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Big Sky

Exploring life and land from the heart of the Yellowstone Region

Dec. 14 - 28, 2012 Volume 3 // Issue #25

Photo by Brian Niles

O'Leary named MT Director of Commerce

cvb/bsia merge what happened to the big sky institute?

Mountain Outlaw Throwdown!


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One the cover: Go for a sleigh ride at Lone Mountain Ranch! Find out how in the gear and gift guide on p. 49

2011 big sky chamber of commerce

Business of the Year Dec. 14 - 27, 2012 Volume 3, Issue no. 25 PUBLISHER Eric Ladd

editorial MANAGING EDITOR Emily Stifler EDITOR Joseph T. O'Connor staff writer/distribution director Tyler Allen Editorial assistant Maria Wyllie

creative CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mike Martins VIDEO director Brian Niles GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kelsey Dzintars videographer/photographer Chris Davis WEB Developer/Designer Sean Weas Design Intern Taylor-Ann Smith

SALES and operations COO & SENIOR EDITOR Megan Paulson Operations director Katie Morrison


Jamie Balke, Evelyn Boswell, Sean Forbes, Jerry House, Kathy House, Chris Kamman, Eric Knoff, Max Lowe, Kaela Schommer, Ryan Day Thompson

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.

Ryan Walters grateful for deep early December turns in Cooke City. Photo by Max Lowe

I’m grateful The holidays are a time to be grateful. Eight years ago this time of year became, for me, about riding lifts instead of exchanging gifts. Because I could never afford to fly home, I’ve spent only one Christmas with my family since I left Vermont for the West. A great day to be on the hill, it’s never busy, and since it’s the end of December there’s usually a solid base. And some years it dumps.

ADVERTISING DEADLINE For next issue, dec. 28 Dec. 21, 2012 CORRECTIONS The Big Sky Weekly runs corrections to errors we’ve printed. Please report them to

This year starts a new chapter. I’ll be skiing in Cooke City during Christmas weekend, with the gears in my legs turning and churning me up the hill instead of a lift. Cooke has the gift of bountiful snowfall, and a remote location that keeps the crowds away. I’ll call my family before leaving cell service and tell them I’m grateful for the gift of life that allows me to enjoy this magical part of the world.

Growing up, my family would sit around the tree, my sister and I charged with distributing gifts. We have a big family that sent packages from around the country, and soon, my grandmother would be the last one with presents beneath the tree. At first,

– Tyler Allen

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Three Forks Wisdom

Letter to the Editor Parameters The Weekly accepts letters to the editor to give readers a platform to express their views and share ways they would like to effect change. These should not be Thank You notes. Letters should be 250 words or less, respectful, ethical, state accurate facts and figures, and proofread for grammar and content. We reserve the right to edit letters. Include: first and last name, address, phone number and title. Submit to:

itching to play with my new toys, I was impatient watching her open gifts. Then, gradually, I became grateful for the smile that lit my grandmother’s face as each one made her think of a loving family member.

Big Timber



Big Sky Ennis Gardiner Virginia City

West Yellowstone

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Table of Contents Community...4 Local News...8 Regional..12 Montana...13 Yellowstone...15 Real Estate...17 Sports...20 Health...23 Outlaw News...24 Business...26 Classifieds...27

Environment...29 Gallery...33 Outdoors...36 Word from the Resorts...38 Gear Review...39 Events...40 Entertainment...41 Fun...42 Column...46 Back 40...48 Gift and Gear Guide...49

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Big Sky Weekly

Terrific kids of Big Sky School District

Students honored for positive attitudes in November BIG SKY – Big Sky School District honored four students for their positive attitudes this November as part of its Student of the Month/Terrific Kids of the Month program. Teachers choose two ‘terrific kids’ from kindergarten through fifth grades, and two ‘students of

the month’ in middle and high school, recognizing them based on a different theme every month.

middle and high school students chosen get pizza from Blue Moon Bakery.

An announcement is made over the intercom, and the students are called into the office to be congratulated. In addition, the K-5 honorees are rewarded with a burger from the Corral and the

Read the teachers’ praises for those honored below.

K-2 Terrific Kid of the Month, November 2012: Logan Barker

3-5 Terrific Kid of the Month, November 2012: Charlotte Wilson

Middle School Student of the Month, November 2012: Sam Johnson

High School Student of the Month, November 2012: Michelle Burger

Logan was chosen as the K-2 Terrific Kid of the Month for her integrity and positive attitude. Logan is a fun and energetic student who chooses each day to be honest and respectful. She consistently makes positive choices, knows when to make people laugh and is overall an excellent student and role model for her peers. Thank you, Logan!

Charlotte comes to school every day ready to learn! She displays a positive attitude in all that she does, from working independently, to collaboration with peers, and even participating in class. Charlotte is a hard worker that takes pride in her work, and she is respectful to all her peers. Charlotte is a model citizen! She shares her positive attitude with all students, her classmates, and even older and younger students. Her caring heart, respect and positive attitude make her a great choice for this month’s Ophir Terrific Kid of the Month for grades three, four and five.

Sam is the definition of positive attitude. No matter where he is or what he is doing, he has a smile on his face. He is always willing to lend a hand whether it be to a friend or a teacher. Sam is a representative for his 6th grade class on the middle school student council and his attitude helps to get things done! Leadership and positive attitude are two characteristics that have made him stand out and have earned him the honor of student of the month.

The staff has chosen Michelle Burger, as she always has a positive attitude in and outside of the classroom. This positive attitude seems to affect others around her as well. Recently Michelle volunteered to be on the planning committee for the Veterans Day assembly and true to form, her positive attitude was witnessed by students, staff and our community members including the Veterans attending the assembly. Bottom line, Michelle Burger is fun to be around and fun to teach.

School House News In School House News, Superintendent Jerry House shares his view on education, and on the Big Sky School District, his favorite place for teaching and learning. This is the home of the Ophir Miners and the mighty Big Horns.

By jerry house

big sky school district

Good schools are just that – schools in the middle. The expectation of our community, staff and our school board is not to be a good school, but rather a great one; a school unique in purpose and great in accomplishment. One of my favorite authors, Jim Collins, wrote a book called “Good to Great.” I look at our school system and see that greatness is not a function of circumstance. It’s largely a matter of conscious choices and the discipline it takes to move forward. With such decisions, we are moving toward becoming a great school. At the cornerstone of our district is quality staff. Each instructor is required to maintain a cutting edge with best practices for teaching our children. Without that training, the rigors of learning are not possible. In my

4 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012

short time here, I have witnessed staff acting as a cohesive unit capable of becoming great teachers because they yearn to educate. Unique to our district is our ability to avoid social promotion. Students must earn their way through a challenging curriculum, one calling on them to produce work that earns respect from teachers and peers. But this isn’t enough. Each day of the school year, we know students need our leadership and we need their thirst for education. Accomplishments for both parties lie within the passion for learning. Big Sky School District is on the correct pathway to move from good to great! For me, the best days of week are the days I get to wake up and go to school. The bright minds that walk our hallways are a true pleasure to share the day with. You never know who will have a spark that enlightens the world.

Holiday hours and deadlines at the Big Sky Post Office: A friendly reminder from the BSPO’s Jean Palmer that “we need to get these packages off the shelves and into Santa’s little helpers’ hands.” Mailing deadlines for holiday cards and packages: Friday, Dec. 14: Parcel Post Monday, Dec. 17: First Class (under 13 oz.) Thursday, Dec. 20: Priority Mail Friday, Dec. 21: Express Mail Holiday hours (Dec. 1 – 25): Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Extended package pick up hours: Saturday, Dec. 22: 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

community Ophir Scholastic Book Fair generates $900 FOL to host holiday open house By kathy house

FOL will again take book donations in spring 2013, as they prepare for summer sales.

Teachers, students and community members pitched in on Nov. 13 and 14, during the biannual Ophir Scholastic Book Fair and Friends of the Library used book sale.

At 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, FOL will host their annual Holiday Open House, complete with holiday treats and refreshments. A special guest will appear and the event is free and open to the public.

big sky community library

The fair grossed $3,500, while the FOL used book sale made $275. Close to $350 worth of books were donated off the teachers’ wish list table, as well. The library received 25 percent of the total profit, which amounted to $900 they’ll use for new books and materials.

Several new audio books are currently available for check out, including: The Time Keeper, by Mitch Albom; Love Anthony, by Lisa Genova, The Racketeer, by John Grisham; and NYPD Red, by James Patterson.

Get in the holiday spirit with these Christmas classics:

Big Sky Weekly

Got miles?

Make-A-Wish Montana offers sick kids a chance to travel

BILLINGS – This holiday season, frequent fliers can donate unused airline miles to children with life-threatening medical conditions. The Wishes in Flight program, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, enables those with air miles through Delta, US Airways, Continental or United Airlines to grant travel opportunities to kids who might otherwise not get the chance.

Lost December, By Richard Paul Evans After Luke Crisp graduates from business school, he refuses to take over his father's business and takes his trust fund to live a life of reckless indulgence. But when his funds and friends dwindle he secretly takes a lowly job at one of his father's copy centers where, after falling in love with a struggling single mother he finally learns what is important in life.

More than 70 percent of the wishes granted by Make-AWish last year included air travel for families to reach their wish destinations, and miles never expire once they’re placed in a Make-A-Wish account.

The Christmas Wedding , By James Patterson and Richard DiLallo Widow Gaby Summerhill tries to reunite her four children for Christmas when she announces her wedding to her secret fiancé.

Make-A-Wish – Montana is a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Make-A-Wish serves all 56 counties in Montana and granted its first wish in 1987. Since then, nearly 300 wishes have come true with the help of more than 50 volunteers.

Silent Night : The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce , By Stanley Weintraub Tells the true story of the truce that spontaneously arose between German and British soldiers manning the trenches on Christmas Eve 1914, just weeks after the start of the Great War.

For more information on donations, referring children or to volunteer, please call (800) 676-9474, or visit



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Big Sky Weekly

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BIG SKY – The Big Sky Community Food Bank on Nov. 29 got a boost in the form of $100,000. During the food bank’s open house, Big Sky residents Dr. George and Kymberly Rapier donated the money to the new facility, which has been distributing food twice a week since opening in early November.

photo by Kaela Schommer

More than 200 guests attended the event, and food bank co-founder Anne Marie Mistretta called it “a true show of community support.”

been involved, including 10 students from Ophir and Lone Peak High School.

“It was awesome,” said Mistretta, appreciative and to the point.

Since the mid-October, 800 pounds of food have been donated to the food bank, and a total of $150,000.

The donation will help the food bank pay for rent and purchase food through the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. The facility distributed nearly 40 Thanksgiving meals, including turkeys, and has also had shoppers at its Tuesday and Friday distributions. More than 50 volunteers have already

Once organizers finish remodeling the space, which is in the Big Horn Center below the Bugaboo, distribution will move inside. Until then, food will be distributed out of a refrigerated truck Tuesdays (3 – 7 p.m.) and Fridays (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.). Donations can be dropped at the food bank during those hours, or at Lone Peak Brewery. – E.S.

community Morningstar launches capital campaign Hosts holiday gift-wrapping table by emily stifler

The board is also planning to host a fundraising event, and Jacobsen mentioned reaching out to every business owner that’s ever had an employee with a child enrolled at Morningstar.

big sky weekly managing editor

BIG SKY – Morningstar Learning Center launched a capital campaign Dec. 1 that aims to match a $100,000 donation contingent on the nonprofit childcare center doing just that. The Rapier Family Foundation put the initial $100,000 on the table in early November, challenging the Morningstar board and the Big Sky community to match it. The Rapier’s donation is earmarked to pay off the remaining principal on the childcare facility’s mortgage; the second $100,000 would help cover operational costs, tuition decreases and increased teacher benefits. “The Rapiers have asked Morningstar to challenge Big Sky,” said board member Tracy Jacobsen. “They want to see Big Sky come together and support [this organization].” Through this challenge, the Rapiers are encouraging other people to help and give, said Kym Rapier. She’s seen this style of fundraising help build momentum for capital campaigns in the past, she said, noting that the foundation has done ‘challenges’ numerous times

“This is such a need. People have to have childcare,” she said. “Not only that, but stats show children that go to preschool PHOTO COURTESY OF MORNINGSTAR LEARNING CENTER are automatically higher before in San Antonio, Texas, where on the bar when it comes the Rapiers lived prior to moving to to the alphabet and numbers.” Big Sky earlier this year. The only licensed childcare facility To kick off the capital campaign, in Big Sky, Morningstar opened in Morningstar is hosting a holiday April 2006 and purchased its curgift-wrapping table in the Big Sky rent building at 659 Spruce Cone Post Office lobby on Saturdays and Drive in September 2011. Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., through December. Although the center struggled during the economic downturn, The present wrapping – which is in ex“We’ve come a long way,” Jacobsen change for donations – “is not an effort said. “We have a new board, and to make $50,000 or even $10,000,” we’re focusing on our objectives Jacobsen said. Instead, it’s a way to and goals.” draw attention to the campaign and its branding platform: a stack of books, In addition to paying off the morteach one symbolizing $10,000 raised. gage completely, these goals include

Wolf Hunting closed north of Yellowstone GARDINER – Montana wildlife commissioners closed the wolf hunting season in some areas around Yellowstone National Park on Monday, Dec. 10 after several collared animals were killed. Many of the park’s wolves are fitted with radio collars to track the animals’ movements. At least seven Yellowstone wolves have been shot – including five with tracking collars – since the gray wolf seasons opened in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. The closures include areas north of the park around Gardiner and prohibit hunting or trapping of the animals. The first gray wolf trapping season in Montana starts Saturday, Dec. 15. State officials lifted quotas for wolves this year as a reaction to attacks on livestock and lower elk numbers in some areas, blamed on the predators. Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission chairman Bob Ream indicated the closure may not be permanent, but is a reaction to the high number of collared animals killed. Conservation groups have lobbied the state unsuccessfully to put a buffer zone around the park in hopes of protecting the Yellowstone wolf population. While hunting and trapping are prohibited within the park, shooting a collared animal that roams across the park boundary is legal. This is the second gray wolf hunting season in Montana since the animals lost federal protection last year.

Big Sky Weekly

implementing a state food program, decreasing tuition, providing health and other benefits for employees, and hiring an executive director. The center’s capacity is 43 children, which includes infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Between 40 and 50 families use the facility, according to administrator Lindsie Hurlbut, one of 12 staff. As a nonprofit, Morningstar is funded largely by grants and donations. That poses a challenge when trying to retain staff. Starting wage for a teacher at Morningstar is $10 an hour, with no benefits or sick leave. “The standard of living is so high here, because rent and food is so expensive,” Jacobsen said. Even with these challenges, Jacobsen says, “It’s an amazing asset for the children of this community, [the children] that are going to be running this community some day.” The Rapiers have donated nearly $1 million to southwest Montana area nonprofits this year.

Letter: RMEF on Yellowstone Park wolves Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation president David Allen wrote the following letter to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission Chairman Robert Ream. The letter was edited for brevity. We understand that Defenders of Wildlife and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition are running a campaign against Montana FWP for allowing hunting and trapping of wolves outside of Yellowstone National Park. These hunts are legal, necessary and scientifically sustainable. There is no science or rationale to support a special "no hunt" zone outside YNP. Further, we are not aware of any science or rationale to support the attempts of these groups to create a distinction between "Yellowstone wolves" and wolves that exist within the tri-state region of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. The attempt to establish a “buffer zone” for YNP wolves is in direct contrast to the original goal for the wolf reintroduction in the northern Rockies. Never was it planned that "Yellowstone wolves" would be granted amnesty from management once outside the park. These groups should be celebrating a successful recovery of the wolf population. A substantial number of wolves throughout the three states have come from Yellowstone. Are they to be given special protection status as well? Hundreds of animals including elk, deer, bighorn sheep, black bears and mountain lions are fitted with radio collars for scientific purposes and roam the wilds in and around the park, but they aren’t excluded from hunting seasons outside the park. When harvested, the collars are returned to the management agency and the data is utilized. During the recent lawsuits over delisting wolves in the northern Rockies, Defenders, GYC and others pro-

claimed state borders did not matter when considering wolf populations and management. They claimed this so they could keep Montana, Idaho and Wyoming tied together in the lawsuit. Now, all of sudden, the YNP border is relevant and any wolf near it but outside of the park should be protected. These groups simply wish to continue to protest statebased management of wolves, thus keeping a "wolf controversy alive" for the express purpose of soliciting for more donations. The reality is Montana, Wyoming and Idaho are required to manage wolves within a specific set of mandates. If those are not adhered to, the states risk having their wolf population placed back on the Endangered Species List. As it stands today, wolf numbers are well above objective and in need of reduction. The substantial reduction of the northern Yellowstone elk herd requires wolves to travel farther for prey. We wish those who claim to "defend wildlife" felt empathy for the thousands of elk lost from the northern Yellowstone elk herd, not to mention the related economic losses. We urge you not to alter or reduce the ability to continue the legal and ethical management, including hunting and trapping, of wolves surrounding the Yellowstone National Park border. Further, we urge our members to communicate their position on this important issue with you. Thank you for your consideration. -David Allen, RMEF President/CEO

Dec. 14 - 27, 2012 7

local news

Big Sky Weekly

What happened to Big Sky Institute? This article is part one in a series By tyler allen

ger deal,” said BSI board member Loren Bough. “But the community would have to step up.” The board obtained a donation of two acres next to Ophir School and found local developers interested in bidding on a new facility.

big sky weekly staff writer

BIG SKY – Montana State University shuttered its operation of the Big Sky Institute on June 30, 2011, after 15 years of educational partnerships and outreach in science within the community. The program was funded, in large part, by grants through MSU, and also partly through annual fundraising in Big Sky.

“We launched an effort to raise more money, we successfully met the goal stated by MSU, and raised more than $100,000 for several years,” Bough said.

The local monies – raised primarily during summer gala events in Big Sky – amounted to about $625,000, and were intended for programming, staff and ultimately a facility planned next to Ophir School.

The Resort Tax Board in 2008 allocated $47,000 for architectural drawings of the planned facility, and $57,000 in 2009 to fund the initial MSU and Big Sky Community Education Partnership, funding earmarked for BSI and the MSU Extended University.

“It is frustrating because it was a great idea,” said former BSI board member Chris Wright. “It was going to be a confluence between science and research in the ecosystem, the university and the Big Sky community. It was a great ambition, to have the Woods Hole of the Rockies here in Big Sky.”

But the facility was never built, the partnership never came to fruition, and there has been no indication – to the community or the board of directors – where the university intends to spend the remaining $75,000.

Many community members have since wondered what became of the organization, why it so suddenly closed, and where the remaining funds ended up. More than $75,000 of the locally raised money remains, and is held by the MSU Alumni Foundation. It can only be used for a “like” purpose within the community, said Michael Stevenson, President and CEO of the MSU Alumni Foundation. “MSU came to us [in 2006] and said they wanted to make [BSI] a much big-

“Any balance will be held by the foundation until [MSU] decides whether to dissolve the program, since there is no outreach going on right now,” Stevenson said. The university considers BSI an operating institution, although no programming or staff is currently active. In 2011, the same year MSU closed BSI, the university began the Montana Institute on Ecosystems in partnership with the Montana University System, resulting in a $20 million National Science Foundation grant. The IoE, according to its website, is a group of scholars

and partners with a shared vision to advance integrated environmental sciences and related fields. “The university was using its resources . . . to partner statewide for the creation of the federally funded IoE,” said Tracy Ellig, Director of the MSU News Service. “The IoE’s work will benefit the state as a whole and is one of the first such state-wide enterprises of its kind nationally.” Although the privately raised funds from BSI didn’t go to the IoE, MSU essentially decided to spend its own time, research efforts and state and federal grant money there instead. “The BSI was a great experiment,” said Todd Kipfer, former BSI staff member and current IoE Assistant Director. “It linked a university and a community, but it was meant to be much larger and link the Greater Yellowstone, to create something world-class.” BSI lacked the statewide funding appeal that grant applicants like IoE have, and the faculty and staff of university departments and colleges. It did not, however, lack a community of scholars. MSU professors Ed Adams, Jordy Hendricks, Wyatt Cross and Mark Skidmore all still have active research projects in the area. BSI’s closure hasn’t changed this ongoing work, Kipfer said. None of this has been communicated to the BSI board, Bough said.

munication in writing with the board by MSU.” The MSU Alumni Foundation also holds the land once slated for the BSI headquarters, which abuts the Big Sky School District property line. The school district, one of the fastest growing in the state, is currently in the process of facilities planning for a second building, which would house elementary students. “Myself and [BSI] board member Taylor Middleton have approached the foundation about getting that land,” Bough said. “We’re not clear why they refuse to commit to putting the land back into community use.” “Use of the land falls under our strategic plan for the colleges and institutes like BSI,” Ellig said. The first phase of MSU’s strategic plan was recently finished, he added. “How that land gets used will be part of the second-tier process. I don’t have a timeline [for that process] right now.” While MSU has no plans to build a BSI facility on that property, this may not be the end of the institute in Big Sky, according to Ellig. “The Big Sky region is important to the university and we want to move forward in a deliberate, thoughtful and strategic manner with the institute,” he said. “The next chapter on the institute has not been written, but we don’t anticipate it being the last.”

“The board members are equally in the dark about BSI as the community is. There has never been any official com-

CVB, BSIA to merge into Visit Big Sky By JOSEPH T. O'CONNOR big sky weekly editor

BIG SKY – The Big Sky Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Biggest Skiing in America community marketing campaign have joined forces. The new marketing entity will be called Visit Big Sky. During the Big Sky Resort Tax Board’s monthly meeting on Dec. 5, Kitty Clemens, Big Sky Chamber of Commerce Director, announced the collaboration in a briefing to the five-member board. “We feel the time will be better used this way,” Clemens said in the update. “It will be a more efficient use of volunteer efforts.” The Chamber plans to iron out the details of the merger in a Dec. 19 meeting. The CVB, a summer marketing arm of the Chamber, was historically funded by Montana bed tax and BSIA and was put in place four years ago as a Chamber marketing sub-committee with funds through the RTB.

8 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012

The Chamber created BSIA in 2008 as a winter marketing department and had an agreement with RTB through the end of 2012 for funding, based on the number of skier days logged by Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin. With crossover in both the groups efforts and in their boards of directors, a merger made sense. “We kind of looked around and said, ‘this is ridiculous,’” said David O’Connor, president of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. “It seemed really inefficient to us, and there was a lot of duplication. [Combining CVB and BSIA] will allow us to serve the community better.” The CVB receives on average, according to O’Connor, a total of $110,000 per year from the state. BSIA receives $200,000 annually through resort tax, and also $40,000 through private partner contributions. Through Visit Big Sky, the funding requests will be streamlined, Clemens told the resort tax board. The

new marketing entity will remain eligible for state bed tax dollars and can also apply for funding through RTB. “The state doesn’t care whether we call ourselves the CVB, BSIA or Visit Big Sky,” Clemons said. They just need to account for state funding. Montana requires the group keep state money separate from all other funding and Clemons says Visit Big Sky will comply, while simultaneously placing efforts where they belong. “The Chamber needs to be in the business of helping people grow and start businesses,” she said. “Visit Big Sky will be selling business to the outside world.” Clemens said the new collaboration allows one unified group to provide year-round service, with marketing as the primary focus.

local news Big Sky Resort honors Epic Passes for second year big sky weekly staff writer

BIG SKY – Yet again, the Northern Rockies have been blessed with snow, snow and more snow. In an attempt to draw skiers from other parts of the country not faring so well, Big Sky Resort for the second year in a row opened its doors to skiers with Epic Passes and any unlimited pass holder at any resort in the world, for that matter, to ski for free, through Christmas Day. Epic Passes allow skiing at all Vail Resorts – Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood. “It was Epically successful last year,” wrote Big Sky Resort Public Relations Director Chad Jones in an email. “We got coverage in the Wall Street Journal, CO Public Radio, The Vail Daily, the San Francisco Chronicle and a whole lot more.” To take advantage of this deal, pass holders must book lodging with Big Sky Central Reservations and ask for the Gift Package. The resort is also extending its Bring a Buddy Coupon, allowing friends in their reservation

without unlimited passes to ski at a discounted rate. Initially, the idea was “as much about getting people to change their plans and come to Big Sky in January as it was to get them to come in February or March,” Jones said. “So many people look to Colorado as a bellwether to indicate snowfall. The assumption is if Colorado doesn’t have it then no one does, and we all know that’s not the case.”

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At press time, Big Sky was 43 percent open, with 1,661 acres, and opening more each day. This weekend, they expect to be near 100 percent open, with the Lone Peak tram, Shedhorn and Dakata chairs running. “It is about sharing the love, no snow any place is not good for anyone in the industry. Let’s show folks that skiing and riding are still fun and there are places with snow.” Consistent snow drew skiers to hit Big Sky in record numbers last season, and while most resorts in the Rockies struggled, Big Sky and Moonlight both did well.

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Big Sky Weekly





Big Sky Real Estate – A New Margin of Safety The Big Sky market is up across the board, and clearly on the mend. One segment showing noticeable signs of improvement is residential vacant land sales. There is no question of the direct correlation between the health of the vacant residential land sales and that of the overall real estate market. We have been patiently waiting four (4) years to see the land component shift and recover in order to determine true replacement value of the structures whether condo or home. Without referencing our previous reports, it goes without saying that the distressed properties are still controlling some segments of our local market and cash is still king in all segments. Both issues or factors continue to create challenges for our Sellers and remind all that it is a bid/ask process. It is evident the listing prices must be perceived as aggressive in order to sell in short order. Over fifty (50%) percent of the transactions thus far in 2012 have been cash deals.

Inventory absorption rates have increased dramatically in first three quarters of 2012. Inventory has decreased by thirty (30%) percent from third (3rd) quarter of 2010 to third (3rd) quarter of 2012. Inventory by units has been depleted from 644 to 455 respectively. There will no doubt be a shortage of inventory for 2013, specifically in Moonlight Basin. If you want a list of sold properties over the last six (6) months in any specific development, please e-mail or call me directly at 406-539-0121. Looking Ahead We are predicting a steady recovery through 2013. Based on the current number of listings, we are predicting a twenty five percent (25%) depletion of inventory by the mid-2013. If you are one of the seller’s in the market, be sure to price your property to compete. Remember, to be a successful seller in this market you need to think like a buyer. The #1 desire of all buyers in today’s market is to find great value. Call us to create both an effective marketing plan and pricing strategy to help demonstrate the value of your property.

Inventory is down 29% from 3rd Quarter of 2010

When you are pricing your property to sell in this competitive market, or deciding when the right time to buy is; rest assured that when you are our client, you will have current market statistics, an impeccable level of service and personal attention that will give you the upper hand. We hope this report will give you a snapshot of the market trends. We pride ourselves on creating the most accurate market report in Big Sky. Our ability to track every single transaction and then turn the data into historical knowledge has made us the most sought after real estate experts in Big Sky. As always, I would be glad to discuss details of our local market with you. If you plan to list your property this ski season and would like a more in depth analysis of specific areas, please call me directly at 406-539-0121.

Jeff Helms Jeff Helms, Broker Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty

F O R A C O MP LE TE LO O K AT THE 2 0 1 2 MARKE T RE P O RT C ALL ME D I RE C TLY AT 4 0 6 . 5 3 9 . 0 1 2 1

NEXT WEEK: Profile and status updates for local resorts V I EW MORE PHOTOS A ND V IDEOS


Jeff Helms

Big Sky Town Center Office M: 406.539.0121 E:

All information is derived from MLS sources and deemed reliable, however, is not guaranteed. Data is subject to error, omissions, prior sales, price change or withdrawal without notice and approval of purchase by Seller. We urge independent verification of each and every item submitted, to the satisfaction of any prospective purchaser.

10 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012

local news

Spanish Peaks set to go on sales block By JOSEPH T. O'CONNOR big sky weekly editor

BIG SKY – The Club at Spanish Peaks may finally be up for sale, after more than a year of gridlocked debate and fears of continued delays or foreclosure by secured lenders. Entities owning the club filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in October 2011, and the resort closed at that time, laying off more than 100 employees. On Dec. 4 of this year, a lawyer representing some 140 members of a Spanish Peaks ad hoc group sent an email explaining the news of the sale. The secured lenders, consisting mainly of a consortium of banks, filed on Dec. 3 documents with Montana’s bankruptcy court, according to the email by attorney J. Thomas Beckett. The filing included a plan to sell The Club at Spanish Peaks to the highest bidder. “The car is out of the garage,” said a member of the ad hoc group’s 12-member steering committee, who wished to remain anonymous. “After a year, we finally have a process outlined.” This process, described in court documents attached to the email, highlighted agreements between Ross Richardson, the Chapter 7 trustee, and the secured lenders. It included an estimated timeline that set June 1, 2013 as a closing sale date. The lenders recommended appointing Eastdil Secured, an international real estate investment company based out of New York City, to market for and represent the property moving forward. The bankruptcy court approved Eastdil on Dec. 6, and interested parties have two weeks to file an objection, according to court documents. Eastdil will begin sending out teasers to potential buyers in January. This list, or pitch book, will include between 100 and 200 interested parties. “We don’t know who is going to bid on this,” the steering committee member said, adding that hedge funds and some wealthy individuals will be listed in the pitch book.

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Individuals in the Spanish Peaks ad hoc group, who each paid $1,000 to fund legal council and to keep abreast of developments, want to have a say in who walks with the final purchase. “We want a viable club,” the source said. “That’s what people bought into.” Ad hoc members anticipate fewer than five serious bidders by the proposed bid deadline in mid-February. Richardson, the trustee, is expected to select the best offer in early March. The face value on the Spanish Peaks debt is more than $122,000,000, and the club will go to the highest bidder, but if a potential client approaches lenders with $20 million, cash in hand, they will accept it, according to the source. Because of longstanding issues surrounding the bankruptcy, “[the secured lenders] are willing to take their lumps.” The $20 million was set as a floor price and, according to court documents, Richardson will receive a $750,000 “carve out” from the secured lenders once a sale is finalized. The carve out will come out of the total sale of the property, and will pay court and lawyer expenses and administrative costs, as well as Eastdil for its work initiating a sale. If the property sells for more than $20 million, secured lenders will add 2 percent to any additional sale money to go toward the carve out. If no one bids at least that much, the lenders can accept the lower bid or retain the property. News of the potential Spanish Peaks sale is a relief to many involved in the process.

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“This [sale] could have been three or five years [out],” the source said. “It’s nice there is a resolution [coming]. It may not happen until next October, but at least there’s light at the end of the tunnel.” This is an ongoing story in the Weekly, which will feature subsequent installments as information becomes available.

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Big Sky Weekly

MSU team publishes brain research, receives $300,000 to continue work By evelyn boswell msu news service

BOZEMAN – Montana State University researchers who study short-term memory say their findings may someday help people whose brains are not functioning as they should. The scientists recently published their latest discoveries in Science, a leading journal for original scientific research, global news and commentary. About the same time, Charles Gray, professor in MSU’s Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, learned that he was one of four U.S. scientists to receive a prestigious award that will help fund his research for three more years. The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience awarded Gray a $300,000 Memory and Cognitive Disorders Award, which will give him $100,000 each year from 2013 through 2015. The other awards went to researchers at Stanford University, Columbia University and Carnegie Mellon University.

“It was a good week,” Gray said. For his paper, published Nov. 23 in Science, Gray was principal investigator of a five-year research project, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), where researchers studied how visual objects were held in shortterm memory. Focusing on two key regions in the cerebral cortex – the prefrontal and posterior parietal areas that are critically involved in cognition, attention and short-term memory – the scientists discovered that signals in both regions synchronized with one another when objects were held in short-term memory. “The discovery demonstrates that the two regions closely coordinate their activities in a manner that depends on what is being held in memory,” Gray said. This process occurs even when the cortical regions are widely separated from each other and their connections are relatively weak, he added. Each region contains billions

of nerve cells, but the number of nerves connecting them amounts to a tiny fraction of the population. “The Holy Grail of neuroscience has been to understand how and where information is encoded in the brain. This study provided more evidence that large-scale electrical oscillations across distant brain regions may carry information for visual memories,” said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. Gray, referring to the possible communication between the two regions of the brain, said, “We don’t fully understand the communication.” The new study provides key insights into the details of the process, however. “The brain is extraordinarily complex, and the signals that move between regions are very sophisticated,” Gray said. “Historically, it has been very difficult to make sense out of them.” The cerebral cortex alone has approximately 100 regions for which researchers are beginning to determine their function, Gray said. The regions sometimes act alone and other times cooperate and function together. They are responsible for nearly all cognitive and mental functions, ranging from perception and voluntary movement to attention, reasoning and memory. “When we pay attention, remember, make decisions or feel certain emotions, our cortex is critically involved,” Gray said. As a result of the brain’s complexity, studying it is a long, slow process, Gray continued. But understanding the communication process could help scientists develop strategies for treating people where communication within the brain is believed to be disrupted. Those conditions include Parkinson’s disease, autism, depression and schizophrenia, among others.

he helped measure brain activity in patients being treated for Parkinson’s disease, co-authored the paper that was published in Science. The work was produced together with lead author Rodrigo Salazar and Nick Dotson, both in MSU’s Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience; and Steve Bressler, a neuroscientist at Florida Atlantic University and long-time collaborator of Gray’s. Science is published weekly by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest general scientific society in the world. The Memory and Cognitive Disorders Awards support innovative research by U.S. scientists who are exploring new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat neurological and psychiatric diseases, especially those related to memory and cognition. The awards encourage projects that link basic and clinical neuroscience, with the long-term goal of helping to translate laboratory discoveries into diagnoses and therapies for brain disorders. In Gray’s case, he is seeking a deeper understanding of the physiology of short-term memory, attention and decision-making. During the three years of his McKnight Award, Gray plans to measure neural activity from large areas of the brain to obtain a broad perspective on how and where information is encoded when something is held in shortterm memory. “Understanding just how the brain creates and retrieves memories, and how brain systems can go awry, is the foundation for development of therapies for human brain diseases,” said Eric Nestler, chairman of the McKnight awards committee. “These research efforts seek to advance understanding of the brain and bring new insights to bear on this important quest.” This piece was adapted from one originally written by Evelyn Boswell.

Gray, who has worked with neurosurgical teams in California where

Gallatin Canyon billboard hearing postponed BOZEMAN – Due to the resignation of a board member, the Gallatin County Consolidated Board of Adjustment no longer has a sufficient number of members and can no longer meet to hear the Saunders matter regarding Saunders Outdoor Advertising’s appeal to relight the billboard in Gallatin Canyon. The hearing was scheduled for Dec. 18. The County was informed of the resignation on Dec. 10.

12 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012

montana New film “Nebraska” good for Montana’s economy and tourism By maria wyllie

big sky weekly editorial assistant

BILLINGS – Academy-award winning director Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways) is pouring money into Montana with the filming of "Nebraska," a lighthearted comedy telling the story of a father and son (played by Bruce Dern and Will Forte) travelling from Billings to Lincoln, Neb. to collect a $1 million sweepstakes prize. Filming for the opening scene of "Nebraska," which took place in Billings in late November, brought business to the community’s hotels, restaurants, and shops during the winter months, a time when tourism is slow. Production groups such as Payne’s typically spend about $25,000 a day, according to research from the Montana Film Office, which works to secure film projects across the state. “It’s really critical and great to have that kind of economic impact on the community,” said MFO Film Commissioner Deny Staggs. “We look at it like a mobile manufacturing company that comes in and builds its product, drops off money, and packs up its stuff and goes. It’s pure money with a strong, direct, economic impact.” The "Nebraska" crew spent roughly $250,000 over the course of production, said John Brewer, president of the Billings CVB and Chamber of Commerce. While the economic impact of a production is felt most directly where it’s filmed – in this case Billings – the money trickles down in the form of taxes, helping the state run and do business. The MFO’s Big Sky on the Big Screen Act, which was established in 2005, has helped Montana compete in the

industry by giving tax incentives to production firms shooting in Montana. The tax cuts incentivize the firms to bring projects to Montana and consequently to hire locals and spend more money in the state. When it comes to deciding where to shoot a film, companies are typically concerned with startup costs, Staggs said. “The number one question productions firms ask is what the tax incentives are and what the crew base is.” Without a tax incentive, he added, there would be no film production in Montana, unless a specific location was needed. According to Staggs, the value of film production is threefold: It has a strong economic impact; it allows people all over the world to see how beautiful Montana is; and it can create and spark more tourism, which brings money into the state. However, it is difficult to measure how many people visit Montana after seeing films shot across the state, and most of what the state'S Department of Tourism knows is anecdotal.

Big Sky Weekly

Welch withdraws application for recount Juneau officially reelected as Supt. of Public Instruction HELENA – Republican Sandy Welch officially withdrew her application for a recount of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction race on Dec. 12, unable to pay the $115,000 to cover the cost of the recount. Welch trailed incumbent Denise Juneau by 2,231 votes after the official statewide canvass. Montana statute allows candidates to request a recount when their margin of victory is one-half of 1 percent or less, and Juneau won by approximately 0.48 percent. Welch’s attorneys argued voting machine errors and improper voting procedures affected the tally, and a Flathead County judge on Dec. 7 ordered the statewide recount. Secretary of State and Chief Elections Officer Linda McCulloch expressed disappointment that there would not be a recount in her official statement released Dec. 12. “We are confident that a recount would not have changed the race results, but we were ready to do one. A lot of public time and resources has been spent preparing for the huge task of conducting a statewide recount of more than 468,000 ballots cast in the race." McCulloch agreed with the court's finding that no harm to the state could result from recounting the ballots in the race when Welch was paying for it. "Montana voters can be confident that their vote counts." Welch was required by the court to post cash to cover the costs as estimated by the counties of the statewide manual recount by 5 p.m. on Dec. 12.

“Montana is a state of such impactful visuals that any numbers would underestimate the amount of people traveling to Montana to see these places for themselves,” said Sarah Lawlor, public information officer for the Montana Department of Tourism. Even so, having a film shot by an award-winning director that is locationspecific is an invaluable public relations tool in the long run, Brewer said, noting that it will help keep Billings and Montana in the forefront of a very large audience. “It’s nice to be represented as we truly are.”

State launches redesign

New site has responsive web design for multiple platforms HELENA – The state on Nov. 29 launched a major redesign of its official website, The new site uses responsive web-design technology, allowing it to adjust the content layout for varying sizes of digital screens, including mobile devices.

Industry experts have predicted that mobile devices will overtake desktop devices for Internet usage as soon as 2014. Site statistics for show that mobile device usage has increased from 3 percent in March 2011 to nearly 20 percent in October 2012.

The new site also has an increased emphasis on searching capabilities, which will make it easier to navigate with a mobile device like a Smartphone or tablet.

The latest in web technology detects the kind of device being used (such as a Smartphone, tablet, traditional laptop or desktop computer) and presents that device with a suitable content layout.

“This will enable the state website to have greater functionality for more people,” said Gov. Brian Schweitzer in a press release. “We’ve seen how the industry is changing and knew we needed to adapt to all new platforms available to Montanans.”

THANK YOU TO OUR CLIENTS FOR 15 YEARS OF SERVICE IN BIG SKY! We sincerely appreciate your business.

The state is encouraging visitors to give feedback on the new site using the “Contact Us” link at the bottom of the page.

Dec. 14 - 27, 2012 13


Big Sky Weekly

O’Leary appointed Director of Commerce for Montana Leaves Big Sky Resort after 23 years By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

BIG SKY, HELENA – Meg O’Leary spent the last two decades telling the Big Sky story to the nation and the world. Now she gets to tell Montana’s story. Governor-elect Steve Bullock on Nov. 30 appointed O’Leary, Big Sky Resort’s Sales and Marketing Director for the past 12 years, as Director of the Montana Department of Commerce. In that role, which will start Jan. 7, 2013 with the legislative session, O’Leary will be a key player in developing jobs statewide. “[Bullock] ran on three priorities: job creation, the economy and education. The first two are something I’ll have whole lot of involvement with,” she said. A large agency with broad impact, the Montana Department of Commerce acts as an information broker for businesses and communities in the economic and community development areas.

A Helena native, O’Leary graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in business administration and management. She started at Big Sky in 1989, handling group logistics through the reservations department. In 1991, she moved into group sales, and in 2000 assumed the director role. “It’s a natural progression for Meg to be asked to head Montana’s important Department of Commerce,” said Big Sky Resort General Manager Taylor Middleton. “She understands how to listen, how to lead, and how to hold herself and others accountable to big goals.” If O’Leary brings her drive and enthusiasm to Helena, she’s bound to make an impact. In Big Sky, she has also served on the Big Sky Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Big Sky Transportation District, and the Big Sky Lodging Association, and was a key leader in securing new direct flights into the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, including the non-stop flight from New Jersey. She was named the Tourism Person of the Year by the State of Montana in 2012.

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Meg O'Leary in the North Summit Snowfield

“What we’re excited about is that Meg has experience not just in tourism but in growing business,” said Bullock’s deputy chief of staff Kevin O’Brien, calling both O’Leary and Big Sky Resort “Montana success stories." “She’ll be able to help business there grow and expand and help attract other businesses to the state – everything from manufacturing to energy development – both traditional and renewable – tourism, to the incredible opportunities we have in high tech fields… I think every city in our state has businesses that have room to grow… Meg will be at the forefront of making that happen.” O’Leary knows she has a lot to learn in the new role, but said her networks will serve her well. Growing up in Helena, she’s connected to many people in state government – she ran high school cross country with Bullock. Through her work with the resort, particularly the professional conferences, she’s met people from many Montana industries. “It will be a challenge and really fun, and I’m going to be able to bring a lot of value because of that network.” Tourism, her area of expertise, will also inform her new role.

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14 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012

“Bullock really wants to do this tourism thing right,” O’Leary said. “He respects the industry and he gets it. He believes there’s going to be some good interaction between the No. 1 industry of [agriculture] and No. 2, tourism. These two top industries – what can we do to collaborate further?” In O’Leary’s mind, this spells sustainable jobs.

“I am looking forward to taking what I know about telling the Big Sky story and applying it across the state, bringing in the right kind of jobs for the right kind of areas so we have sustainability.” But it’s a change for a woman who’s skied on lunch break for 23 years – one O’Leary and her husband Blaire Heinke didn’t take lightly. “I’m going to Helena, and I’m all in for four years – for my professional life. I will still be skiing and riding bikes [in Big Sky] and drinking coffee at the bakery… It’s taken us a lot of really careful soul searching.” Other members of Bullock’s cabinet include Mike Batista as the Director of the Department of Corrections, Pam Bucy as the Director of the Department of Labor, Tim Burton as Chief of Staff, Dan Villa as Budget Director, and Ali Bovingdon and Kevin O'Brien as Deputy Chiefs of Staff. Said Bullock of these appointments: “I’m excited to hit the ground running with some of the best and brightest our state has to offer and I look forward to working with them to put Montanans first.” The Department of Commerce helps maintain and improve community infrastructure in Montana; finances homeownership and rental assistance; provides technical assistance and training for entrepreneurs, businesses, communities and development groups; promotes Montana as a place to visit, locate business, and film motion pictures; and finances businesses that generate financial and economic return for the state.

Tim Fox Announces First Appointments to New Administration HELENA – Montana Attorney General-elect Tim Fox on Friday Dec. 7, announced the first round of appointments to his upcoming administration at the Department of Justice. All appointees are Montana natives. Chief of Staff: Scott Darkenwald Chief Deputy Attorney General: Mark Mattioli Solicitor General: Lawrence VanDyke Deputy Attorney General: Jon Bennion Executive Assistant: Julie James


Big Sky Weekly

Yellowstone winter season begins Dec. 15 Yellowstone National Park will open to the public for the winter season as scheduled on Dec. 15. Beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday morning, visitors will be able to travel to the park’s interior roads on commercially guided snowmobiles or snowcoaches from the North, West and South Entrances. Travel through the park’s East Entrance over Sylvan Pass is scheduled to begin Dec. 22. The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner through Mammoth Hot Springs and on to Cooke City, outside the park’s Northeast Entrance, is open to wheeled vehicle travel all year. At Old Faithful, the Geyser Grill, the Bear Den Gift Shop, and the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center open for the season on Dec. 15. The Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins and the Obsidian Dining Room open on Dec. 18. The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, dining room and gift shop will open for the season on Dec. 20. The Yellowstone General Store, the medical clinic, campground, post office and the Albright Visitor Center at Mammoth Hot Springs are open all year, as are the 24-hour gasoline pumps at Mammoth and Tower Junction. All communities around and on the way to Yellowstone are open year-

round, with local businesses offering a range of winter recreation opportunities. Extensive information and assistance for planning a visit to Yellowstone during the winter is available at nps. gov/yell. Park staff members will continue to closely monitor road conditions and weather forecasts that can have an impact on roadways and guided oversnow travel operations. Weather during the winter season is extremely unpredictable in Yellowstone and road closures or delays can occur with little or no warning. The NPS reminds visitors to come prepared with personal emergency survival equipment in their vehicles and dressing appropriately for outside activities in extremely cold weather. Winter Use in Yellowstone this season is being managed under an operating plan much in the same manner as has been permitted the last three winters. Under the rule, up to 318 commercially guided, Best Available Technology snowmobiles and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches will be allowed into the park daily. In early 2013, the National Park Service intends to issue a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and a proposed rule to guide long-term winter use in Yellowstone, which will take effect in time for the 2013-2014 winter season.

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Section 2:

Big Sky Weekly

Dec. 14 - 27, 2012 Volume 3 // Issue No. 25

business, health and environment

real estate

Housing market beginning to turn the corner Sales up in Big Sky, Gallatin Valley By JOSEPH T. O'CONNOR big sky weekly editor

BIG SKY, BOZEMAN – Reports of growth on the national housing market are reflecting a local trend in Big Sky and the greater Gallatin Valley. While overall gains are modest, some local real estate authorities are feeling optimistic.

Single Family Residences - Gallatin County Sales through Oct. 31, 2012

Big Sky local Jamie Daugaard, the principal architect for Centre Sky Architecture since 1998, has witnessed the housing rollercoaster “from the front seat” in the last decade, he said, watching the real estate world go from 60 to zero. “It was like [the market] ran a marathon from 2002 to 2008,” Daugaard said. “Then in 2009 [in Big Sky], it just stopped running.” Much of the country felt the recession’s effects a year earlier, in 2008, after sub-prime mortgages crippled the U.S. market, putting homeowners, real estate agents, builders and supply companies on their collective ear. Subsequent federal bailouts failed to right the economy, forcing widespread foreclosures and leading the country, indeed the world, into the Great Recession and the greatest economic downturn since the Depression of the 1930s. “Now, in 2012, water is flowing again,” said Daugaard, who moved to Big Sky from Denver 10 years ago. “I’m feeling good about the market.” Beginning this spring, more people called Daugaard to move forward with building on recently purchased land. Compared to 2010, when only 10 percent of inquiring clients actually hired Centre Sky to design their future home, a recent upswing in contracts has him looking forward. “Since April or May, 50 to 60 percent [of potential clients] are committed.” The architect sees a number of reasons for this positive trend, including a change in family dynamics. People are tired of waiting for the market to show them it’s okay to invest again. They want to own a house, he says, even if that means cutting a few corners.

Courtesy of Gallatin Association of Realtors

“The majority of people [we’re seeing] want quality spaces,” Daugaard said. “But are thinking, ‘how can we make it smaller.: “Maybe they’re not asking for [us to design] an 8,000 or even 6,000 square-foot house,” he added. “They might not need a media room or a second dining room. They’re trying to be more frugal with their construction dollars.” Others in the industry are seeing similar trends in the low to middlecost housing market, as well. Peter Lee, president and owner of Teton Heritage, a custom home construction company with offices in Jackson, Wyo., as well as Gallatin Gateway, has watched the area market fluctuate based on differences in housing costs. “The high end of the Gallatin Valley is still looking pretty soft,” said Lee, referring to the excess of supply over demand. “But the low end (under $700,000) is doing okay.” In Bozeman, Tom Simkins, part owner of Simkins-Hallin, one of the largest building supply companies in the state, took note of a slightly improved market over the last year. “It’s getting better,” said Simkins. “The rental market is saturated,

and there is a noticeable increase in middle income and starter-type homes.”

put, many roofing homes after a string of strong hailstorms in 2010 damaged houses around the Gallatin Valley.

Some of this success, Simkins said, is due to the Bakken oil boom in the Williston basin, N.D., part of which spills into Montana. Bozeman construction workers, out once plentiful work, joined the boom in droves, driving seven hours to Williston for work.

These storms also allowed SimkinsHallin, which opened its doors in 1946, to weather the housing squall, Simkins said. Other construction supply companies incurred massive losses.

Every boomtown undergoes a transformation requiring services from contractors and workers, and Williston was no different. In 2000, its population was 12,512. By the 2010 census, the number had risen to 14,716; however, estimates including workers living in temporary housing put the population closer to 30,000. Some claim it’s now as high as 50,000. “It kept a lot of people alive during the Recession,” Simkins said, indicating Montana construction workers could drive to the Bakken, work two weeks straight, then return home to their families, and increasingly their new homes. “They can make $100,000 a year driving a truck.”

Simkins contends that the uptick he sees in Bozeman’s low to mid-range housing market is due mainly to this export of Montana carpenters, laborers and contractors to fulfill the surging need for apartments and commercial buildings around Williston. Eric Ossorio, a broker for Prudential/ Ossorio Real Estate in Big Sky thinks this demographic may be pulling up Bozeman’s housing market. Ossorio, who has lived in Big Sky for 30 years, says the real estate market in the area reflects the national trend in a less convincing manner – people are buying smaller homes in generally busier hubs, closer to essential needs such as groceries.

Oil and natural gas extraction account for 35 percent of the town’s job market.

“People are coming back to the center of the market,” he said. “If you live

Those who found work in the Gallatin Valley during the recession stayed

Continued on p. 18

Dec. 14 - 27, 2012 17

real estate called the current scenario “a buyers’ market. We could potentially see more than 1,000 single-family homes sold by the end of the year.” GAR statistics show 896 homes sold by Oct. 31 of this year.

Continued from p. 17 out in Beaver Creek, you’re a half hour away from butter. You have to change the recipe.” “The good news in Big Sky, is there are sales,” he added. “We had 10 Firelight condos on the market this summer, and now there are four. But the national trend is people are still nervous.” The numbers reflect this consumer apprehension, but the market appears to have turned a corner – one for the better. Statistics from the Gallatin Association of Realtors for Gallatin County indicate by the third quarter of 2011, 262 units sold, whereas by the 2012 third quarter, 345 units were gone. These statistics show only the numbers through October 2012. GAR’s annual report for the county since 2004 shows housing numbers trending positive in the last two years. In 2009, 688 units sold, as compared to 1,224 in 2005. But since that low year, it’s looking better. “There’s a bit of a bell curve from 2005 until now,” said Mike Lake, technology coordinator at GAR, who

“Buyer confidence in Big Sky is between 8 and 10,” said Ryan Kulesza. He pointed to low interest rates, a saturated rental market, and property prices below replacement costs, as incentives. “It’s a perfect storm to buy in,” he said. “If you haven't found the perfect deal by now, you might have missed the boat.” Many agents believe Big Sky has an edge over other parts of the country. Even The Yellowstone Club, which has seen financial squalor in recent years and filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008 when the market was at its worst, has seen a light turn on. “We see a firming up of the market,” said Bill Collins, vice president of sales at the Club. “There’s more velocity [now] than we’ve seen in the last five years.”

Big Sky Weekly

“It’s a perfect storm to buy in. If you haven't found the perfect deal by now, you might have missed the boat." Sales are up 30 percent at The Yellowstone Club, according to Collins, and there are currently 25 homes under construction. “Smart guys like buying stuff on sale,” he said. “I’m excited [about the positive housing trend]. As we are successful, so is the community.”

ogy, people can live wherever they want. “It’s a quality of life [issue], as opposed to a proximity to trading partners,” said Lee, who moved from Jackson to Bozeman in 2003. “All these rich guys don’t have to live in California anymore.” Kulesza understands this train of thought.

Ossorio sees Big Sky as an isolated pocket, one that can bring in buyers from the outside market.

“Big Sky is like Starbucks coffee,” he said. “Nobody needs it, but it’s nice to have.”

“We have a bit of a refuge community,” Ossorio said. “From LA to Houston … people are sitting in traffic for three hours a day. [They’re thinking], ‘why not live in Big Sky and visit Houston?’”

Although things are beginning to look up, consumers shouldn’t expect to see recovery in the economy or the housing market overnight – consumer confidence has not yet fully recovered.

Lee delved deeper, saying we’re living the “third industrial revolution,” a convergence of the Internet with renewable energy systems. With this advanced form of communication through online technol-

“People are still nervous about the economy,” Ossorio said. “And they need confidence. If people can get comfortable again, and hold and maintain a job, we will continue on an upward trend.”

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

LOCAL F R E SH Delivery available - have your rental unit stocked upon your arrival! 406-995-4636 Open 7 days a week, 6:30am to 8pm Extended hours 6:30am to 10pm December 15-April 15 and July 1- Labor Day

Located in the Meadow Village Center next to Lone Peak Brewery

18 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012

Mar tha Johnson, Broker 406.580.5891 Mar tha@BigSkyRealEstate .com

Acreage - Call for Pricing LAND

Land is the last segment of the market to recover from the economic downturn. Time is your friend in getting the best price on your property if you’re a seller - but if you’re a buyer, NOW is the time to close as I don’t think this will last much longer - the basic laws of supply and demand are changing and the A grade properties are getting swooped up. Contact me directly to discuss options and strategy on buying or selling.

$4,995,000 HOMES

The distressed inventory is being cleared out and prices are starting to both stabilize and grow in the home segment of the community. Homes that are amenitized by ski in/ski out, golf course, hiking trails and water as well as in the Club communities of Yellowstone Club and Spanish Peaks are quickly stabilizing as even the most sophisticated and luxurious homes have reacted to the economy and are priced to align with the current market. Call me directly for an update on Spanish Peaks bankruptcy status and to review home opportunities.

Martha Johnson, Founder, Broker & Owner of Montana Living ~ Big Sky Real Estate, is a life long entrepreneur and die hard, passionate fan of Big Sky, Montana. Since 1995 she has been a highly successful real estate professional known throughout Big Sky and Southwest, Montana who, even throughout the real estate downturn, has consistantly been a top producer. Martha’s deep roots and longevity in the community, along with her real estate success and proven launch experience in all facets of real estate, strategically create a winning combination for both buyers and sellers – there’s no substition for Martha’s extensive experience and knowledge of Big Sky. Scott and I would like to thank you for your dedication and loyalty through the building of our new business: Montana Living ~ Big Sky Real Estate. We have a better and stronger SEO, Social Media and Marketing strategy than ever and our team has remained the leader in the industry through the transition - we’re very proud!


Condo’s are the fastest moving segment of the community. Distressed, Bank owned and short sales have driven the prices down to a level of which have attracted buyers back to the market. The value and ease of owning a condo where the association takes care of everything combined with a great sales price are bringing 2nd property owner’s back to our community and weeding out the spec inventory.



The Big Sky community is an emerging world class destination supported by world class ski mountains, world class rivers and great non stop air service into Bozeman/Yellowstone International Airport. I first moved to Big Sky in 1988 and worked on a dude ranch - I fell in love with Big Sky because there’s still a cowboy influence. The Gallatin River corridor known by locals as the “canyon” still has cowboys and sheep herders that frequent the local canyon bars/watering holes while their herds of cattle and flocks of sheep summer in the neighboring mountains. That combined with, in my opinion, the greatest skiing in the West ~ Big Sky/Moonlight make Big Sky the perfect place to hang your hat. My experience and longevity in the Big Sky community are your key to a successful experience in purchasing or selling real estate.

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 Montana Living - 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.

sports Lone Peak High School varsity basketball teams prepare for winter season

Big Sky Weekly

Lone Peak High School Boys and Girls Basketball Schedule 2012-13 Two games played per date: Game No. 1 – LPHS Girls’ Game No. 2 – LPHS Boys’

story and photos By maria wyllie

big sky weekly editorial assistant

BIG SKY – The Lone Peak High School boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams have been preparing for this winter’s season and continuing to build the relatively new programs. This is the fourth year for the LPHS boys’ varsity team, and Coach Al Malinowski has high expectations. With nine returning players, Malinowski says the team’s experience and depth will be their biggest assets. Having

good team chemistry and 16 players to choose from will also be an advantage for the Big Horns this year. The girls’ varsity team, in its second season, has seven players, with six sophomores and one freshman. It is a very young team. Coach Adam Olson, also assistant coach for the boys’ team, will use this season as a building year and focus on improvement. “Basketball is very new to them, so I just want to teach them about the sport and get them going,” Olson said.

Dec. 14


vs Harrison/Willow Creek

5:30 p.m./7 p.m.

Dec. 15


vs Ennis

4 p.m./5:30 p.m.

Dec. 18


@ Shields Valley

4:30 p.m./6 p.m.

Jan. 4


vs Gardiner

5:30 p.m./7 p.m.

Jan. 5


@ Twin Bridges

5:30 p.m./7 p.m.

Jan. 10


vs Sheridan

5:30 p.m./7 p.m.

Jan. 11


@ West Yellowstone

5:30 p.m./7 p.m.

Jan. 12


vs Lima

3 p.m./4:30 p.m.

Jan. 17


@ Ennis

6 p.m./7:30 p.m.

Jan. 19


@Harrison/Willow Creek

5:30 p.m./7 p.m.

Jan. 25


@ Gardiner

5:30 p.m./7 p.m.

Jan. 26


vs Shields Valley

2 p.m./3:30 p.m.

Feb. 1


@ White Sulphur Springs

5:30 p.m./7 p.m.

Feb. 2


vs Manhattan Christian

4 p.m./5:30 p.m.

Feb. 7


vs West Yellowstone

5:30 p.m./7 p.m.

Feb. 9



5:30 p.m./7 p.m.

Basketball District Tournament MAC Center, Butte, MT, February 13-16, 2013 Basketball Divisional Tournament, Hamilton, MT, February 20-23, 2013 Basketball State Tournament Girls’ –Belgrade, MT, February 28-March 2, 2013 Basketball State Tournament Boys’ – MSU-Bozeman, MT, March 7-9, 2013 Basketball Awards Banquet – week of March 11-15 – day & time TBD

Bobcat season ends with loss to Bearkats story and photo By mike coil

big sky weekly contributor

BOZEMAN – The MSU Bobcat football season came to an end Friday night, Dec. 7, with a 34-16 loss to the Bearkats of Sam Houston State, at Bobcat stadium. It was a bitter defeat for the Cats (11-2), who were also eliminated from the tournament last year by the Bearkats. MSU never led. While the halftime score was 20-3, the Cats rallied at the start of the third with a defensive stop and then marched the length of the field to make the score 20-9. But the Cats couldn’t manage to get any closer as Sam Houston made big plays and played great defense. MSU was held to just 72 rushing yards. DeNarius McGhee was the leading rusher with 36 yards. Sam Houston had 458 yards of total offense while the Bobcats had 292. The remaining teams in the tournament are Sam Houston State, Georgia Southern, North Dakota State and Eastern Washington.

20 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012


Big Sky Weekly

The essence of an extraordinary LIFE is about living your PASSION.

Photo by Torsten Bolten (CC)

The End of Kickoffs However, the rule change has led many to question the purpose of even having kickoffs, with such a dramatic change in the number of returns. Goodell seems to agree and likely believes that getting rid of kickoffs entirely will increase player safety.

By Brandon Niles

Big sky weekly sports columnist

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently floated the idea of ending kickoffs in pro football. Many of the gruesome injuries in the sport occur during kickoffs, as players run full speed down the field towards each other causing violent collisions. With Goodell’s pledge to make the game safer, this is being touted as the next step in reducing injuries, specifically concussions suffered by the players. This is not the first time Goodell has recommended a change to the NFL rulebook in regard to kickoffs. Only a year ago the league voted to have teams kickoff from the 35-yard line rather than the 30-yard line, to encourage more touchbacks. This followed a history of the league trying to increase kickoff returns, beginning with the movement from the 40-yard line to the 35-yard line in 1973, then to the 30-yard line twenty years later. However, last year the league brought kickoffs back to the 35-yard line and predictably, there were more touchbacks. So many in fact, commentators have opined this has further softened the sport. The rule change in 2011 also limited the wedge formation (a popular blocking scheme on kickoff returns) and reducing the head start players on the kickoff team can obtain prior to sprinting downfield to make a tackle. Players known as wedge-busters, who hurl themselves into the wedge to break up the initial blockers, are also limited in how they can break the wedge. These rule changes have been very effective at limiting the number of kick returns. In 2011, the first year of the new rules, touchback percentage increased from 16.4 percent the previous year, to a startling 43.5 percent.

Goodell has mentioned considering a plan such as the one brought up by Bucs Head Coach Greg Schiano. Teams would start with the ball on the 30yard line and could choose to either punt the ball or go for it with a fourth down and 15 yards to gain a first. I like this plan. I love kickoffs. I think they produce some of the most exciting plays in the game of football. However, it is hard to argue with anything that reduces the number of violent collisions. While kickoffs would certainly be missed, and losing such a traditional aspect of the game would draw heavy criticism, times change and the sport needs to evolve with the size and athletic ability of the athletes who participate in it. The idea is not yet fully fleshed out. I don’t like the potential for a blocked punt in one of these situations, and this could certainly put a team with a great defense at a significant advantage if they can dominate the other team by converting on these 4th and 15 opportunities consistently. However, I do think player safety is arguably the most important factor to consider in sports, and if this can prevent some of the countless injuries that occur each year, particularly concussions, I think the plan is at least worth considering. While I would miss kickoffs, I would rather see a healthy 53-man roster punting from the 30-yard line than another player on the ground with a head injury.

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.


YOUR PASSIONS AT: | 406.995.4060 55 Lone Peak Drive | Big Sky Town Center

1 Real Estate Company in Montana


Big Sky | Bozeman | Dillon | Ennis | Sheridan | Twin Bridges | Hamilton | Florence | Missoula | Seeley Lake | Polson

Low dog road

14 uLery’s Lake road

• • • •

$3,250,000 • #186493 • Call stacy or eric

3 bd, 5 ba, 4,430 +/- Moonlight Basin Home furnished home/w bunkroom sleeps 6 2 bd, 2 ba, 2,048 +/- sf guest home 20 +/- acre lot w/beautiful views

$1,295,000 • #184968 • Call stacy or eric

• • • •

3 bd, 3.5 ba, 4,181 +/- sf custom home ski-in/ski-out, beautiful furnishings great rental history, immaculately maintained includes:

CommerCiaL Corridor

north fork rd, traCt 8

• 20 +/- acres (16 +/- acres zoned community commerical, 4 +/- acres zoned residential • Big Sky water and sewer accessible • West Fork of the Gallatin borders parcel

• • • •

$995,000 • #175374 • Call peter 579-3583

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

spanish peak CLuB - #22 e $495,000. • #186079 • Call stacy or eric

• • • •

3 bd, 3 ba, 2495 +/- sf gourmet kitchen, dwnstrs bonus room private clubhouse w/ pool, workout facility $595,000 furnished

$950,000 • #180527 • Call stacy or eric 20 acres Triple Triangle Ranch cross country ski trails to lot desirable, private enclave contiguous to tract 2 to create 40 acres

CraiL ranCh townhome $949,500 • #186436 • Call stacy or eric

• • • •

• • • •

1.01 acre +/- building lot one of the most beautiful sub lots great mountain views and privacy excellent ski-in/ski-out lot

• • • •

20 parcels comprising 20 +/- acres both parcels can be subdivided located between Meadow and Mountain close to Big Sky and Moonlight Resorts

430 spruCe Cone drive • • • •

$598,000 • #186619 • Call marc

2 bd, 3 ba, 3,200 +/- s loft, additional rooms rock fireplace, clerestory windows, large deck vaulted ceilings, wood floors, custom lighting .32 +/- acre lot, 2 car garage, Agent owned

spanish peaks CLuB 17e

skyCrest Condo #1704

• • • •

• • • •

$479,000 • #187401 • Call stacy or eric 3 bd, 3 ba, 2,495 +/- sf, end unit custom kitchen, granite counters lovely furnishings, popular E floor plan 2 car heated garage, private clubhouse

• • • •

10 rising Bear road

$825,000 • #186462 • Call stacy or eric

diamond hitCh, Lot 31 $599,000 • #186861 • Call don

Unit #90, 4 bd, 4 ba, 3500 +/- sf 2 car heated garage, hot tub, wet bars designer furnishings, plus artwork creekside with spectacular views

84 Lazy t-4 road

$995,000 • #186193 • Call stacy or eric

$320,000 • #184925 • Call don

2 bd, 2 ba, 1604 +/- sf remodeled like new furnished, lower level unit fireplace, indoor hot tub

9 bd, 8 ba, 3500 +/- sf 5.5 +/- acre lot Det. barn, 47’ RV storage w/ 11.5’ door fully fitted apartment above 3 car garage

Lost traiLs Lot #8 • • • •

$780,000 • # 178440 • Call don

20 +/- acres sunny, south-facing building sites between Mountain and Meadow Villages views of Yellowstone Mtn and Spanish Peaks community water system with fire flow

33 arrow head Condo • • • •

$589,000 • #181216 • Call tim

condo unit #1659, 3 bd, 4 ba, 1950 +/- sf ski-in/ski-out upgraded free standing condo great furniture package, indoor hot tub Spanish Peak views, agent owned

71 eagLe head drive • • • •

$243,000 • #186875 • Call toni

4 bd, 2.5 ba 1700 +/- sf newer flooring, bathroom countertops private sauna, complex pool/hot tub completely furnished unit


gaLLatin river front $250,000 • # 184841 • Call Brooms 580-4290

• • • •

.6 +/- acres, back to the Gallatin River 4 bd septic installed, 25 GPM well drilled between Bozeman and Big Sky off Hwy 191 a rare opportunity, build dream home here

CasCade Lot 69B

$225,000 • #183317 • Call stacy or eric

• • • •

.86 acre lot unique, wooded parcel, corner lot cross country ski accessible w/views could be combined with adjacent lot

Don Pilotte, Broker, GRI, RRS, SFR, 406.580.0155 Eric Ossorio, Broker, 406.539.9553 Stacy Ossorio, Broker, 406.539.8553

gaLLatin CaBin

• • • •

$190,000 • #183761 • Call Lynn 581-4268 406 +/- sf dry cabin, outhouse 1 +/- acres, picnic area, fire pit 150’ Gallatin river frontage borders USFS, great access

BLaCk moon road • • • •

$119,000 • #186042 • Call marc

1.86 Cascade subdivision lot outstanding Spanish Peaks views ski Big Sky/Moonlight - short drive great priced lot for Cascade Sub.

Toni Delzer, Sales Associate, 406.570.3195 Marc Lauermann, Sales Associate, 406.581.8242

health & wellness

Big Sky Weekly

Ask Dr. Dunn By maren dunn

big sky weekly health writer

How do you prevent and treat frostbite during Montana’s frigid winters? - Margerie, from Texas It’s wintertime in Russia, 1812. Napoleon’s army is retreating from Moscow, crossing frigid rivers and snowy valleys. The troops survive by building fires at night and marching by day in subzero temperatures. Enter Baron Dominique Jean Larrey, Napoleon’s military surgeon. He noted that troops suffered injuries due to cold that worsened with each episode of refreezing. While historically known as the pioneer of battlefield first aid, Jean Larrey was also the first to described frostbite. When body tissues are exposed to below-freezing air, water or metal for a prolonged period of time, the fluid between the cells of those tissues freezes. As this takes place, the blood vessels in the area constrict reducing the blood flow to the area. Ultimately, these cells die. The dying cells set off an immune system reaction causing inflammation and further damage. If a frostbite injury thaws but undergoes another

'When it comes to frostbite, the best management is prevention. When planning a cold weather outing, watch weather reports, dress appropriately and have an emergency plan in case you become detained." episode of freezing, the wound becomes more severe. Frostbite, like burns, can be divided into two categories: superficial and deep. As with burns, a frostbite injury can worsen quickly if not treated properly. Rewarming is the primary method of treatment and outside the hospital setting, this can be accomplished with warm water or body heat. Do not rub frostbitten areas and try not to move them. Also, do not rewarm if the affected body part will undergo refreezing before receiving permanent rewarming, as this will worsen the injury. In the hospital, rewarming is done quickly while other methods are used to restore blood flow. Like burns, dressing changes and frequent cleaning of the wounds are performed. Sometimes amputation is necessary.

DPHHS reports increase in influenza activity Officials say it's not too late to vaccinate HELENA – Local and state public health officials are reporting an increase in influenza activity and reminding Montanans that it’s not too late to vaccinate.

complications. These can include pneumonia, hospitalization and even death. Getting the flu vaccine is especially important for those at greater risk for complications.

Influenza season typically peaks in February and can last as late as May, according to Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Director Anna Whiting Sorrell. "We are encouraging people who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated now."

People at greater risk include:

Each year, millions of people are infected with influenza, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized, and thousands die from its complications. Public health officials stress that every Montanan aged 6 months and older should receive the influenza vaccine each year. Getting vaccinated protects the person getting the vaccine and the community. The influenza vaccine is available in two forms: a shot and a nasal spray. The nasal spray is for use in healthy people ages 2 to 49 years who aren’t pregnant. Anyone can get influenza, but some are at greater risk for serious

Children younger than 5 years old, especially those younger than 2

Pregnant women

People with certain medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease

People 65 years and older

It's also important to get the vaccine if you care for or live with anyone at greater risk. It is especially important for those caring for infants younger than 6 months to get vaccinated because infants less than 6 months old cannot be vaccinated. Vaccines are available from your doctor, local health department, and at many retail pharmacies. For more information about influenza or the vaccine, talk to your doctor or nurse, visit or call the CDC at (800) CDC-INFO.

When it comes to frostbite, the best management is prevention. When planning a cold weather outing, watch weather reports, dress appropriately and have an emergency plan in case you become detained. Always dress in layers so wet ones can be removed. When traveling in remote areas, let someone else know your plans and make sure to eat enough calories to sustain your energy. If you think you’ve suffered frostbite, see your doctor to make sure you heal properly.

Maren Dunn, D.O., is owner of Gallatin Family Medicine, a medical clinic in the Big Sky Meadow Village. Gallatin Family Medical offers reduced cost and free mammogram screening. Have a question? Email her at

Seasonal Affective Disorder By megan obert

big sky counseling clinic

This time of year our exposure to daylight decreases until Dec. 21, the winter solstice, when daylight starts to increase again. Research indicates sunlight exposure levels can negatively impact a person’s mood, because sunlight affects serotonin levels. Serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps regulate mood, is found to be lower in people who suffer from depression. People show higher serotonin levels on sunny days than on darker days, indicating that decreased light can increase chances of depression. If you find yourself feeling moody or depressed during winter months and happier in spring, you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Almost half a million people experience this each winter between September and April. SAD occurs more frequently in women than men, and people typically start to show symptoms between ages 18 and 30. Symptoms of SAD usually build up in the late autumn and early winter and are similar to other forms of depression. They may include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, loss of energy, oversleeping, irritability, restlessness, social withdrawal and increased appetite. These symptoms can range in intensity

depending on a person’s susceptibility to depression and where he or she lives. If you experience symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, you don’t have to tough it out until spring – there are options to help elevate your mood. First, spend time outdoors in the sunlight. Participating in outdoor physical exercise will also help increase your energy and manage other symptoms of depression. In addition, making sure you’re eating nutritiously and getting enough sleep is recommended, both of which are often overlooked in terms of their importance. Another option is to purchase a phototherapy box, or light box. A light box mimics natural light from the sun and can produce the same chemical changes in your brain as sunlight. Phototherapy boxes are generally used 30 minutes a day and require you to sit near the light with your eyes open. Light therapy may be effective on its own, but in more serious cases, is most effective when combined with antidepressant medication and counseling. If you or someone you know experiences symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder and are interested in counseling, or if you have questions or concerns about SAD, the MSU Human Development Clinic is available to help. Call (406) 570-3907.

Dec. 14 - 27, 2012 23

outlaw news

Big Sky Weekly

Congratulations By tyler allen

big sky weekly distribution director

Here at Outlaw’s publications, we explore life, land and culture in the Greater Yellowstone region. The stories, photographs and people we’ve found are intriguing and inspiring. You’ll find that inspiration, too, in the pages of the Winter 2013 Mountain Outlaw magazine. We have the fortune to work with talented writers, photographers, mountain enthusiasts, politicians, artists and businesses that love this part of the world. Their hard work and devotion to this community proves it. On Dec. 1, 2012 Mountain Outlaw’s parent company, Outlaw Partners (also the publisher of this newspaper), threw a party at Choppers in Big Sky, Mont. to celebrate that hard work. Grizzly Outfitters gave away piles of merchandise, Bad Betty rocked their high-tempo blend of jazz and funk for three hours, and Outlaw provided free beer until the keg ran dry. That’s how it’s done in Big Sky. “Congratulations,” is the most common response I’ve heard from those who’ve touched this magazine. From the three college students on the stoop of Pub 317 in Bozeman, to the countless readers in our Big Sky home, to the skiers hungrily waiting for the first tram of the season at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming. “Thank you,” is my feeble and humble response, followed by, “we worked hard on this one.” We are grateful to every person who opens this fifth rendition of Mountain Outlaw. They gaze at the photo gallery with a stunning landscape of Paradise Valley in the fall, at Taylor Lyman flying over pristine powder in Cooke City, and at the portrait of local jazz artist Jeni Fleming. They smile at Kelsey Dzintars’ info graphic about the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, bemused by the caricature of GNFAC Director Doug Chabot and caption, “30: Gallons of coffee downed by Doug.” They salivate over the Outdoor Athlete’s Guide to Office Survival and the new products we’ve had the opportunity to use and review.

Mountain Outlaw magazine is on stands now throught the Greater Yellowstone Region. Photo by Tyler Allen

If they’ve had time to read the stories, they convey to me how strong our editorial staff and the gifted group of contributing freelance writers are. I hear about which stories struck them, from “Under the spell of Lone Peak: 40 years down the road” by Marcie Hahn-Knoff, to “A postcard from Chilkoot Pass” by Corrie Parks, or “Brian Schweitzer: A Governor and his plan to change the world” by Editor Joseph T. O’Connor. Amber Wiatt, employee at Big Sky Exxon told me her favorite is “Man and Beast: How a grizzly bear attack in Big Sky reflects the health of a species” by Managing Editor Emily Stifler. “I tell people they should grab a copy of the magazine to read that story if for no other reason,” Wiatt said. Some people leaf through it and immediately say, “this is really well produced.” Others hesitate before they open the pages and stare at Paul O’Connor’s cover shot of architect Michael Reynolds. Depicting him in front of one of his Earthship homes in Taos, N.M., O’Connor captured Reynolds’ flowing gray hair, scruffy beard and sunglasses reflecting a peak that looks eerily like Lone Mountain. This lauding feedback about Mountain Outlaw from people throughout the Yellowstone region encourages our staff to keep striving for high-quality content. It seems to be what the people want.

Tyler Allen gets the crowd going at the Mountain Outlaw release party at Choppers Photo by Mike Coil

24 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012

The praise hasn’t only come from readers. It’s come from our advertisers, clients and associates around the region and world. And also from one right next door.

Jackson Hole get their mitts on the new Mountain Outlaw photo by Tyler Allen

“Thank you for all you do for the arts,” said Colin Mathews, owner of Creighton Block Gallery in Big Sky Town Center, in his speech during the magazine release party. Mathews has been an Outlaw client since 2011, and his gallery is across the parking lot from our office. Mathews then presented an original oil painting by Gary Lynn Roberts to Outlaw CEO Eric Ladd. Roberts is a classical Western oil painter who lives in Hamilton, Mont. and some of his work hangs at Creighton Block. He was also the subject of a feature story by Ryan Dorn, and a depiction of his painting, “Go With Pride,” graces the back cover. Mountain Outlaw magazine can be found throughout southwest Montana, in all of the gateway communities surrounding Yellowstone National Park including Jackson and Cody, Wyo., and is mailed to subscribers around the world. We appreciate the kind words of congratulations. We worked hard on this one.



Winter means

powder days,

Ari O jewelry moved to new location

snowflakes on the tongue,

...and fly fishing for trout!? DISCOUNTED PRICES ON GUIDED TRIPS Learn to fly fish or rest your ski legs Two-hour, half-day, full-day walk-wade and float trips WE GOT THE GEAR YOU WANT: Simms G4 Pro Wader and Coldweather shirt, Winston’s new BIIIsx and GVX Select, Sage’s NEW Circa and popular ONE INSANE PRICE MARKDOWNS ON THE GEAR YOU NEED: Simms waders, boots and clothing; Patagonia goods; Sage and Winston rods; Sage reels and more

Fine Purveyors of WINTER Fly Fishing Awesome-ness.

GEAR. GUIDES. HONEST INFO. Serving Big Sky, Yellowstone Park, and Southwest Montana

On Dec. 5, local jewelry maker Arianne Coleman opened the doors to her new shop, Ari O & Co., which is located behind the Wrap Shack on Aspen Leaf Drive. From home décor to clothing and accessories all made by Montana artists, Ari O & Co. has something for everyone. Photo by Maria Wyllie • 406-995-2290 Pat Straub; Montana licensed outfitter #7878

Winter Season

Children’s menu available

lun ch, aprÈs sKI anD DInner


(406) 995-7777

Soak up the alpine views in the elegantly casual

Jack Creek Grille, where seasonal gourmet cuisine meets MONTANA PERSONALITY.

Montana Night

A special Montana-themed dinner menu & live music. EVERY wEdnEsdaY aT JaCK CREEK GRILLE sTaRTInG dECEmbER 19

Dec. 14 - 27, 2012 25


Big Sky Weekly

Creighton Block adds third gallery room “Private Collection” upstairs By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

BIG SKY – Colin Mathews is on a mission to help make Big Sky an art cultural center and destination. Mathews and his spouse and business partner Paula Craver moved their Creighton Block Gallery from Virginia City to Town Center in 2010; now two years later, Creighton Block is expanding, leasing the Charsam Room (for display of large canvases) in the neighboring RJS Building, and opening a new private gallery upstairs from its main space in the Market Place Building. The gallery represents distinguished Western masters including Tom Gilleon, Frank Hagel, Todd Connor, John DeMott, Gary Lynn Roberts and Laurie Stevens – all of whom command five figure prices for their work at the annual C.M. Russell Auction in Great Falls. On Dec. 15, Creighton Block will open its third space, an upstairs private gallery with works starting at $10,000. For the opening, the Altamira Gallery in Jackson, Wyo. is sending three oils by R. Tom Gilleon, including two of the Cascade, Mont.-based artist’s iconic teepees (offered at $24,000 and $60,000), as well as bronzes from Utah sculptor Greg Woodard. “The idea is a room that’s top shelf exclusive,” Mathews said. “It’s a model that works for many art galleries and should work well here.” "Mother Moon" by R. Tom Gilleon

R. Tom Gilleon and several other artists represented by the gallery are expected at the opening. In addition, Creighton Block aims to continue bringing work by new artists, selling both the

“Dom Perignon or the Prosecco,” as Mathews described it. The main gallery will be a bridge between the private gallery and Charsam – a space to show

mid-range work by artists who typically command top dollar, and also an anchor for Creighton Block’s mission to foster the development of new artists, and offer art education throughout the community.

Kevin Redstar Creighton Block will also show four Kevin Redstar originals at the Dec. 15 opening. The works, originals from the late 1980s and early 1990s, include one of the Crow Indian artist’s abstract teepees – “a genre that’s both artistically fabulous and also very collected,” Mathews says. Redstar’s art career began when his grandfather gave him crayons and made him draw, continued through a residency at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and a stint in San Francisco in the ’60s. His work now hangs in the Smithsonian. “He was one of the handful of Native American painters who revolutionized Western art,” Mathews said. “With his work, and the influence of Fritz Scholder and his students at the IAIA, Native American paintings became a real force in Western art, not just something sold to tourists.” Redstar’s paintings tell his people’s history, Mathews said – how a nation of only 5,000 controlled the heart of buffalo country. To their west, the Sioux were 25,000, and the Blackfeet to the east were 30,000, but the Crow were the great tacticians and horse warriors of the plains.

"Ricochet" bronze by Greg Woodward

26 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012

“He’s is the greatest interpreter for Anglo culture about the Crow Indian people.”

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Big Sky Weekly

Wolverine trapping halted in Montana Court grants temporary restraining order before season opens HELENA – Less than 24 hours before the start of the wolverine trapping season, a Montana District Court in Helena put a halt to it as the underlying case makes its way through state courts.

Montana’s wolverine population is estimated at 100 to 175 animals. Since being designated a ‘candidate’ species for ESA protection, residents have submitted extensive comments to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission asking the agency to end the trapping of wolverines. The Commissioners did not respond or otherwise address these comments.

Environmental activists call this an important step toward protecting the animal from extinction in the Lower 48, because the species’ population suffers when even one of the animals is killed. On Oct. 11, the Western Environmental Law Center, on behalf of eight community groups and one local resident, filed a lawsuit to halt wolverine trapping in Montana until the species’ population has recovered. In the decision, the Court opined, “Balancing the loss of a ‘recreational harvest opportunity’ against the possible damage to a potentially endangered species, the Court finds equity lies in favor of issuing a temporary restraining order.”

In one study spanning a three year period, in the Pioneer Mountains, six wolverines were killed in traps, including four adult males and two pregnant females, killing half of the estimated population there. Montana’s wolverine population is estimated at 100 to 175 animals.

On Dec. 14, 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the wolverine deserves federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, yet they remain a ‘candidate’ species awaiting protective status.


Montana is the only state in the Lower 48 that still allows wolverine trapping, which are trapped for their fur. The state’s current quota allows five wolverines to be trapped and killed each season.

The WELC is representing Helena Hunters and Anglers Association, Friends of the Wild Swan, Montana Ecosystem Defense Council, Native Ecosystems Council, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, the Swan View Coalition, Wild Earth Guardians, Footloose Montana and Mr. George Wuerthner.

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Big Sky Weekly

Comment period for elk management, brucellosis risk guidelines ends Dec. 20 montana fish, wildlife and parks

BOZEMAN – Montana wildlife officials are still seeking comment on three overarching elk management objectives for populations near Yellowstone National Park, aimed at reducing the risk of transmitting brucellosis infections between elk and livestock. The focus of the objectives, developed by an agency-appointed working group, is to reduce the risk of disease transmission through various elk redistribution techniques. The comment deadline is 5 p.m. on Dec. 20. Over the past 12 months, the working group of a dozen local landowners, stockgrowers and hunters led the effort to examine effective elk management options and risk-prevention efforts in several southwestern Montana hunting districts. These hunting districts generally border, or are near Yellowstone National Park. The group will meet Dec. 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Bozeman office

(1400 S. 19th St.) to review comments received so far, and take additional public comment from noon to 12:30 p.m. Brucellosis is a contagious bacterial infection found in domestic animals, wildlife and humans worldwide. In Montana, brucellosis has been detected in elk, bison and, several years ago, in cattle in areas surrounding the park.The disease results in miscarriages in some pregnant animals, including domestic cattle, bison and elk. The proposed objectives, recently approved for public comment by the FWP Commission, are exclusively focused on keeping elk away from high-risk areas where they could commingle with cattle, or in unusually high concentrations that might increase transmission. Some action items or tools that could be considered under the guidelines include hazing elk away from livestock, hunting, potentially reducing the size or density of some wintering elk herds, and erecting fences to keep elk out of specific

locations like small scale feed areas. Details and specific management actions will be developed by local working groups and then presented for FWP Commission approval, which would include additional public comment opportunities. Officials stressed that a program to test elk and then cull those exposed to brucellosis is not under consideration. "These guidelines are aimed directly at keeping elk on the move and away from high risk areas," said Ken McDonald, chief of the wildlife bureau for Montana FWP in Helena. "Test and slaughter is not going to be considered now or in the future." Officials are also seeking comment on the working group's issue statement, which reads, in part: "Tools for reducing the prevalence of brucellosis in elk could not only reduce the risk of transmission to cattle, but could also help restore traditional movement and distribution of elk. Eradication of brucellosis in elk is not currently

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feasible; management tools need to be endorsed by the FWP Commission that will reduce, and if possible eventually eliminate the risk of transmission between elk and livestock, in a manner that considers the interest of livestock owners, landowners, wildlife enthusiasts, recreationists and hunting groups." The working group prepared several additional strategic objectives and offered examples of how FWP could carry out risk reduction guidelines, but the FWP Commission only approved the three "fundamental objectives," "Issue Statement" and example action items for public comment. To comment and find more details, visit FWP’s website at Click "Elk Management Guidelines." Send written comments to: FWP–Wildlife Bureau, Attn: Public Comment; P.O. Box 200701; Helena, MT 59620-0701. For more information, call (496) 444-2612.


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Section 3:

Big Sky Weekly

Dec. 14-27, 2012 Volume 3 // Issue No. 25

life, land and culture


George Bumann: Gardiner sculptor, naturalist By sean forbes

big sky weekly contributor

While many people probably imagine sculpture as a relatively sedentary, even tame art – meticulous hours spent molding and shaping in a studio – George Bumann isn’t like most sculptors. The Gardiner-based artist does spend time in his studio, but Bumann, 36, isn’t shy about chasing his subjects in and around Yellowstone National Park. Even if every once in a while, those subjects end up chasing him. Being treed by an angry moose, for example, just added details to his work, which Bumann hopes strikes a note of truth and captures the myriad elements that make the natural world so remarkable. He teaches education and art classes through the Yellowstone Association, gives lectures for other nonprofits and organizations around the region and country, and has been on episodes of Animal Planet and the Travel Channel. Bumann’s work is on display at Astoria Fine Art in Jackson, Wyo., Goodnight Trail Gallery in Mancos, Colo. and Insight Gallery in Fredericksburg, Texas, as well as at various national shows and exhibitions – the next being the Coors Art Exhibit in Denver. His studio in Gardiner can be seen by appointment. Recently Bumann stepped away from his clay to answer a few questions for the Big Sky Weekly.

Q&A BSW: Could you tell us about yourself and how you ended up in Gardiner? GB: [I grew up] in upstate New York on Oneida Lake, where my mother was sculptor and dad was a computer networks specialist. I was surrounded by the

Bumann sculpting with assistance from his son. Photo by J. Golding

natural environment, art and history – my mother’s father started a cultural history museum covering 10,000 years of human history in our area. At age 12, I began to help curate and lead tours, [which] led to subsequent jobs in living history interpretation, taxidermy, illustration, timber framing, commercial fly tying. I sought formal training at the College of Forestry in Syracuse, New York in wildlife ecology and fisheries, and subsequently pursued a master’s degree in the same field at Virginia Tech.

I ended up in Gardiner and Yellowstone Park largely through my wife (Jenny Golding) and her previous work in Yellowstone on a coyote research project. After I finished defending my thesis, she recording her first CD, and getting married, we sold most of what we owned and drove out to Yellowstone for seasonal jobs. She was managing the field school campus in Lamar Valley for the Yellowstone Association, and I was teaching ecology and art. She has since become the director of education, and my work has expanded to offering educational programs for regional organizations, the park service, Xanterra – and there is my fine art work. BSW: Is there a reason why you picked sculpture as a mode of expression? GB: Sculpture made sense to me. I grew up with it in my mom’s studio, and creating things like armatures was second nature. Although I have worked with two-dimensional media for a long time, there is something very satisfying about being able to grab a hold of the medium in three dimensions – to just get your hands literally into it. I also came back to art because there were just certain things I wanted to share that did not fit into my educational programs or any other outlet of expression. BSW: What’s your inspiration, or what are you trying to capture? GB: I’m inspired by a deeper sense of the natural world. Skeletons, animal anatomy, behavior and communication have always fascinated me and although Continued on p. 34

"Familiar Ground" grizzly bear sculpture by George Bumann

Dec. 14 - 27, 2012 33


Big Sky Weekly

Continued from p. 33 my sculptures are quite recognizable for what they are – say a bison, elk or wolf – what I try to do is use the subject matter to address more timeless ideas in our own human nature.

BSW: How long does a sculpture take to complete? GB: Each sculpture is its own thing. Some done in the field can be completed in as little as a couple hours while

What I mean by this is using the subject matter to address the ‘true’ subject of all great art, which is ourselves, by way of universal ideas like innocence, curiosity, pride, fear, sadness. BSW: Do you have any stories from working in the field? GB: Sure do. I’ve been "A Ton of Momentum" bison sculpture by George Bumann chased back into the truck by charging buffalo, had elk chew on my others, especially those in the studio, sculptures, treed by moose, battled can be months or even years – mind frozen fingers, dodged screamyou, this is all on top of over 30 years ing, rampaging bull elk. I’ve had of studying my subjects and the mesculptures thrown to the ground by dium from the inside out to make such strong winds, and spent days pull'relatively' short completions possible. ing works in progress in and out of Like a surgeon, you don't get charged the truck while trying to keep up for the time it takes them to remove with mobile subjects. your wisdom teeth, but the time they spent learning how to get it right.

While studying moose in the Tetons, Bumann climbed into a tree to get a better view of a bedded bull, meanwhile, a cow and her calf decided to graze underneath his perch - keeping him 'suspended' for over half an hour Photo by Kyle Sims

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Expanding trails near the Big Sky Town Center, over 18 miles of new trails

Beginning a new phase of construction at the Big Sky Community Park

Building an equestrian trailhead near Ousel Falls

Changing the name of Historic Crail Ranch to Crail Ranch Homestead Museum

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Together, we will continue to build the Big Sky Community in 2013!



Big Sky Weekly

Moonlight Basin clears Headwaters for hikers on Opening Day By JOSEPH T. O'CONNOR big sky weekly editor

MOONLIGHT BASIN – This is how opening day should be. Moonlight Basin Ski Resort opened to season pass holders on Friday, Dec. 7 with seven inches of new snow, and lifted the rope for hikers shortly after 10 a.m. to boot pack up to the Headwaters. Pass holders jammed the parking lot, seeking powder they’ve been waiting to ride since the end of last season. “I was stoked for opening day!” said Kruin Seibert, a native of West Yellowstone, booting up in the lot. “And then we had fresh snow on top of it – this is going to be one of the better opening days.” Seibert’s friend Cam Carlsley, also from West, gave a thumbs-up. “The first thing I did this morning was check the snow report. Then I smiled,” Carlsley said. The mountain opened with Iron Horse and the Pony lifts, and 23 terrain park features were available to session. But access to the Headwaters had everybody talking. “We got lucky the way the snow fell,” said Kevin Retchless, a ten-year veteran of Moonlight’s ski patrol. “It’s filled in up there.”

Work? The Author catches air between interviews Photo by Chris Davis

“We’ve had teams [in the Headwaters] for the last week doing control routes,” he added, saying on opening day patrollers completed full routes. “It’s not bottomless, but it’s good.” In Moonlight Lodge, Ryan Gosse, a game warden in Ennis, was stretching his legs, waiting for the lifts to spin. Gosse said it felt early for Moonlight to open Headwaters, the rugged,

north-facing terrain to customers, but knew ski patrol wouldn’t open it unless it was safe.

in line for the second lift chair. “It’s looking good though. There’s a potential for face shots!”

“They do a hell of a job up here,” he said. “And that’s the truth.”

For Earl and Patty Randall from Placerville, Calif., this was there first opening day experience at Moonlight Basin. Each year they move to a different ski resort for the season.

Pass holders waited patiently for Iron Horse lift operators to begin loading chairs, and Shawn Orloff from Bozeman was first in line. This is his fifth year owning a pass at Moonlight. This early in the season, rocks abound, but most folks weren’t worried. “We’ve heard reports of more [than seven inches of] snow, but we can’t disclose where it is,” said John Stebbins, a fourth-year pass holder

To get the goods: first chair at Moonlight Basin's opening day. Photo by Chris Davis

36 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012

“We’ve gone from Heavenly (Calif.) to Deer Valley (Utah) and now we’re here,” Patty Randall said. “Maybe we’ll go to Colorado next.” She glanced up the chair line, as lifties loaded Orloff and his friends on the first chair, and the crowd gave a howl. “Or maybe we’ll stay here forever,” she said, smiling, and poled her way up a few spaces.

Kruin Seibert and Cam Carlsley get their stoke on. photo by joseph t. o'connor


Big Sky Weekly

16th Annual Arc'teryx Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival Photos by Ryan Day Thompson

Margo Talbot instructs clinic participants in the finer points of pick placement in Hyalite Canyon.

Kyler Pallister and Aaron Montgomery face off in the speed competition of the Bozeman Ice Festival while commentator Conrad Anker looks on.

Clinic participants enjoy world class instruction at one of the Bozeman Ice Festival's clinics in Hyalite Canyon.

Becca Skinner takes in the astonishing Hyalite landscape near sunrise.

Will Gadd, Whit Magro, and Jason Nelson celebrate making the podium of the North Face Invitational while Conrad Anker commentates. Gadd secured a narrow victory over Whit Magro.

Will Gadd leaves "The Cave" on the Ice Tower during the North Face Invitational.

Dec. 14 - 27, 2012 37

word from the resorts

Big Sky Weekly

by Maria Wyllie, Big sky weekly editorial assistant

Moonlight Basin Moonlight Basin pass holders had an epic opening day with 7 inches of fresh snowfall on Friday, Dec. 7. The opening of the Headwaters was a highlight for many, and continued snow since has allowed patrol to open even more terrain. Changes since last season include improvements to beginner runs made

a new bag jump at the Madison Village Base Area.The bag jump arrived on Friday, and Moonlight terrain park and ski patrol staff are training and preparing for a season of big airs. Once open, standard days of operation for the jump will be Thursday through Sunday for the entire season. A Moonlight Basin lift ticket or season pass is not required for bag jump participation, but non-pass holders must purchase jump cards or tickets.

Moonlight is hosting a number of holiday events, from skiing with Santa on Christmas, to celebrating the New Year with live music and a special dinner menu at Jack Creek Grille. Find The bag jump will be open Thursdays - Sundays throughout event listings on the season. Photo courtesy of Moonlight BAsin page 41, on the by expanding and widening the terrain; Big Sky Weekly’s event calendar, and the creation of an intermediate gully more details under the activities tab on run called Flyrock Gully, located beMoonlight Basin’s website, tween Cinnabar and Wagon Trail; and

Big Sky Resort Powder to the people! Christmas has come early in Big Sky, bringing piles of snow for skiers and snowboarders. It’s starting off to be a great season, and ski patrol is working hard to open more terrain each day.

Photo by Chris Kamman, Big Sky Resort

Free Week for Frequent Sky Holders took place from Nov. 26 – Dec. 2 and was a huge success. The resort saw higher skier counts than last year nearly every day.

Big Sky is hosting a number of different events in the next couple of weeks. Aside from Christmas festivities, the resort is preparing for the first annual Tony Horton Fitness Weekend, which takes place Friday, Dec. 21 – Sunday, Dec. 23. Tony Horton, the creator of P90X, will instruct morning workouts as well as teach yoga and an upper body workout, flexibility and balance training, ski

Snowfall (as of press time): Moonlight: New Snow: 14" Base Depth: 35"


Wallowa County, Oregon / $18,200,000

Logan Schaetzel-Hill at Big Sky Resort on Friday, Dec. 7.

technique training, and a stretching and leg workout. Locals and visitors can also look forward to the Way Alt West Fest, a four-day music festival, taking place Saturday, Dec. 29 – Tuesday, Jan. 1. The lineup includes special guest Rich Hall of Saturday Night Live, the Ben Rice Band and Keegan Smith, among others. Stay updated with current conditions and daily events via Big Sky’s new smartphone app for the 2012/2013 season. The app will also track total vertical feet, max speed, and number of laps completed.

Big Sky: New snow: 14-20" Base Depth: 36"

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Gear reviews The Big Sky Weekly/ staff is a group of outdoor-loving men and women who play hard almost every second we’re not in the office. Some of the gear seen here is brand new, and some of it’s stuff we’ve had for ages—we think it’s worth the ink to tell you about some of the gadgets, gizmos, gear and garb that make our lives even more fun.

G3 Love Glove

They look gimmicky, but they’re cool... and they’re made of Spandex. The Love Glove, as its name suggests, will give sweet love to your climbing skins, your gloves, and the connective tissue in your shoulders. Never peel stuck skins apart again! No more gluey gook on your gloves! Like flipping a t-shirt inside out, put your arm in the glove, grab the middle of your skin, and retract. From there, they’ll fold up in your jacket or pack, without sticking to themselves. Also good for hiding your transceiver for beacon drills. One qualm: It’s one more thing to remember to pack. E.S. $35 For more new gear from 2013, check out our Holiday Gift and Gear Guide in section four.



Dec. 14 - 27, 2012 39

EVENTS The earth and sky XIII

Thomas Lee, "Big Hole River, Montana," 2012, photograph, 1/25, 24"x36"

BIG SKY – Gallatin River Gallery will host an opening reception during the Big Sky Christmas Stroll, Dec.14, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., serving up art, refreshments and treats.

“Contemporary individual perspectives united in theme from inspired Montana artists and beyond reflect the spirit and power of our natural world,” wrote GRG owner Julie Gustafson in a press release.

This is the gallery’s annual show, entitled “THE EARTH & SKY XIII.” The show will feature works in diverse mediums from select artists referencing the earth and sky, including local favorite painters Jennifer Bessen, Shawna Moore and Tom Thorton, plus local photographers Michael Haring and Thomas Lee, as well as many other artists.

A special treat, Gustafson noted, will be a recent Russell Chatham original oil painting depicting the quiet solace of a Montana winter twilight. The gallery, which moved to a new space in the Big Sky Town Center this year, exhibits sculpture, paintings, photography and one of a kind jewelry in group theme and solo shows.

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EVENTS friday, dec. 14

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

sunday, dec. 16

big sky

big sky

Military Appreciation Big Sky Resort, 9 a.m. (thru Sun.)

Advent Candle Lighting All Saints Chapel, 9:30 a.m.

Images of America: Big Sky book signing Creighton Block Gallery, 4 p.m.


CHRISTMAS STROLL Meadow Village and Town Center, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Bozeman Energy Workshops Montana Weatherization Training, noon A Christmas Carol (thru 12/23) Ellen Theater, 7:30 p.m.

West Coast Swing Baxter Ballroom, 6 p.m. Improv on the Verge Equinox/Verge Theater, 7 p.m. Open Mike Haufbrau, 10 p.m. Free Pool! Every Mon. at the Eagles

monday, dec. 17


monday, dec. 24

MSU Bobcats vs. Sacramento State Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, 7 p.m. Kenny Diamond Ferraro’s, 7 p.m. Livingston & paradise valley Blues 2 Livingston Bar & Grill, 7 p.m.

friday, dec. 21


Archer’s Mob Eagles, 9 p.m.

Cowboy Elvis Xmas Party Filling Station, 9 p.m.


livingston & paradise valley

livingston & paradise valley

West Coast Swing Baxter Ballroom, 6 p.m.

Prairie Windjammers Pine Creek Café, 7 p.m.

Dan Dubuque Pine Creek Café, 7 p.m.

Improv on the Verge Equinox/Verge Theater, 7 p.m.

10 Foot Tall & 80 Proof Chico Hot Springs, 9 p.m. (and Sat.)

Montana Rose Chico Hot Springs Saloon, 9 p.m. (and Sat.)

Open Mike Haufbrau, 10 p.m.

Strangeways End of World Party Murray Bar, 9:30 p.m.

Free Pool! Every Mon. at the Eagles

big sky

big sky

Bike Kitchen Open to the Public BozemanBikeKitchen, 6 p.m. (every Tues!)

Pancakes with Santa Big Sky Fire Department, 9:30 a.m.

Tango Montana Beall Park Art Center, 7 p.m.

Barbara Pierce Trunk Show & “Private Collection Salon” Creighton Block Gallery, 10 a.m.

Open Bluegrass Jam Pub 317, 7 p.m.

Bozeman Bert & Charlie’s Unconventional Christmas Carol Equinox/Verge Theater, 2 p.m. Ashley Holland Ted’s Montana Grill, 7 p.m. Storyhill Gallatin Gateway Inn, 7 p.m. Christmas Contra Dance Eagles Uptairs, 7:30 p.m. David Boone Peach Street Studios, 7:30 p.m. Kopecky Family Band Filling Station, 9 p.m. Livingston & paradise valley

wednesday, dec. 19 big sky Shuffleboard Wednesday (every week) Lone Peak Brewery, 8 p.m.

Judy Fjell Emerson Weaver Room, 7 p.m. Uke Group Wild Joe’s, 7:30 p.m. Livingston & paradise valley Writer’s Night Pine Creek Café, 7 p.m.

thursday, dec. 20

Speakeasy Christmas Pine Creek Café, 7 p.m.

big sky

west yellowstone

Business After Hours GAS & Santosha, 5:30 p.m.

big sky Eucharist Worship Service All Saints Chapel, 9:30 a.m. Bozeman

saturday, dec. 22 2nd Annual BSSEF Fundraiser Buck’s T-4, 5 p.m. Bozeman Winter Wonderland Children’s Museum of Bozeman, 11 a.m. Bert & Charlie’s Unconventional Christmas Carol Equinox/Verge Theater, 2 p.m. MSU Bobcats vs. N. Arizona Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, 2 p.m.

LIBRARY CLOSED livingston & paradise valley Community Christmas Dinner Civic Center, noon

wednesday, dec. 26 Bozeman Bob Britten Baxter Ballroom, 6:30 p.m. UKE Group Wild Joe’s, 7:30 p.m. Vette w/ Leif Christian Peach St. Studios, 7:30 p.m. Sizzling Salsa Baxter Ballroom, 7:30 p.m. livingston & paradise valley Writer’s Night Pine Creek Café, 7 p.m.

thursday, dec. 12

Tumbledown House Ted’s Montana Grill, 7 p.m.

big sky

livingston & paradise valley

Shuffleboard Wednesday Lone Peak Brewery, 8 p.m.

Dos Mayos Pine Creek Café, 7 p.m.


Bozeman Bob Britten, 6:30 p.m. Sizzling Salsa Christmas Party, 8 p.m. Baxter Ballroom


tuesday, dec. 25

Kenny Diamond Carabiner, 4 p.m.

saturday, dec. 15


Open Mike Haufbrau, 10 p.m.

Saddle Tramps Eagles, 9 p.m. (and Sat.)


Carol & Candlelight Service All Saints Chapel, 8 p.m.

Tony Horton Weekend Big Sky, 9 a.m.

big sky

tuesday, dec. 18

Kenny Diamond Carabiner, 4 p.m.

Winter Wonderland Children’s Museum of Bozeman, 11 a.m.

Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All For You Equinox Theater, 8 p.m. (and Sat.)

Rodeo Run Dogsled Races Old Airport, thru 12/16

big sky

big sky

Sister Mary Ignatius explains it all for you Equinox Theater, 8 p.m. (and Sat.)

west yellowstone

Big Sky Weekly

sunday, dec. 23 big sky Advent Candle Lighting All Saints Chapel, 9:30 a.m.

UKE Group Wild Joe’s, 7:30 p.m. Sizzling Salsa Baxter Ballroom, 7:30 p.m.

thursday, dec. 27 Bozeman

big sky

Christmas Tea Gallatin Gateway Inn, 2 p.m.

Eagle Mount Demo Days Moonlight Basin, 10 a.m.

Kostas Kountry Korner Café, 5:30 p.m.


Irish Music Sing Pub 317, 7 p.m.

Winter Wonderland Children’s Museum of Bozeman, 11 a.m. The Stringjumpers The Mint in Belgrade, 7 p.m.

Yellowstone’s West Entrance Open for Oversnow Travel

Dec. 14 - 27, 2012 41


Big Sky Weekly

In Montana, on Men’s Journal “Remote and Refined” filmed at Montana guests ranches By JOSEPH T. O'CONNOR big sky weekly editor

MONTANA, NEW YORK – A new video series on the Men’s Journal website is showcasing some of Montana’s finest digs, and a top talent is hosting the show. In its first two segments, “Remote and Refined,” a four-part series shot on location across the American West, features Triple Creek Ranch and the Resort at Paws Up, two working Montana guest ranches. The idea is to “show off these beautiful ranches that you never knew existed,” said Ryan Van Duzer, the show’s host and a nationally acclaimed adventure personality. “Each has their own charm and beauty.” In the latest video, released on Dec. 3, Van Duzer visited Triple Creek Ranch, tucked into the Bitterroot Mountains in Darby, Mont. One of 475 worldwide members of the exclusive Relais & Chateaux hotel collection, Triple Creek treated Van Duzer to the goods: fly fishing on the Bitterroot River. He bagged a cutbow trout, and the resort’s chef taught him how to prepare his catch in style.

The first segment in the series, shot at the Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Mont., 30 miles east of Missoula along the Blackfoot River, introduced Van Duzer to glamping (glamorous camping).

and National Geographic. He is currently found on the Discovery Channel, working on “Out of the Wild,” an adventure reality show shot in Venezuela. But Van Duzer, who has a broadcast journalism degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder, had to cut his teeth like any journalist. In 2006, he launched his first show, an adventure program called “Out There,” on Boulder Public Access TV, Channel 54.

“Paws Up is nicer than a hotel room in Manhattan,” Van Duzer said. At this working cattle ranch, which sits on 37,000 acres, glampers are treated to heated slate floors, king-sized beds and a camping butler, while having the opportunity to run cattle drives and dine at barrel-racing event dinners.

“I was living in my mom’s basement and wasn’t making any money,” Van Duzer said. “But all I needed was money for Doritos and a few beers.”

What stunned Van Duzer, however, was Montana’s landscape and its sunsets. It was his first visit to Big Sky Country.

The show, which aired three times a day around the Flatirons, caught the local newspaper’s eye. The Boulder Daily Camera asked Van Duzer to produce a weekly adventure series for the paper’s website, and it set his career in motion.

“I totally fell in love with Montana,” the Boulder, Colo. native said. “I love small town Americana.” For Van Duzer, the adventure film segments are nothing new.

In 2007, after a two-year stint in the Peace Corps in Honduras, Van Duzer set out on a trip that marked both his sense of adventure and his success: He rode his bicycle from Honduras to Boulder.

The 33-year-old video journalist and filmmaker has hosted and produced more than 70 videos, appearing on the Travel Channel, the History Channel

Afterward, he sent a short video about the 4,000-mile bike ride to the Travel Channel, which aired on the station’s “What’s Your Trip,” hosted by television personality Andrew Zimmern. The Travel Channel then began showing Van Duzer’s work regularly. “I want to make people happy,” Van Duzer said. “I don’t do this stuff to show off, it’s so I can inspire people.” The ‘out there guy,’ as he is affectionately known in Boulder, plans to keep on trucking and get people off their couches and into adventure. As he’d say at the end of each show on Channel 54, pointing into the camera: “Get out there!” The third episode of “Remote and Refined” was filmed in Wyoming and will air in January, while the final segment has yet to be shot. Van Duzer said the plan is for Colorado or Utah, and it will hit the website in February. For more on Ryan Van Duzer and to view “Remote and Refined,” visit

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Big Sky, Montana 42 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012



By maria wyllie

big sky weekly editorial assistant

Find out what tunes we’re bumping! In “Powder Playlist,” Big Sky Weekly staff and guests suggest a soundtrack for a day on the mountain, and local riders have a chance to share what they listen to when they shred. Keep in mind it’s important to be aware of your surroundings while skiing, and listening to music too loudly can be dangerous.

Guest picks

Staff picks

Originally from Kansas City, MO, snow- This issue’s staff picks showcase a boarders Derek Cummings and Cody riety of music. Whether you’re suiting up to shred or riding down the bowl, and Austin Budelouich throw you these songs will make you want to some fresh, electronic beats and a point your tips and charge it. metal track for those extra long days. New to Big Sky, Cummings and the Budelouich brothers work as lift opera- Song, artist: tors for Big Sky Resort and are ready to 1. Breezeblocks, Alt-J get to know Lone Mountain. 2. Wildfire (Paper Diamond Remix), SBTRKT Song, artist:

3. Callin’ Out, Lyrics Born

1. Buzzin’, OVERWERK

4. Lez Go, Cypress Hill & Rusko

2. Spectrum (feat. Matthew Koma), Zedd

5. Caribou Lou, Tech N9ne

3. Killin’ it, Krewella

6. Daddy’s Lambo, Yelawolf

4. Shadow in the Rose Garden, The M Machine

7. Mondrian, Andre Legacy

5. Another Day, The Album Leaf 6. Arrive Beautiful Leave Ugly, Dada Life 7. I Never Wanted, As I Lay Dying 8. Starchaser, Coyote Kisses 9. The Sun, The Naked and Famous 10. Free (The Stratos Spaced Out Remix), Twin Atlantic


LIVINGSTON • $2,100,000 640 +/- acres (4 parcels), spectacular elk, deer and antelope hunting, borders USFS land, Yellowstone River access, minutes to town

More Fine Ranch & Recreational Offerings: ROCKY MOUNTAIN ROAD • BELGRADE • $4,300,000 719 +/- acres, 3,622 +/- sf home, primitive cabin, borders USFS land, Mill Creek runs through, water rights, productive hay ground ROCK CREEK SECTION • GARDINER • $2,700,000 640 +/- acres, log cabin, meadows, creeks, springs, trees, borders USFS land for 3.5 +/- miles, excellent recreational property T BAR Z ROAD • WHITEHALL • $1,450,000 237 +/- acres, 6,048 +/- sf home was lodge for the historic T Bar Z Ski Area, Locati designed addition, trees, alpine meadow

Don Pilotte

Broker, GRI, SFR Resort & Recreation Specialist

(406) 580-0155

Dec. 14 - 27, 2012 43

Big Sky Weekly

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing team, family and clients for their dedication and loyalty through the building of our new business; ontana Living ~ Big Sky Real Estate Warmest Wishes for a Happy & Healthy 2013! Owners | Martha Johnson, Broker 406.580.5891

Craig Smit, Broker 406.581.5751

Michael Schreiner, Associate 406.580.5624

Karen Davids, Associate 406.580.5700

Martha & Scott Johnson ontana Living ~ Big Sky Real Estate

Suzanne Schreiner, Associate 406.570.4935

Kevin Butler, Broker 406.570.3890

John Bauchman, Associate 406.570.1920

ELKRIDGE 32 The Club at Spanish Peaks, 5bd, 7 bath, on the golf course/ski in/ ski out. Gorgeous views. $3,485,000

The Pines Condominium 4 bd, 4 bath, centrally located, huge views of the Spanish Peaks, model unit. From $429,000

240 TROPhy BuLL 3 bd + bunk room, 5 bath on 20 acres. Borders National Forest with top of the world views. $1,950,000

Snowcrest 8512 Ski-in/ski-out, heart of the mountain village. Best ski location in Big Sky, solid rental history. 3 bd, 3.5 bath. $1,399,000

Ducks Pond Estate The Club at Spanish Peaks, 4 bd, 4.5 bath, timber framed construction, 20 acres. $1,599,000

ELK RIDGE #69 The Club at Spanish Peaks, 4bd, 5.5 bath, 5,000 sq ft. Ski-in/ski-out, .96 acres, great views, fabulous decking and hot tub. $3,050,000

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 Montana Living - 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.

BigSkyRealEstate .com | 406.995.6333 | Located in Big Sky Town Center

GREAThORN K RANCh #3 Fabulous 20 acres located only minutes to Big Sky Town Center. Resident wildlife & gorgeous views. $649,000

3079 TwO MOONS Spacious home 4 Bd & 4 Baths. Great location w/easy walk to Town Center and Golf Course. Granite counters, slate and hardwood floors. Hot tub. Motivated Seller. $699,000

ESSENTIA CONDOMINIuMS 2 units, 2 great floorplans, central location in Big Sky Town Center. Strong long or short term rental history . $405,000 & $480,000

BLACK EAGLE CONDOMINIuM S Ski-in/Ski-out. In the Mountain Village. 3 to choose from. One finished and furnished. 3-5 bdrm. New construction. Great rental history. From $895,000

1620 ChIEF JOSEPh Generational estate. 7,500 sq. ft. 4 Suites, elevator, office and workout room. 8.3 acres with amazing views of Big Sky. Broker owned. Call for price.

POwDER RIDGE CABIN #126 Ski-in/ski-out, 5 bd, 4 bath, 3,064 sq. ft. hot tub and single car garage. Big views from multiple decks. Great rental history. $895,000

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 Montana Living - 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.

wanderer at rest

Big Sky Weekly

How do I unlike? By jamie balke

Friend: “Hey! Oh … I guess you don’t know.”

Normally I write this column about misadventures, realizations, or my love affair with the West. Today, if you don’t mind, I would like to rant.

Me: “Know what? Is everything okay?”

big sky weekly collumnist

In my humble opinion, Facebook may be out of hand. I’ll admit to posting my share of moody song lyrics and carefully selected photos on my old page, but those days are gone. I am happily deactivated, having decided I’m better off if I don’t see the statements people make online. Also, the constant need to stay ahead of new privacy concerns creeped me out. I am not advocating this decision is for everyone but I haven’t looked back, except for missing the birthday reminders, which were super-handy.


Friend: “Everything’s fine, but since you’re not on Facebook anymore, you probably didn’t see my post.” This last part is usually accompanied by a pitying look and mild annoyance at the inconvenience I’ve caused by forcing my friend to repeat him/herself. I acknowledge that Facebook is successful. It is a remarkable way for people to share, connect, and express themselves, and I respect that. Rock on with your bad self.

At first, I had a “live and let live” Facebook philosophy. However, it didn’t take long before this most pervasive of mediums infiltrated my face-to-face conversations.

Post the pictures that help distant loved ones feel closer; Tell people what you are thinking and what is important to you; Receive words of support and encouragement.

The following interaction has transpired often enough to give me pause:

I find it disconcerting we prefer sharing information with an online audience, rather than having a discussion, in which we gradually unravel details of our lives in a dynamic give-and-take exchange. Call me old-fashioned, but that wierds me out.

My intention is not to rally for a false simplicity of times past. Being twenty-something, I recognize this column could border on blasphemy – I appreciate the incredible opportunities of a world connected online. Then again, I hope investment in carefully constructed online personalities doesn’t lessen our investment in meaningful personal connections. Or maybe I’m reading too much into this and need to get over myself. End rant. I hope I have not angered The Facebook.

Me: “Hey friend, how goes it?”

Jamie Balke moved to Bozeman in the fall of 2009. She can generally be found behind the cover of a book, meandering down a trail or desperately trying not to kill houseplants.

Discover the north side of the

biggest skiing in america


at moonlight basin resort

New this winter!

BAGJUMP Come check it out and get ready to

LAUNCH! · (406) 993-6000

@moonlightbasin · #moonlightbasin

46 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012


On all makes and models

2013 VW TIGUAN 2.0T S

26 MPG HWY**




0 0 $ 0 $ $

Down Payment Security Deposit First Month’s Payment




$329 per month lease for 42 months with $0 total* due at signing. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Payment based on MSRP of $27,750. 12,000 miles per year, residual amount $15,540.00. On approved credit. See Dealer for details. Offer ends December 31st, 2012.

*OAC. Not All Buyers Will Qualify. ** EPA estimate



C O N S E R V E (406) 586-1771


Text 579-9966 for Service 31910 Frontage Road Same Day Service for Most Repairs SALES Mon-Fri 9-6 • Sat 9-5 SERVICE Mon-Fri 7:30-6 • Sat 9-5

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

Big Sky Weekly

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.

Preparation and Execution: Tips for a great season in the backcountry By ERic Knoff

Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center

Heading out for a day in the hills is easy and rewarding. But we must follow a few simple preparations that if not practiced routinely can result in drastic consequences.

1. BEFORE YOU GO Being prepared starts at home, with making sure your equipment is operating correctly and knowing how to use it. Beacon, shovel, probe One often-overlooked detail is the lifespan of your avalanche transceiver batteries. Replace them at the start of every winter season, no matter how much use they received the previous winter. Know how to check the transceiver battery power, and when it drops below 50 percent, change them out. Never use rechargeable batteries in a transceiver – they wear out quickly and do poorly in the cold. In addition, an avalanche shovel and probe always accompany your transceiver. Make sure these important rescue tools assemble properly and weren’t damaged during their hibernation in the gear closet. Practice Before heading into avalanche terrain, do at least an hour or two of avalanche transceiver practice with your backcountry partners. Being familiar with all your equipment before you leave the house is a great way to ensure you make it home for dinner. Education Gathering valuable backcountry information only takes a minute and is easily done at home. Know the phone number and website address of the local avalanche center (see footer). Stay updated on current local avalanche and weather conditions.

48 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012

Check the schedule of avalanche education classes offered in your community, and take at least one course geared toward avalanche education and safe backcountry travel. 2. AT THE TRAILHEAD Preparation continues once you reach the trailhead. Make a plan Communicate with your partners and make a plan for that specific day. This plan should be made around each individual’s riding ability and from the information you received at home concerning weather and avalanche conditions. Know if the area you are riding in has cell phone coverage and which members of the team are carrying a cell phone. Communication between partners is often neglected and can play a huge role in the outcome of the day. Beacon check When a plan has been made and everyone is comfortable with the agenda, a transceiver check on every member needs to be conducted. This simple procedure only takes a minute. Turn all transceivers to transmit. One member then turns his transceiver to receive and checks for the loud beeping and blinking lights as he gets close to each individual. After transceivers have been turned on and checked, they are strapped to the body under at least one piece of clothing. They must always be turned on at the car and should never go into packs or on the outside of riding apparel. Other equipment checks on probes, shovels and first aid kits should also be done at the car.

3. HAVE A FUN, SAFE DAY OUT Use your preparations and knowledge to make it a safe day on the slopes. Terrain recognition and good route finding are essential skills for

backcountry travel. Venturing into avalanche terrain requires clear communication and a team mentality. One at a time Exposing only one skier/rider at a time on avalanche prone slopes is imperative. Putting more than one person on a slope dramatically increases the chance of triggering an avalanche. With one rider on the slope, the rest of the team must be in a safe zone, with a clear view of the rider at all times. This will allow a rapid response in case an avalanche does occur. Understanding of terrain Recognition of potentially dangerous slopes, terrain traps and islands of safety are also integral to traveling in avalanche terrain. Weather Weather influences daily planning and preparations. Rapid weather changes can rapidly change the stability of the snowpack. Consistent temperature observations, wind direction and precipitation should be routinely noted. It doesn’t need to be snowing for the avalanche hazard to be increasing. Strong winds can load slopes quickly, making them unpredictable and dangerous. Staying focused and aware of your surroundings will allow you to make safe decisions throughout the day. Applying simple preparations to a well-tuned baseline of skills is an effective way to ensure a safe and fun backcountry experience. Eric Knoff is a forecaster with the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. Visit GNFAC at, or call (406) 587-6981. This piece was adapted from one originally written for the Montana Snowmobile Association.

Big Sky Weekly

clothing • jewelry • accessories • gadgets • skis • snowboards • baselayers • outerwear


Big Sky Weekly

Looking to do your last minute shopping? Here are some recommendations, from Lone Mountain Ranch’s authentic Montana sleigh ride, to the hottest touchscreen compatible gloves from Black Diamond.

Kletterwerks Kurier If you haven’t heard of Dana Gleason, you should probably crawl out from underneath the rock where you’ve been living and buy one of his packs. The founder of Dana Design and Mystery Ranch cut his teeth making Kletterwerks, which went bankrupt in 1983 after Gleason sold his stake. Kletterwerks remained Bozeman lore until 2012, when Gleason’s son D3 resurrected the business, bringing back the timeless look and functional designs. I use the Kletterwerks Kurier every day. It holds my computer, camera, documents and all the necessary accessories for a mountain journalist. My fly reel is kicking around in there, too. It’s comfortable, essential and the rust orange color turns heads all over town. Available at Schnee’s in Bozeman. – Tyler Allen $299

Aleworks gift certificates

Tyler Allen toting his Kletterwerks Kurier to a happy hour meeting at Aleworks

Montana Ale Works in Bozeman is forking over good deals this holiday season, notably, its gift cards. Buy a $25 gift card for your loved ones, employees or associates until Dec. 23 and get a free $5 gift certificate thrown in for yourself. Want a holiday bonus? A $100 gift card purchase will get you a $25 certificate. The gift cards are treated like cash, and the certificate is for one-time use between Dec. 26 and March 31. Use it to get yourself a pint of beer from one of their 40 taps and toast to the giving season. - T.A.

Photo by Tim Gates of kletterwerks

Rugged urban mountain tech

Retro yet modern, the Kletterwerks Nobel Pocket should probably win the Nobel gear prize. Simple in design but ultra-functional, the padded pouch safely holds an ipad; a padded internal divider and pockets help organize smaller items like power cords, iphones or ipods. – Megan Paulson $59

Black Diamond digital liner glove

Sleighride dinner

I admit, I’m one of those people – I constantly have my iPhone out. I’m either switching my playlist, trying to locate my ski partner, or faking I’m in the office by answering emails on the chairlift. The Black Diamond digital liner gloves are perfect for Photo by Tyler Busby any cold weather touch screen activity. They are light enough to comfortably fit under my snowboarding mittens, and warm enough to wear on their own every day. The touch screen compatible finger pads are practically undetectable, so I can be a tech geek without actually looking like one. The index finger pads work like a charm, even through my hard shell phone case. The slightly bulkier thumb pads make composing texts a little cumbersome, but nothing that autocorrect can’t fix (just make sure you proofread). These gloves would make a great gift for any touch screen user in your life. – Kelsey Dzintars $49.95

Wrap a heavy wool blanket around you and breathe in the cold night air. The sleigh moves slowly behind the team of draft horses, and spruce and fir trees are silhouetted, dark against the night sky. Lone Mountain Ranch has hosted sleigh ride dinners for 33 years, pulling guests to the candlelit North Fork cabin for Montana-raised prime rib dinners cooked on a wood-fired stove, live music and cowboy poetry, and wholesome fun. Vegetarian and kids meals available. $63 - $98 - Emily Stifler

50 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012

Photo by brian niles

Big Sky Weekly

Krimson Klover Andora sweater The Krimson Klover Andora sweater is made from lightweight, tightly woven, supersoft merino wool – something not often found in such a fashionable piece. The draping boatneck, dolomite sleeves and slimming waistband all add to the allure of this sweater, which is perfect for the winter chills. Its versatile style makes it ideal for a casual day around town or a dinner date in the throes of January. There is no reason to resort to turtlenecks to stay warm this season. -Katie Morrison $166

Shelly Bermont custom jewelry Jeweler Shelly Bermont believes if you have a special piece of jewelry, you should be able to wear it every day – even with jeans. “It shouldn't stay in a jewelry box because it’s too fancy to wear,” she says. With 25 years of experience, Bermont might transform formal pearl earrings into a custom leather lariat, or perhaps set diamonds into a hand-hammered fine sterling bracelet with a matte gold cap. Her signature line specializes in raw diamonds, large South Sea and Tahitian pearls, and 18 and 22 carat gold. She sells wholesale in Montana, and she’ll wrap and deliver. – E.S. Call Bermont for a private appointment – (406) 548-4477, or find her at Starting at $750

Sanuk Torrey boots The Sanuk Torreys may be made by SoCal surfers, but my redneck boyfriend calls them mule skinner boots – obviously a compliment. I say they’re stylish enough to wear with a dress, grippy enough for walking in the snow and on the SlackRack, and comfy enough to wear with jeans. The back zipper makes on/off easy, and I’m crazy for the fluffy faux shearling lining. – E.S. $149

Vintage winter Vintage Winter has a large collection of antiques, home decor and other ski and alpine-related gifts that make great presents for any winter sports enthusiast. Experienced antique dealers Jeff Hume and Nick Thomas started the company because they love skiing, they love Big Sky, and they love powder. “We are always looking for unique items to fit into our alpine lifestyle and high-end resort cabins,” Hume said. Vintage Winter’s toboggan wall shelf and snowboard coat rack are two of the company’s most popular items and are both crafted by hand, one at a time with quality hardwoods to ensure durability and functionality. The toboggan shelf is the perfect addition to any home needing some winter flair. It was designed with the classic American western toboggan in mind and features steam-bent slats combined with aged wood. The shelf comes in two different sizes priced at $289 for the smaller shelf and $379 for the larger. The vintage snowboard coat rack is a well-made replica of the early wooden snowboards inspired in part by the classic Brunswick Snurfer made by Sherman Poppen in 1967. On sale for $79, this is one coat rack that won’t disappoint. Visit to purchase some lasting Christmas gifts. Outlaw readers get 15% off their entire order by entering promo code OUTLAW. – M.W.

Dec. 14 - 27, 2012 51


Big Sky Weekly

GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition The new GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition is a game changer on the video front and in the action sports arena. A trimmer size with twice the power of the Hero 2, the new unit is equipped with resolutions and frame rates only found in rigs 10 times its size and price. The image of the 2.7k resolution at 30 frames per second is astonishing, and the 120 frames per second at 720p yields smooth slow-mo playback to rival any camera. If you don’t have one yet, get in line – the Hero 3 Black Edition sells out quickly. Sit back and watch GoPro take over the world. – Brian Niles $399

Photo by brian niles

Exotac FreeKey

Exotac nanoSTRIKER fire starter

You dropped your lighter in the river and lost your matches. It’s cold and damp, and you’ve got to spend the night out. Luckily, you’ve got molten lava in your kit: a bag of dry tinder and your Exotac Nano Striker. Be warned, throwing sparks with this tiny tool takes a bit of practice, as does making a backcountry fire. But when you get it, it might save your life. – E.S. $32.95

We found Batman's keychain. The FreeKey is a traditional key ring with a crease in it. Pinch the crease, the ring opens, the keys slide on or off. Just like that. No more busted fingernails. The matte-gray stainless gives the FreeKey a look that’s simple and refined. -E.S. $6.49

Bringing you closer to Santosha (contentment) today...

yoga massage acupuncture chiropractic ayurveda thai massage

Bringing you closer to Santosha (contentment) today... yoga massage acupuncture

chiropractic ayurveda thai massage

406-993-2510 • 169 Snowy Mountain Circle • Big Sky, Montana

s ant o s hab i g s ky.c o m

Joi n us - Holiday Party & Open House, Dec. 30th, 5:30-7:30pm 52 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012

Creighton Block Rob Akey Greg Alexander Jim Barrett Susan Blackwood Diana Brady Dot Brandt Lynn Cain Todd Connor

Tom Dean John DeMott Jerral Derr yberr y Flavia Eckholm Edd Enders Thomas English Howard Friedland

Mark Gibson R. Tom Gilleon Don Grant Mimi Grant Frank Hagel Ott Jones Harr y Koyama

David Lemon Asha MacDonald Mike Patterson Paula Pearl Jacqueline Rieder Hud Gar y Lynn Rober ts Daniel San Souci

Deb Schmit Kevin Red Star Laurie Stevens Ezra Tucker Jack Waller Shirle Wempner Greg Woodard

UPCOMING EVENTS DEC E MBE R 1 4 , 4 :0 0 - 9 :0 0 PM Ch ri s tm as Stro l l a nd Bo o k Si g ni ng in th e Ch a rsa m Room Celebrate the season at the Galler y to include holiday food and drink and a book signing in the Charsam Room, located across the hall from Grizzly Outfitters.

DEC E MBE R 1 5 , 1 0 :0 0 AM - 6 :0 0 PM Ba rb a ra Pi erce Je wel r y Trunk Show Join us for the trunk show of this amazing jewelr y and bead work by Montana resident, Barbara Pierce.

W I N E TA S T I N G S E V E RY T H U R S DAY AT 4 : 3 0 P M

provid ed by

DEC E MBE R 1 5 , 1 2 :0 0 - 7 :0 0 PM Gra nd o p eni ng cel e b rati o n o f “Pri v ate Collection S alon ”



Spirits & Gifts

Ar twork also displayed at Outlaw Par tners and Lone Mountain Ranch Dining Room


Please visit the gallery to view our extensive collection of fine works of art in the Main Gallery, the Charsam Room, and the new Private Collection Salon.


Big Sky Weekly

Here, the Weekly editorial staff has chosen some of our favorite gear for 2013.


Ripping powder at Baldface Lodge, Nelson, B.C. Photo by Nick Diamond

Mens: Wagner Customs

After 36 years of skiing, I was skeptical a small boutique custom ski shop in Colorado could create a ski that really was that much better. When I conducted my ski design phone interview with company founder Pete Wagner, I told him I wanted boards that could handle everything from the deep BC powder to the steeps of Big Sky – something solid on fast groomers, yet tough enough to endure collisions with Montana rocks. The end product had an early-rise design and stiff tail that was a custom match for me, with showstopper graphics. It blows any other ski I’ve ridden out of the water. The only problem with Wagner skis: I’m not sure what to do with the balance of my ski quiver gathering dust in the garage. Congrats, Pete Wagner. Bravo! – Eric Ladd Starting at $1,750

Womens: Nordica La Niña Like their namesake weather pattern, you can ski the Nordica La Niñas bigger than you think. Although these lively sticks are designed for pow, they handle chop and hard-pack surprisingly well. At 113 mm underfoot the La Niñas are fat; however, the high rise tip and tail combined with traditional camber underfoot makes them versatile for tight trees or super-G turns down Marx. Nordica’s “Women’s i-CORE,” or “Wi-CORE,” technology trims weight, so these boards are 25 percent lighter than traditional wood core skis. Even so, the sandwich sidewall construction is burly – go ahead, whack some andesite. This ski rips. Available in 169, 177 or 185 cm, at Chalet Sports in Bozeman. – Emily Stifler $749

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Skate or classic: Rossignol X-IUM WCS

If you want a light, fast, high-performance setup, check out the Rossignol X-IUM WCS (World Cup Series) skis and boots. These skis have already racked up multiple podiums on the World Cup Circuit and have new features for 2012-2013. The skate boots, 50 grams lighter than previous models, have a stiffer sole for better power conversion to the ski. The classic boots have a new look and are 30 grams lighter than before. Both have a low volume option and are Thermo-moldable to find that perfect fit for any foot shape.

Photo courtesy of Freeheel and Wheel

Classic: Atomic Skintec Classic Ski Old timers may remember an era when nordic skis utilized mohair strips in the kick pocket for easy uphill travel. With the Skintec Classic, Atomic has brought back this technology in the form of magnetic inserts. Attaching to the base, the inserts allow for an extremely short climbing zone, which in turn allows the ski to glide like the wind. Two different sizes allow customization of your grip for the conditions. These skis are ideal for performance classic skiing, with stable and secure grip. Each of the four lengths is offered in a medium or hard flex to allow a superb fit based on skier weight and ability. Available in 184, 191, 198 and 205 cm. – Melissa Alder, Freeheel and Wheel $489


Big Sky Weekly

Designed for competitive skiers, the X-IUM WCS skis feature a Nomex Honeycomb core and Control Edge ABS sidewalls. On the skate skis, the tip is lower and shorter for better maneuverability and swing weight. The WC1 model has stiffer flex and lower camber height for high speed on firm snow, and the WC2 has a higher camber height for universal snow types. Having the right ski and flex is crucial to enjoying nordic skiing. Nordic Ski Source, a Bozeman shop, does a wonderful job of fitting you with the right gear. Now get out there and start enjoying winter! – Andrew Kastning, head nordic coach at University of Alaska-Anchorage, former MSU assistant coach $660

All Mountain: Venture Helix All Mountain Twin

With its K.G. Libbrecht crystal snowflake design and poppy neon colors, this deck might seem suited for Big Mountain Barbie or Fisher Price: My First Snowboard. But don't be fooled. The Helix is a predator posing as a house pet.

Park: Never Summer Evo

The Never Summer Evo is an awesome park/jib board. Unlike most reverse camber snowboards, the Evo is super stable at high speeds, because it’s a hybrid cambered snowboard, meaning it’s reverse camber between the bindings, and cambered from the binding out. This gives you four points of contact instead of two, like most other boards. The Evo has a buttery, soft ride, which helps with pressing on park features or schmearing down the mountain. Because Never Summer boards are a little thicker than most other companies’, they can take some abuse, whether rock dodging on the tram or bonking features in the park. Available at Gallatin Alpine Sports in Big Sky. – Brent Mach, Moonlight Basin Terrain Park Manager $499

E-Mo showing the method to his madness

Photo by Erik Morrison

With an aggressive flex and quadratic sidecut wrapped into a no nonsense chassis, this twin goes where few of its kind will follow. Stable at speed, it holds a solid edge and is at home in the steeps. These features, combined with the subtle rocker and twin shape, made for a poppy little jib stick that stomps landings and rides big. It is a little heavier than its peers, but what it loses in weight it makes up for in durability. I smoked more rocks than Tyrone Biggums last season and still couldn't break this board. In the end, this pretty little shred machine rode her way into my heart and found a permanent place in my quiver. – E-Mo $895

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Style: Tilley Tec-Wool Winter Hat No one will ever question your authority while you’re wearing the Tilley Tec-Wool Hat. This hand-sewn lid is comfortable, stylish and sensible. Tuckaway ear warmers keep you warm; rain and snow repellency keep you dry; and SPF 50 offers sun protection. Tilley’s C_Change membrane lining reacts to changing body temperatures, causing it to 'close' when exposed to cold air and 'open' in response to warmth, allowing air to escape. Escape like Indyin-a-hurry with the crushable and packable design, and rest well knowing Tilley products are guaranteed for life. Available in Bozeman at Bob Ward & Sons, R.E.I., Schnee's, The Bozeman Angler and Wholesale Sports. – Sean Weas $105

Active: Wizbang

A collection of Alpine Home Decor and Chalet Style Antiques

Vintage Ski Posters $19

collectable ski sets starting at $325


Being a long-time Wizbang fan, I never thought the product could get even better. However, this fall new owner Kim Scurry introduced a micro-fleece lining and ponytail compatible hats, taking Wizbang to another level of greatness. Best part: the thin micro-fleece is on the lower hat band, so the fit is still trim and the material is highly breathable. With sizing for kids and adults and more than 25 patterns and colors like Desert Bloom and Meteor Shower to choose from, there is something for everyone. I use my Wizbang year-round, but in winter they are my go-to for ski touring, nordic, under my ski helmet on extra cold days and of course, aprés. Made in the U.S., Wizbang hats and headbands are available locally at Grizzly Outfitters, Schnee's, Northern Lights Trading Co. and Free Heel and Wheel. – Megan Paulson $28-$30

Backcountry: Dynafit Radical ST The Goldilocks of tech backcountry bindings, the Radical ST is just right. “They’re selling like crazy hotcakes,” said Dynafit PR guru Eric Henderson. Like the Vertical ST – which is Dynafit’s tried and true original model – the Radical ST is super light (2 lbs., 5 oz/pair). And like Papa Bear, the Radical FT, Goldilocks has power towers, which make it easier to step into the binding handsfree, and gives them more lateral strength. The Radical ST’s are lighter, however, since they have a slightly narrower toe footprint, and no carbon strip underfoot or brakes. Available at Gallatin Alpine Sports in Big Sky. – E.S. $500

In-bounds: Marker Jesters

Ski wall sconce $229

three pane ski frame $359

any items at off



56 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012

Lone Mountain has every type of terrain: open bowls, tight chutes, bumps, groomers and trees. It also dishes out every snow condition known to man... powder, wind-buff, chalky, carvy, rocky, slidefor-life, corn, crust, more powder. The binding I choose to keep me attached to my sticks and tackle this terrain: the Marker Jester. Mounted flat to my Wagner custom skis, the Jesters allow direct energy transmission from boot to binding to ski, something I appreciate. I've never pre-released, and the DIN is easily adjustable for extra-sketchy conditions. The 2013 model includes a colorful white/ blue/yellow combo. – M.P. $359

use promo code:


Photo by Chris Davis

Big Sky Weekly

Photo by erik morrison

Bottom: Bergans Fjellrapp Lady 3/4 Tights

A great balance of warmth without bulk, the Bergans 3/4 Tights are the perfect base layer for alpine activities. The three-quarter length eliminates sock bunch in your boots, and the paneled flatlock seams mean they move with you for any variety of winter pursuits. – K.M. Photo by chris davis

Socks: Darn Tough Over-the-Calf Cushion socks I believe a good pair of socks is one of the best things in life. Warm socks are the only thing I ask for every holiday season, and I'm a self proclaimed sock connoisseur. Specifically designed for snowboarding, the Darn Tough Over-the-Calf Cushion socks have kept my feet warm and comfortable on the hill and on pre-season trail runs this fall. Their construction is unmatched: They contour in exactly the right places and they stay in place no matter what. They have usurped all others in my dresser and earned a starting position for ski season. Available at Northern Lights Trading Co. in Bozeman. – Chris Davis $24

Top: Patagonia Capilene 4 expedition-weight ¼-zip hoody

The wind gusted into the 30s near the top of Swifty. That morning I considered adding a lighter capilene base layer but opted instead for the Cap 4 and a mid-weight under my shell. No problem. The Cap 4’s brushed fleece lining and snug fit kept my core warm, while its breathability staved off that uncomfortable clammy feeling some capilene can give you. When the wind picked up, I zipped up the tall collar and donned the anatomical hood beneath my helmet to block out the breeze. It worked, plus it made me look like a ninja. Patagonia’s Cap 4 hoody just earned its place in my base layer rotation. Available in black, grey and molten lava. – Joseph T. O’Connor $119













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406. 995. 3830






Big Sky Weekly

Backcountry: Arc’teryx Gamma SK pants

Made of burly, double weave softshell, the Gamma SK’s are stretchy and way comfortable, waterproof, breathable, plenty warm, and roomy enough for layering. The cuffs are ski boot compatible, and the sleek, built-in gaiters are bomber enough for tromping around in snow pits. Besides, they’re flattering (and available in plum!). Look out, Gallatin Peak. Men’s and women’s sizes and colors, available at Northern Lights in Bozeman. – E.S. $245

Warmth: Flylow Ice Man Down Jacket

The northern Rockies can get frigid, and Flylow’s Ice Man down jacket is made for serious mountain weather. The 700-fill goose down is cozy, and the fully-taped, two-layer waterproof shell doesn’t let in an ounce of water, even while I interviewed snowmakers on-scene. Tack on a removable powder skirt and massive underarm vents, and the Ice Man is surprisingly versatile. Flylow’s website claims the jacket is as tough as Val Kilmer in Top Gun. I agree. It can be my wingman anytime. Available in black, navy and tarmac. – J.T.O. $400

Headgear: Smith Gage helmet and I/OX goggles

Smith’s new products for 2013 are proving to be high quality and totally rad. (We’re not surprised.) Looking for a domepiece? Check out the Gage. Designed for park riders, it’s low profile, so it stays out of the way while you’re riding, and vented for the hike back up. At $80, the price matches the style. The new I/OX goggles ($174) are about bigger real estate: larger lense, larger fit on the face and larger peripheral vision. The quick release lens system lets you swap on the go, and the vaporator technology adjusts air pressure and prevents fogging. All of Smith’s helmets and googles are built to mix and match. – E.S

In-bounds: Dakine Throttle Jacket, RPM Pants

Remember when you had to be careful asking Ullr for endless amounts of snow? Your jeans got all soggy and uncomfortable. But then you ditched your snowblades and decided to step up your game and find some real outerwear. Now, if you're set up with the Dakine Throttle Jacket ($359) and RPM Pant ($249), you'll be ready for nasty weather, as well as some kind eyes from the bunnies. Your new setup will handle anything Mother Nature throws at it – fully insulated with Primaloft, it keeps you plenty warm, and with Teflon DWR finish and 15k/10k laminate, you'll stay fresh and dry, whether you're throwing down in the backcountry or you spill salsa on yourself in the lodge. A few of my favorite features are the zip-off hood, the zippered underarm and leg vents, the stylin’ micro-check pattern, the chin-protector flap and the stretch hand gaiters on the Throttle, and the articulated fit on the RPM’s. Some colors are even available in recycled polyester – way to think ecofriendly, Dakine. - C.D.

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406-995-2782 Breakfast & Lunch Open Daily Breakfast: 7am-9am, Lunch: 11:30am-1:30pm Saloon Open Daily Saloon: 4pm-10pm Dinner: Sunday-Thursday 5:30pm-9:00pm, Reservations appreciated Live music in the Saloon several nights a week. Check out for the latest information!


406-995-2783 • Big Sky’s Original Sleigh Ride Dinner for over 33 years • Montana Raised Prime Rib Dinner and Live Entertainment • 2,000 lb. draft horse teams • Day Sleigh Rides available


406-995-4644 • Sleigh & Stay packages • Authentic Montana log cabins • 4 to 7 night all-inclusive packages


406-995-4734 • 85km of groomed cross country ski trails (25km are dog-friendly!) & 30km of snowshoe trails • Rentals, Private & Group Lessons • Locals Women’s Weekday Clinics • Backcountry ski and snowshoe tours • New! Kids Program over the Holidays • Open daily 8am-6pm


406-995-4734 • New! Snowshoe & Fly Fishing Adventures • New! Ice Fishing Trips • Day trips on the Gallatin & Madison Rivers


December 7, 2012 - March 30, 2013

OPEN HOUSE P H : ( 4 0 6) 995 -4 64 4 | L on eMo untai nR anch. com Res er vat ions@ L MR an c h . c om 60 Dec. 14 - 27, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 5-7 p.m.