Book Review: Backcountry Skiing Bozeman and Big Sky 2nd Edition
Backcountry skiing is a blast. Exploring the mountains and earning your turns is what memories are made from. There really isn’t anything better. When you’re new to an area or want to get off the beaten track, it’s always nice to have a guidebook.
One guidebook that we’re super stoked about is Ben Werner’s Backcountry Skiing Bozeman and Big Sky. This expanded 2nd edition print was just released in 2015 and it rocks. It’s an updated version of the The Bozeman and Big Sky Backcountry Ski Guide.
My old copy of The Bozeman and Big Sky Backcountry Ski Guide was purchased back in 2011 and it’s about worn out from use. Luckily, the improved 2nd edition is here to keep me company. The two biggest changes are more full color photos from the routes and a larger focus on backcountry huts and yurts. The new edition runs at 154 pages – that’s 37 more pages of backcountry skiing info for you and your partners.
Backcountry Skiing Bozeman and Big Sky covers 25 routes in 6 local mountain ranges of Southwest Montana. The ski routes are the same as the old edition with the addition of more full color photos that really help to bring the routes to life.
The ski lines include everything from low angle meadow skipping routes (like Telemark Meadows) to more intense ski mountaineering adventures (like Black Mountain), which makes Backcountry Skiing Bozeman and Big Sky a great companion guide for every level of skier.
SW MT has well over a lifetime of ski descents hidden in its endless mountains. Backcountry Skiing Bozeman and Big Sky is the perfect place to get started or to continue your exploration. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the Greater Gallatins, Hyalite Canyon, the Madison Range, the Bridger Range, the Absaroka Range, or the Beartooth Mountains, this book will help jumpstart your next adventure.
Each route includes an overview, avalanche information, directions, maps of the descent, statistics (aspect, elevation gain, skiable vertical, distance, annual snowfall, avalanche terrain danger, etc.), GPS waypoints, and some local’s knowledge. The book also includes a handful of fun photos, a glossary, backcountry safety information, typical snowpack description, and outfitter information.
The maps in the book take a bit of getting used to, but when I combine the map with my Topo Maps App, Google Earth, or a Beartooth Publishing Map, everything seems to make more sense.
The biggest bonus in the 2nd Edition is that Werner included info on backcountry yurt and hut locations. It may come as a surprise, but there are six huts, yurts, cabins, and lodges in the area – and they are all worth checking out.
With Backcountry Skiing Bozeman and Big Sky, it’s easy to set your sights on a cool backcountry overnight experience. From the famous Bell Lake Yurt in the Tobacco Roots to the Beartooth Powder Guides in Cooke City, you’ll get the details about each operation – how many the hut sleeps, skiable vertical, hut elevation, distance to cabin, and of course all the other info you need to know. Plus, you can find out about different avalanche and mountaineering courses that different operators offer. Buy Backcountry Skiing Bozeman and Big Sky to find out about all of the hut experiences in SW MT.
There’s nothing quite like a Montana backcountry experience. Werner’s 2nd edition of Backcountry Skiing Bozeman and Big Sky is a great way to explore what this area has to offer. It’s the only ski specific guide book for the area. Next time you’re at the trailhead keep your eyes peeled for the iconic yellow book. It’ll be there in someone’s hands or on their dashboard.
Purchase your copy at BozemanSkiGuide.com or on Amazon. Or stop by local retailers like Northern Lights in Bozeman or Grizzly Outfitters in Big Sky to grab your copy or pick one up as a gift or as a stocking stuffer.
Backcountry Skiing Bozeman and Big Sky has enough info to keep even the most enthusiastic backcountry skier entertained for years. Now all you need to do is go skiing. Please enjoy the backcountry of SW MT responsibly.