountain summer activities. Residential developer options include ski-in ski-out cabins and slopeside condos, starting at $149,000. There are no developer land options at this time. Mountain Village # active listings: 120 # sold in 2011: 49 Average sold / sf : $189.88

30 December 30, 2011

$ active listings: $61,842,650 $ sold in 2011: $21,636,250

Yellowstone Club Yellowstone Club is a 13,600 acre private business model encompassing Pioneer and Eglise Mountains in Madison County, adjacent to Lone Mountain. There are 864 entitlements of which approximately 345 non-equity residential memberships have sold since they opened in 2000. Amenities include 2,200 acres of Private Powder™, a Tom Weiskopf 18-hole golf course, first-class fitness center and outdoor heated pool, 140,000 square foot Warren Miller Lodge housing a spa, kids’ facilities, and a variety of entertainment and dining outlets. Residential options include custom homes, 160-acre private ranches, slopeside chalets, and base lodge Condos which range between $2M and $26M. In 2008, the Club filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy but has since successfully emerged. They are now well capitalized by a group comprised of CrossHarbor Capital Partners, LLC, Discovery Land Company and about 60 members. They have seen strong sales in the last year due to a re-setting of values in the resale market. # active listings: Contact Us Directly $ active listings: Contact Us Directly # sold in 2011: Contact Us Directly $ sold in 2011: Contact Us Directly

The Club at Spanish Peaks The Club at Spanish Peaks is a 5,700 acre private business model situated between Big Sky Resort and Yellowstone Club on Andesite and Flat Iron Mountains. They have 850 entitlements of which approximately 318 non-equity Residential and Golf Memberships have been sold since they opened in 2000. Approximately 40 homes have been built with about 6 currently under construction. Vacant land parcels vary in size from 1 acre to 25 acres. Their ski accessible real estate is also uniquely adjacent to a Tom Weiskopf 18-hole golf course, and offers private access to Big Sky Resort’s public skiing. A clubhouse acts as the center of activity for members as well as a yurt near the base of the Southern Comfort lift. In October 2011, their holding company, Spanish Peaks Holdings II, LLC filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in a Delaware court. Things are changing daily with respect to their future so please contact us directly for the must current information. # active listings: 77 # sold in 2011: 12 Average sold / sf : $562.51

$ active listings: $89,093,688 $ sold in 2011: $$13,683,999

Year in Review - 2011 Properties Sold (To Date) Our mission is to give you the knowledge base to make informed decisions. We represent buyers and sellers.

Call us directly for up-to-date market information - 406.995.2244 PROPERTY




Canyon Area TBD Gallatin Road 1000 Cascade Creek Road 531 Cascade Creek TBD Storm Castle Road 54320 Gallatin Road

$79,000 $92,000 $79,700 $130,000 $184,900

$99,000 $92,000 $79,700 $130,000 $194,900

127.42 296.77 120.76 194.03 264.14






62 Candlelight Meadow Drive




Moonlight Basin

75 Firelight Drive




Saddle Ridge C2

517 Firelight Drive




Saddle Ridge F2

397 Firelight Drive




Saddle Ridge F4

74 Candlelight Meadow Drive




Saddle Ridge B2 Saddle Ridge D2


$314,900 $359,000 $389,000 $410,000 $430,000


$329,900 $359,000 $399,000 $410,000 $430,000


178.82 203.86 220.9 232.82 244.18

34 Primrose Lane




503 Firelight Drive




Saddle Ridge L1




43 Paintbrush Place




49 Candlelight Meadow Drive




Saddle Ridge U1




381 Firelight Drive




277 Candlelight Meadows Dr




65550 Gallatin Road 1299 Dudley Creek Road 312 Windy Pass Trail 49825 Gallatin Road 355 Beaver Mountain Trail

$449,000 $429,000 $599,000 $699,000 $749,900

$495,000 $623,000 $599,000 $699,000 $824,900

249.44 268.13 183.97 272.2 314.42

2575 Curly Bear Road Silverbow 48

Alpine Meadows Suite 6A Alpine Duplex 1A Alpine Meadows Suite 6C

$225,000 $239,000

$279,000 $375,000

173.08 170.71

Luxury Suite 2C Cowboy Heaven Cabin 10

$1,295,000 $1,395,000 $1,595,000 $1,495,000 $450,000

$1,295,000 $1,395,000 $2,250,000 $1,695,000 $699,000

518 604.42 531.67 498.33 576.92





Powder Ridge Cabin 47




Summit Hotel Room 1007








44 Summit View




38 Middle Rider Road




928 Cascade Creek Rd




Summit View Lot 5



Cascade Sub Lot 186A



Lot #168A Cascade SD



Cascade 126A



Cascade Lot 340, Block 6



Cascade Lot 120A



90 Summit View Drive



Ridgeview Lot 3



84 Lazy T-4 Road




Deer Run 4E




Cowboy Heaven Cabin 11




200 Towering Pines Road




677 Sunburst Drive




Mountain Home 60




The Club at Spanish Peaks

54725 Gallatin Road




2575 Curley Bear Road




Mountain Home 63




Cabin 23




500 Beaver Creek Road




51 Rose Hip Circle




Mountain Home 47




Cabin 22




360 Rainbow Ranch Road




647 Sunburst Drive




Alpine Meadows Chalet 76




6519 Beaver Creek Rd




59400 Gallatin Road




41 Blue Flax Place




126 Diamond Hitch Road




820 Elk Meadow Trail




Beavercreek West Lot 22B



21 Blue Flax Place




10 Hackamore Rd




658 Elk Meadow Trail




Buck Ridge Ranch Lot 12



Deer Run H2




17 Renegade Road




Ranch 121



Porcupine Park Lot 13A



C3 Blue Spruce Way




105 Peaks View Drive




Ranch 23



Greathorn Ranch Tract 1



3525 Ringneck Road




Lot 20 Diamond Hitch



Ranch 122



Deer Run G1






Deer Run I2





Ranch 31 Big EZ Estate 20



Spanish Peaks Club Condo 16D




Wildridge 37



Ski Tip Glade 12



Meadow Area RJS Building Unit 204 659 Spruce Cone Drive

$275,000 $295,000

$275,000 $350,000


The Lodge at Big Sky #320 The Lodge at Big Sky #214

$32,900 $29,900

$39,000 $29,900

71.21 64.72

Gallatin Building Unit 13




Deer Run I1




Hill Condo 1192




Spruce Condo 6




F2 Blue Spruce Way




Hill Condo 1243




Gallatin Building Unit 16









193 Spruce Cone Drive




Spanish Peaks Club Condo 21D

Hill Condo 1203 Hill Condo 1264




Firelight Condo 3C




Crail Creek Condo 615




Hill Condo 1260




Firelight Condo 6A




Spanish Peaks Club Condo 27A




Hill Condo 1277




Silverbow 55




Hill Condo 1229




Firelight Condo B6




Hill Condo 1352




Firelight Condo C8




Hill Condo 1334




Firelight Condo B8




Cedar Creek Condo 8




Firelight Condo 5C




Cedar Creek Condo 15




Yellowstone Condo 88



Cedar Creek Condo 18




8 Firelight Drive


Spruce Condo 51 Firelight Condo 19C

Elevation 6000 B1 Lone Peak Townhome 10 145A Pheasant Tail Rd

$550,000 $499,000 $444,900


$550,000 $499,000 $509,000

203.18 207.92 173.92

133A Pheasant Tail Lane




Spanish Peaks Club Condo 8E







2265 Little Coyote Road




Cedar Creek Condo 10







2455 Little Coyote




Cedar Creek Condo 26







98 Limber Pine




Cedar Creek Condo 16




Firelight Condo 16C




2550 Curley Bear Road




Cedar Creek Condo 35




Spruce Condo 11




380 Spruce Cone Drive




Stillwater Condo 1021




Broadwater 185




2165 Yellowtail Road




Stillwater Condo 1040




Glacier Condo 160




2310 Yellowtail Road




Shoshone 1953




Broadwater 187




2695 Curley Bear Road




Big Horn 11




Firelight Condo 10D




50 Skywood Road




Big Horn 37




Firelight Condo 20A




125 Chief Joseph Trail




Big Horn 69




Firelight Condo D6




1881 Little Coyote Road




Village Center Room 208




Pine Ridge Condo #8




1792 Little Coyote Road




Alpenglow Condo 19A




Firelight Condo 11A




2715 Little Coyote




Elkhorn Condo 1302




Broadwater 180




2605 Little Coyote




Arrowhead 1672




Firelight Condo 2D




466 Antler Ridge Road




Moosewood Condo Unit F




Aspen Court 1




336 Autumn Trail




Black Eagle Lodge 30




Hidden Village 81




121 Silverado Trail




Powder Ridge Cabin 130




Glacier Condo 152




350 Misty Way




Powder Ridge Cabin 131




Glacier Condo 157








Powder Ridge Cabin 135




Madison Court 11




1555 Silverado Trail




Powder Ridge Cabin 127




68 Rose Hip Circle




229 Amber Lilly Lane




Black Eagle Lodge 11




109 Candlelight




West Fork Meadows Lot 6



Gray Wolf Condo 2830




Block 5 Lot 10



Madison Court 5




Michener Meadows Lot 20



Grey Drake Lot 7



TALL I E JAMI S ON Associate

Yellowstone Club sales information available upon request. Sotheby’s successfully negotiated condo, land and home transactions within Yellowstone Club in 2011.

Commercial Condominium Lot Home


Helms, Jamison & Kulesza JEFF HELMS Broker

Yellowstone Club


We Represent Buyers & Sellers HELMS

4 0 6 . 9 9 5 . 2 2 4 4 • B IG SK YSI R . C OM All statistics included in summary derived from Gallatin County MLS on December 12, 2011. This material is based upon information which we consider reliable, but because it has been supplied by third parties, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such. This offering is subject to errors, omissions and changes including price or withdrawal without notice. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Office in Independently Owned and Operated. If your property is listed with a real estate broker, please disregard. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other real estate brokers. We are happy to work with them and cooperate fully.


2012 Two ways to DELVE into

New Year’s Eve at Moonlight Lodge For the adults... Enjoy a special dinner at the new JACK CREEK GRILLE, followed by music by The Clintons, dancing, party favors and a champagne toast.

(Dinner seatings available from 6pm - 9pm) $125 FOR THE ENTIRE EVENING

New Year’s Party at Headwaters Grille For the family...

Join us at Moonlight Lodge for a night of revelry.

6pm till close

Big Sky Weekly

Ring in 2012 with family fun for all ages at HEADWATERS GRILLE at the Madison Village Base Area! Celebrate the new year with karaoke, party favor crafts, a balloon drop, and s’mores around the outdoor fire pit.

6pm - 9pm $15 PER PERSON

NOT DINING WITH US? Attend our music celebration only - $25 AFTER 10PM

For more information or reservations for either event, please contact Guest Services at (406) 995-7600

my mountain is

MOONLIGHT 32 December 30, 2011

Section 3:

Big Sky Weekly

December 30, 2011 Volume 2 // Issue #23

life // land //culture food & dining

Moonlight’s Jack Creek Grille offers lively après, full bar and menu Big Sky’s newest dining experience growing in popularity By abbie digel

and local meat distributors, the plates are served at reasonable portion sizes and price points.

Big Sky – There’s nothing better than retiring to the Moonlight Lodge after a day exploring Lone Mountain on ski or board. With the big couches, warm fireplace, tall ceilings and vast windows overlooking snowy ridges and tree-lined groomers, why would you want to leave?

Stenberg, a longtime Montana chef fresh from the Club at Spanish Peaks is excited to offer an everchanging menu with frequent specials to Moonlight guests and locals.

big sky weekly editor

This year the dining area in the lodge has a fresh face: Jack Creek Grille. Take the menu of a cozy city bistro, add mountain touch, sweeping views of Lone Peak, and Moonlight Basin’s first-rate hospitality, and you get an original Big Sky experience.

“We’ve only been open a week, and people are leaving saying they are impressed with the pricing

The kids’ menu has all of the favorites: mac n cheese, spaghetti and grilled chicken, all priced at a savvy seven dollars each. Kids love the colorful menus with games and coloring sheets. It’s hard to choose from kitchen favorites such as house-made vegetarian lasagna, a risotto with caramelized butternut squash, and a classic bison burger. The salads are a standout, especially the Quinoa, which is made with a lemon yogurt vinaigrette that adds a tart contrast to the sweet dried cherries. The dining room has plenty of seating for large and small parties alike, and guests also have to option to sit by the fire or stay in the bar to enjoy their meals.

Guests can take their time sitting at any of the high tops surrounding the bar or the cozy leather chairs and couches. The bar menu is complete with nachos, sliders, local brews and specialty cocktails. Bustling with an exciting après crowd, the lodge is the place to recount the day’s action.

Jack Creek Grille is also open for lunch. “If you’re looking for a sit down lunch, and then getting right back on the hill, Jack Creek is perfect,” Chapin said. The lunch menu has lighter fare, but with plenty of carbs and protein for a full day of hitting the slopes. Try the flatbread pizza or the fish tacos and wash it down with a cold Moonlight IPA from Lone Peak Brewery.

The Jack Creek Grille is named after the creek running west through Moonlight Basin resort's property, ultimately flowing into the Madison River. The private 10-mile Jack Creek Road follows this drainage west of Big Sky; the area of conservation easements and private land abuts the Lee Metcalf wilderness and is an important wildlife habitat.

structure and fun atmosphere,” said Carrie Chapin, the restaurant manager. At press time, the Jack Creek Grille had been busy every night since opening. Reservations are recommended.

The Grille’s approachable menu offers rustic Montana cuisine, simple comfort foods and Asian-American inspired dishes with chef Eric Stenberg’s personal flair. Using local food from Gallatin Valley Botanical

The staff is quick and knowledgeable, and will guide you through the extensive wine list, pairing the perfect red with their Red Lodge Beef Tenderloin, or a crisp white with the Pan Seared Paradise Valley Trout.

Like its namesake, Jack Creek Grille is genuine Montana: individuals and families will want to return during their stay because of the comfort of the atmosphere, the friendliness of the staff and the simple, delicious menu. Call (406) 995-7777 for reservations, menu updates and specials.

December 30, 2011 33


Big Sky Weekly

Kelsey Dzintars “Carl of the Cosmos” is valued at $7 trillion dollars. But he’s probably worth more than that—there’s something godly about the watercolor and ink lion. Much of Kelsey Dzintars art portrays this magical realism. “They’re nobody really,” she says about the subjects in her current show, a collection from the last two years. “I kind of want them to be everybody. They’re just characters.. Even the ones that are based on real people.” Most of them have their eyes closed: a woman listening to music, a bicyclist, a drummer, a woman with horns, a nude chasing a rabbit, a bull rider. A sense of optimism runs through the paintings, lending a familiarity to these sometimes-eccentric characters. Originally from Rapid City, S.D., Dzintars moved to Bozeman in 2005 to attend MSU’s graphic design program. She graduated in 2009, and works now as a graphic designer for the Outlaw Partners, a marketing firm and media agency based in Big Sky (the publisher of this newspaper). Dzintars has previously shown her work at MSU’s Exit Gallery, Theory Salon, the Nova, the Daily, the Emerson and Plonk. -Emily Stifler

"Bullrider in Big Sky" oil, acrylic, spraypaint, 36 x 48" 2011

The eyes give a lot away. I want the viewer to have their own experience, especially because I paint mostly people. With the eyes closed, it leaves a sense of openness.

them—to do a full show of doors. It’s kind of this feeling of… I guess I can’t explain it. That’s why I paint it.

The figure in “Synesthesia” is nobody in particular. I did some live painting at the Chamberlin Rail Jam last year, and she’s based on that. The original one was on an eight foot piece of canvas that I spray-painted.

They’re all kind of at peace. They’re feeling a deep sense of god or whatever you want to call it. That feeling of doing something overwhelming and invigorating… you get sent into a peaceful state. Even the cowboy—it’s got a lot of motion to it, but he’s calm. He’s in his element.

The girl on the door (“Red Room”) is based on a photograph I found on a European fashion blog. I found the door sitting in an alley when I was walking home from MSU while I was in school. It could be a functioning door if you wanted it to be… After I did that one, people started bringing me doors and window shutters. I think it’d be cool to do more of

My paintings used to be very lonely and confrontational, in the sense that they were single figures staring straight at you. They were kind of unnerving—or at least that’s what people told me. I went through a transition three or four years ago, when I started to get into this happier place. I wanted to paint the good things in life and all the

"Synesthesia" oil, acrylic, spraypaint, 48 x 36" 2011

34 December 30, 2011

exuberant feelings. While it’s difficult to let go of the original image I have in my mind, I’ve learned that when I give in to the flow, the results are surprising and often better than what I intended. In “Snow Ghost,” my intent was to paint that stretch of road going to the [Filling Station], based on a rainy night riding bikes with friends out there.

"Snow Ghost" oil on canvas, 24 x 48" 2011


Big Sky Weekly

"Carl of the Cosmos" watercolor, ink 17x30" 2011

could be a self portrait. It’s a piece of yourself, I spent so much time trying to get the image to apand no matter the subject matter or style, it’s you, pear the way I’d seen it. I was frustrated, so I took a because it’s your art. step back and just started going crazy with all this yellow paint, and a new image of a river emerged that I found reminiscent of driving through the I’ve always loved painting and drawing, and I think it’s really helped Gallatin Canyon. me in my design work Then [A friend] told to be good at drawing. me about seeing a In January, Dzintars is showing her work at It’s important to step wolf across a river in 406 Brewery in Bozeman, with an opening the middle of the night away from the comreception Jan. 5 from 6-8 p.m. puter screen and work while camping. All those things converged with my hands. It helps to keep my creativinto one image. That’s what I think is cool ity flowing. Hearing about painting—you others’ experiences with my artwork motivates me to keep painting, but don’t know exactly where this image came from, it’s ultimately it’s very personal. It’s something I do for kind of bits and pieces of life. myself more than anybody else. I hardly ever intend for the characters I create to be a self portrait. But in a sense, everything you paint

"The Red Room" oil on wood, 2008

December 30, 2011 35

Big Sky Weekly

Creighton Block

Rob Akey Greg Alexander Jim Barrett Diana Brady Lynn Cain

Todd Connor Jerral Derr yberr y Flavia Eckholm Edd Enders Thomas English

Charles Fulcher Mark Gibson Don Grant Mimi Grant Ott Jones

David Lemon Asha MacDonald Mike Patterson Paula Pearl Jacqueline Rieder Hud

Shiela Rieman Daniel San Souci Deb Schmit Laurie Stevens Shirle Wempner

ARTIST PROFILE Todd Connor was born in 1964 and raised in Tulsa, OK. He began painting in pastels and oils at the age of 12. After high school he joined the Navy, where he ser ved as a Navy SEAL in Coronado, CA. After militar y ser vice he toured National Parks and historical sites throughout the West, and determined to return to painting. After 4 years of study divided between landscape and figurative work, he received a BFA in 1997 from the prestigious Ar t Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. He briefly worked as a colorboard painter for Universal Studios in Japan before making the leap to full time painter in 1999. Todd Connor has met with much success in venues including the CM Russell show and auction in Great Falls, MT and Settlers West Galleries’ annual Great American West show in Tucson, AZ. His influences include Impressionists, Asian calligraphy, and early American Illustrators. His exceptional ability to convey a strong sense of character, as well as a sense of time and place in his ar t, has led to commissions and acquisitions by some of the countr y’s most distinguished ar t collectors.

Todd Connor “Protector” 36” x 24”



4 06-993-9400


Ar twork also displayed at Outlaw Par tners and Lone Mountain Ranch Dining Room 36 December 2, 2011


Over 3 decades building in Big Sky

Big Sky Weekly

145 Center Lane Unit L, Meadow Village Center P.O. Box 160068, Big Sky, MT 59716 Phone: 406-995-4579 • Fax: 406-995-4043

By Brandon Niles

Aaron Rodgers - MVP Every year toward the end of the football season, a debate starts up about who is most deserving of the annual MVP award in the NFL. The debate often centers on statistics versus wins or positional value. Sometimes there are multiple players deserving of the award, and sometimes the choice is obvious. Regardless of the merits, the debate rages on. Aaron Rodgers runs off Lambeau Field into the tunThis year, Aaron Rodgers is nel amid a standing ovation. PHoto by Chad Davis the obvious choice for MVP. However, the debate prevails, with seemingly every sportscaster LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster, and throwing a different name into the hat Maurice Jones-Drew have all been for consideration. impressive running the ball this year,

This is what sports writing has come to: The business of drawing up controversy where there is none has replaced actual commentary on the sport itself. Despite the fact that Rodgers is the only logical choice for the award, people continue to argue for others in an attempt to create the illusion that there is actual competition. These debates often boil down to personal achievement versus team achievement. Aaron Rodgers has led the Green Bay Packers to the NFC North division title and a first round bye in the playoffs. Rodgers is also leading or near the top in all significant statistical categories, including touchdowns, yards and completion percentage. He’s also been very efficient, ranking near the bottom of the league in interceptions thrown. Rodgers has the 14–1 record to warrant consideration and he has the statistics to solidify his status as the MVP for 2011. Drew Brees has been thrown into the conversation as a viable alternative. Brees is a great player and has had an excellent season, however he’s thrown nearly twice the interceptions as Rodgers while leading the Saints to a worse record. Few can argue that Brees is the second best option for the award, but overall he has been clearly outshined by Rodgers.

but with the exception of Foster, their successes have not led to significant wins for their respective teams. Foster has greatly contributed to Houston’s success, but he hasn’t played a full season due to an injury that plagued him early. Calvin Johnson is the only other possibility, and he’s proven that double and triple coverage can take him out of games. There have been several contests this season in which Johnson was hardly effective at all.

Put on a few extra pounds this season?

Only one player has done it all this season, and this year will be remembered as one of the greatest a quarterback has ever put together. In any other year, I might be willing to listen to the controversies brought up around the league. But it’s clear that all the debating really comes down to is who will come in second. Brandon Niles has done online freelance writing about the NFL since 2007. His articles range from NFL news to teamspecific commentary. A Communication Studies graduate student at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, Niles is also an avid Miami Dolphins fan, which has led to his becoming an avid Scotch whisky fan over the past decade.

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December 30, 2011 37


Big Sky Weekly




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Big Sky Weekly

A day in the life of lift operations Bridger, Moonlight and Big Sky by Jamie Kujawa

big sky weekly contributor

“Don’t duck the ropes!” “Turn toward your partner and look for the center pole.” Most Bridger locals have heard these phrases many times from the relentless lift operators. Bridger’s unofficial motto “Bridger Bowl, center pole,” stems from the fact that it’s one of few mountains left in the nation with Riblet center pole chairlifts. Bridger lifties typically work a four-day week, and are the only lift ops in Southwest Montana that don’t get ski breaks during workdays. A typical day for a Bridger lift op starts with catching the free bus from the fairgrounds at 7:25 a.m. On a good day, most everyone sleeps, allowing a few extra minutes of much-needed shut-eye before the day unfolds 8 a.m. in the “pits,” the Bridger lift ops locker room. The pits were named after the pits at a Nascar race, says Dan Boehmer, head of Bridger lift operations. On any given morning, lifties barge into their lockers, backpacks on, changing gear quickly, checking the white boards, listening to Boehmer assign work stations and announce important information. Boehmer pulls people aside to talk particulars about their stations that day. By 8:15, the lifties load the Powder Park quad and head to his or her workstation. The eightminute lift ride is a welcome relief of solitude and scenery before the day unfolds. Morning duties include setting up cones and shoveling fresh snow, safety checks, talking to patrol, and firing up the engine. All of this should be done before 9 a.m., when the public arrives. Meanwhile, over at Moonlight Basin the day unfolds quite similarly, starting at 7:45 with a morning meeting in the locker room that covers current events and weather conditions. Lift assignments are on a first come-first serve basis and everyone is trained on every lift.

Photo by mike martins

This system works because operators don’t get burned out doing the same thing, says Ross Smethurst, Moonlight’s head of lift operations. Throughout the day, operators rotate between the three stations of bottom operator, top operator and ticket scanner. Moonlight’s crew is “an extremely close group of ops,” Smethurst says, with 21 returnees from last season and 10 lead ops. Smethurst’s priorities are safety and customer service. He explains that his operators take pride in their work and it shows. He encourages his crew to be friendly and engaging, because “having fun rubs off on guests.” Next door at Big Sky, tram operator Nolan House grabs his radio at 6:35 a.m. after gearing up in the lift ops’ locker room. He and his other tram-mates access their station via two lift rides. The conditions will dictate their morning.

Tram operators are at the mercy of ski patrol, House says. It’s the operators’ duty to “keep our ear on the radio,” paying attention to when and where patrol will be deploying explosives for avalanche control. Once at the tram, House has a big list of safety checks and regular maintenance. Plus, so much snow blows into the terminals overnight that they often have “an incredible amount of digging" to do.” The three-member tram crew splits up in the morning after patrol has cleared them— two to the top and the third to finish up at the bottom. The trench at the top terminal, where the tram cabin would drag in the snow if not maintained, is about 85 feet down the mountain from the terminal, and about as wide as a semi. Shoveling it out requires a tram op to wear a full body harness and safety line with four anchors, as well as an avalanche transceiver. They dig directly above the 1,000-foot face beneath the tram, and the shovels used for the job are all attached to lanyards, House says, chuckling as he thinks about the exposure. It’s also a spot with significant avalanche danger. Once the morning chores are complete, House and his team take in the view and wait for opening. The real work begins when the tram opens for the day.

Photo by Jamie Kujawa

The tramline is a mixture of tourists and picky locals, House says, as well as the priority riders like patrol and instructors with lessons. But, it has perks. Tram ops gets to hear about what’s skiing well that day, so they knows exactly where to go on ski breaks. “Once you get in the groove, it’s a good deal,” House says. Jamie Kujawa has lived, worked and played in Bozeman for the past four years. When not writing, she's likely swimming, doing yoga or recreating with her dog. Photo by doug wales

Photo byjennie milton

December 30, 2011 39


Big Sky Weekly


Talk the talk before you walk the walk

Big Sky Weekly Avalanche Educator

Faceted snow = angular snow with poor bonding created from large temperature gradients within the snowpack

Las Vegas might be the world’s greatest place to make New Year’s resolutions. As I took in the sights on The Strip on a recent December evening, I couldn’t help but think about how to better myself in the coming year.

Surface hoar = feathery crystals that form on the snow surface during clear and calm conditions—essentially frozen dew Persistent weak layers = weak layers that continue to produce avalanches for several days or weeks after a storm

Yeah, right. But I did come up with some quality New Year’s resolutions while putting Sin City in the rear view mirror. For all the sledders, boarders and skiers who like to play on Southwest Montana’s slopes, how about this resolution: KISS more often. I’m not talking about the ‘70s hair band or wet sloppy ones under the mistletoe—although there’s nothing wrong with either of those. I’m talking about committing to a principle, especially whenever you’re in avalanche terrain the next couple months:

- From the Forest Service National Avalanche Center website and Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper

Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS for short). Before delving into KISS, we should examine this year’s snowpack. November and December’s weather has quickly erased memories of last year’s epic winter. The feeble snowfall and cool temperatures have created a shallow snowpack with plenty of weak, sug-

ary faceted snow crystals. If you’ve been reading the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center advisories at, you’ve read about these nasty devils daily.

So, what can recreational fun hogs do to combat these tricky avalanche conditions? Should you just throw in the towel, stay inside and watch TV? No way! Commit to KISS. Focus on simple rules and pieces of information to deal with the tricky avalanche conditions we’ll see for the foreseeable future:

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Minimize exposure to avalanche terrain by exposing only one person at a time to avalanche hazard. DO NOT help your buddy dig out his stuck sled half way up the slope. Skiers and boarders—make sure you watch your partner shred from a safe spot, NOT in the run out zone where the debris will pile up.

Carry avalanche rescue gear and know how to use it. Practice regularly. Take advantage of the mediocre riding conditions by spending some extra time finetuning your beacon skills.

Additionally, many slopes have buried layers of surface hoar. In the avalanche world, facets and surface hoar are known as persistent weak layers and are capable of producing avalanches months after their formation. Slopes with persistent weak layers are notoriously tough to evaluate and are the sites of the majority of the avalanche fatalities in Southwest Montana and North America. Since slopes can slide on these weak layers days or weeks after the last snowfall, even avalanche experts struggle to predict exactly when facets and surface hoar will strengthen and these slopes will stabilize.

Julie Blakeley

on similar slopes, collapsing and whumphing, and shooting cracks.

Avoid avalanche terrain for at least a couple days after any storm or fresh wind load. Beware of “cumulative loads”— series of small storms that can add up to significant snowfall over several days.

Choose to play on simple, “low consequence” terrain—terrain that probably won’t kill you if you do get caught in an avalanche. Steer clear of terrain traps (gullies, creeks, moraines), cliffs and sparsely treed avalanche slopes.

Pay attention to “bull’s eye” data—recent avalanche activity

Last winter’s deep, stable snowpack allowed us to visit all kinds of seldom visited places without consequence, but this year is an entirely different beast. Now is not the time to high mark big slopes or ski complex alpine lines. Instead, consider choosing simpler, more forgiving terrain until the persistent weak layers in our snowpack strengthen significantly. How long might this take? In past years, we’ve observed avalanche activity over 100 days after the formation of some faceted layers in Southwest Montana—yep, bummer! Hopefully this year’s facets and surface hoar strengthen faster than that, but this gambler wouldn’t bet on it. In the meantime, remember your New Year’s resolutions and commit to keeping it simple. Scotty Savage really likes Vegas. He also likes learning from his and others’ avalanche-related mistakes and teaching avalanche professionals and recreationists about avalanches, snow science, and decision-making in avalanche terrain.

Big Sky Weekly

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Big Sky Weekly

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Big Sky Weekly

Winter snowshoe programs in West Yellowstone Gallatin National Forest Gallatin National Forest—The Winter Snowshoe Program in West Yellowstone has an array of hikes highlighting the region. Running through March, the two to three hour hikes are geared for beginners.

Earthquake. Tours on Feb. 1 and Feb. 29 will take place in the West Yellowstone area. Participants can attend any snowshoe tour and sign-ups are not required. All walks meet at the Hebgen Lake Ranger Station (330 Gallatin Rd. in West) at 1 p.m. and run until 3 or 4 p.m. Pack water, snacks and binoculars, dress in warm layers, and wear comfortable hiking or snow boots. Snowshoes not provided. For more information call the ranger station at (406) 823-6961

Jan. 12, Feb. 7, and March 6 tours will meet at the Hebgen Lake Ranger Station and caravan to Refuge Point Trail. These will provide a historical look at the Hebgen Lake Corridor, and teach why Refuge Point was a vital meeting place after the 1959 Hebgen Lake

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Big Sky Weekly

column: further fetchin's

Captain’s Log, ski date 122112


1. Need your kitchen stocked – have it delivered 406-995-3045 2. Save 10% on your ON-LINE ski & snowboard rental enter promo code: RTP11 (thru April 8th, some restrictions may apply)

3. Take a Big Sky real estate tour John (406) 570-1920 ~ (406) 580-5700 Karen 4. Bring a friend on Sat or Sun between 10am & 12:30pm, receive 10% off or 406-995-7575 5. Find the best restaurant deals at: 6. Montana Backcountry Adventures yurt dinner or (406) 995-3880 The author, not too worried about the calendar date in Big Sky. photo by Chris Kamman

By mike mannelin

big sky weekly contributor

The chains on the plow truck jingle as it passes by my camper bed for the 10th time. This is my call to get up and go skiing. When I open the door and look outside, the new snow on the ground surprises me. “No time to make coffee,” I think. “Gotta get to Swifty.” The base area is busy with holiday visitors who think this is a normal day. We haven’t had a real powder day yet this year, so I’m pretty stoked to get up the mountain. Without a sense of hurry, my buddy Brit and I load the chairlift. It’s the lack of having to race for freshies that I love the most about this place. I take that back. It’s the lift-serviced terrain available that’s my favorite. Or maybe it’s the friendly people I keep running into every day. At any rate, I’m pretty excited to be here for as many high quality breaths of fresh mountain air as I can absorb. Contrary to the thoughts of many, today is quite significant. As I write, it’s Dec. 21, 2011. It’s the day before winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, and it’s the first day of winter. It’s snowing, and we’ve already collected a foot from this storm. It’s also significant that we are exactly 365 days from the hyped apocalypse, the end of the world as we know it: Dec. 21, 2012, or in the Long Count from the ancient Mayan calendar. What does this mean to me? I guess from a reflective standpoint, it’s similar to the new year that is upon us. If

nothing else, it’s a good time to check in with myself about the direction of my path in life. Where will I be a year from today? Hopefully I’ll be skiing the same conditions we had today or are about to have tomorrow. Chest deep turns on the tram with some of my best friends are mostly what I’m thinking about for the predicted Apocalypse. When the world ends, my friends and I will be choking on blower Montana cold smoke, cruising through the trees of Bavarian Forest, laughing as we lift out of the snow and into the air between turns, only to be slammed with face shots as we re-enter the snow-mosphere, tips first. Perhaps we won’t even know the world ended because we’ll be too busy figuring out which way to go as we climb out of the tramcar, lap after lap. Maybe the Christmas music will all stop at once, the televisions will all become snowy, and chaos will ensue on the streets of America. The earth will shake, and the mountains will fall down. Friends will gather to say goodbye to the cruel old world, and hello to our new existence as butterflies and eagles. I think it’ll be just another day in Big Sky. That’s not to discount the good fortune of anyone who happens to be skiing here on any given day, because ‘just another day in Big Sky’ is pretty much as good as it gets. Mike Mannelin has been skiing Big Sky with friends since his early 20s. He is a guide for Alaska Heliskiing, and spends his summers in a remote cabin with his wife, dog and some friendly brown bears.

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December 30, 2011 45

Big Sky Weekly

Photo by Outlaw Partners

Lara Hobby 14 Swift Bear View

Aimee Gerharter Shawna winter

Winter & Company

Shawna Winter William Feher:

46 December 30, 2011

Lynn Milligan

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406.995.2093 | 406.581.2033 Winter & Co. Welcomes

Aimee Gerharter

Noun: wild or rough terrain adjacent to a developed area Origin: shortened form of “back 40 acres”

For the Big Sky Weekly, the Back 40 is a resource: a place where we can delve into subjects and ask experts to share their knowledge. Topics include regional history, profiles of local artists and musicians, snow and avalanche education, how-to pieces for traditional or outdoor skills, and science.

The Bozeman Trail More tragedy than convenience By Frederick Gientke

big sky weekly contributor

Just north of Gallatin Canyon lays the trace of a historic trail that, despite its brief life, had a bloody and terrifying history. It’s called the Bozeman Trail, and its name memorializes an individual who publicized it as a shortcut to Montana goldfields. In 1863, John Bozeman and his companion John Jacobs rediscovered an ancient trail through Wyoming and Montana that would shorten the journey for travelers then using the Bridger Trail to the west. Over the next five years, almost 3,500 people used the Bozeman Trail, many of whom were miners heading for the Montana Territory gold mines near Virginia City and Bannack, in Southwest Montana. Prior to the Bozeman Trail, miners used the much longer Bridger Trail that passed west of Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains, thereby avoiding the Indian tribes that fiercely protected their hunting grounds.

Bozeman, then 28, didn’t create the trail, but documented and made known a route that had been in existence and use for many decades by bison, Indians and trappers. The trail itself was a wide corridor over which travelers moved, rather than a narrow, conventional road. Bozeman was also instrumental in lying out and naming the City of Bozeman in 1864. The Indians resented the trail and its interruption of wildlife migration, and tension built. Because random killings were common between travelers and Indians, the U.S. Army constructed three forts to protect the trespassing travelers: Fort Reno, Fort Phil Kearny and Fort C. F. Smith. One of the bloodiest incidents along the trail occurred about 15 miles south of Sheridan, Wyo. In December 1866, several thousand Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapahoe led by Chief Red Cloud ambushed two army companies under the command of a

young and Indian-inexperienced Captain William J. Fetterman. The infantry and cavalrymen had been dispatched to rescue woodcutters sent out from the fort. Within about 30 minutes, the entire 80-man detachment was wiped out. Because of continued Indian resistance to encroachment by the travelers, the army abandoned the three forts in 1868 and discontinJohn Bozeman ued use of the Bozeman Trail. Bozeman himself was slain the year prior while camping on Mission Creek just east of Livingston, and was ambushed by a group of four Blackfeet Indians. He was buried in a cemetery in Bozeman. The trail contributed to the start of the widespread 1876 Sioux War between the U.S. Army and the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians. Major battles of this war raged throughout eastern Montana and the surrounding areas, as the Indians desperately tried to protect their way of life. Ultimately, white man’s greed, treachery, treason, and repeated ruthless attacks on Indian villages were the major reasons the Indians were captured, subjugated and placed on reservations. For Washington to achieve these results, the price was exorbitant; Custer, Fetterman, Crazy Horse and thousands of other combatants and families on both sides were killed in the last half of the 1800s. In the end, the cherished Indian lands were converted to ranches for cattle and other livestock. Today, sections of the trail are still visible, and many monuments have been constructed to identify its historical alignment and location. A lonely, dusty monument near the Powder River marks the site where Fort Reno once sat. Remnants of Fort Kearney still exist, along with a gift and information shop; the vista and history at that site is worth a trip. As for C.F. Smith—beaten remains of the Fort’s adobe walls stand atop the cliffs of the Bighorn River near the trail’s historic crossing.

Originating near present-day Douglas, Wyo., at Fort Fetterman, the trail crossed the North Platte River and headed northwest, following the east side of the Bighorn Mountains, into south-central Montana. From there it headed west up the Yellowstone River, crossed Bozeman Pass and dropped into the Gallatin Valley. After passing through the Gallatin Valley, it turned south down the Madison Valley and eventually terminated near Bannack and Virginia City.

Frederick Gientke is a retired civil engineer specializing in western water projects. He is currently writing a book entitled Custer Abandoned. Comments and corrections regarding this article are welcomed.

December 30, 2011 47

Big Sky Weekly

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*Toyota Care covers normal factory scheduled service. Plan is 2 years or 25k miles, whichever comes first. The new Toyota vehicle cannot be part of rental or commercial fleet or a livery or taxi vehicle. See participating Toyota dealer for details. **Based on Polk U.S. Vehicles In Operation registration statistics MY 1991-2010 as of July 2010. Includes Matrix models. ***The Toyota Tundra received the lowest number of problems per 100 vehicles among large pickups in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2006-2011 Vehicle Dependability StudiesSM.  2011 study based on 43,779 consumer responses measuring problems consumers experienced in the past 12 months with three-year-old vehicles (2008 model year cars and trucks).  Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed October-December 2010. Your experiences may vary.  Visit ****Vehicle’s projected resale value is specific to the 2012 model year.  For more information, visit Kelley Blue Book’s  Kelley Blue Book is a registered trademark of Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. *****Based on Polk U.S. Vehicles In Operation registration statistics MY 1996-2011, as of July 2010. APR financing through Toyota Financial Services with approved credit. Tier I+, I, II and III only. Cash back from manufacturer. Subvention cash from manufacturer, not applicable for cash back offers and must qualify for cash through TFS. Lease a new 2012 Camry LE 4-Cylinder (#2532) (excludes Hybrid) for $239 a month for 36 months with $2,349 due at signing. Offers cannot be combined with any other offers, vary by Region and are subject to availability. Due at signing costs include first month’s payment $650 acquisition fee and $1,460 down payment. Security deposit waived. For WA, OR, ID, MT state dealerships, a negotiable documentary service fee in an amount up to $350.00 may be added to vehicle price. Oregon state dealerships not using an electronic vehicle registration system may only apply fees up to $75 to vehicle price. Does not include taxes, license, title, processing fees, insurance and dealer charges. Closed-end lease. Example based on model #2532. Total Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price $22,739. Monthly payments of $239 total $8,604. Capitalized cost of $21,279 based on down payment and dealer participation, which may vary by dealer. Payment may vary depending on final transaction price. Lease-end purchase option is $14,275. $350 disposition fee due at lease end unless customer purchases vehicle or decides to re-finance through Toyota Financial Services. Customer responsible for maintenance, excess wear and tear and $0.15 per mile over 12,000 miles per year. To qualified Tier I+ customers through Toyota Financial Services (TFS). Offers good in MT, WA, ID, and OR. See your local participating Toyota dealer for details. Must take retail delivery from dealer stock by 1/3/2012.

Insert DealerToyota Info Here Ressler aD expIres 01/03/2012 #877-221-8432 NWT120311 Toyotathon NSP 10X7.6 4C.indd 1

12/6/11 10:34 AM

BIG SKY ’S FULL SERVICE GROCERY STORE Hand- cut meats • Fresh baked goods • Gourmet items • Beer & wine

LOCAL FRESH Delivery available - have your home stocked upon your arrival! 406-995-4636 Open 7 days a week 6:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Located in the Meadow Village Center next to Lone Peak Brewery

48 December 30, 2011

Section 4:

entertainment//events//ski areas

Big Sky Weekly

December 30, 2011 Volume 2 // Issue #23

300 voters logged onto and voted for their "Best of Big Sky." These are the results of open ended questions where voters filled in their picks for favorite ski trail, best coffee, most extreme local and more. Congratulations to the winners, runners up and honorable mentions. Now get out there and enjoy! Photos by Daniel Bullock

Most extreme local: Tom Owen Runner up: Shane Knowles Honorable mention: Queen Jean

Best community event: Free thursday music Runner up: PBR

Best ski run: The South Face Runner up: North Summit Snowfield Honorable mention: Mr. K

Best outdoor shop: Gallatin Alpine Sports Runner up: Grizzly Outfitters Honorable mention: garage sales

Best business: Gallatin Alpine Sports Runner up: Outlaw Partners Honorable mention: Tough Through Healing

Best burger: Choppers

Runner up: The Corral Honorable mention: Clyde Park Tavern

Best place to grab a drink: Choppers Runner up: By Word of Mouth Honorable mention: Shedhorn Grill

Best music venue: Choppers Runner up: Town Center Stage

Best Breakfast: Bugaboo

Runner up: Blue Moon Bakery Honorable mention: Huntley Buffet

Best hiking trail: Beehive Runner up: Ousel Falls Honorable mention: Windy Pass

Best local band: Bottom of the Barrel Runner up: Cropdusters Honorable mention: Crazy Austrians

Best Montana ski area: Big Sky Resort Runner up: Moonlight Basin Honorable mention: Maverick

Best pizza: Blue Moon Bakery Runner up: Trailhead Pizza Honorable Mention: Dijorno

Best restaurant: Lotus Pad Runner up: Buck's T-4

Best coffee: Blue Moon Bakery Runner up: Stella's (Gallatin Alpine Sports)

December 30, 2011 49



O p p o r t u n i t y

o n

P ioneer

Chalet 4 at Yellowstone Club

For more information on this property visit | View Video Online

F E AT U R E S Incredible, Direct Ski-in/Ski-out Access 6,000+ Livable Square Feet 5 Bedrooms Turnkey Property with Base Area Location Steps from Warren Miller Lodge


Big Sky Weekly



Big Sky Weekly

Reader submitted photos from

"Extra Deep" Photo by Chris Kamann

How many tickets is this turkey worth?

View from Liberty Bowl Photo by Karen davids

Taylor Anderson at Moonlight Basin Photo by daniel bullock

December 30, 2011 51


Big Sky Weekly




Now offering


Upcoming Music

FREE MUSIC! all month in January

Open Mic Every Tuesday Night

Fri. 12/30 The Boozehounds 9 p.m. ($5 Cover) NEW YEAR’S EVE Eli Madden 5-7 p.m. Sat. 12/31 “New Year’s Eve Bash” The Tom Cook Band and the Boozehounds 9 p.m. ($10 Cover)*

*Patron Snowboard Giveaway at Midnight

Sat. 1/7 Shamrockers 5-7 p.m. Mountain Grip 9 p.m. Fri. 1/13 The Cropdusters 9 p.m. Sat. 1/14 Jeff Belino 5-7 p.m. Sun. 1/15 The Dirty Shame 9 p.m. Fri. 1/20 Tumbledown House 9 p.m. Sat. 1/21 Tom Marino 5-7 p.m. Sat. 1/28 Eli Madden 5-7 p.m. The StringJumpers 9 p.m.

OPEN DAILY AT 11:30 A.M. LUNCH & DINNER 52 December 30, 2011


MONDAY-FRIDAY 4:00-6:00 P.M.

$1 off any beer, wine or mixed drink LOCATED IN THE BIG SKY TOWN CENTER big sky, montana 406-995-3830

EVENTS big sky

Planning an event? Let us know! Email and we’ll spread the word.


Second Annual Pavelich Invitational Town Center Ice Rink Jan. 7, 3 p.m.

Year End Garage Sale Bozeman REI Dec. 31, 10 a.m.

Shuffleboard night at Lone Peak Brewery Wednesdays

Basic Avalanche Awareness for Women Bozeman REI Jan. 4, 6:30 p.m.

Search & Rescue Dog Demonstration Moonlight Basin Madison Village Base Area Saturdays, 2 p.m. Half price week for frequent sky holders Big Sky Resort, Jan. 2 – 8 Smash Life! Banked Salmon Big Sky Resort terrain park Jan. 6, 8:30 a.m. Montana Appreciation Day $20 ski day Moonlight Basin Jan. 6 Shamrockers and Mountain Grip Live at Choppers Jan. 7, 5 p.m. $15 Prime Rib Mondays 320 Steakhouse and Saloon Winter concert series Muir String Quartet Tallus Room, Summit Hotel Jan. 11

Big Sky Weekly

Adult education classes at Ophir School Three adult education classes will be held at Ophir School in Big Sky this winter: a two-day Adobe Photoshop Elements seminar, drawing and acrylic painting classes and beginner guitar classes.

Fairy Tea for the Arts…Russia! Gallatin Gateway Inn Jan. 7, 1 p.m.

Adobe Certified Photoshop Expert David Marx will instruct a handson class, teaching the basics. (Feb. 11,12, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) Register by Jan. 30.

U.S. Blues (One act plays) Fundraiser for homeless teens in Bozeman Equinox Theater Jan. 7, 7 p.m.

Local musician Kevin Fabozzi will teach group beginner guitar. The drop in classes will cover skill development, strumming, picking,

Winter Farmer’s Market Emerson Jan. 7, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

In these adult education classes, instructors Alicia and Sean will lead the group in cutting loose and dancing to Brain Setzer, Louis Prima, Huey Lewis and Louis Armstrong. They’ll teach kicks, spins, dips, drops and even a lift or two.

Nordic Ski Fest Bohart Ranch Jan. 8, 10 a.m.

Basic Avalanche Awareness Bozeman REI Jan. 11, 6:30 p.m.

SnoBar and SnoBall Big Sky Resort Jan. 14

Waxing and Tuning Basics Bozeman REI Jan. 12, 6:30 p.m. Kelsey Dzintars Art Show Jan. 2 – 31 406 Brewing Company Opening reception Jan. 5, 6 – 8 p.m.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration at the Emerson Cultural Center By Alex Black

MSU Office for Community Involvement

“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” -Martin Luther King Jr. What’s in your heart and soul? Come to the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and find out. The annual MLK Day community event will be at the Emerson Cultural Center on Sunday, Jan. 15 from 1-3:30 p.m. The free family friendly program will feature live music, Mexican food, a performance by actor Chris McIntyre, a peace parade around the block, and the One Million Ways club from Chief Joseph Middle School.

For more information, or to register, contact Katie Coleman, kcoleman@ or (406) 209-1643

Jitterbug is a type of swing made popular during WWII, when it was illegal to dance in many areas. The name stems from a term for someone who doesn’t know how to dance.

Dual Giant Slalom Race Bridger Bowl Jan. 8, 11:45 a.m.

Open Mic Night Choppers Every Tuesday

Ophir/LPHS art teacher Jolene Swanke will teach beginner drawing and acrylic painting classes. The focus will be on value, form and color theory with depth of field. Paints and drawing materials will be provided; however, participants will need to purchase canvas. (Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31, and Feb 7, 14, 6 – 8 p.m.) Register by Jan 3.

Ballroom Dancing

Alpine Community Races Bridger Bowl Jan. 7, 11:45 a.m.

Sacajawea Audubon Society meeting Ft. Biologist Christina Eisenburg Hope Lutheran Church Jan. 9, 7 p.m.

tuning, posture, chords and rhythm. (Jan. 12, 19, 26 and Feb. 2, 7 p.m.)

When: Wed. nights Jan 4 - Feb. 8 Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Where: Old gym at Ophir School

For more information contact Katie Coleman, or (406) 209-1643.

west yellowstone Skating rink opens Daily until 9 p.m. Yellowstone National Park Evening Programs Saturdays and Sundays Contact (307) 344 – 2876 for topics, times and location Winter snowshoe program U.S. Forest Service Hebgen Lake Ranger Station Jan. 12, 1 p.m. Kids n Snow Event Jan. 14 – 15 to register Junior Olympic Qualifying Races Jan. 14 – 15

paradise valley Dan Dubuque- One man soul band Norris Hot Springs Jan. 1, 7 p.m. Mammoth Community Center Board Game Night Gardiner Jan. 5 Matthias (acoustic rock) Norris Hot Springs Jan. 6, 7 p.m. Denny Earnest and the Resonators (Blues) Chico Hot Springs Jan. 6 - 7, 7 p.m. Danny Freund (Americana) Norris Hot Springs Jan. 7, 7 p.m. Holler n Pine (folk) Norris Hot Springs Jan. 8, 7 p.m.

For those interested in exploring ways to serve in the local area, representatives from nonprofits will be participating.

Comstock Lode (Classic Rock) Chico Hot Springs Jan. 13 - 14, 7 p.m.

Patrons with special needs are encouraged to contact the event organizers to make arrangements for attendance. We want you there! For more information, find it on Facebook at Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Bozeman, Montana, call (406) 994-7571 or visit

El Kabong (Rockin’ Roots originals) Norris Hot Springs Jan. 13, 7 p.m.

December 30, 2011 53

word from the resorts

Bridger Bowl Bozeman By Jamie Kujawa

big sky weekly contributor

Doug Wales, Bridger Bowl’s director of marketing and sales, remains optimistic about the holiday season at Bozeman’s local ski area. “We’re still moving along, and have actually got quite a few people up here on the mountain enjoying the terrain that we do have open,” Wales said after Christmas weekend.

Moonlight Basin's new Freestyle Forest incorporates natural features

Moonlight Basin Big Sky By Ersin Ozer

moonlight basin events coordinator

The skiing and riding at Moonlight Basin was ridiculously good over the holidays. On Dec. 22, powderhungry skiers and snowboarders lined up for the season opener of the infamous Lone Tree Face. It’s always a fun lift ride when you see the first riders drop into untracked terrain below like pow-slashing lemmings. With the new terrain open just after a 12-plus inch storm, it was almost impossible to keep from smiling. Plenty of powder pockets have kept this snow-inspired smile on my face. Although most people don’t share their pow-stashs, I’m on a mission to spread the stoke. Here’s a recap of my favorite tree runs this week. 1) Clark’s: No one ever goes in here. It’s great for five to six quick turns and face shots through trees. Clark’s spits you out on Trembler, a long, rolling groomer that leads back to the Six Shooter chairlift.

Photo by Daniel Bullock

2) Hollywood: New to the trail map this season and a fun tree run to explore on your way to the new Freestyle Forest terrain park. I found kneedeep snow in here. 3) Freestyle Forest: Also brand new to Moonlight Basin, this park incorporates natural features and includes wall rides, a step-down gap, a cliff drop, and an assortment of log rails for the organic jibbers. With the way the snow blows in here, first tracks are sure to guarantee tweaked grabs and soft landings. Those are just a few of my favorites. I can’t give all the secrets out, so I invite you to come up to Moonlight Basin and explore the mountain for yourself. Return those socks Grandma bought you for Christmas and use some holiday money to buy a season pass! Passes at Moonlight pay for themselves after 10 days of skiing, and you get perks like pass-holder BBQs and “Bring a Friend for $10” days. See you on the mountain!

Discovery Ski Area Phillipsburg

A Dec. 30 memorial ski run celebrated the life of Jamie Adie, a ski instructor who died in a 2010 ski accident. People who received his organs as a donation rode the chairlift to the top of the mountain to put up an engraved stone memorial. E.S.

54 December 30, 2011

Bridger Bowl is “keeping prices real low” until more terrain opens, Wales said. Adult lift tickets remain at $20, and children ages 7 – 12 cans ski for $10. A Snowflake-only lift ticket is $5. “Right now we have some pretty good beginner and intermediate skiing and have a good crowd of people up here. We’re pretty pleased with how things are going with what we have so far,” he added.

Rendezvous Ski Trails West Yellowstone All 35 kilometers of nordic trails at the Rendezvous ski center in West Yellowstone are groomed and open seven days a week.

In late December, Rendezvous hosted the SPAM cup series. About 45 skiers of all ages participated in the fun race, and the winners won handcrafted trophies: decorated cans of SPAM. The next Spam Cup is on Feb 11. Since then, the trails have been quieter, Cantrell said.

“We’re hoping with just one more little snow we’ll be able to get the Granite Chair open, on the backside,” said Ciche Pitcher, Disco’s vice president and resort operations manager.

Discovery did its annual Max Wave promotion on Dec. 17, where they donated $10 from every adult lift ticket to help build another kayaking wave in downtown Missoula. The event, which helped raise over $1,000, is named in honor of Max Lenz, a kayaker who passed away in 2006.

The area has continued to make snow and expand skiing off of the midway station on the Bridger lift, Wales said. He recommended staying on groomed runs. However, if skiers talk to patrol, they can hike above the Bridger lift. Due to early season conditions, there are many natural obstacles, both marked and unmarked, and caution should be exercised.

Ten inches fell in late-December and freshened everything up, so the conditions are in midwinter shape, and the skiing is fantastic, said Dan Cantrell, the Director of the West Yellowstone Ski Education Foundation.

Discovery has opened its new triple chairlift that replaced the old blue Jubilee lift. The terrain park is also up and running, with four new rails this year.

Another eight inches or so would allow the rowdy and radical terrain under the Limelight Chair to open. When it does, college kids will want to consider the spring semester pass (it’s cheap, and goes on sale Jan. 16).

The Powder Park quad, the Snowflake beginner lift, and up to midway on the Bridger lift are open right now, as was the Virginia City double on Christmas day.

Maverick Mountain Polaris It’s disappointing, but as of press time Maverick Mountain still didn’t have enough snow to open. Be patient, Grasshopper. The wait is worth it. Mav still held its annual New Year’s Eve torchlight event, a celebration of camaraderie among skiing friends. "The Mav faithful remain in a state of Zen-like patience,” said Mav local David Nolt. “The last storm gave us enough to get some packing done, but the mountain still needs more snow to open. Stay tuned."

Rendezvous is now prepping for the Junior National Qualifiers, Jan. 14 and 15. That weekend will bring 120 junior racers from across the intermountain division, which includes Idaho, Montana, Utah and western Wyoming. After three races, the top finishers go to junior nationals, in Soldier Hollow, Utah. “It’s a big deal for the West Yellowstone skiers and regional skiers,” Cantrell said. With coaches and parents, he estimates more than 250 people will be out on the trails. E.S.

word from the resorts



Spirits & Gifts

Big Sky Resort Big Sky


By Greer Schott


big sky resort

Snow: What a White Christmas! Big Sky Resort kicked off the holiday week with the first big snowstorm of the year. With over a foot in 24 hours, Big Sky was able to open hundreds of additional acres, and now has more than 2,500 acres open, including runs off of the Lone Peak Tram. Events: In addition to the Whiskey Jack’s New Year’s Eve party and the upcoming SnoBars, Big Sky Resort will host the Chamberlin Rail Jam, March 2 and 3, featuring a live performance from alternative hip hop phenomenon Atmosphere.

Books Jewelry

Located in TOWN CENTER at the corner of HWY 64 and OUSEL FALLS ROAD

What’s new: The new Solace Spa and Salon is now open in the Huntley Lodge at Big Sky Resort. Make a reservation for a body, beauty or salon treatment in the new 3,000 square foot spa by calling (406) 995-5803. Big Sky Resort is excited to unveil Big Sky Replay, a smart phone app that lets you track days, runs and vertical feet skied at the mountain, as well as stats like speed, calories burned and air time. Users can view ski progress on a map of Lone Mountain, as well as share and compare stats with friends. The free application is now available for download on iPhone and Android – search for Big Sky Replay in your app store. MONTANA STATE LIQUOR STORE

Lone Mountain Ranch Big Sky By Mark Parlett General Manager

With a combined 250 years of experience at the Ranch, our crew is committed to providing extraordinary experiences for locals, day visitors and our overnight guests. New to the team this year are Denise Wade and Bill Baskin. Wade has long been a passionate supporter of the Lone Mountain Ranch trail system and Nordic program. With 19 seasons of experience at the Ranch, Wade is looking forward to enhancing the trail system and adding new events and experiences over the coming months and years. She’s excited to announce that all of our snowshoeing and cross country ski trails are open. Stop by the Shop to learn more about and sign up for group and individual lessons, Yellowstone and backcountry tours and skate and classic women’s clinics. Chef Bill Baskin and his talented team offer extraordinary cuisine featuring many locally grown and raised products. The Saloon offers burgers, small plate specials, Montana beers and cocktails daily, as well as live music from Bruce Anfinson on Fridays and Saturdays (4:30-6pm) and Blue Bird Sky on Thursdays (8-10pm) The Dining Room is open Monday-Saturday for dinner and daily for breakfast and lunch. Trail buffets are every Friday and Sunday Brunch is every Sunday. Call 9952782 for reservations. Big Sky’s historic Sleigh Ride Dinner continues to provide memorable experiences. Imagine two 2,000 lb. draft horses pulling you and your family through snowcovered trees to a lantern-lit cabin where Montana prime rib and live music await. New this year are our Day Sleigh Rides, which leave the outdoor shop at 2pm and are complete with a sleigh ride to the North Fork Cabin, hot cocoa and homemade desserts. Call 995-2783 for reservations. Thank you to the community, our staff and our guests for a great winter season.

Lost Trail Powder Mountain Darby Lost Trail has a 30 inch base at the base area and 36 inches on top. Over the holiday season, they operated seven days a week and opened up all of their chairlifts, but will return to Thursday through Sunday operations for January. Do your snow dance and head over for powder Thursdays when it finally hits!

December 30, 2011 55

Big Sky Weekly


C a

Featuring... Sleigh Ride Dinners Day Sleigh Rides Heated Sleighs Winter Trail Rides Fly Fishing COWBOY COOKOUTS Fun for the entire family!



“A genuine, Montana experience - from the amazing food to the hospitality. Not to be missed.”

• Painting, drywall, wood finishes applied on site or in our pre-finishing facility. • Pick up the phone, email us or check out our websites for more info.

406-580-0331 | email: // 56 December 30, 2011


Big Sky, Montana



Licensed by Montana Board of Outfitters #5278 and the Gallatin National Forest

Big Sky, M


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