EXPLORING LIFE, LAND AND CULTURE FROM THE HEART OF THE YELLOWSTONE REGION
GoPro CEO NICK WOOD
PHOTO BY TYLER BUSBY
PACKRAFTING THE THOROFARE RODEO
THE CLASH OVER
Horseshoeing in Montana’s Gallatin Valley
ATHLETE: MIKE MONTGOMERY | CAPTURED BY: MIKE MONTGOMERY
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From river valleys to mountain peaks...
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We’re providing quality healthcare to the Gallatin Valley and beyond. At Bozeman Deaconess Health Services, we’ve been honored with many awards from reputable organizations for quality, safety and fiscal responsibility for the services we provide. These awards are important to us because they affirm our commitment to you. And, now we’re excited to provide the same quality care and services to the Big Sky community and beyond with the opening of the new Big Sky Medical Center coming Fall 2015. We’re committed to providing quality, accessible care to Southwest Montana.
Visit: bigskymedicalcenter.com For current information and updates on the Big Sky Medical Center
Clouds build over alpine lakes in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, a 943,626-acre area straddling the Montana-Wyoming border. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, which has protected 109 million acres of public lands nationwide. Find a list of events celebrating this landmark piece of legislation at wilderness50.org and abwilderness.org. PHOTO BY JOE PAULET
SUMMER 2014 ON THE COVER: Josh Stanley fits a horseshoe in the Eagle Rock Reserve Barn outside of Bozeman, Montana. Find more about Stanley and other farriers in the Gallatin Valley on page 46. PHOTO BY TYLER BUSBY
FEATURES 46 ARTISAN Horseshoeing is an age-old art, but, as staff writer Maria Wyllie explains, a thriving community of farriers is keeping it alive in Gallatin Valley. 60 NOW Montana and Wyoming have some of the worldâ€™s largest coal reserves, but recent federal regulations have all but shut down domestic coal-fired power plants. Will all coal be shipped overseas? Senior Editor Joseph T. Oâ€™Connor investigates the industry and its future. 70 REGION Photographer Becca Skinner captures young Bozeman artist-entrepreneurs at work. 75 REAL ESTATE Auctions have long been a trusted way to sell large farms and ranches. Associate Editor Tyler Allen takes a look at how New York-based Concierge Auctions uses this technique to move luxury properties in the Greater Yellowstone and beyond. 89 HEALTH Jessica Wiese finds inner calm through meditation at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing. 96 ADVENTURE Forrest McCarthy packrafts through the wildest country in the Lower 48.
Emily Linton and Minde Erickson scramble up Bonecrusher, a 2,000-vertical-foot ridge of loose talus leading toward the summit of Lone Mountain, and part of The Rut 50k course. One of the hardest ultramarathons in the country, the second annual race will be held at Big Sky Resort on September 13. As the 2014 Skyrunner World Series Ultra Final, it will draw some of the top mountain runners in the world. PHOTO BY MYKE HERMSMEYER | mykejh.com
DEPARTMENTS 12 LETTERS, CONTRIBUTORS The brains and brawn behind the book 23 TRAILHEAD Smokey Bear, a literary journal and the country’s hardest mountain bike race. Plus: the Tetons, and casting for a Rett Syndrome cure 27 OUTLOOK Eight nonprofits that provide vital services in the Greater Yellowstone. 32 OUTBOUND GALLERY 40 TALES Steelhead fishing on Oregon’s Deschutes River Touring the Galapagos with Doug Peacock and Rick Bass 53 GUIDE Our guide to top regional rodeos, plus where to eat, shop and stay 82 ESCAPE A two-week family road trip through Washington and British Columbia 102 GEAR Backcountry fly fishing, flip-flops and big-wheeled bikes 110 EXPLORE Commercial fishing in Prince William Sound, Alaska 114 SCIENCE Tiny instruments built at MSU’s satellite lab could make big impacts on understanding space weather 117 ESSAY Learning compassion through tango 120 FEATURED OUTLAW Q&A: How a Post-it note changed GoPro founder Nick Woodman’s life
M I L L E R C A N D A C E
A R C H I T E C T S ,
T I L L O T S O N - M I L L E R ,
A I A
P 4 0 6 . 2 2 2 . 7 0 5 7 â€˘ F 4 0 6 . 2 2 2 . 7 3 7 2 W W W . C T M A R C H I T E C T S . C O M
Owned and published in Big Sky, Montana PUBLISHER Eric Ladd EDITORIAL MANAGING EDITOR Emily Stifler Wolfe
CREATIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kelsey Dzintars
SENIOR EDITOR Joseph T. O’Connor
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Taylor-Ann Smith
DISTRIBUTION DIRECTOR/ ASSOCIATE EDITOR Tyler Allen
VIDEO DIRECTOR Brian Niles
STAFF WRITER Maria Wyllie
SALES AND OPERATIONS CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Megan Paulson DIRECTOR OF SALES E.J. Daws ACCOUNT MANAGER Katie Morrison ACCOUNT COORDINATOR Maria Wyllie CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rachel Anderson, Dick Dorworth, Brittany Ladd, Brian Ladd, Sam Lungren, Forrest McCarthy, Jacob Osborne, Angela Patnode, Cameron Scott, Becca Skinner, Jessica Wiese
Julie Chapman, “How the West was Won,” Oil on Canvas, 36x28
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CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS AND ARTISTS Tyler Busby, Mike Coil, Genevieve Chabot, Ethan Confer, Jim Harris, Kathryn Hayes, Cynthia Matty Huber, Myke Hermsmeyer, Glennis Indreland, Brittany Ladd, Brian Ladd, Nic Lehoux, Matt Ludin, Sam Lungren, Matt Robinson, Terry Osborne, Joe Paulet, Diana Proemm, Brett Seng, Cameron Scott, Becca Skinner, Stacy Townsend, Terry Tempest Williams, Nick Woodman SUBSCRIBE NOW! Get the goods from the Greater Yellowstone mailed right to your door. Purchase 1 year (2 issues) of Mountain Outlaw magazine for $20 or 2 years for $35 at explorebigsky.com/subscriptions OUTLAW PARTNERS & MOUNTAIN OUTLAW P.O. Box 160250, Big Sky, MT 59716 (406) 995-2055 • firstname.lastname@example.org © 2014 Mountain Outlaw Unauthorized reproduction prohibited
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FROM THE CREATORS
IMMERSION Josh Stanley’s hands are raw, strong and callused. They speak of the fortitude and subtle touch required to work with fire, steel and large animals. We featured a horseshoer on our front cover, celebrating the culture of the Greater Yellowstone, and the values and perspective of this community. As we finish building this issue of Mountain Outlaw, we find ourselves comparing our work to Stanley’s. This is our craft. Instead of our hands, our minds are formed by the imprint of our work. “You have to immerse yourself in the world of a story to know how to present it in a truthful and honest way,” said our creative director Kelsey Dzintars. The same holds true for writing and editing. Although creating a magazine happens largely in the digital realm, this publication is alive, its content carrying physical, emotional and spiritual weight. Sometimes, it feels like we’re on the inside looking out. Each of us molds the content like forging steel, and we exist inside of these pages. But it’s not always about inspiration. Just like shoeing a horse, it’s also about showing up and working every day. Sometimes the muse is there, and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you have to find it. A week before going to press with the magazine, the editorial team and our cover photographer spent an evening climbing at Redcliff, south of Big Sky. This team worked closely with the rest of the Outlaw crew, plus contributors and advertisers to create the publication you hold in your hands. PHOTO BY TYLER BUSBY
When you dig into this magazine, you’ll see it has taken us from the coalmines of eastern Montana, to Oregon’s Deschutes River, and to the Earth’s magnetic field on a Montana State University satellite. Through our own travels and our contributors’, we’ve tromped around our home regions of Big Sky and Bozeman; into the Teton Wilderness and the remote Yellowstone backcountry; to sunny California and the Galapagos Islands; and to British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. While our sights are broad, we’re rooted in the mountains and valleys of our magnificent backyard. If you’re a visitor or reading from afar, we hope this publication helps open the door to this area; if you live here, perhaps you’ll learn something new about this place we call home.
PHOTO CREDITS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: KELLY LOUDEN, BECCA SKINNER, JIM HARRIS, CYNTHIA HUBER, MICHAEL LEESE
Born and raised in Bend, Oregon, CAMERON SCOTT guides full time for Fly and Field Outfitters on the Deschutes River. When he’s not working, Scott can be found floating rivers hunting for steelhead or trout with a fly rod in one hand, and a camera in the other. (“Deschutes River: The pursuit of wild steelhead,” p. 40) BECCA SKINNER is an adventure and lifestyle photographer based in Bozeman, Montana. (“New faces of Bozeman business,” p. 70) Photographer-writer JIM HARRIS has worked in remote places like Mongolia and Antarctica, but backyard adventures in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains are still among his favorite. A 2005 graduate of University of Montana, Harris refuses to change his 406 phone number. (“Packrafting the Thorofare,” p. 96)
SAM LUNGREN lives to fish and fishes to live. He spends summers commercial salmon seining in Prince William Sound, Alaska, and the rest of the year fly fishing in and around Missoula, Montana, where he works as a freelance writer and editor. (“Staying Seine,” p. 110) Soon to graduate from Montana State University with a BA in film and photography, CYNTHIA MATTY HUBER has spent the last three years photographing Montana ranchers. “I find I don’t photograph subjects,” she says, “I photograph the way they make me feel.” (Outbound Gallery, p. 32)
CONTENTS by location WHITEFISH P. 20
WATERTON-GLACIER INTERNATIONAL PEACE PARK P. 36
BUTTE P. 18
BOZEMAN P. 21, 46, 70, 115
THREE FORKS P. 18 BIG SKY P. 27, 54, 120
LIVINGSTON P. 56 RED LODGE P. 58 YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK P. 28, 35, 96
VICTOR P. 19
THE GREATER YELLOWSTONE REGION & BEYOND
POWDER RIVER BASIN P.60
GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK P.20 JACKSON P. 28
PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND, ALASKA P. 110 WASHINGTON/ BRITISH COLUMBIA P. 83 DESCHUTES RIVER, OREGON P. 42 CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA P. 42
SAN RAFAEL SWELL, UTAH P. 42
GALAPAGOS P. 42
BY RACHEL ANDERSON
JULY 26 / BUTTE 100 Known as the most difficult mountain bike race in the country, the Butte 100 is located on Homestake Pass, atop the continental divide in Montana. The course challenges competitors with intense terrain as they gain roughly 16,600 feet in elevation. Started in 2007 as a small grassroots event, it now draws riders from around Montana and the West and has a 50-mile option, as well. Participants pedal single- and double-track trails through fields and thick forests, at times negotiating treacherous obstacles and trekking through heavy sand in the high desert environment. “It’s as mentally challenging as physically,” said Jo Van Cutsem, a 2013 competitor in the 100-mile race. “It gets intense, but you just keep pedaling over and over. It’s the only thing you can do.”
Three-time Butte 100 champion, Tinker Juarez.
PHOTO BY MATT ROBINSON | COURTESY OF BUTTE 100
AUGUST 8-10 / ROCKIN’ THE RIVERS Are you ready to rock in the heart of Big Sky country this summer? Taking place at The Bridge near Three Forks, Rockin’ the Rivers is Montana’s premier rock festival. The three-day event features 30 bands on two stages, with Queensyrche, Hinder, Black Stone Cherry, Jefferson Starship, Lita Ford and The Pretty Reckless as 2014 headliners. “It’s definitely a rock show, and this year it’s going to be even crazier,” said producer Liberty Zuelke. Drawing a crowd of more than 10,000 people to camp and party, the festival was started in 2001 by a group of self described “old rockers and cowboys.” Today, Rockin’ the Rivers hosts people of all ages to get down and dirty. Southern heavy metal rock meets Three Forks, as Jackyl guitarist Jeff Worley unleashes the beast. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROCKIN THE RIVERS
C4C Executive Director Bill Farnum lays a cast near White Sulphur Springs. PHOTO COURTESY OF CASTING 4 A CURE
CASTING 4 A CURE
FLY FISHING IN THE NAME OF RETT SYNDROME
More than 200 anglers will descend on the Snake River near Victor, Idaho on August 21-23, as part of an effort to find a cure for RTT, a rare disease also known as Rett Syndrome. Through the nonprofit Casting 4 A Cure, fishing events raise funds for clinical research and trials surrounding a mutation in the X chromosome that develops in children, mostly girls, stripping them of their development, motor skills and speech.
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Founded in 2008 by Nike executive Bill Farnum, whose daughter Ella suffers from RTT, C4C hosts several events a year – this year to include bonefishing in Xcalak, Mexico and another at the Bar Z Ranch, on the Smith River near White Sulphur Springs, Montana. In total, the events have raised more than $300,000, in addition to support from corporate partners like Patagonia, Sage and Howler Bros. This money has been crucial in funding clinical trials. In 2007, the symptoms were reversed in genetic testing on mice, so according to Dr. Steve Kaminsky, the Chief Science Officer for the International Rett Syndrome Foundation and a C4C attendee, it could be just a matter of time before a cure is found. This could have groundbreaking implications for advances in neuroscience, particularly synapse disabilities such as autism and schizophrenia. – E.J. Daws Find more at casting4acure.com, and info on other regional nonprofits on page 27. 406-580-0331 | email@example.com
explorebigsky.com MOUNTAIN www.montanapaintinc.com
Looking out the window toward the Tetons from the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. PHOTO BY NIC LEHOUX
It’s about the celebration of space, the intimacy of a room and the void of a window. Built in 2007, the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center mimics the dramatic peaks of the neighboring Teton Range with ascending angles, offering visitors a place to reflect on their surroundings. Located in Grand Teton National Park, the center has interpretive displays exploring three themes: people, place and protection. Hands-on artifacts and objects bring viewers closer to the Tetons’ natural treasures, while a photo mural tribute to mountaineering in the range spans a 30-foot wall. The theatrical design of the building’s center portrays the symbiotic relationship between man and nature, emphasizing a responsibility to protect the environment.
The Whitefish Review was founded in 2007 as an outlet for art, literature and photography slanted toward mountain culture, “… alongside the soaring ideas of contemporary thinkers,” according to its mission. The 150-plus pages are filled with black-and-white and color photos and art, and the work of famous (Pam Houston, Rick Bass) and merely talented (too many to list) writers. “I’m on board with the Whitefish Review due to the extraordinary boldness of their ambition,” Bass says. “I believe they have the potential – the fire – to become The Paris Review of the West.” Based in Whitefish, Montana, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit publishes twice a year and is available online at whitefishreview.org. The theme for the 15th issue, summer 2014, is “Fire.” – Dick Dorworth
Illumination from the Mountains "whitefish review, a reliable beacon of literacy, proves that the brightest lights often shine in the most unexpected places." —Tom McGuane
whitefish review is a nationally-acclaimed journal published twice yearly
from Montana to showcase the literature, art, and photography of mountain culture. It features distinctive Western voices of both well-known and emerging authors and artists. Essays, fiction, poetry, paintings, drawings, and photography, as well as conversations with athletes, writers, artists, and other creative thinkers create a feast for the mind. We are all searching. Come inside and take a look at what we found. whitefishreview.org
volume 8, issue 1
Architect Craig Bohlin, who was the Principal for Design of the center, in 2010 earned the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal – the profession’s highest honor – and placed him alongside visionaries such as Thomas Jefferson, Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry. - Taylor-Ann Smith
The summer 2014 Whitefish Review jacket art features Sarah Fagan’s “Before,” (gesso/acrylic/acrylic gel on canvas), and Steven Gnam’s photograph “Charred.”
LOCKHORN CIDER HOUSE One of Bozeman’s hippest new hangs, Lockhorn Cider House combines an age-old craft with modern tastes. Owners Glen and Anna Deal add no sugar or sulfites to their certified organic, gluten-free cider, so unlike most brands available in stores, it’s dry and very tart.
At 6.9 percent alcohol, the first sip has a bite, but the subtle, complex flavors resonate on the tongue. Blends including Traditional Apple, Black Currant, Ginger and Hops are fermented onsite at the downtown Bozeman location on South Wallace Avenue behind Heebs Grocery. –Emily Stifler Wolfe
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Glen Deal shows off Lockhorn’s new digs in downtown Bozeman. PHOTO BY EMILY STIFLER WOLFE
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the straight facts on smokey bear INFOGRAPHIC BY KELSEY DZINTARS
ORIGINAL SLOGANS ASSOCIATED WITH WWII:
SMOKEY’S DEBUT POSTER
The Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign is the longest running public service advertising campaign in U.S. History.
“FOREST FIRES AID THE ENEMY”
One of the very first Forest Fire Prevention Campaign posters (1943)
“OUR CARELESSNESS, THEIR SECRET WEAPON”
With experienced firefighters and other able-bodied men engaged in the armed forces during WWII, the home communities had to deal with forest fires as best they could. Protection of these forests became a matter of national importance.
On loan from Disney, “Bambi” was used in the forest fire prevention campaign for one year in 1943. Its success proved an animal would work as a symbol.
The Smokey Bear character was created in 1944 by artist Albert Stahle.
US. FOREST SERVICE WILDFIRE SUPPRESSION POLICY 1905-1960S: Fire suppression the only policy 1935: Policy passed stipulating all wildfires to be suppressed by 10 a.m. the morning after they were first spotted Following 1964 Wilderness Act, policy changed from fire control to fire management, allowing lightning fires to burn in wilderness areas
1978: Abandoned 10 a.m. policy in favor of one that encouraged the use of wildland fire by prescription 1989: Policy reviewed and strengthened after Yellowstone fires of 1988 which threateaned developed areas THE LIVING SYMBOL OF SMOKEY BEAR was a black bear
Millions of Acres
cub who was rescued from the Capitan Gap fire in New Mexico in 1950.
U.S. WILDFIRE TRENDS, AREA BURNED 1930-2000
“ONLY you CAN PREVENT WILDFIRES” Smokey’s official slogan as of 2001
RECOGNITION OF SMOKEY BEAR AND HIS MESSAGE
INTRODUCTION OF SMOKEY BEAR
Source: U.S. Wildfire Statistics, USDA/Forest Service.
SOURCES: SMOKEYBEAR.COM, NPS.GOV
OF WILDLAND FIRES IN THE U.S. ARE CAUSED BY HUMANS
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MOUNTAIN CHATEAU* Yellowstone Club, Big Sky, MT 6 bed, 8 bath and ski hut $20,000,000
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MOUNTAIN MEADOWS Beaver Creek, Big Sky, MT 120 Acres of Wildlife and Mountain Views $3,495,000
All information given is considered reliable, but because it has been supplied by third parties, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete, and should not be relied upon as such. These offerings are subject to errors, omissions, and changes including price or withdrawal without notice. All rights reserved. Equal Housing Opportunity. ©2014 LK REAL ESTATE, llc. lkrealestate.com | *Membership upon approval
RESTAURANTS COMMUNITY FUN SKYLINE VIEWS EVENTS VILLAGE FRESH FOOD SUMMER TIME BLUEGRASS SUSTAINABLE DESIGN FRIENDS MUSIC
FREE SPIRIT FARMERS MARKET
WHERE BIG SKY COMES TOGETHER LAUGHING ENERGETIC MONTANA TRAILS HAPPINESS MEMORIES LONE PEAK AUTHENTIC MOVIES BIG SKY PBR TIME WELL SPENT HIKING YELLOWSTONE ADVENTURES JOYFUL SHOPPING ACTIVITIES
The BIG SKY TOWN CENTER is the natural gathering place in Big Sky, Montana - with restaurants, galleries, a movie theater and shopping, this is where Big Sky comes together.
A week of fly fishing in Montana last summer saved an Afghanistan war veteran’s life. “You, your team, the love and genuine care for him and other warriors like him gave him faith in people and in God again,” his wife told Warriors and Quiet Waters, the Bozeman-based nonprofit that brought the couple to these healing rivers. “You saved his life and ultimately mine and that of my family.”
BACKBONE NONPROFIT GROUPS PROVIDE VITAL SERVICES By Emily Stifler Wolfe
Montana. With cutbacks in state and federal budgets, the importance and role of nonprofit groups is growing, Schwartz said. By pooling community resources, these organizations can effect positive change, says Dale Palmer, a founding member of the Rotary Club of Big Sky, which works both locally and internationally. “As a nonprofit, you’re joining people with like interests [that] all want to help the same cause, and you can do so much more as a group than you can [as] individuals,” Palmer said. An organization is only as strong as the sum of its parts, and citizen leaders know their communities best – their needs, nuances, strengths and challenges. That’s why Hopa Mountain, a Bozemanbased charitable group, invests in citizen leaders of rural and tribal communities.
WQW is among hundreds of nonprofit groups in the Greater Yellowstone region. These organizations are a backbone of support for vital services, including community health, parks and recreation, children’s programs, international humanitarian causes and the environment.
“The possibilities for economic, environmental and social health in the northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains lie in the strength of the people, especially our relationships with each other and with the land we love,” said Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, executive director for Hopa Mountain.
“In a small community like this, nonprofits are what make things happen, along with independent donors,” said Casey Schwartz, Executive Director of the Yellowstone Club Community Foundation.
Sachatello-Sawyer believes that we all have the opportunity to work in service to others, every day.
YCCF has donated more than $1.5 million to charitable groups in the region surrounding Big Sky, including a program to help feed hungry kids around southwest
With organizations like Warriors and Quiet Waters, YCCF, Rotary, Hopa Mountain and myriad others in our region – including those featured here – there are many ways to get involved. Now is the time. >>
NONPROFITS OUTLAW PARTNERS PHOTO
PHOTO BY BECCA SKINNER
BIG SKY COMMUNITY CORPORATION As Big Sky’s local parks and trails group, Big Sky Community Corporation is building five miles of new trails this summer. BSCC is also completing the community park, which has become a vibrant meeting place with its baseball field, skatepark and climbing boulders. Attend the annual BSCC Gala on July 19 for a chance to support these projects and others including the Crail Ranch Historical Museum, the Big Sky Natural Resource Council, and kids summer programming with Camp Big Sky.
COURTESY OF BWTF
COURTESY OF CLIMB WYOMING
BLUE WATER TASK FORCE Headquartered in Big Sky, the Blue Water Task Force relies on volunteers for many of its projects including water quality monitoring and watershed restoration, as shown in this photo. This summer, BWTF is working with the Gallatin National Forest Bozeman Ranger District on a plan to improve access sites along the Gallatin River, and ultimately reduce sediment contribution caused by erosion. The goal, according to BWTF Executive Director Kristin Gardiner, is to improve and protect water quality and fish habitat.
BOBBY MODEL CHARITABLE FUND Becca Skinner captured this image of Wan, a rice farmer in Banda Aceh, while photographing post-tsunami Indonesia. Swept by the ocean more than a mile, the structure behind him is now a memorial. “It’s a great symbol of the power of nature and a remembering for the victims,” says Skinner, whose work was supported by the Bobby Model Charitable Fund, a nonprofit that each year gives a $5,000 grant to a National Geographic Young Explorer photojournalist. The Cody, Wyomingbased foundation also supports community-building initiatives closer to home.
CLIMB WYOMING For nearly 30 years, CLIMB Wyoming has provided lowincome single mothers with job training, counseling and life skills, ultimately placing them in careers that support their families. Graduates’ incomes consistently double, decreasing their reliance on public assistance, according to CLIMB’s Shannon Brooks Hamby. In 2012, the nonprofit was recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as one of the top 10 nationwide, moving families toward self-sufficiency. With six locations across Wyoming, it recently launched two new career trainings to serve a broader population.
PHOTO BY GENEVIEVE CHABOT
IQRA FUND Supported by the Bozeman-based Iqra Fund, these second grade girls from Sibiri Village, Pakistan, photographed in January 2014, were some of the first in the remote Basha Valley to receive a formal education. Within a year, all the surrounding villages were requesting support, says Iqra founder Genevieve Chabot, whose organization is now sending 1,200 girls there to school. The goal is to educate women in impoverished communities, thereby increasing family health and opportunity for the next generation, and creating lasting social change.
PHOTO BY TYLER ALLEN
TETON RAPTOR CENTER The Teton Raptor Center started its Port-o-Potty Owl Project in 2010 to prevent cavity-nesting owls from being entrapped in vault toilet vent pipes on public lands. This spring, the project was honored at the prestigious Wings Across the Americas Conservation Awards, and has become a national campaign. Based in Wilson, Wyoming, the center rehabs injured birds onsite, and offers public educational programs six times a week during the summer. Pictured here is TRC Program Manager Jason Jones with a Great Horned Owl, one of three resident birds.
COURTESY OF WQW
WARRIORS AND QUIET WATERS Water heals. This is the essence of Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation, which since 2007 has brought more than 300 combat-injured veterans and service members to fly fish in southwest Montana. “There are a reported 50,000 people with physical injuries and post traumatic stress in the U.S. from these last two conflicts,” says WQW’s Faye Nelson, of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We wish we could give all of them the sense of hope, resilience and serenity that fishing here can provide.” In 2014, WQW is adding skiing and equestrian experiences, and also growing its fishing program to serve 60 warriors and 12 spouses.
COURTESY OF YA
YELLOWSTONE ASSOCIATION Youth are the future stewards of our public lands, and the Yellowstone Association has exactly that in mind as it expands its cooperative program with Yellowstone Park Foundation and Park Journeys, Inc. This summer, the collaboration will bring five groups of 12 urban teenagers to the park to experience its wonders. Founded in 1933, Y.A. is the official educational partner of Yellowstone National Park. Stop by the headquarters in Gardiner, Montana, across from the Roosevelt Arch, or one of 11 other stores to learn more about volunteering, membership, courses, or for updated park information.
O U T B O U N D G A L L E R Y
CYNTHIA MATTY HUBER Rancher John Hoiland, of Hoiland Ranch in McCleod, Montana crmattyphotography.com
The dayâ€™s last light sets upon the rolling hills of the Upper Geyser Basin, illuminating the jewel-like reflections of Sawmill Geyser. ethanconfer.com
Yellowstone geyser ethanconfer.com
The matrix of fog, smoke and the rising sun make a surreal scene on the Yellowstone River in Hayden Valley. mattludin.com
O U T B O U N D G A L L E R Y
Jordan Porter and Leif Ellingson ride Malice in Plunderland, part of the new Whitefish Trail System. A group is considering logging this part of Spencer Mountain outside of Whitefish, Montana, which would drastically alter the trails. kathrynhayesmedia.com
O U T B O U N D G A L L E R Y
The trail to Crandell Lake in Waterton National Park, British Columbia dpphoto.net
Moose in Emigrant, Montana stacytownsendphotography.comÂ
48" x 72" oil
the BReaking oF spRing
36" x 30" oil
36" x 48" oil
Mystic sMoke and sacRed aRRows 39"H Bronze JoHn coleman
F i n e a Rt s o u Rc e F Ro M t h e B e g i n n i n g c o l l e c t o R t o the connoisseuR with locations in
B o z e m a n • j a c k s o n h o l e • s c o t t s da l e
Bozeman, mT • Jackson Hole, WY • scoTTsdale, az 7 west main sTreeT , 102, Bozeman , monTana 59715 • 406 577-2810 Box 4977 • 75 north cache • jackson, wy 83001 • 307 733-2353 W W W . legacYgallerY . com
SUMMER IS A BUMMER
Left: Following full days of wildlife encounters, Doug Peacock and Rick Bass often decompressed together on the front deck of the Samba. PHOTO BY TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS
Above: The Samba – a 14-guest luxury boat that docks in the Galapagos archipelago – anchored between the islands of Isabella and Fernandina. PHOTO BY TERRY OSBORNE
TOURING THE GALAPAGOS WITH DOUG PEACOCK AND RICK BASS
BY JACOB OSBORNE
interior was retrofitted with carpeting and cedar woodwork, and had air conditioning in every sleeping cabin.
On the back deck of a stately luxury vessel, under a rust-colored moon, I sat with five others during an evening navigation through the Galapagos Archipelago, lurching along as the boat parted swells of dark water. To pass the minutes before dinner, we sipped Pisco sours and listened as Montana writer and naturalist Doug Peacock reflected on our week in the islands.
Peacock’s reflections have a way of quieting people. They are charged, and honest. Whether discoursing on the fate of the grizzly bear or recounting the final hours of his dear friend Edward AbWHETHER DISCOURSING ON bey, he speaks with a harsh wit that’s THE FATE OF THE GRIZZLY magnetic and impossible to combat. BEAR OR RECOUNTING THE (He provided the inspiration for AbFINAL HOURS OF HIS DEAR bey’s George Hayduke in The Monkey FRIEND EDWARD ABBEY, Wrench Gang, and after five minutes in [PEACOCK] SPEAKS WITH A his presence, one can see why.) HARSH WIT THAT’S MAGNETIC
“This is by far the most indulgent trip I’ve AND IMPOSSIBLE TO COMBAT. ever been on,” Peacock said, his thick growl competing with the engine beneath the Bass is discerning and eccentric in his floorboards. He swirled a glass of foamown right, but when his longtime coated ice cubes, working over the thought. “I think that’s worth friend Peacock began musing, Bass held his comments and considering.” gazed calmly through small, round eyeglasses. For seven nights, I traveled with a group including Peacock and renowned Western author Rick Bass through the Galapagos Islands on a 78-foot yacht named the Samba. Though it retained its masts and rigging from years as a sailing ship, the Samba’s
The Galapagos cast the two writers in different directions. Bass immersed himself. He never missed an activity, paddling off in a kayak under the midday sun while others napped through the heat. He noticed the minutiae amidst
the archipelago’s grandeur, scouring for details our naturalist guide had overlooked. On the island of Genovesa, Bass held a slender mangrove seed as the rest of the group moved down the path. He peered at it under the bill of his cap. “It’s torpedo-weighted,” he said. And so it was. Bass converted findings like this into lines of chicken-scratch on scraps of folded, loose-leaf paper. Back on the Samba, he transferred his exhaustive field notes to a lined notebook, and then once more to his computer. The labor helped him internalize the writing, he said, but it also made him vulnerable: One afternoon, he lost an entire page of notes off the side of the boat. He let out a wail as the wind carried his thoughts away, and afterward he transcribed indoors. For Peacock, the intimacy of human-animal interactions in the Galapagos was unnerving. As a wildlife activist, he is wary of human predation, but the fur seals, sea lions, turtles, tortoises, penguins, iguanas and sea birds of these islands have never learned to fear it. Our group could swim alongside a whale shark for almost a half hour. For most on board, drifting near the 30-footlong shark was an experience that would define the trip forever. Peacock watched us from the front deck, seeing only a cluster of snorkel tubes encircling a glimmering dorsal fin. That evening on the Samba’s stern, foamy ice still clinking against the sides of his glass, he wrestled aloud with the concept of wildlife watching for leisure. He directed his words at Bass, as if no one else was around. “It’s the same reason I didn’t want to swim with the whale shark today,” he said. “It’s about the dignity of the animal.”
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Bass nodded slightly and smiled, his cheeks and neck covered in stubble. Tucked inside his breast pocket was a folded stack of chicken-scratch notes about the whale shark, the mangrove, and every other secret the Galapagos had given him. Jacob Osborne grew up in Vermont and is now a rising junior at Yale University. His father and stepmother arranged this Galapagos trip with family friends Brooke and Terry Tempest Williams, who then invited Peacock and Bass along for the ride.
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DESCHUTES RIVER THE PURSUIT OF WILD STEELHEAD STORY AND PHOTOS BY CAMERON SCOTT
The soft light of dawn softly creeps down the volcanic basalt walls of the Lower Deschutes River Canyon. I find heaven here: Standing waist-deep in the cold, clear waters of these high desert cliffs, pursuing the elusive native steelhead. I silently pray to the river gods to bless me with a hard-hitting, head shaking, wild steelhead as I step out of my driftboat. I cast, mend the line and swing my fly over what I believe to be the perfect steelhead lie. Time stops. Light and shadows dance across the waterâ€™s surface. The soft breeze carries the aromas of sage and wild desert grasses. The Osprey, Yellow Grosbeak and Meadowlarks sing in the praise of a new day. The river whispers her melodies to me, and the sounds of the deep canyon and river become a symphony.
“FOR MORE THAN 15 MINUTES, WE FIGHT A BATTLE THAT PLAYS OUT BETWEEN LAND AND WATER, MAN AND FISH.” Opposite page: Man and fish. An angler fights a steelhead at last light. Left: native steelhead caught, landed and released on the lower Deschutes River.
I feel the soft, consistent pull of the current down the length of my fly rod. The water pushes against my waist as I move down river, half in one world and half in another. Lost in the art of thought, I’m totally connected. Then I see the line tighten. My rod tip bends toward the surface of the water, and I feel the power and weight of the ocean in my hand. I bury the butt of my rod in my hip, and my reel screams. I can feel almost every move the fish makes, as it violently shakes its head and races across and downstream. We wage a game of give-and-take, but I slowly gain the upper hand. The fish jumps, rolls and tail-walks across the water as I draw her closer. For more than 15 minutes, we fight a battle that plays out between land and water, man and fish. In a sudden flash, a chrome-bright steelhead rolls to the surface of the water at my knees. I reach into the river and softly wrap my hands around her tail and midsection, staring with awe at her beauty. She stops fighting and lies softly in my hands, slowly breathing in the river’s cool rejuvenating water through her gills. I whisper “thank you,” and smile as I release her, alive and well, back to the unknown depths of the current to resume her journey upriver.
PHOTO BY BRETT SENG
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FARRIERâ€™S A farrier pulls a hot orange horseshoe from his forge and rests it on the anvil. At approximately 1,800 degrees, the steel is now malleable, and he carefully rotates the shoe, striking it deftly with a hammer. The young man speaks not a word, working with total concentration of mind and body. If it werenâ€™t for his modern-day smithy and pickup truck, Josh Stanley could easily belong in a century past.
PHOTO BY MARIA WYLLIE 46 MOUNTAIN
The history of the farrier is interwoven with the history of man and earth, and of war, culture and money. This ancient art form likely began when the Celts first nailed rims of iron to their horses’ feet around 400 B.C., according to Hickman’s Farriery, a working reference for farriers. Archaeologists have found horseshoes in Celtic graves, where horses were often buried alongside their masters. Gradually the practice extended through Gaul and made its way to Britain by 450 B.C., and much later to America in the 18th century. Stanley, originally from Memphis, Tennessee, has been shoeing horses in the Bozeman area since 2006. Just 30-years-old, he’s one of the busiest farriers around. A farrier must carry his knowledge in his hands, he says. “So much of our work depends on being able to feel the foot – not just see.” A Certified Journeyman Farrier, Stanley likes to explain the shoeing process to clients – how a particular hand-forged shoe affects the foot and overall health of a horse. This type of knowledge wasn’t part of a farrier’s work until the early 1800s, when British scientists began studying how the anatomy of a horse’s foot relates to its function. Up to that point, forging shoes and shoeing horses was simply the art of a skilled craftsman. Once this information was adopted, a respected London livery company called the Worshipful Company of Farriers instituted a process for examining and registering horseshoers in 1890. Soon, apprenticeships, traveling farriery schools and competitions became an industry standard. In America, however, such standards were never adopted. The practice of shoeing horses reached its peak in the early 1900s when horses were used for everything from transportation and farming to the U.S. Cavalry during the expansion of Western settlement, according to The Principles of Horseshoeing II.
BY MARIA WYLLIE
“It used to be a huge industry, and farriers and vets were one and the same,” Stanley explained on the drive between jobs in Three Forks. “Some of the best minds in the world were involved in farriery to keep the wheels of commerce turning.” But with the rise of mechanization and the dwindling number of farms, commercial horse use in the United States declined. Even so, riding grew as a popular leisure activity in the second half of the century, keeping the trade alive. >>
Josh Stanley hot shoeing a horse at the Eagle Rock Reserve Barn south of Bozeman. This technique allows a farrier to modify a shoe after it has been fitted, and many prefer it over cold shoeing. It typically takes Stanley 12-15 minutes to trim a horse, and an hour to shoe. Rather than shaping factorymade shoes, he makes his own from bar stock. PHOTO BY TYLER BUSBY
lthough equine use is continually evolving, little has changed in the science of horseshoeing for most farriers. “Most of what we know now, we knew 110 years ago,” said Earl Craig, President of the Montana Professional Horseshoers’ Association. “Diagnostic equipment and drugs are what’s improved, but in general, the basic job is similar to what it [always] was.” With no legal certifications required to shoe a horse in America, continuing education is vital in preserving the trade and maintaining a high standard, says Bryce Kawasaki, Director of the Montana State University Farrier School in Bozeman. Established in 1970, the program is one of the oldest in the country and draws students both nationally and internationally. Combined with the area’s numerous ranches and affluent equine community, it has made Bozeman a mecca for horseshoers. This has helped keep the bar high among Gallatin Valley’s vibrant community of horseshoers, says Tom Wolfe, who directed the school
“The thing that’s exciting is the camaraderie...”
Above: Stanley works out of a mobile smithy, a workshop that trails behind his truck. PHOTO BY MARIA WYLLIE
Center: One of Stanley’s handmade shoes.
PHOTO BY TYLER BUSBY
Below: Certified Journeyman Farrier Lamar Weaver forges a sample horseshoe at the third annual Bozeman Winterfest Farrier Clinic and Contest, held in February 2013. Horseshoers gather to examine his technique and ask questions before the competition begins. PHOTO BY MARIA WYLLIE
for 30 years before handing the reins to Kawasaki in 2013. Many are eager to learn more, he said, and rather than simply tending to their own work, their shop doors are always open. “The thing that’s exciting is the camaraderie,” said Wolfe, who still maintains a strong client base in and around Bozeman. Stanley says working together helps shoers advance further, attributing his own success in part to Wolfe, whom he calls a horseshoeing master. “Tom encouraged students to try and find someone to ride around with,” he said. “He knows all the horseshoers who should be known.” Organized functions like the Bozeman Farrier Clinic and Contest, held as part of the city’s annual Winterfest, also help disperse knowledge. The third annual event last winter drew farriers from around southwest Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to compete and learn new techniques. “It’s for fun,” says Stanley, who competes around the country and the world with the American Farriers Team. In one competition, farriers are given an hour to make a shoe from bar stock and then evaluated on how closely the shoe compares to the judge’s sample shoes. The contests can help farriers become more efficient, and also serve as a platform for their work to be critiqued. >>
Before nailing on a shoe, Vanessa Shaw removes excess hoof wall with a rasp.
PHOTO BY EMILY WOLFE
Another Montana horseshoer, Katie Cosgriff, has taken a different path. A fourth generation farrier from Big Timber, Cosgriff is less interested in the tradition and artistry behind horseshoeing. “There is a lot of blacksmithing and art in forging steel shoes,” she said. “I’m more into hoof function and internal structures.” Cosgriff has been shoeing horses with her father as long as she can remember. A graduate of the MSU Farrier School, she holds an animal science degree and a human biology degree from MSU-Bozeman, a doctorate in chiropractic from the University of Western States in Portland, Oregon, and is board certified by the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association.
“ It was the hardest thing I had ever done... I was hooked.”
Even so, she says establishing herself in such a competitive arena wasn’t easy. “When I started out, I’d shoe whatever I could get,” she said.
Now with 18 years of professional experience, Cosgriff, 37, is perhaps an exception to a lack of innovation in the trade. She works almost exclusively on performance and lame horses, and has traveled to Germany to work with a veterinary farrier team using a synthetic shoe that allows a hoof to function like it does barefoot, but with protection. Cosgriff says her chiropractic knowledge – as well as a strong back – helps with the physical aspects of her work. “When you’re a female and you’re smaller, there’s a lot of horsemanship and finesse that goes into it. It’s not about being stronger than the animal.” In a similar way, she creates a therapeutic environment for her clients – both human and horse. “Oftentimes the horse will have the same problem as the rider,” Cosgriff said, explaining that if the rider bears weight on one side of her body when riding, the horse will too, thus creating asymmetrical movement that can lead to problems and/or injury. Traveling with a portable massage therapy table, she’ll work on both trainers and horses.
Cosgriff is not alone as a woman farrier. Kalispell, Montana native Vanessa Shaw was working as a real estate appraiser before she took her hand at the anvil. “Like a bolt of lightning, it struck me,” Shaw said. “I went out to ride with my friend … She let me pull a horseshoe, and it was the hardest thing I had ever done. I had just run a 50-mile race, and it was harder than that. I was hooked.” Shaw soon quit her job and attended the MSU Farrier School, then apprenticed with Wolfe as an advanced student. Today, she runs her own business, Shaw’d Horses, based out of Bozeman, but loves working alongside her peers. “Every farrier has been so helpful,” she said. “If I have a question, I can call anyone or ride along with anyone. It’s such an awesome community to be a part of.” Sometimes, she says, a group of farriers including Wolfe and Stanley will travel to guest ranches around Montana and Wyoming and shoe a whole string of horses. They’ll make just enough to pay for the trip, but it isn’t always about the money.
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Rodeo is integral to Western history and culture, and nowhere is it more alive and well than the Greater Yellowstone. Here, we’ve featured some of the region’s top events, as well as some of the smaller getups around the region. Grab your hat and boots, and let’s go!
PHOTO BY TYLER BUSBY
Come July, the snow has melted from all but the highest peaks, and dust flies in the Town Center, when the country’s meanest bulls buck the world’s best riders during Big Sky’s biggest summer event. Last season - its third on the circuit – the Big Sky PBR was named Touring Pro Division Event of the Year, as chosen by bull riders at the Built Ford Tough Series World Finals in Las Vegas. Come for the bulls and stay for the after party, when locals, visitors and cowboys dance to free concerts from Pink Floyd tribute band Pinky and the Floyd night one and Big Sky favorites Bottom of the Barrel night two. explorebigsky.com/bigskypbr
The list: Nightly Rodeos Jackson Hole Rodeo Memorial Day – Labor Day Jackson, WY Cody Nite Rodeo Nightly, June 1 – August 31 Cody, WY
S E L E CT RO DE O S I N T HE GRE AT E R Y E L L OW S TON E
Wild West Yellowstone Rodeo June 18-August 30, 3-5 nights a week West Yellowstone, MT Teton Valley Rodeo June 20 – August 22 every Friday night Driggs, ID
Gardiner’s Annual NRA Rodeo June 13-14, Gardiner, MT
Cody Stampede Rodeo July 1-4, Cody, WY
Gallatin County Fair July 16-20, Bozeman, MT
Big Timber Rodeo June 27-28, Big Timber, MT
Whoopee Days Rodeo July 4-5, Rexburg, ID
Livingston Roundup July 2-4, Livingston, MT
Butte Vigilante Saddle Club Bullride July 5, Butte, MT
Rock Creek Cattle Co. Bull-A-Rama July 18, Deer Lodge, MT
Home of Champions Rodeo and Parade July 2-4, Red Lodge, MT Ennis Rodeo and Parade July 3-4, Ennis, MT
Sheridan WYO Rodeo July 5-13, Sheridan, WY Madison County Fair and Rodeo July 8-13, Twin Bridges, MT
Broadwater County Fair & Rodeo July 23-27, Townsend, MT Whitehall Frontier Days Rodeo July 25, Whitehall, MT Big Sky PBR July 30-31, Big Sky, MT
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Western Montana Fair and Rodeo August 5-10 Missoula, MT
Jefferson County Fair and Rodeo August 21-24, Boulder, MT
Dillon Jaycee Labor Day Rodeo, Concert and Parade September 5-6, Dillon, MT
Butte Vigilante Rodeo August 8-9, Butte, MT
Beaverhead County Fair August 27-September 1, Dillon, MT
Montana Fair August 8-16, Billings, MT
6th Annual PCF Ranch Rodeo July 31, Livingston, MT
Annual Northern Rodeo Association Finals October 9-11, Butte, MT
Crow Fair and Rodeo August 14-17, Crow Agency, MT
Labor Day PRCA Rodeo August 31-September 1, White Sulphur Springs, MT
Wilsall Ranch Rodeo August 17, Wilsall, MT
Big Sky Resort’s variety of affordable hotels, condos, and cabins are perfect for your PBR basecamp, with Zipline Tours, Lone Peak Expedition Tour and more family fun activities right out your door. bigskyresort.com
Nile Stock Show and Rodeo October 14-18, Billings, MT
Team Big Sky PBR accepting the Touring Pro Division Event of the Year award at the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas. PHOTO COURTESY OF FREESTONE PRODUCTIONS
A cowgirl rounds the second barrel at the Livingston Roundup. PHOTO BY MIKE COIL
PHOTO COURTESY OF YELLOWSTONE VALLEY LODGE
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With its rustic style, upscale amenities and spectacular Paradise Valley setting, Yellowstone Valley Lodge is the perfect spot to relax after the rodeo festivities, and rejuvenate en route to Yellowstone Park. Enjoy a glass of fine wine paired with local farm-to-table cuisine in the outdoor dining area, and retire to a cozy private cabin beside the Yellowstone River. The friendly staff are knowledgeable about local travel and adventure, and also offer guided fly fishing. Dinner reservations recommended. yellowstonevalleylodge.com
ROUNDUP RODEO Established in 1924, the Livingston Roundup Rodeo draws 15,000 spectators each July 2-4. With the Absaroka Mountains towering over town, and the Yellowstone River and Livingston’s lively downtown just down the street, this is a classic. Events include tie-down and team roping, barrel racing, steer wrestling, bull riding, and bareback and saddle bronc riding. livingstonroundup.com
HOME OF CHAMPIONS RODEO When the chutes open this July 2, 3 and 4 in Red Lodge, Montana, it will be to celebrate 85 years of Red Lodge Rodeo. The Home of Champions Rodeo grounds sit at the base of the scenic Beartooth Highway, making it a favorite of top contenders and a great destination for families. The kids Mutton Bustin’ event and the Wild Horse Race are fan favorites, as is the Red Lodge Parade, which begins daily at noon. redlodgerodeo.com
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• THE POLLARD • Built in 1893 in downtown Red Lodge, these elegant digs have hosted a who’s who of Western characters. If the walls could talk, they’d tell of Buffalo Bill Cody gambling in the parlor, Calamity Jane’s debauchery, and “The Sundance Kid” robbing the place in 1897. General Manager Zaven Yaralian (the former NFL player) has brought his success as a restaurateur, and the hotel now features a balance of Western style and preserved history, alongside modern creature comforts like a fitness center and sauna.thepollard.com
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Montana coal provides jobs and revenue. Is it worth the environmental cost?
BY JOSEPH T. Oâ€™CONNOR
View a behind-the-scenes video of this story
at explorebigsky.com/coal 60 MOUNTAIN
A view from the Spring Creek Mine’s loading station, located in southeast Montana and part of the Powder River Basin. Coal is loaded onto trains here and covered with a surfactant to reduce dust. PHOTO BY JOSEPH T. O’CONNOR
Southeast Montana’s rolling hills reveal shades of brown and gray in early spring before the arrowleaf balsamroot blooms, giving the arid landscape a yellowish hue. Here, Highway 314 meanders north from Sheridan, Wyoming and past the Tongue River Reservoir, its leafless trees leaning askew from microburst downdrafts. The turnoff to Spring Creek, the largest coal mine in Montana, is 35 miles from Sheridan past Decker, population 76. A sign at the guardhouse reminds employees and visitors of the hazards at an operation this big: “Most things are safe until you forget they are dangerous.”
Spring Creek is one of 16 mines in the Powder River Basin, which spans 14 million acres between Casper, Wyoming, and Billings, Montana. The area produced 41 percent of the nation’s coal in 2013, or 407.5 million tons, and sits on approximately 25 billion tons of recoverable reserves. “There’s enough coal in Montana alone to supply the entire U.S. for the next 100 years,” said Chuck Denowh, spokesperson for the Montana branch of the Count on Coal advocacy campaign. At Spring Creek, as in much of this region, coal is king. But not everyone is buying it. >>
If the Obama Administration has its way, that may be exactly what happens. Carbon dioxide, a by-product of coal combustion, is the single largest pollutant in the world, emitting 36 billion metric tons annually. In 2013 – and following years of decline – domestic CO2 emissions increased 2 percent to 5.38 billion metric tons, due in part to rising natural gas prices over the harsh winter making coal more competitive.
The Yellowstone River flows by the J.E. Corette coalfired power plant in Billings, Montana. The plant is slated to close in 2015. PHOTO BY JOE PAULET
oal is cheap to produce, and the worldwide market is starving for it. It currently provides 40 percent of America’s electricity, and while cheaper natural gas prices are challenging its reign, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates coal will still account for 32 percent in 2040. The most abundant fossil fuel in the world, coal is the product of 300-400 million years of plant degeneration, heat and geologic pressure. In 2013, Montana mines extracted 42.2 million tons of coal, bringing $516 million to mining companies, and generating roughly $100 million in tax revenue for the state, said Bud Clinch, executive director for the Montana Coal Council. The Treasure State’s six coal mines employed 1,224 workers last year, and as of July 2013, coal provided 53 percent of its electricity, according to an EIA report.
As a result of the President’s 2013 Climate Action Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency last fall proposed limiting CO2 emissions on new coal-fired plants, and it plans to issue a final rule by January 2015. At Mountain Outlaw press time in mid-May, the EPA also expected to release guidelines for existing plants by June 1, giving states until June 2016 to design programs that curb emissions. “President Obama’s war on coal is a war on Montana union jobs,” said Congressman Steve Daines (R-Montana) in a May interview. Montana’s only House representative and a GOP Senate candidate running in the mid-term elections, Daines looks to capitalize on the Climate Action Plan. “It’s a war on our [Indian] reservations that are sitting on coal, and at the end of the day, it’s a war on Montana families,” he said. Daines, who grew up skiing and hiking in Bozeman, Montana, says he supports protecting the environment. But he also wants to balance that with jobs provided by the coal industry, he said. A bill passed by the House in March and pending hearing in the Senate would override the EPA rule on new plants. Co-sponsored by Daines, the
“I want to be able to turn the lights on in my home,” said former Lt. Governor John Bohlinger, who at press time this May was battling in Montana’s Democratic primaries for Max Baucus’s vacant Senate seat. “We need incentives for renewable energy, but we can’t just quit burning coal.”
THE POWDER RIVER BASIN PRODUCED
OF THE NATION’S COAL IN 2013
Coal mining is about efficiency, and every second that coal doesn’t leave the mine is a second its owners want back. The 9,000-acre Spring Creek surface mine is crawling with massive heavy equipment. A 240-ton dump truck rounds a corner, laden with coal. Each of its six tires is 11 feet tall and costs $40,000. The mine runs 24/7, 365 days a year, and most of its 278 employees commute from the Sheridan area. Production at Spring Creek began in 1980, and Gillette, Wyoming-based Cloud Peak Energy bought it in 2009. Today, the mine produces a daily average of 50,000 tons of subbituminous, low-sulfur coal, which is used primarily for steam-electric power generation.
Electricity Security and Affordability Act is not likely to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate, according to David Parker, a political science professor at Montana State University. The White House has said Obama will veto the bill, should it gain Senate approval. These new EPA regulations would likely result in the shuttering of numerous existing power plants. Indeed, previous regulations for other pollutants prompted 145 power-generating facilities to close between 2010-2012, and in April 2015 the agency will implement Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, something EIA energy analyst Elias Johnson says will close another 180 plants by 2016. “A lot of these units probably have some pollution controls in place, but with the implementation of MATS and those [associated] costs, it isn’t economical to keep them running,” said Johnson, explaining the reason plants gave for their expected shutdowns. In Billings, Montana, the J.E. Corette power plant, which opened in 1968, is awaiting a 2015 mothballing. This is mainly due to its age – coal-fired plants have a shelf life of 30-40 years – but also because MATS compliance upgrades would cost Corette’s owners PPL Montana nearly $10 million. Implementation of the new carbon regulations is still a 1-2 years out, but the effects will be global. By reducing CO2 production from domestic coal-fired plants, Obama is setting an example for other countries; conversely, a pending increase in coal exports means he would be supplying it to other nations with less stringent emissions standards.
“The biggest thing that sets Spring Creek apart is our 80-foot coal seam,” said the mine’s general manager Dave Schwend, describing the mining process from his office on site. Schwend, 37, has a short shock Todd O’Hair is the Senior Government Affairs Manager for Cloud Peak of brown hair and a Energy, which owns the Spring Creek matching goatee. He Mine. Here, O’Hair hangs with his wears scuffed Red son, Paul Allyn, 8, outside the Spring Wings boots and jeans Creek offices. PHOTO BY JOE PAULET and he, like many in the area, pronounce it “Spring Crick.” The first step in extracting coal from Spring Creek is stripping the topsoil, Schwend explained. After cast blasting the next layer of earth and other minerals, miners remove the overburden with 7,500-ton excavators called draglines. Buckets on these enormous machines hold 80 cubic yards of material, or more than 100 tons. This exposes the Anderson-Dietz coal seam. “It’s a huge seam that makes mining very efficient,” Schwend said. “We don’t have the equipment to mine 80 foot at one time, so we have to take it in a couple of passes, but that’s a problem we’re happy to have.” A shovel fills haul trucks with 250-ton loads of coal, which are dumped onto a mile-long conveyer belt and then crushed into pieces two inches in diameter. It’s then loaded into train cars through a dust-suppressing chute, and topped with a surfactant that keeps more than 80 percent of the coal dust from escaping, according to Schwend. >>
A BNSF Railway Company train loaded with coal from the Spring Creek Mine makes its way west. Spring Creek’s only rail shipper, BNSF is the second largest railroad company in the nation and hauls approximately 300 million tons of coal per year to U.S. states and to Canada for export. PHOTO BY JOE PAULET
Excavation complete, the overburden is used as backfill and the mine begins reclamation – a governmentregulated process of erosion mitigation and planting indigenous flora to return the site as close as possible to its original state. In 2012, Cloud Peak received an award from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, recognizing its efforts to educate the surrounding community about reclaiming land and flood response. Spring Creek Mine extracted 18 million tons of coal in 2013. Nearly five million of that was shipped to Asia,
and the rest went to electric utility companies in the United States and Canada. “We could ship more,” said Todd O’Hair, senior government affairs manager for Cloud Peak. “Asian demand is going through the roof, [and] the supply is here in Montana.” Currently, Cloud Peak and other Montana coal companies sending coal to Asia use British Columbia’s Westshore Terminals, the largest export station in Canada. Last year, more than 30 million tons of coal moved through Westshore, mainly to China, South Korea and Japan.
But Westshore is reaching its export limits, O’Hair said, and domestic coal companies are looking to three new terminals proposed for the West Coast: the Gateway Pacific and Millennium Bulk terminals in Washington, and the Morrow Pacific Project in Oregon. All are currently in the permitting and environmental review process, drawing more than 325,000 public comments for Washington’s terminals alone. At capacity, these new terminals could export up to 110 million tons of coal annually. Cloud Peak is banking on approval for the $22 billion Gateway Pacific export terminal in Cherry Point, Washington. According to a 2013 press release, it signed an option agreement with Gateway Pacific developers SSA Marine to ship 16 million tons of coal each year from the port starting in 2018, the site’s expected completion date. The proposed facilities are under scrutiny from environmental groups as well as citizens in Washington, Oregon and Montana, and transporting coal to the terminals is one major concern.
The 9,000-acre Spring Creek Mine produces an average of 50,000 tons of coal each day from its 80-foot-thick coal seam. Here, a dragline moves overburden away from the coal. Each bucketful holds nearly 80 cubic yards of material, more than 100 tons. PHOTO BY JOSEPH T. O’CONNOR
“ASIAN DEMAND IS GOING THROUGH THE ROOF, [AND] THE SUPPLY IS HERE IN MONTANA.” Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, now BNSF, is the major railroad shipping coal from the Powder River Basin through Montana, Idaho and Washington to the Westshore terminal in Canada. The second largest railroad company in North America behind Union Pacific, BNSF has been controlled by Berkshire Hathaway CEO and president Warren Buffet since 2009. It ships goods and commodities nationwide and into Canada, with coal providing 22 percent of its business. In 2013, conservation groups including the Sierra Club and the National Resource Defense Council filed lawsuits in Washington State’s U.S. District Courts against BNSF. The two suits allege the railroad is violating the federal Clean Water Act based on the amount of coal lost from uncovered rail cars. Currently, two to four BNSF coal trains travel daily from Montana en route to Canada. If the proposed terminals run at capacity, 40 more will run the tracks each day within a decade, according to a February 2014 report called “Heavy Traffic Still Ahead,” prepared for the Western Organization of Resource Councils in Billings. Terry Whiteside, a transportation consultant representing agriculture, lumber and coal, helped prepare the report. He based that projection on the maximum number of coal exports from the terminals.
“I’m not a part of the environmental movement,” Whiteside said. “But no matter how you shake it down, there’s more [rail] congestion ahead.” Jones says those numbers depend on if the terminals actually operate at capacity, and on the demand for coal. He notes that while 40 percent of domestic freight is moved by rail, trains account for only 2.3 percent of the transportation industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. “BNSF moves one ton of freight 500 miles on one gallon of diesel fuel,” Jones said. “That’s the equivalent of taking 6 million passenger cars off the road.” One hundred seventy-two miles north of Decker, the Bull Mountains rise to nearly 5,000 feet, their high desert plateaus folding up from the surrounding plains. Steve Charter has a cattle ranch here, an hourand-a-half northeast of Billings. Charter, 62, is the chairman for the Northern Plains Resource Council, a conservation nonprofit and part of the seven-state Western Organization of Resource Councils. His parents helped found NPRC in 1972, 17 years after buying the ranch. Ever since, the family has battled companies mining coal from beneath their ranch and others in the Bull Mountains. The first was Consolidation Coal.
“[Consolidation] said, ‘Be reasonable, but just name your price and we’ll pay you whatever you want for your place,” Charter recalled during a tour of his property in March. His black scarf fluttered in the mid-March breeze as he pointed east over his 8,000-acre ranch. “Some things don’t have monetary value,” he said. “It’s kind of like making a deal with the devil.” Down the rutted dirt road from the ranch, the Signal Peak Coal Mine is the only underground coal operation in Montana. It yielded 8.7 million tons in 2013, available through mineral rights leased from a private company. Since purchasing the mine in 2008, Signal Peak Energy has also attempted to buy land from the Charters and their neighbors in the Bull Mountains. Charter and his son Ressa run 250 300 cows, and although the price of cattle is currently strong, the income is barely sustainable for two livelihoods. He says the longwall mining technique Signal Peak uses is damaging the land the family ranches on, pointing to gaping cracks in the soil on his property. Longwall mining involves a massive machine called a shearer that cuts the coal-bed face. The product is then removed with a conveyer system, while hydraulic chocks support the earth above like pillars. Once it’s removed, the earth collapses into the space the coal occupied. >>
Natural springs form aquifers in the Bull Mountains near the ground surface, and Charter worries that when the ground collapses beneath these water sources, they will be cracked and destroyed. He’s toured
Reclamation and Enforcement, a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior. “But our job is to make sure the environment is protected and the land is reclaimed to the same or higher standard that it was before it was mined.”
For 10 years after a mine completes reclamation efforts, state and federal government agencies make monthly inspections of surface revegetation and groundwater. Fleishman says the federal reclamation requirements are strict, and that Montana’s DEQ Steve Charter runs cattle on his 8,000-acre ranch northeast of Billings in the Bull Mountains. His family has been battling coal comparegs are even nies that are mining under his property for more than 40 years. more stringent. PHOTO BY JOE PAULET Both include a bonding step to the mining area with Signal Peak ensure mines will pay up, and the operators and Montana’s Department state requires an additional step to of Environmental Quality and taken restore hydrological balance to ensure photos of 15-foot-wide, 40-foot-deep long-term productivity of the mined surface cracks. land. “I wouldn’t want a coal mine in my backyard,” said Jeffrey Fleischman, with the Office of Surface Mining
“If we saw reclamation failing, the company would be required to fix it,” Fleishman said.
“YOU’RE NOT GOING TO FLIP A SWITCH OFF TOMORROW AND STOP COAL BURNING...”
Growth is already in the works at the Signal Peak mine. On March 18, the Montana Land Board approved a 7,160-acre expansion there, effectively doubling its size and adding an estimated $127.2 million in state tax revenue. Signal Peak would lease the associated mineral rights from the Bureau of Land Management.
-Montana Governor Steve Bullock
NPRC has filed a lawsuit against the BLM challenging the agency’s
approach to enable the lease, Charter said. “At this point, the idea is not to shut the mine down or to stop the expansion. It’s to ensure the land and water are protected.” For Charter, it boils down to ranching his land on his own terms, and working to prevent Signal Peak from developing strip mines in the Bull Mountains – something he believes is likely with the recent expansion and if the proposed export terminals in the Northwest gain approval. Sitting in his house, a passive-solar earth shelter, Charter suggests renewable resources such as wind, hydroelectric and solar as alternatives to coal, and says these energy sources could account for as many jobs in Montana as the coal industry does now. “Any way we produce energy creates jobs,” he said. “Coal is a bad way to go in so many ways. It’s like if we said in 1980 that we really wanted to invest all our time into building typewriters in Montana.” Reports released this spring by national and worldwide networks of scientists warned that without immediate worldwide attention, human-caused climate change would diminish food-production levels and increase extreme weather patterns, among other concerns. In April, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a study reporting that global greenhouse gas emissions had grown faster from 2000-2010 than in the three decades prior. With 235 authors from 58 countries, this was the fifth climate change Assessment Report completed since the IPCC formed in 1988.
On its heels, an 800-page National Climate Assessment released in May indicated specific climate impacts on each region of the country. “The global warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to human activities, predominantly the burning of fossil fuels,” stated the assessment, produced by more than 300 scientists. University of Montana Regents professor of ecology Steve Running was the main author in the chapter on the nation’s forests. “Mining coal is an 18th century activity,” Running said. “The disturbance rate in forests around the country is accelerating. We’re seeing increasing forest fires and pine beetle mortality. That’s the single biggest impact on forests in [the] Northern Rockies.” China, the world’s largest coal importer, currently burns nearly as much as all other countries combined. It plans to stop importing coal in the next five years, Running said, a move that would have significant impacts on the Powder River Basin.
This leaves Montana Governor Steve Bullock standing on pivotal ground. He acknowledges the revenue and jobs that coal brings to Montana, and also the detrimental environmental effects from coal combustion. Like Bohlinger however, he says change is a slow-burning ember. “We need to invest in making our energy production less carbon intensive,” Bullock said. “But you’re not going to flip a switch off tomorrow and stop coal burning, nor are you going to flip a switch tomorrow and expect all your power generation to be wind or hydro.” Eyes will be on Paris, France in December 2015, when the United Nations Climate Change Conference holds its 21st meeting. Here, 196 countries plan to negotiate a new treaty curbing greenhouse gas emissions up to 70 percent from four years ago by 2050, and ultimately reducing global temperature increases to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. As the coal conversation heats up, the world is looking for solutions to global warming. The sides are torn by the clash over king coal, and the winner is still up in the air.
Signal Peak Energy operates a longwall mine in the Bull Mountains, producing 8.7 million tons of coal per year. The mine site, where conveyer belts dump coal into piles for rail shipping.
PHOTO BY JOSEPH T. O’CONNOR
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NEW FACES OF BOZEMAN BUSINESS BY BECCA SKINNER
BECOMING A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER ISN’T EASY. For me, it’s meant learning not only how to be a photographer, but also an accountant, a secretary and an editor. This juggling act of time and energy is driven by my passion to create images people will love and cherish for the rest of their lives. When I moved to Bozeman from Laramie, Wyoming, I was thrilled to see so many young entrepreneurs like myself. I’ve since learned that doing something I enjoy and making my own schedule are valid perks, but business doesn’t stop at 5 p.m. on Fridays. Per capita, Montana has the highest number of startup businesses in the nation, according to the Kauffman Index for Entrepreneurial Activity. At 610 startups for every 100,000 adults, it’s leagues ahead of the second and third place states, Alaska and South Dakota, which have 470 and 410, respectively. Business-friendly legislation and resources like the Bozeman-based Prospera Business Network are likely contributors to the state’s burgeoning startups, but I’d argue that Montana has something else, as well: a large number of enthusiastic, driven individuals eager to make their mark on the world through vision and creativity. For this photo essay, I’ve featured six artist-entrepreneurs who inspire me – a potter, a filmmaker, a blacksmith, two bakers and a jeweler. As much as anyone, they exemplify the energy behind this vibrant and growing business community.
Ryan Mitchell started Gangbusters Pottery in 2012, while managing Rocky Creek Farm in Bozeman. He served as an artist-in-residence at the Emerson Cultural Center from 2010-2012, and currently teaches classes there, as well as at his studio downtown and in local elementary schools. His hand-thrown cups, bowls and plates are decorated with earthy, often playful lines, shapes and colors. Find them at local coffee shops, Tart and Owenhouse Ace Hardware, and examples of his custom wedding tableware online.
Deia Schlosberg’s creative firm Pale Blue Dot Media focuses on generating attention at the intersection of human rights and climate issues, contracting mostly with nonprofit organizations. A filmmaker, graphic designer and illustrator, Schlosberg recently garnered two College Emmy Awards, Best Documentary and the Bricker Humanitarian Award for “Backyard,” a 30-minute film on hydraulic fracking. The film will be featured in both the Livingston Film Festival and Wild and Scenic Film Festival.
Eric Dewey was 20 when he started Desperado Forge. In the four years since, the blacksmith has apprenticed and worked with some of the most recognized artisans in the industry, taught and demonstrated at the Museum of the Rockies, and been featured on the Outdoor Channel. Although his craft is thousands of years old, Deweyâ€™s work is contemporary. His forged pieces can be seen from luxury homes to retail stores around Bozeman.
Twin sisters Caroline and Lauren Schweitzer are the minds and the muscle behind the year-old Bozeman bakery, Wild Crumb. Originally from Northern California, both women attended school in San Francisco before moving to Montana. Their bakery features organic artisan bread ranging from Gorgonzola Walnut Sourdough or Polenta Olive, to classics like Rye and Whole Wheat. They also make a large spread of delicious pastries fresh every morning. You can find the bakery at the corner of Peach and Wallace.
Esther Sullivan makes jewelry in her downtown Bozeman studio, using primarily reclaimed metal to create delicate geometry in her necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings. After earning a metalsmithing degree from Montana State University in 2005, she worked with jewelers in Vermont and Bozeman before starting her own business, Esther Sullivan Designs, in 2009. She also works on commissioned pieces ranging from vintage hand-me-downs to custom accessories and wedding rings.
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AT THE STROKE OF A GAVEL
BY TYLER ALLEN
Traditional Western auctions were held around dusty pens filled with young cattle, an audience of working ranchers holding numbered paddles, and an auctioneer in a cowboy hat spurring top dollar for each animal in the pen. The cattle auction has been around as long as Americans have been raising beef. Auctions have also been employed to sell large ranches and farms, often when the owners hit hard economic times. In recent years, a new type of auction has been stirring up dust as it moves high-end residential properties in the northern Rockies and around the world. An industry leader since 2008, New York-based Concierge Auctions has traded the livestock pen for capacious estates, the denim and plaid for pressed shirts and slacks, and the anxious cows for homes worth millions. For the well heeled, competitive bidding was long reserved for antiquities or world-class artwork. Pablo Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” set a record auction price in April 2010 when it sold to the highest bidder for more than $106 million. Two years later Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” fetched nearly $120 million, only to be outdone by Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” at $142.5 million in November 2013. These works all outpaced their projected gavel prices, and Concierge Auctions seized on that trend to sell the fine homes where these fine works may one day reside. The firm sold $194 million in property last year. Concierge is headquartered in New York City, with additional offices in Austin, Texas, Boston, Massachusetts and London, England. It’s project sales managers are deployed to
MODERN CONDO IN THE FOUR SEASONS RESIDENCES TORONTO, CANADA • AUCTION JUNE 26
NESTUCCA SEA RANCH O R E G O N C O A S T • A U C T I O N J U LY 2 4
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CONCIERGE AUCTIONS
some of the most sought-after real estate markets nationally – and as of last year, internationally. Founder and President Laura Brady, a native of Texas, got her start selling residential property in southwest Florida, where she quickly became one of the top-selling agents in the country. When the area’s real estate market took a hit in 2006, she began conducting auctions with immediate success. “I left my brokerage business to start Concierge, and quickly began working with agents throughout Florida and elsewhere in the country,” said Brady, 35. “I always had the vision that when the market rebounded, the auction process would produce the highest value for unique highend properties.” Since then, Concierge has conducted $500 million in successful sales, building a Rolodex of high-profile clients along the way.
The firm sold a Hawaiian estate for music diva Cher in 2010, a property for retired NFL quarterback Kurt Warner near Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2013, and a home for three-time national championship Alabama football coach Nick Saban near Atlanta, Georgia in 2013. The auction process allows a seller to monetize a property for the highest possible amount in a short period of time, while ensuring buyers are interested – and qualified – since they’ve been vetted through Concierge. Buyers can be confident the seller is sufficiently motivated, and be assured in the value of a property when they see an interested bidder sitting next to them. Concierge wasn’t the first company to conduct luxury residential auctions, but at the time of its founding most sold distressed or foreclosed properties. In contrast to these quick sales to offload premium real estate, Concierge pioneered a unique, “white glove, hands-on approach,” Brady said. >>
17 T R AV E R T I N E Y E L L O W S T O N E C L U B , B I G S K Y , M O N TA N A Concierge auctioned 17 Travertine, a 4,505-square-foot property located in the Yellowstone Club, to the highest bidder on April 22, and closed the sale May 2014. The 3.15-acre lot sits on Andesite Ridge and overlooks the exclusive clubâ€™s Tom Weiskopf-designed championship golf course. With Yellowstone National Park out the back door, the five-bedroom, four-bath estate has spectacular views of Pioneer and Eglise mountains, and overlooks the Yellowstone Club.
78 MOUNTAIN PHOTO COURTESY OF L&K REAL ESTATE
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When Brian Dolan hired Concierge in November 2012, the $26 million home he was representing in Big Sky’s exclusive Yellowstone Club – called 26 Obsidian Road – had been listed in the tepid real estate market for about a year before the owner removed it that May. Dolan had used the auction house to sell other properties in the Yellowstone Club and adjacent Club at Spanish Peaks earlier in 2012. However, those sales had a sense of urgency, spurred by the club’s then-recent bankruptcy. The 26 Obsidian property was a different story.
“[Concierge] brought a positive message and a lot of heat and action.” At the time, other multi-million dollar homes throughout the mountain community were languishing on the market at the tail end of the recession. Moonlight Basin Ski Resort and The Club at Spanish Peaks were bankrupt. Listings were abundant around Big Sky, but interested buyers were nowhere to be seen. “I looked around and said, ‘This could be on the market for years,’” Dolan recalled. So he brought up the idea of an auction to the owner. “I said, ‘You can give up a little bit of control in the price, but get a certainty in time when it sells.’” The property was re-listed in November, and within the month Concierge began a marketing blitz to generate potential buyers. The Concierge process typically lasts six weeks from the time an owner agrees to an auction until the gavel strikes. In the first week, the firm’s sales manager will get familiar with the area, tour the property,
and work in the listing broker’s office, going through leads and filtering local interest. “The most important part is getting into the market and understanding the market you’re in,” said Daniele Smith, a Concierge sales manager who splits her time between southern California and Big Sky. “You’ve got to figure out where to go to see, and be seen.” In the second or third week, Concierge hosts a VIP event at the property or another venue in the area, inviting locals, potential bidders, area brokers and anyone interested in the property, to showcase the home and describe the auction process. Throughout the lead-up to auction day, Concierge taps its database of more than 100,000 prospective buyers, sellers and agents in 130 countries around the world. In 2013, the firm averaged 11,000 website visits per listing. “Our process speaks well to opportunistic buyers,” Brady said. “They might not have been looking for a property in Big Sky, but when they hear about a property in Yellowstone Club or Bozeman, it piques their interest.” The process can draw a lot of interest to an area. “[Concierge] brought a positive message and a lot of heat and action,” Dolan said. “Big Sky didn’t have a lot of positive spin at that point. They brought things that were missing at that time in the marketplace.”
CONCIERGE WORLDWIDE As of May 2014, Concierge Auctions had three properties scheduled for auction in the American West, three properties in the Bahamas including a private island, and a Georgian manor in Princeton, New Jersey. Some buyers follow listings in multiple locations simultaneously, said Concierge president Laura Brady, noting that Hawaii, Texas and the Rockies are among the firm’s best markets. “Our platform works well for second or third homebuyers looking for a mountain or beach home,” Brady said. There is no shortage of desirable properties in the Northern Rockies, she added, and Concierge Auctions is primed to move a number of them in 2014.
In the final weeks, Concierge prepares the seller and bidders for auction day, and potential buyers fill out terms and conditions, perform their due diligence, and pay a refundable deposit – anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 depending on the list price. >>
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Auction day is like a high-stakes poker game. Anywhere from a handful to 15 qualified bidders or their representatives are on site or bidding over the phone. “A bidder can see the value unfold in real time,” Brady said. “There are some bidders that would rather bid over the phone so people can’t see them, some that like to sit in the back of the room because that’s the strategy they prefer.” But unlike a poker game, there’s no bluffing when a paddle goes into the air or a bid is entered by phone. When a Concierge auctioneer calls out a bid, there’s no backing out unless a higher bid comes in. The six-week process can end in less than 10 minutes, when the gavel strikes to end the auction. “It felt exactly like I thought it would,” Dolan said of the day 26 Obsidian sold. “You take a year’s worth of challenging emotions and pack it into ten minutes.” After the auction, a buyer has 30 days to close on the home. “It allows you to close a chapter and open other ones, and put the book on the shelf,” Dolan said. Find more at conciergeauctions.com. 80 MOUNTAIN
TETON CANYON RANCH A LTA , W Y O M I N G â€˘ A U C T I O N J U LY 1 0 The 140-acre Teton Canyon Ranch sits on the western flank of its iconic namesake mountains in Alta, Wyoming. Set among aspen groves and flowing streams, the property is surrounded almost entirely by the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Fishing, hunting, hiking and horseback riding are just a handful of the recreational opportunities available out the backdoor, and Grand Targhee Ski Resort is only minutes away. It has been divided into four 35-acre pieces, which will be sold by auction without reserve on June 10, either individually or together. With views of the high Tetons and Idahoâ€™s sweeping Teton Valley, each parcel could be developed or used as a conservation opportunity.
81 MOUNTAINOUTLAW PARTNERS PHOTO
On the road again A FAMILY ADVENTURE IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
BY BRITTANY LADD
We were 150 kilometers north of the Canadian border when I gazed into my husband Brian’s eyes and knew the moment had come: We had to get home. Almost two weeks into a road trip with our kids Kelsey and Killian, ages 4 and 7, my rope felt like it could unravel at any second. I love adventure, but it’s also a lot of messy work and logistics, especially when folding our little people’s needs into the mix.
Above: Kelsey Ladd looking for the perfect rock on Ruby Beach, in Olympic National Park, Washington Below: Brittany, Kelsey and Killian aboard a ferry in the San Juan Islands PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE LADD FAMILY
After a long day in the car winding up British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, we were hurriedly rigging a camp in a parking lot behind a dingy lodge. Having arrived a day ahead of schedule, there
were no other last-minute lodging options in tiny, endof-the road Egmont, British Columbia. I put on my best Mommy face, blowing up camp pads, unpacking sleeping bags and opening a can of soup to heat on the cook stove, while the kids tiptoed through the abundant, giant banana slugs surrounding our camp. As dusk fell, I served supper as enthusiastically as possible. Every adventure has a low point when you want to throw in the towel, crawl to the nearest beach resort and sip an overpriced, poolside cocktail. For me, this was that one low in an otherwise incredible trip. >>
the sunshine coast
san juan island olympia national park
Part 1: Olympic National Park, Washington
»» Hike through the temperate rainforest (world’s largest Sitka spruce) around Lake Quinault.
»» Visit the historic Lake Quinault Lodge for a game of chess by the fireplace.
»» Explore the beach and picnic among the massive driftwood piles at Ruby Beach.
»» Hike to the Sol Duc Falls and soak at Sol Duc Hot Springs. »» Swim in Lake Crescent at sunset. »» Search for the ever-elusive Sasquatch!
Part 2: San Juan Island, Washington
»» Revel in the undeniable pleasure of driving onto a ferry and departing the mainland.
»» Check in to Roche Harbor Hotel to shower, do laundry and prep for kayaking.
»» Hike out to Lime Kiln Point to picnic and watch for southern resident orcas at sunset.
»» Join a knowledgeable guide from San Juan Outfitters for a three-day sea kayak tour.
»» Paddle out of Friday Harbor to Jones Island, spotting wildlife along the way.
»» Camp for two nights on Jones Island with deer as your neighbors.
Part 3: The Sunshine Coast, British Columbia »» Stop for a night in Vancouver to break up the drive and coordinate ferry schedules.
»» Embark on British Columbia Ferries across Horseshoe Bay, with its spectacular scenery.
»» Eat lunch at Gibson’s Landing and browse for Canadian maple leaf souvenirs.
»» Arrive at the West Coast Wilderness Lodge in Egmont. »» Take a Zodiac Tour to Chatterbox Falls through the fjords
of Princess Louisa Inlet.
Train them early
Adventuring with kids requires a ton of logistical planning, but it’s worth it. Here are a few tips that have helped our family along the way. PLANNING We read maps and guidebooks together before the trip, which lets them know what to expect, and allowed them to take ownership in the experience. My kids love to pack their own gear prior to a trip, laying out everything days ahead of time, and helping pack it all away. Each child takes along a backpack to fill with his or her heart’s desire – a favorite stuffed animal, books and card games are a must. I love to hide a little surprise in their bags for them to discover once we’re underway. ACTIVITIES Hiking with kids? Just do it, often. Ditto camping. It’s all about early exposure and keeping great attitudes. As far as multi-day sea kayaking, that’s why we opted to go with a guide for our first time. During the trip, set realistic goals for each day, and celebrate your achievements. Take breaks and listen to the kids’ cues: Know when to push a bit further, but equally important, know when to back off and let them set the pace. Taking turns being the “scout” while you hike along a trail together can be an empowering lesson for youngsters. Your kids won’t be young forever, so enjoy them, savor the little things, and go make some memories.
San Juan Outfitters and Roche Harbor Resort
We sea kayaked with the reputable San Juan Outfitters, a small owner-operated business with a wonderful team of knowledgeable guides. With a focus on client satisfaction, SJO tailored an itinerary to match our family’s needs. As an added bonus, their delicious meals emphasize organic and local ingredients in true Northwest style. To round out the San Juan experience, we opted for a stay at Roche Harbor Resort. With its stunning seaside location, this historic, full-amenity resort offers everything you could possibly need to rejuvenate mid-road trip: beautiful accommodations, a swimming pool, bocce courts, laundry facilities, shopping and unparalleled sunset views.
It started with the realization that the kids were getting older. We knew the time was right to plan a summer road trip with an emphasis on experiencing the active, outdoor lifestyle. After poring over maps and guidebooks and combing the Internet, we created a rough itinerary for the first two weeks in August: Head northwest from our home in Bend, Oregon into Washington to explore Olympic National Park; sea kayak in the San Juan Islands; then push on to Vancouver, British Columbia, where we’d explore the Sunshine Coast. We arrived in the San Juans via two separate ferries (Kelsey was sure they were “fairies”), and embarked on a guided three-day sea kayaking trip with the combined excitement and jitters of first-time paddlers with small children. Killian kept asking the depth of the water (a question I was also quietly considering), but by the time we’d left the harbor and were paddling north along the east coast of San Juan Island,
he started to relax. By lunchtime, the kids were spotting curious seals popping up around us, handling vibrant purple and ochre sea stars, and tidepooling for hermit crabs and limpet snails. The days that followed were a feast for the senses: the sound of the waves colliding on the pebbled beach below our campsite on Jones Island; the damp chill of the Pacific air against my skin, the pungent aroma of salt water through the morning mist; the feel of the paddle in my hands as I scanned the water for orcas. Those three days are suspended in my mind – magical memories embedded into my essence, woven into my fabric. A week later, as we drove up the Sunshine Coast, I found the region reminded me of my early childhood years in England, with its quiet coastal villages and humble, soft-spoken shopkeepers. Outside the town of Sechelt, we stopped to stretch our legs at Smuggler Cove Marine Provincial
Clockwise from lower left: Searching the San Juan Islands for tide pool treasures; scoring a starfish from a kelp forest in the Spieden Channel; finding family bliss in Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park
Park, and soon found ourselves hiking along raised boardwalks through a thick, boggy forest. After about 30 minutes, we reached a hidden cove once used for shelter by pirates. The hopeful anticipation was almost tangible as Killian and Kelsey peered out from our private lookout, watching eagerly for a ship to round the corner into the calm body of water below us. Thereâ€™s nothing like a good pirate story to stir the imagination, and the foggy crags felt authentically eerie, creating a real sense of adventure. Later that night, we landed in the bare lot in Egmont, camping and dining with the slugs. As it turned out, we laughed away the evening and not a tear was shed. And as always, I learned some valuable life lessons from the kids: Stay in the present, always expect something amazing to happen, and enjoy the little things. Also, never underestimate the power of ice cream. Since relocating from Colorado to Bend, Oregon in 2011, the Ladd family has spent much of their free time exploring the Pacific Northwest.
>> NEXT PAGE: FAMILY GEAR TEST
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KOKATAT ARIES PFD This simple PFD is well designed and durable, and it even survived one raccoon attack. (Don’t leave food or wrappers in your kayaks at night in the San Juans; those bandits are amazing with their little paws!) The low-profile back allowed you to sit upright, and its adjustments and overall fit were spot-on for sea kayaking. $99
A calm drift in San Juan Channel
BIG AGNES SLEEPING SYSTEMS - LITTLE RED & WOLVERINE These Big Agnes bags are killer. Rated to 15 degrees F, the mummy bags kept the kids toasty, and the integrated pad sleeve kept them on the mattresses throughout the night. The pads are insulated and super light. I foresee these traveling well into the backcountry, now that our kids are ready for backpacking. $99-109 AVEX BRAZOS AUTOSEAL
As this trip was a mix of camping, kayaking and hotel stays, it was essential to take just the right gear, and nothing extra. The most important items were those that kept the kiddos happy, dry and warm, making the trip more enjoyable for everyone. Here is a list of some of our favorites. – Brian Ladd
NEMO BUGOUT SCREEN ROOM TARP This shelter falls smack dab in the middle of keeping kids happy, dry and warm. As we opted to travel without a camper, we needed a dry respite from the weather, and this easily packable, 12x12-foot shelter was the perfect crossover – and a huge upgrade from my normal MacGyver tarp setup. For those uninitiated to tarp shelter art, the BugOut could be a bit complicated, but with a few trees or oars it makes an awesome home base for northwest camping, keeping water and bugs at bay. $249.95
OUTDOOR RESEARCH AIRPURGE DRY COMPRESSION BAGS Waterproof and breathable, these lightweight bags are a huge upgrade from the ordinary stuff sack. Use them to pack your sleeping bag and clothes in smaller loads that fill a kayak’s nooks and crannies, even purging air as you push them in. My old stuff sacks are now relegated to carrying kitchen gear. $33.50
OUTDOOR RESEARCH VISION DRY BAG Not only do the Vision Dry Bags roll up into a small package when not in use, they feature a slippery and slightly stretchy exterior that made them easy to pack in the sea kayak chambers – anyone who has busted their knuckles cramming gear into a fiberglass boat knows what I mean. Lightweight, and with a clear window showing the contents, they make my old drybags look antiquated. $21
VAPUR QUENCHER ANTI-BOTTLES, KID-SPECIFIC These kid-branded, BPA-free collapsible water bottles pack away anywhere and fit well in sea kayaks – either under the skirt, stuffed in a pocket, or strapped on top. Our only complaint is that the water cap is easily lost, and the opening is a bit small for filling at a campsite spigot. $9.99
Dry dock training at San Juan Outfitters’ kayak facility in Friday Harbor
BOTTLE: This is the best everyday water bottle I’ve ever had. It has no aftertaste, and the push button opens a huge flow of water, but snaps shut when not in use. Because it can leak if the button gets bumped, its more appropriate for everyday life and road trips than a backcountry trip. $14.99
HELIO PRESSURE SHOWER While probably not as essential for the kids’ experience, this shower kept us all cleaner, and the parents much happier. A huge upgrade over the old solar shower, the Helio has a durable, lightweight foot pump setup, that works well for a variety of uses including hand washing, showers, dishwashing and even spraying down gear. $99.95
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FINDING CLARITY AT THE CHOPRA CENTER FOR WELLBEING BY JESSICA WIESE
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE CHOPRA CENTER
You’re sitting alone in a dark, quiet room for 30 minutes after a stressful day, thousands of thoughts racing through your head. Not your idea of calm? It wasn’t mine either. Yet this is exactly the practice that led me toward more peace and clarity. After some major challenges including injury and divorce, I spent a week at a meditation retreat hosted by the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California, inspired to find more forgiveness and purpose in my life. During that time I slowed down, looking hard at what really matters to me. Using meditation, I learned to be more aware in the present moment, and in that space, I discovered the benefits of sitting with myself, without distractions or external measures of self worth. Founded in 1996 by Drs. Deepak Chopra and David Simon, the Chopra Center teaches meditation, Ayurvedic medicine and yoga. Drs. Chopra and Simon have translated these ancient healing traditions into programs, workshops and instructor-training certifications designed for people at physical, emotional and spiritual life junctures. Located at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa, the center is the ideal setting for meditation and renewal. A world-renowned alternative medicine guru, Chopra has published more than 65 books including The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and The Book of Secrets, and regularly appears on television to deliver his message. Chopra came to the United States from India in 1970. He practiced internal medicine and endocrinology as an M.D. for 12 years, at which point he began exploring alternative means to health. Today, people journey from all over the world to meet him and seek wellbeing. Although many of his teachings have roots in Eastern religions including Hinduism and Buddhism, the center has no religious affiliation.
I arrived at the Chopra Center exhausted and disoriented, but the jovial, spiritual leaders in the reception area took it all in stride, smiling as they welcomed me. I walked through the resort’s lush, blooming gardens to my room, took a deep breath and began to recenter. >>
“The process of finding peace in each moment is a lifelong journey.”
That evening, I learned about “primordial sound meditation,” a form of transcendental meditation in which you repeat a silent mantra. An ancient Sanskrit word, “mantra” is literally translated as “instrument of the mind.” I received a mantra before that first group meditation, and I’ve used the same word to enter a deep state of meditation ever since. Each day began with a sunrise meditation, and then yoga, more meditation, a lecture by Dr. Chopra, more meditation and yoga, and an evening workshop or musical performance. By the end of day two, I had made new friends from Egypt, Ukraine, U.K. and Israel, among other countries, and despite the busy schedule, 90 MOUNTAIN
Dr. Deepak Chopra founded the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in 1996 with Dr. David Simon.
I found the time relaxing and introspective. As an athlete, one of the most valuable lessons I learned at the retreat is that training and toning my mind and spirit is equally as important as working my body. Upon returning home, I’ve set up a meditation practice each morning, and instead of a glass of wine at night, I now meditate to release the events of the day. The process of finding peace in each moment is a lifelong journey. Beginning on this path of meditation and awareness allowed me to be at once nostalgic and present, and to feel comfortable with – and get to know – myself. >>
davidji, dean of the Chopra Center University, has trained hundreds of thousands of people to meditate.
MEDITATION IMPROVING WELLNESS Developed largely alongside religious and spiritual traditions over the millennia, meditation has many proven health benefits.
The National Institute of Health endorses meditation as an effective way to relieve chronic pain and anxiety, with symptoms potentially decreasing as much as
A regular practice can increase calmness and physical relaxation, improve psychological balance, help a person cope with illness, boost focus and attention, and enhance overall health and wellbeing, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Dr. Chopra cites marked results on brain scan indicators, among other things, and the Scripps Institute recently conducted a groundbreaking study showing changes in the autonomic nervous system – which regulates the functions of our internal organs such as the heart, stomach and intestines – as the result of meditating for a week. During my time at the Chopra Center, our meditations varied in length from 20 minutes at the start of the week, to nearly two hours in one sitting by the end. During each session, we repeated our mantras, practiced breathing exercises called pranayama, and repeated sutras, which are a sound or vibration that when repeated put you in a deeper state of consciousness. On a good day, this dropped me into a deeply relaxed state; on harder days, I felt anxious, thinking, “Why can’t I do this right?” This is all part of the practice, according to davidji, a seasoned teacher at the Chopra Center who taught many of my classes. “Meditation is not about stopping your thoughts, or having some special experience while meditating,” he told our class. “It is about having a moment of stillness that helps carry you through your day.” davidji recommends the RPM method of meditation – Rise, Pee, Meditate – which, when practiced each morning, can keep us from going straight into the pre-work autopilot routines so common for many.
• Improved mental health, memory, concentration and productivity
• Lower relapse rates for those with smoking, alcohol and eating addictions, compared to standard therapies
• Decreased heart rate, respiration and blood pressure • Decreased production of the hormone Cortisol, making it easier to deal with stress • Decreased thickness of the artery walls, lowering the risk of heart attack or stroke
MEDITATION CAN HELP WITH VARIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS + Anxiety + Pain + Depression + Stress + Insomnia + Physical and emotional pain associated with chronic illness.
This information was compiled from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and tm.org, a national nonprofit using research from the National Institute of Health, American Heart Association, American Medical Association and American Psychological Association
AYURVEDA The Chopra Center prepares its meals Ayurvedically, meaning the food is based on daily and seasonal routines, behavior and the proper use of the senses. Developed more than 5,000 years ago in India, Ayurveda means “the science of life” in Sanskrit. It reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind and spirit. The practice teaches that three fundamental energies govern our inner and outer environments: movement, transformation and structure – or Vata (wind), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth), in Sankskrit – and that each of us has a unique proportion of these three primary forces.
CHOPRA CENTER RETREATS The Chopra Center offers retreats throughout the year at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California, as well as elsewhere in the U.S. and internationally. The Seduction of Spirit retreat in Toronto, Canada this Aug. 3-9, will feature a “Meditation for Global Peace” led by Dr. Chopra. The event will be live-streamed from the Westin Harbour Castle, with a goal of breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest synchronized meditation in history.
YOGA THE SEVEN CHAKRAS Yoga at the Chopra Center focuses on seven body-energy centers, known as chakras, as well as on the physical body. In many traditions, chakras are believed to be energy centers along the spinal cord that serve as junctions between the body and the consciousness. The center teaches that congestion in a chakra’s energy flow may cause physical and mental illness. Each yoga class in my retreat ended with a chakra-tuning exercise, in which we repeated specific vibrations to focus both our attention and intention, releasing blocked energy. These left me feeling light and energized from head to toe.
Seventh chakra: Sahaswara (violet) This chakra resides at the crown of the head and is therefore sometimes called the “crown chakra.” It connects us to higher consciousness and pure awareness.
Fifth Chakra: Vishuddha (blue) This energy center is localized in the throat area and relates to communication and selfexpression – the ability to voice our dreams.
Sixth chakra: Ajna (indigo) The sixth chakra, known as the “brow chakra” or the “third eye,” is located on the brow. It’s the center of insight, where we integrate information and intuition.
Fourth Chakra: Anahata (green) This energy center is referred to as the “heart chakra,” because it resonates in the heart and relates to compassion and love.
Third Chakra: Manipura (yellow) The third chakra, which governs our will, selfesteem and sense of personal power, is located in the solar plexus. Second Chakra: Svadhisthana (orange) This chakra resides in the reproductive area and is associated with creativity and birth – both literally to a new baby, but also metaphorically to new aspects of ourselves, our pursuits and ideas.
Information summarizing each chakra comes from chopra.com.
First Chakra: Muladhara (red) Located at the base of the spine, the first energy center, or “root chakra,” relates to our most basic survival needs and our sense of belonging, whether to our family or a larger group.
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THE THOROFARE BY FORREST MCCARTHY | PHOTOS BY JIM HARRIS
It’s an apt name. For American Indians and early trappers, the broad valley known today as the Thorofare provided easy passage through the otherwise inaccessible southern Absaroka Range. They followed the trails of bison, elk and bighorn sheep that for millennia have migrated through this lush mountain paradise. Located amid 2.1 million contiguous acres of roadless wilderness, the creek that flows along the valley’s bottom is arguably the most remote waterway in the Lower 48. There’s no easy way in or out. The shortest trail from its bank to a road is 25 miles long and crosses the continental divide. By the time it joins the Yellowstone, Thorofare Creek is the size of a small river.
Camped at its headwaters with a rag-tag crew of four trusted companions, I watch the sun descend behind the triple 11,000-foot summits of the Trident. Volcanic breccias sculpted into steep ridges and canyons by Pleistocene ice are backlit by the orange sphere. We relax on a gravel bar, warding off the evening chill and heating water for the night’s meal over a crackling driftwood fire. Earlier in the day we’d trekked 11 miles up Fall Creek and down into Bruin Creek, crossing the Absaroka Crest by way of a 11,297-foot trail-less pass. Yesterday, to reach Fall Creek, we paddled the South Fork of the Shoshone River for 20 miles through the Washakie Wilderness. The day before we hiked 15 miles over Shoshone Pass from the Du Noir near Dubois, Wyoming.
Left:: At Bliss Creek Meadows, Moe Witschard paddles the headwaters of the South Fork of the Shoshone River. Below: After crossing the 11,000-foot crest of the Absaroka Mountains, Andrew McLean and Forrest McCarthy descend into the Thorofare Valley.
After three strenuous days, we’re looking forward to tomorrow’s leisurely float down Thorofare Creek. The wild landscape guides our thoughts and conversation, reminding me of words written nearly a century ago. “To countless people the wilderness provides the ultimate delight because it combines the thrills of jeopardy and beauty,” wrote Bob Marshall, founder of the Wilderness Society. “It is the last stand for that glorious adventure into the physically unknown.”
“TO COUNTLESS PEOPLE THE WILDERNESS PROVIDES THE ULTIMATE DELIGHT BECAUSE IT COMBINES THE THRILLS OF JEOPARDY AND BEAUTY...”
In the morning we pack our few pounds of camping gear and provisions into lightweight one-man inflatable packrafts and begin the 17-mile paddle through the Teton Wilderness to the southeast border of Yellowstone National Park. We’ll exit the river there, because floating on park rivers is prohibited by a 1950s-era law designed to protect against overfishing. A federal offense, it is punishable with hefty fines, confiscated gear and possible jail time. Paddling in Wilderness areas is legal, however, and many of the architects of the 1964 Wilderness Act, including Sigurd Olson and Olaus Murie, were in fact paddlers. “When you go into country by pack train the streams are only for crossing, or to camp beside. To know a stream you travel on it, struggle with it, live with it hour by
Michael Fiebig enjoys thrilling whitewater on the South Fork of the Buffalo Fork River.
hour and day by day,â€? wrote Murie, after canoeing the Yellowstone River in the late 1930s with his two sons.
ancient lava, vertical walls of the brittle igneous rock guiding the current.
During the day we spend on Thorofare Creek, the views change constantly. Early on, we navigate a long braided section. The current is swift, and we pilot our packrafts into the largest channels. Through thick stands of lodgepole pine, the rocky summits of the Thorofare Buttes come in and out of view.
The valley opens again as we meet Pass Creek. In a meadow of lupine, yarrow and grass, a herd of elk grazes. Below Open Creek, a bull moose, its rack covered in dark velvet, watches as we pass.
Then, above Petrified Ridge, the glaciated peaks of Mount Overlook and Ishawooa Cone appear. On the riverbank a bald eagle feasts on a cutthroat trout. I pass close enough to see her individual feathers. Near the confluence with Butte Creek, the channels merge and the creek bends west. We drift through a shallow gorge of
As we approach the park boundary that afternoon, the 9,761-foot Hawks Rest seems to grow in stature. Notable as the farthest peak from a road in the contiguous states, it also marks the convergence of the Thorofare and Yellowstone valleys and the end of our time on Thorofare Creek. We exit our rafts at a gravel bar, and dry our gear in the sun, resting and taking our last look up Thorofare Valley.
From here, we roll up our boats and trek 20 miles across Two-Ocean Pass and the Continental Divide to the Buffalo Fork River, then the following day paddle 15 swift miles through a series of whitewater canyons into Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Like many paddlers, I often seek the challenge and thrill of roadside whitewater. But I find that spending days in the wilderness, harmonizing my internal rhythms with the natural hypnotic pace of free flowing water allows a much fuller understanding of a river’s riches. In the words of Bob Marshall: “Swift or smooth, broad as the Hudson or narrow enough to scrape your gunwales, every river is a world of its own, unique in pattern and personality. Each mile on a river will take you further from home than a hundred miles on a road.” Forrest McCarthy, a wilderness advocate and explorer, is a longtime student of both Bob Marshall and Olaus Murie. Next to his desk sits all of their published writings.
RIVER PADDLING PROTECTION ACT Paddling on most Yellowstone National Park rivers was banned in 1950, due to concerns about overfishing, and Grand Teton adopted similar regulations a few years later. A bill currently in Congress aims to change that. The U.S. House of Representatives on February 6, 2014 passed the River Paddling Protection Act, which would open up rivers in both parks, as well as Jackson’s National Elk Refuge. Passed as part of the Public Access and Lands Improvement Act, the legislation was introduced on its own in the Senate by John Barrasso, R-Wyo., on February 12. The Department of the Interior opposes the bill, as do a number of conservation and local recreation groups. Supporters point to the declining number of backcountry users in the parks and refuge, as well as to other public lands that have opened their paddling resources. If passed, park authorities would have three years to develop management guidelines before lifting the ban. – Tyler Allen
John DeMott, “Blackfeet in the Medicine River Valley, ” 30 x 40, Oil on Canvas. Available at Creighton Block Gallery, Big Sky, Montana | creightonblockgallery.com
EARN YOUR TURNS
LIVING FOR THE DESCENTS SHOULDN’T MEAN DYING ON THE CLIMBS. Thanks to its 150mm of SMOOTHLINK™ travel and RIDE-9™ adjustable geometry and suspension, the Altitude pushes the envelope of what a modern trail bike is capable of. BIKES.COM/ALTITUDE
BUY LOCAL! Much of the gear featured in Mountain Outlaw is available at local retailers, and for this reason we’ve excluded company websites from our reviews.
FISHING BY E.J. DAWS | PHOTOS BY TYLER BUSBY
For Outlaw E.J. Daws, a native of Bozeman, Montana, summer in the Rockies is all about fishing. And hiking to high places. It’s even better when these two pursuits are combined. Here are a handful of his top gear picks for the summer season.
Redington Classic Trout Rod This 6-piece, 3-weight rod from Redington is the recipe for long battles and endless smiles during fights with feisty trout. Great for high-alpine action, spring creek craziness or even bigger river battles, it’s compact enough for backpacking… or stowing in your car for a post-work session on your favorite riffle. $170 Redington Drift ¾ reel This elegantly designed, 3.7oz reel balances perfectly on lightweight rods, and its lovely click and pawl sound is music to your ears. It comes with a case that protects it even when jammed in your pack or glove compartment. $100
Asolo Piuma The Piumas offer the support of a high-top boot, but are light and nimble. The “natural motion” Vibram sole design encourages rolling momentum and grips wet rock like moss. Velveteen uppers dry quickly. The verdict: perfect for summer peak bagging and accessing remote waters lurking with hungry trout. $190 Black Diamond Speed 30 backpack Designed for climbing, the Speed 30 is a streamlined beauty. Stuff this top loader with overnight gear and lightweight waders, strap your rod to the side, and head for the hills. BD’s ReActiv suspension supports effortless movement – all the better for chasing big browns, and a summit to boot. $140
Lightweight gear makes fishing off the beaten path easier and even more fun.
Brooks-Range Propel Tent At 2 lbs. 7 oz., this two-person, four-season tent is incredibly lightweight and packs up to the size of a wine bottle. Quick and easy setup gives you more time to fish, and using your trekking poles as tent poles you’ll forget it’s in your pack until bedtime. $350 Black Diamond ReVolt headlamp Black Diamond gear is made for the mountains. With 110 lumens, the ReVolt offers variable brightness settings, is water resistant, and has a lock mode to prevent the light from accidentally turning on in your pack. The best part: optional rechargeable batteries with a USB cable. $60
Fishpond Westwater Chest Pack The Westwater Chest Pack keeps things simple when you don’t need your full arsenal or you’re putting miles on your fishing boots. Two compartments easily hold a couple fly boxes, strike indicators, sunscreen and a can of chew. Adjustable strap, water-resistant zippers, heavy-duty nylon construction. $80 Redington Sonic Pro Ultralight Wader High mountain streams and lakes remain chilly into August, so having what’s touted as the “lightest, most packable wader on the market” is a serious boon. Only 1.5 lbs, the Sonic Pro Ultralight Wader can stuff into its own pocket, leaving plenty of room in your backpack for a couple more beers. $290
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You know the sound – the telltale slapping of leather or rubber hitting foot soles. Call them slippers, slappies or slides; thongs, step-ins or flip-flops. But call them comfortable. After all, more than 6,000 years of flip-flop history can’t be wrong. Dating back to ancient Egyptians, the footwear has been mentioned in lyrics by Jay-Z, Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett, and is the official summertime sandal. National Flip-Flop Day is June 20, fittingly, the day before the summer solstice this year. We outfitted a team of Outlaws with flip-flops to review, digging through the options until we found what we believe to be the flops that rise to the top. – Joseph T. O’Connor
PHOTO BY KELSEY DZINTARS
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1 OOFOS OORIGINAL After a strenuous workout or a long day on your feet, slip on the OOFOS flip-flops for a comfy recovery that makes you feel like you’re walking on air. The OOfoam technology and patented footbed offer 37 percent more impact absorption, as well as arch support for most foot types and significantly more cushioning than your standard flip-flop. Once you slide them on, you’ll forget you’re even wearing them. $39.95 – Maria Wyllie 2 SANUK YOGA SPREE WEDGE Finding balance on these sandals is easy. Feel lifted and grounded at the same time, with a two-inch wedge that reaches your head towards the sky, and a yoga mat insole that roots your feet to the earth. The fun metallic strap also adds lightness to your step and sparkle to your day. Wear them with wide leg pants, sundresses, or jeans to work, dinner or Thursday night concerts in the park. $40 – Katie Morrison 3 PATAGONIA REFLIP At first glance, Patagonia’s Reflip looks like your standard no-frills flop. But once on, I found the footbed is surprisingly supportive and comfortable, and that the soles have good traction on wet rocks. The women’s version accommodates wider feet, which is great respite from ski boots, and the synthetic leather/ nylon thong is a soft companion at camp, drying fast after days on the river. Oh, and one more thing: they’re vegan (even though I eat meat), and recyclable. $55 – Megan Paulson
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4 RAINBOW DOUBLE-LAYER HEMP TOP My last pair of Rainbows lasted 10 years, and they weren’t used lightly. They were beat up, disrespected, abused and loved. Here’s how I see it: Rainbows are like the Cleveland Browns. No funny uniforms, they just show up ready to work, bring their lunch, and stay until the job’s done. The double-layer hemp tops have built-in arch support, which suits me just fine. You can try all the sandals out there, but until you break in a pair of rainbows you’re playing minor league ball. $40 – Joe Paulet
5 COMBAT FLIP FLOPS During his three tours of duty, former U.S. Army Ranger Matthew “Griff” Griffin saw a need for local entrepreneurship in war-torn Afghanistan, and upon returning home he started Combat Flip Flops in 2011 with the motto “business, not bullets.” The company’s flagship model, the AK-47, is as tough as its assault rifle counterpart. With combat-grade rubber, they’ll tread any terrain, while an EVA midsole gives a cushioning touch. Top it off with an all-leather deck and thong, poppy designs and cast bullet casings, and you’ve got a nod to Afghan heritage in a flip-flop that will last. $70 – Joseph T. O’Connor 6 CHACO REVERSIFLIP Durable, comfortable and solid as nails, the Reversiflips are Chaco in a nutshell. I’m not going to take them off until it snows again. The LUVSEAT footbed has the arch support I need, and there’s even a little creative flair: The nylon thongs are interchangeable and reversible. Each pair comes with two thongs, so four styles total. $60 – Emily Wolfe
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MAGIC CARPET RIDE
DO BIGGER WHEELS EQUAL A BETTER RIDE? STORY AND PHOTOS BY ERIC LADD
A mountain bike is like a magic carpet that allows an athlete to float through Mother Nature.
best be compared to the evolution of downhill skis, when shaped and fat skis became the new norm.
My first mountain bike was a white 1988 Specialized Hard Rock with pink flames. I will never forget the sensation the first time I rode it on a solo dirt trail journey through the woods. With a steel frame, and no suspension, my Hard Rock was built at Paragon Sports in my hometown of Evergreen, Colorado, where at age 15, I worked as a janitor and also learned to build and tune bikes.
Developed by downhill and crosscountry racers striving for faster, more controlled riding performance, bikes with 29-inch wheels have been around for several years, but are just now catching more traction. In 2011, 27.5-inch bike wheels hit the market more aggressively in Europe, and now both types are dominating store shelves in North America. The majority of all mainstream bike brands now carry them.
As with many outdoor sports, the evolution of mountain biking gear has paralleled the lightning-fast progression of computer technology. And a technological game-changer is catching on in the mountain bike industry right now: larger wheels. Perhaps the most influential advancement since the advent of suspension, bigger wheels on mountain bikes can
When you first get on a bike with larger wheels, it feels like you have more throttle. Get those tires rolling, and you’ll blow past your friends on their 26-inch wheels. Why? Larger wheels allow fewer and faster tire revolutions, plus a larger tire contact area on the trail, gives better traction and control when climbing or cornering.
COMPARATIVE ANGLE ATTACK SAVINGS
With mountain bikes entering the price range of used cars, it’s important to know all the options and add-ons before you purchase a new ride. These include suspension, frame type, components, braking system, wheels sets and now wheel size. A modern bike mechanic is akin to a specialized car technician, with battery powered tools and continuing education classes to keep up with technological changes. So, are larger bike wheels here to stay, or just a passing fad? Thus far, it’s hard to find any serious negatives to bikes with larger wheels, other than slight increase in stand-over height. While I don’t feel 26-inch wheels are headed for a quick extinction, it appears their fate is at serious risk.
LEFT: Rolling the Instinct’s 29-inch wheels over red sandstone in the San Rafael Swell. RIGHT: The Instinct’s 27.5 inch wheels are made to tear up the trail and maximize climbing traction.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN BICYCLES // ALTITUDE, INSTINCT Mountain Outlaw tested the latest in bike technology in Utah’s San Rafael Swell this spring, trying out the Instinct and Altitude models from Rocky Mountain Bicycles. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, the company has been turning out quality bikes for the past 33 years. “You can’t truly build cutting edge mountain bikes without mountains,” said Rocky Mountain Bike Brand Manager Brandon Crichton. “With the riding areas like the Shore, Whistler, the Chilcotins, Vancouver Island and many more nearby, it simply defines who we are here.” Both the Altitude and Instinct models feature cutting edge components, full suspension and lock-out options, SMOOTHWALL carbon frames, dropper seat posts, and of course, larger wheels. The Instinct is a gritty trail bike, while the Altitude blurs the lines between enduro and single-track, with a skosh more suspension for those beefy downhills.
Remember the scene in Star Wars, when the Ewoks steal an Imperial speeder bike and take it for a spin? This is what it felt like to ride a new Rocky Mountain Bike.
The testing ground was a 21-mile cross country loop filled with technical, rocky terrain, quick turns among the juniper trees, and the tacky dirt that makes Utah riding famous. The first impression of both bikes was like catching up with old friends: easy, fun and like no time has passed. The bikes have a great mix of tight handling, comfortable frame geometry and rock crawling capability. Both models come fitted with Shimano XT hubs and Continental tires, offering a smooth, high performance ride.
“Being smaller and more agile is defining… it allows us do things that the bigger ‘ships’ can’t navigate. Plus, we have kick-ass athletes that make our world a better place.”
Rocky Mountain’s Ride-9 frame adjustment system is transformative, allowing for easy frame-angle adjustment with a simple hex bolt. Nine different geometry and suspension rate configurations are possible, thanks to two interlocking chip inserts that move on separate axes.
Yes, Brandon you are correct, your bikes do make the world a better place, especially mine after a sunrise ride in the desert. Cheers.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN DEALERS, NORTHERN ROCKIES:
Rocky Mountain isn’t the world’s largest bike company, something Crichton calls a “tremendous advantage.”
Models tested: Instinct 970 MSL – 27.3 lbs. $5,399.99 Altitude 770 MSL – 28.6 lbs. $5,499.99
Big Sky, MT – Gallatin Alpine Sports Bozeman, MT – Owenhouse Bicycling Missoula, MT – Missoula Bicycle Source Driggs, ID – Habitat Jackson, WY – Jackson Hole Sports, Teton Village Sports, Hoff’s Bike Smith Lander, WY – The Bike Mill Boise, ID – Eastside Cycles
STAYING SEINE STORY AND PHOTOS BY SAM LUNGREN
Sorting frantically through the mess of lead line, purse line and web, I stood beneath the boat’s power block and directly in the path of anything coming through the mechanized pulley hauling in the net. Then I broke the cardinal rule: I looked up.
A viscous clod of red stinging jellyfish shrapnel hit my forehead, slid down under my sunglasses into my left eye and down my shirt, searing all it touched. But a salmon seining operation does not stop for personal discomfort. I could still see out of one eye.
facility, surveyed land, played LPs of organ music for a two-member church, and played backup trumpet for an all-black Hawaiian band in a Swedish bar called the “Ya Sure Club.” At last, a junior high school student he was teaching to play trumpet said his father had a deckhand opening.
Above: The high shoulders on the Valdez Arm of Prince William Sound show through the clouds above a hauling seiner.
My dad counted it as a victory that I only had one eye swell shut from jellyfish stings on my first day. Thirty years prior on his first day commercial fishing – also in the Valdez Arm of Prince William Sound – he had been completely blinded. I’m just proud I didn’t jump ship.
The guy he replaced on the seiner had recently been the Alaska state champion heavyweight wrestler. The kid had washed out after just two weeks of seining, something I didn’t fully grasp until my own first day.
Right: The deck crew on The Procession, the boat where Lungren works, tops off their already loaded fish hold with another bag of pink salmon.
Dad toughed it out for weeks in Homer, Alaska, before landing a berth on a commercial fishing boat. He worked construction on a shrimp processing
Purse seining for salmon requires the concerted effort of four crewmembers: skipper, skiff driver, deckboss and deckhand. We spot schools of jumping, traveling pink salmon, and then stretch the quarter-mile-long
net between the mothership and the skiff, parked on shore, to block the fish. After 20 minutes, the two vessels converge, wrapping the net in a circle.
In the following days, I found myself grumbling about the work. I woke every morning with numb hands from plunging and throwing lead line. Our 76-year-old captain said later he was sure I wouldn’t return the next year.
Then we draw up on the bottom of the net like an upsidedown coin purse, while the deckhand – me – plunges the surface at the gap with a long, cupped pole. When the fish are completely trapped, we haul the net on board over the power block, forming a bag of fish to roll into the hold. The deckboss stacks the cork line – the floating edge of the net – and the deckhand stacks the lead line and the purse line across the stern.
After the initial 14 consecutive days of work, seining closed for a day to allow some of the fish to run up the rivers and spawn, so we ran into the Valdez Harbor for fuel and groceries. I bought some necessities and then took a walk out of town to think. Sitting by a little creek green and purple with spawning dog salmon reminded me how lucky I was to be in Alaska. I promised myself I would finish out that summer.
That first day was among the longest of my life. After 14 hours of seining we finally got to deliver our fish to the tender vessel, requiring me to crouch thigh deep in refrigerated seawater in the fish-hold, shoveling salmon toward the vacuum pump.
Two years later, my third of four seasons, I left Alaska early to start graduate school. My dad – then age 55 – flew up from Whidbey Island, Washington to cover for me and relive a fond memory.
Lying damp in my skinny bunk down in the fo’c’sle that night was no comfort. I had two more months of this to endure. At age 21, that seemed like a lifetime.
The weather was nasty the day our shifts overlapped, borderline un-fishable. To plunge, I had to brace myself on the gunwale against the sea swell. The net full of jellyfish bil-
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lowed like a sail coming off the power block, wrapping around my lead and purse lines and everything else within reach. Diving to untangle one mess after another, all while trying to stay on the rolling boat, I caught myself war whooping. Looking down into the choppy water, thousands of gleaming salmon recoiled in unison from one gray wall of their webbed prison to another. They clapped against each other as we hoisted the 10,000-pound bag on board and into the hold. Strafing wind and rain rattled like a snare drum on my rubber jacket and bibs. Still, the deckboss and I were tossing chunks of kelp at each other and doing our signature salmon dance. Glancing over at my dad, smiling and hauling away at the purse line, I understood what he had always tried to teach me. Toughness is more than survival. Toughness is finding joy in adversity.
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FORECASTING THE FUTURE MSU SATELLITES HELP EXPLAIN SPACE WEATHER BY TYLER ALLEN
The first satellite built at Montana State University’s Space Science and Engineering Lab crashed into the Kazakhstani desert aboard a Russian rocket in 2006 before it reached space. The second met the same fate in the Pacific Ocean in 2011, onboard NASA’s Taurus XL launch vehicle. Despite the discouraging start, the Bozeman, Montana-based lab has since hitchhiked three satellites on two successful launches, and the instruments are now collecting data on space weather in the Earth’s magnetic field. MSU was already world renowned for solar and astrophysics research when two former Lockheed Martin employees –
Drs. Loren Acton and David Klumpar – opened the SSEL lab in 2000.
Their findings help us better understand and predict its effects.
The SSEL’s first success in space was the 2011 launch of HRBE, followed by two FIREBIRD satellites in 2013. Although their names are long (FIREBIRD stands for Focused Investigations of Relativistic Electron Burst Intensity Range and Dynamics, and HRBE is Hiscock Radiation Belt Explorer), these miniature CubeSats are only 10-15 centimeters in size.
“A large rush of current on a circumpolar flight can mess with electronics and passengers,” explained SSEL engineer Ehson Mosleh. “Airlines are constantly rerouting flights [due to space weather].”
Once PrintSat – which the lab built using 3D printing technology – and two more FIREBIRD missions are launched in late 2014, MSU will have six satellites sending information back to antennae atop its Cobleigh Hall, and to HAM radio operators worldwide. Scientists use this data to study space weather, which is driven by energy carried by solar wind from the sun.
Because satellites – including television, weather and GPS – are subject to electromagnetic radiation caused by space weather, the ability to predict such an event could affect our lives in many ways. Military operations relying on GPS, for example, can revert to more traditional navigation while GPS signals are affected. MSU and other institutions in the CubeSat Launch Initiative provide their data to NASA, which could be valuable to the agency, said Garret Skrobot, Mission Manager for NASA’s Launch Services Program.
NASA’s Small Satellite Orbital Deployer during a deployment of CubeSats on February 11, 2014. The scene was photographed by an Expedition 38 crew member on the International Space Station. PHOTO COURTESY OF NASA
“If a small instrument can pick up the science, we can create a larger instrument that can do more refined observations in those regions,” Skrobot said, adding that MSU is a leader in CubeSats. Before sending them to the launch pad, SSEL tests its satellites extensively to ensure they can endure the stresses of launch and years in orbit. A vibration table in the lab imitates the rigors of a 17,500 mph rocket ride through the atmosphere, and a giant, silver thermal vacuum chamber re-creates the extreme temperature swings of a 90-minute orbit, with 60
minutes of sun and 30 minutes of shade. “Our other job here is to build these satellites with as many students as possible,” said Mosleh, noting SSEL employs about 20 graduate and undergrad students and four staff, and integrates work from the university’s physics, engineering and computer science departments. Adam Gunderson, an electrical engineering graduate student originally from Kalispell, Montana, began working in the lab as an undergrad in 2008. He’s helped design and build the transmitting radios and power systems, and done testing, on three
satellites. During MSU’s first successful launch, Gunderson was sitting in mission command in San Luis Obispo, California. “There are so many moving parts,” he said of the work and its challenges. “They say in this business, ‘The highs are really high, the lows are really low.’” SSEL’s work is funded entirely by grants and contracts, which Mosleh says are increasingly competitive. Regardless of the lab’s future, these satellites will be operational for six or seven years to come, keeping MSU squarely on the map of space exploration.
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Learning compassion through
TA N G O
In the winter 2013/2014 issue of Mountain Outlaw, our publisher Eric Ladd asked readers to submit their thoughts on kindness. “Best idea gets a full page to share his or her thoughts on how to make the world a better place,” he wrote. Our thanks to Angela Patnode for this submission.
BY ANGELA PATNODE
I told myself I’d never dance the tango. I’d been ballroom dancing for years, but tango was different. I didn’t want to be that close to a guy I didn’t know. Then tango caught up with me. Oh my God, I thought at my first tango class. I don’t know this guy, and I’m chest to chest with him. I wanted to run away. But something kept me going back to class – interest or curiosity, perhaps. After many relationships, men still felt foreign to me. I didn’t know how to relate on an intimate level, and I judged my partners as “not open enough,” or for “linear thinking” or “being cold.” I tried to understand, but I just couldn’t. Until I learned to tango. It taught me that my judgments were just that – judgments. There wasn’t, and still isn’t, a lick of truth to them. And I learned that every time I judge others, I’m judging myself: We’re both human, and I could be perceived in the same way. Tango taught me what it means to be compassionate.
Compassion is not sympathy or feeling sorry for someone, which indicates you believe you’re better off than they are. Nor is it just empathy, because with compassion you also desire to help another person in some way. Every time I dance the tango, I’m reminded that I’m human too, and that self-compassion is as important as compassion toward others. There is no room for judgment, because you see yourself and others through your heart, instead of how you believe we should be. We share this human experience together: In the supermarket, at work, at home or tango dancing. The next time you’re hard on yourself or someone else, take a deep breath and open your heart to humanness. That is all there is to be done.
It put me close to a man when he was vulnerable: learning to dance with a woman, trying not to collide with other couples, holding me in just the right place, all while doing difficult dance steps. I could feel his hands shaking, his heart beating and his palms sweating. Through her business Evolutionary Teachings, Angela Patnode offers one-on-one programs, classes, workshops and retreats to help clients evolve in their daily lives, encouraging them to connect their own mind, body, heart and spirit. ILLUSTRATION BY KELSEY DZINTARS
From the Collectors Corner If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve enjoyed some snowy winters and powder days. BUT, have you ever felt the metalrunner-over-snow thrill of riding a belly flopper style steerable sled? It’s PURE adrenaline, and likely the pre-training inspiration of the Olympic Skeleton racing. As collectors, we get excited to see an oldie but goodie. In fact, we may never have seen one in as good of condition as this Sherwood #54 Auto Bob sled. Made in Canastoga, NY in the late 1920s-1930s, the sled has advanced spring steering and two metal foot rests. It has great original decoration but the key to this treasure is the Auto Bob decal on the middle board - a 9.9 out of 10! Even the rope is original. This is the best metal runner sled I’ve ever seen, coupled with the decal and steering make it an impossible find. -Jeff Hume, Vintage Winter
Antique Sherwood Childs Sled c. 1870 – 1900
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GOPRO FOUNDER NICHOLAS WOODMAN BY JOSEPH T. O’CONNOR
By simply doing what he loves, Nick Woodman is inspiring a generation. The seismic success of his 2002 invention – a wrist-mounted, waterproof, action sports camera he called GoPro – has changed the face of popular culture, allowing everyone from pro skydivers to amateur gardeners capture point-of-view footage. Woodman’s product has evolved into a wearable, highdefinition, Wi-Fi camera that’s relatively affordable, and the 38-year-old native of Atherton, California, is now worth more than $1 billion. In February, his company made headlines when it filed initial paperwork to become a publicly traded company.
“One of the most difficult things in the beginning was fully committing myself to my vision,” Woodman said. “You can’t be easily deterred. You have to be willing to stay the course.” He built a 35-millimeter film prototype and wrist strap with a drill and his mom’s sewing machine, and then raised some of the company’s early capital by selling Indonesian shell and bead belts from his VW bus on California’s Highway 1. At his desk working on designs, Woodman wore a Camelbak so he wouldn’t waste time refilling glasses of water. GoPro leapt into the international spotlight in 2004, when a Japanese company bought 100 models at a San Diego trade show. Sales have doubled every year since.
But being a hero wasn’t that simple. In 2001, after a failed attempt to build a gaming service startup, Woodman regrouped on a three-month surfing tour in Indonesia and Australia. Wanting to document these adventures, he and Jill – his girlfriend at the time, now his wife – returned to the States with a plan.
In 2013, Woodman, along with Jill and their two boys (they recently added a third), bought a house in the Yellowstone Club, near Big Sky, Montana. Although he’s on snow at least 20 days a year, he says after a visit last summer he’s not sure which Montana season he loves most.
Mountain Outlaw caught up with Woodman this spring and discussed his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, snowboarding versus skiing, and how an eagle showed him the best GoPro footage he’s ever seen. MOUNTAIN OUTLAW: How do you define success? NICK WOODMAN: Achieving fulfillment in your life. It’s not about the money, it’s not about achievements. It’s about waking up every day happy. M.O.: Were the first few years developing GoPro difficult? N.W.: Oh, yeah. It was scary. It was Woodman the“Mad Billionaire” scary, exciting, difficult, exhilarating. You have all of these dreams about what can be, and there can be quite a gap between where you stand dreaming and the other side, where you’ve actually realized your visions. [For] all those entrepreneurs feeling self-doubt and insecurity – we all feel that way when we’re starting out. It’s natural. Acknowledge that it’s just part of being human, shut that part of your brain off, and get to work realizing your dreams. M.O.: What was the most important step in bringing GoPro to fruition? N.W.: First and foremost, believing in myself. My sister gave me really good advice. She said, “Take a Post-it note and write on it, ‘I am doing this.’ Stick it on the bedside table, so the first thing you see every day is your message to yourself.” And it worked. I started every day saying out loud, “I am doing this.”
GoPro founder/CEO Nick Woodman (right) shows his creative director Brad Schmidt how to pull g’s on the racetrack. PHOTOS COURTESY OF GOPRO
M.O.: Who inspires you? N.W.: I’m inspired by my kids. In the early days, I was building GoPro cameras and accessories for myself, my friends and our customers to capture ourselves getting radical... Now I’m really inspired by experiences I’m having with my family. I’m [also] massively inspired by our customers. The experiences they’re capturing and sharing with their GoPros is blowing my mind. I’m seeing human experiences, human passions, and learning about inspired people around the world. >>
Woodman takes to the breaks on the California coast, a HERO3 GoPro mounted on the nose of his surfboard. PHOTO BY NICK WOODMAN
IT’S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY, IT’S NOT ABOUT ACHIEVEMENTS. IT’S ABOUT WAKING UP EVERY DAY HAPPY.
M.O.: What brought you to Montana? N.W.: The snow! I first came to Big Sky in 1996, when I was [studying visual arts at]… U.C. San Diego and I road-tripped out with three buddies. We drove out for a few days, stayed at Buck’s T-4, and snowboarded our brains out. We loved it so much that we came back the next year. That was like an 18-19-hour drive, but the skiing was so good. M.O.: So, you bought a place at the Yellowstone Club? N.W.: Yeah. We bought it last year. M.O.: How often are you there? N.W.: I try to get out as much as possible, but it’s tough because work is so busy. I got five or six trips last winter. This winter was a challenge because we just had a baby boy, but I still made it out [a few] times. We were out for the Fourth of July last sum122
mer and caught the Beach Boys. That was awesome until it thunderstormed on us, but even that was awesome. M.O.: Are you a risk taker? N.W.: I think you’ve got to be as an entrepreneur. But here’s the thing: It’s not as risky as most people think when you’re passionate and well informed... You have to be willing to fail. And you have to be willing to fail again and again and again until you get it right. M.O.: How often do you snowboard? N.W.: Every time I go to Montana. Last year before we had [our third] kid, I probably got 20 days in. I was a skier from 4 years old until about 13, and I switched over completely to snowboarding. Since I’ve been coming to Montana, the skiing is so phenomenal – call me 50/50, snowboarder and skier.
M.O.: What’s the best run at Yellowstone Club? N.W.: Oh, man. I’m going to tell you the truth: It’s the backside of Big Sky – Liberty Bowl. That’s the best run, and I’m looking at it all day from the Yellowstone Club. M.O.: What’s the best GoPro footage you’ve seen? N.W.: Footage [from] a camera mounted on the back of an eagle flying through the French Alps. I watched it with my sons and they were completely mesmerized and blown away by the fact that we were riding on the back of an eagle through the mountains. That was my favorite and proudest moment watching GoPro footage. M.O.: What are you going to do when video isn’t cool anymore? N.W.: I think I’ll be long gone by the time that happens.
Published on Jun 6, 2014
With award-winning editorial content, design and photography, Mountain Outlaw magazine has been described as “Powder Magazine meets Rolling...