Sunday in the Spanish Peaks

Caught the bus down to Big Sky on Sunday, 
for a rendezvous with Brian and Leah (two cats of the highest quality).  
They were forecasting lots of snow and wind.. 
but, low and behold, it turned out to be a really nice day.

Brian and Gallatin Pk.
amid the 76,000 acre Spanish Peaks Unit of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness.


Le Mans start

over to big-city Bozeman, to teach a basic avy course today...

and they're off.   like a prom dress
(ski mountaineering race this morning a Bridger Bowl)

highlights thus far include:  skiing the classic 'Hourglass' off the Ridge, a priceless visit to the hardware store (where a hacksaw project manifested into a kung-fu lesson), and marveling at this brilliant bison texture...


Drop it While it's Hot

tracks from two days ago

eP ic pow skiing conditions around Cooke City right now.
just about as good as it gets (for big lines in January).
get it while you can.


touring in The 'mar

with the old wise man
 (preeminent, Greater Yellowstone ecologist, Jesse Logan)


Too much of a good thing?

With Cooke City receiving another 7-8" last night, I was thinking so...

But low and behold, today, the bluebird made an über appreciated, all-day appearance.
It was glorious.  
Almost too good to be true.
Not that I went far (Town Hill ;), but a poignant reminder to be stay on call, with all systems dialed..
in the event of another such stunning day.


farming Town Hill

snow, snow and more snow 
(and live bluegrass)
here in Cooke City


Paying Homage

skied up to pay homage to Abiathar this morning...
(one of the region's finest)

as it dawned clear and cold

but by the time I got up there, it was snowing and blowing like a blizzard...

Nice to have a (brief) look, and meditate on such a mountain.


big day today

Our three foot + snowstorm finished with 6-8" of dreamy-light density snow and calm winds.
So today I skied for 11 hours (!), and about 12 thousand vert.

One local ski aficionado called it the best snow she's ever skied...

(with only a couple rogue, deep-slab avalanches...)


El Alce

What's it like to live in Cooke City?  
Well, you see a lot of really cool wildlife.

And come to really appreciate fresh food.
Made the much needed re-supply today. (2-hr drive to Gardiner)  
mmmmmm.  delicious spinach!!!

Also reconnoitered Tom Miner Basin (Ramshorn Pk.)
and took another surreal dip in the Boiling River...

STILL snowing cats and dogs too!


it's been snowing buckets

snowing buckets around Cooke City..!

so I've been working on maintaining 'the escalator'.   aka skin track.

and eating wood stove, rice al dente (could use a re-supply ;)


Hans Fund Film Fest

Looks like an awesome film festival the next two nights in Bozeman.
(wish I could make it myself !!!)
Lots of alpine inspiration from places like Antarctica and Svalbard.


Avalanche Awareness

In case anyone happens to be in the neighborhood this Saturday...

I'll be giving a basic avalanche awareness presentation at the Firehall.


Ram Pasture Pk.

Larry, en route to Ram Pasture Pk.  Today,  northern Absarokas.


Chain Saws and a Banya

Took a nice, long, hot sauna today (bliss ;)

following a ski tour up Sheep Creek, just north of Cooke City.
It was a really lovely outing, until a dozen CHAIN SAWS ('beelers) got into the mix.
Normally, I'm pretty Zen about such interactions, but when I waved and said hello, and received nothing but cold glares and full throttle, I found myself questioning their motives/ actions and ethics.

Sheep Creek is a prime example of USFS land that needs to be re-evaluated under the current 2005 Travel Management Plan...  and Cooke City is ground zero for this debate.


It's all about the kindling

(read:  small things/ details)

skied a couple runs in Cache Creek today (via Chaw Pass), YNP.  incredible snow!
and it looks like another nice storm approaching..!

 Point Forecast: Cooke City MT
 45.02°N 109.94°W (Elev. 7833 ft)
Mobile Weather Information | En Español
Last Update: 7:07 pm MST Jan 6, 2011
Forecast Valid: 10pm MST Jan 6, 2011-6pm MST Jan 13, 2011
Forecast at a Glance
Chance Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 50%
Lo 20 °F
Chance Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 40%
Hi 32 °F

Snow Likely Chance for Measurable Precipitation 60%
Lo 19 °F
Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 90%

Hi 25 °F

Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 90%

Lo -2 °F


feed the bear

I tend to eat a lot up here in Cooke City (cold temps + long walks = countless Calories).
So, I’m keeping a running tab of how many jars of peanut butter I eat this winter.

Three-quarters of the way through my fifth jar (four 16oz ers, one 32 oz er).  Currently going gourmet (almond butter), with restraint.  


Had the privilege of enjoying an old friend's company the last couple days..
The one and only, Nick Webb, Private I.



Cool thing about Cooke City is that there's always something new to explore.  
Super stoked on this new zone I found today.  
Caves, spires, and key holes (all with an hour ski of my cabin).

Electric Peak

Ever have an idea you just can't seem to avoid?
Like it's inevitable.
Well, yesterday I climbed and skied Electric Peak, the highest of the Gallatin Range.
And despite sound reasoning (like 40 below wind chill !), I just felt like it was something I needed to do.
And as long as I didn't think I'd get avalanched, by golly I was going to give it an honest effort.
It ended up turning out really well.
Fun moderate mixed climbing along the summit ridge, 
with CHARACTER building spindrift (imagine my eyelids freezing shut ;).
Skiing from an ancient volcano, nearly 6000' vert, right on down to the 'Stone was pretty satisfying.
Heaps of wildlife too, as it's prime wintering range for scores of ungulates.
Good laughs spooking up deer, elk and bison while dashing pow turns through the forest.


Happy New Year from Cooke City

Deep-space-cold 'round here.
A five minute walk to the Post Office and your mustache is all iced up.
(photo from yesterday atop Mt. Republic)