Issuu on Google+

A Guide to Bozeman Backcountry Skiing Tim Crandall


Backcountry Essentials Backcountry skiing is a very fun and exciting sport. There is a significant amount of satisfaction that comes with skiing lines that you get to the top of under your own power. However it can also be a very dangerous sport. There are no ski patrol that test the snow and set off avalanches and there is no one outside of your group that will rescue you. It is important that everyone in a group is trained in basic avalanche safety and rescue techniques. There are two main methods for acending the mountain; bootpacking, and skinning. Bootbacking is where skis and snowboards are strapped to a backpack and one proceeds to hike the mountain. Snowshoes can be very helpful if there is any fresh snow. Skinning is the preferred method for backcountry skiing. Skis or splitboards are equipped with AT bindings that allow the heel to release and the binding to pivot on the toe. Skins are then attached to the base of the skis or snowboard that allow them to glide forward but not back. This allows for the user to walk uphill with their skis on. This is very helpful for a few reasons: the skis act as snowshoes for walking in deep snow, you’re not weighed down by skis on your back, and you can utilize the glide to move on flatter surfaces with less effort. Equiptment: Shovel Beacon Probe

Always ski with a partner


History Rock


Directions:

DiďŹƒculty: Length: Description:

Go South down 19th avenue turn left onto Hyalite Canyon road. Continue for 6.3 miles turn right into History Rock Trailhead. Hike: Ski:

Easy Easy

6 Miles round trip. From the trailhead follow the larger trail towards the right. Cross the field and follow the trail into the woods. The trail steadily climbs through the woods for about a mile to history rock. Continue another half mile futher to reach the first meadow. The trail turns right and switchbacks up the steep meadow. At the top of the meadow the trail goes through a small band of trees into the second clearing. The switchbacks continue through the next meadow until the hill begins to level out and the trail reenters the trees. The trail goes through the woods for a couple hundred yards until it opens up at the top of the third meadow.


Lick Creek


Directions:

DiďŹƒculty: Length: Description:

Go South down 19th avenue turn left onto Hyalite Canyon road. Continue for 6 miles turn right into the Lick Creek Trailhead. Hike: Ski:

Easy Easy

5 Miles round trip. The trail heads into the woods right across the street from the parking lot. It connects up with a cross country ski trail take the left trail at the Y. The trail heads up a gentle slope through the woods. About 2 miles up take a left onto a small trail that winds through the woods untill reaching the bottom of a large steep meadow. The trail switchbacks up the meadow reaching the top with a great view of Mt Ellis. From the top the backside can be skiied but the only exit is heading back down the trail.


Divide Peak


Directions:

Difficulty: Length: Description:

Go South down 19th avenue turn left onto Hyalite Canyon road. Continue to the end of the road and park. Hike: Ski:

Difficult Easy-Difficult (depends on route chosen)

14 Miles round trip. The main trail heads out for about four miles at a very mellow angle until it passes a bridge and gets steep for about a mile. At the top of the hill take a right and head into a large plateau surrounded by peaks. Divide is the tallest peak directly in front but anywhere along the ridge can be skiied.


Goose Creek


Directions:

DiďŹƒculty: Length: Description:

Head towards Livingston on I-90 take the Trail Creek Road exit. Continue for about 4 miles then take a left at the sign to Goose Creek. Follow signage until the trailhead is reached. Hike: Ski:

Easy Easy

4 Miles round trip. Follow the main trail from the trailhead until the skin track breaks o to the right. Follow the skin track as it crosses the cross country ski trail a few times taking a more direct route. The trail climbs at a steady rate until the final meadow is reached then the the trail gets much steeper and switchbacks up to the top of the ridge. From the ridge you can drop in anywhere and connect back up with an old logging road the traverses the bottom of the slope.


Beehive Basin


Directions:

Difficulty: Length: Description:

Take Highway 191 to Bigsky, turn towards bigsky. Drive past bigsky until you take a left at the sign for beehive basin. Continue to trailhead. Hike: Ski:

Easy-Difficult (depends on route chosen) Easy-Difficult (depends on route chosen)

5-10 Miles round trip. From the trailhead straight through a small clearing of trees and across a bridge. The trail climbs at a steady rate along a sidehill for about two miles. The trail then heads up a few steeper hills and enters a large basin. From the basin any face can be skiied giving a huge variety of options for skiing and for hiking distances and difficulties.


Explore Once you get conmfortable with backcountry skiing the options are limitless. If you have the time and patience you can get to the top of nearly any line that you want to ski. Go out and start skiing those lines that you’ve always looked at. Heres some pictures of some of my great trips.


Sheep Mountain


Sunburst


Tincan


Arctic Valley


Bozeman Backcountry Ski Guide