Outdoors with Bryan Schaeffer
By Bryan Schaeffer
The Simplest thing we can do to improve our physical & mental health for ourselves, our family and the planet is to exercise outdoors in nature every day. This Podcast is getting outside and offline with accomplished skiers, hikers, runners and mountain bikers. With expert tips on fitness, planning, gear and how to have the best experiences exploring year-round trails - this is your trailhead to adventure. Join us as we explore the thriving communities within these life-long sports.
Jacob Zimmerer - Ph.D. student in Indigenous and Rural Health at Montana State University
We are trying something different, making a walk and talk recording on the Sourdough trail at Tuckerman park in Bozeman. I met Jacob at an indigenous edible plant walk a few weeks ago. I invited him to share some of his foraging wisdom with us. Find Jacob online: http://ecologicalhuman.com/ https://www.facebook.com/ecologicalhumanproject
July 06, 2022
Corey Lewellen - USFS Disctrict Ranger & Wendy Urey - Recreation
I am at the Forest Service District Rangers Office in Bozeman with Corey Lewellen and Marna Daley to discuss the newly-released Land Management Plan. Corey and Marna discuss the creation of the LMP with local feedback and how it affects popular recreation areas around Bozeman. Visit the local ranger district office for more information or visit online: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/custergallatin/landmanagement/planning https://www.facebook.com/CusterGallatinNationalForest Closures and alerts: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/custergallatin/home
June 29, 2022
Mary Erickson - Forest Supervisor, Custer Gallatin National Forest
I am sitting down with Forest Supervisor Mary Erickson in the Federal Building downtown Bozeman to discuss the newly-released Land Management Plan. Discover what a Land Management Plan is, the steps taken to create it, and how it affects the Custer Gallatin National Forest. Visit the local ranger district office for more information or visit online: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/custergallatin/landmanagement/planning https://www.facebook.com/CusterGallatinNationalForest http://t.co/GvqB6koOSa
June 08, 2022
Bryce Stevens - cofounder Trails.com
Guidebook Author Bryce Stevens and I talk about digitizing maps and materials for one of the early online trail platform trails.com. Always curious about what lies around the next corner or beach, throughout his career Bryce has authored hiking guidebooks and more recently backcountry adventure dirt biking routes. Previously co-founder of Trails.com, Inc. d.b.a. Hillclimb Media - owner of websites that included Trails.com and GolfLink.com. Hillclimb was sold to Demand Media in 2006. Learn more about Bryces projects at: https://ridebdr.com www.topozone.com https://www.californiabeaches.com www.hawaiibeaches.com
June 01, 2022
Chris Kussmaul - Peaks & Couloirs of Southwest Montana
I caught up with Chris Kussmaul to talk about his Peaks and Couloirs of Southwest Montana Backcountry Skiing guidebook, the inspiration of why the book was created and how he chooses his next skiing objective. As Chris mentions the prerequisite for backcountry skiing in these areas is to have avalanche knowledge and familiarity with safety practices and current conditions. Take an Avalanche 1 Class and get forecast updates and more from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. Listen to other Podcast episodes about avalanche safety: Doug Chabot - Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center Karl Birkeland - National Avalanche Center Learn more about the book and order here: https://skiingmontana.org/
February 02, 2022
Craig Romano - Guidebook Author
Prolific guidebook author Craig Romano talks about the resurgence in physical guide books and how he got his start. I met Craig several years ago at a hikers expo at the REI Flagship store in Seattle and was immediately drawn to his enthusiasm. In 2016 we hiked the Gothic Basin Trail one of his 100 Classic Hikes Washington the year the new book printed and filmed for the guidebook review. Watch the 100 Classic Hikes Guidebook Review Video here: https://botnw.com/prep
December 02, 2021
Cory Birkenbuel - If God had a voice, it would be Warren Miller's
I grew up in Dillon, MT skiing with the Birkenbuel brothers - Nordic Bill Koch Youth Ski League and alpine at Maverick Mountain. I moved on to Seattle for college where I witnessed my first Warren Miller show. Through a series of fortuitous events Cory and Kevin Hilton were paired with the late-great Warren Miller to produce some meaningful short films in the tradition of Warren's original work. This is Cory's story.
October 22, 2021
Damon Redd - Kind Design
The brilliant colored topographical sun hoodie designs drew me to Damon's work. These custom river maps printed on recycled plastic garments give a portion of the proceeds to water conservation efforts across the west. Damon shares his founding story and how design can bring communities together for the common good. Check out Damon's work at: https://www.kinddesign.co/
September 30, 2021
Seth Hubbard - US Biathlon
Biathlon Program Director Seth Hubbard talks biathlon rifles, training and how this captivating sport came into being. This year when we were starting an official program, we decided to keep all these channels so we would have biathlon, Cross Country and US Paranordic as well. This is a great spot for it. Travel is easy, the community is great, the scenery is wonderful. There are a lot of great reasons for us to keep working to that end in Phase 1. We are a place where people can get out, get some fresh air have a good experience. Having our programs going is something we are really looking forward to. - Seth Hubbard, Program Director, Biathlon & Elite Team Vistit https://www.crosscutmt.org/ for more information on programs and come back to TheLastBestSKI.com for the scoop on skiing SW Montana. Until next time. Happy (Ski) Trails!
September 23, 2021
Heidi Makoutz - Bridger Ski Foundation
Heidi’s mantra “ski into your best self” describes her enthusiastic commitment to the Nordic ski community in Bozeman. As the lead instructor for the adult or “masters” programs she gives some pointers of how to get on the ski trails and continue to develop skills and fitness regardless of experience. Our Nordic community really demonstrates the love of being outside no matter the weather, making gliding on snow so much fun. I love the diversity of age that we get out there. On any given training day in town we can have a 75-year old skiing next to a 5-year old. I think that’s really special. BSF is doing more to have inter-generational ski experiences. We live in an amazing place. You can make your own trail. Getting outside, breathing the fresh air, getting out on snow. We have so many offerings and don’t have to feel cooped up. Skiing is an amazing way to embrace winter in our unusual time. - Heidi Makoutz
September 21, 2021
John Zilly - Vimazi Shoes
I met John a decade ago in Seattle after my family and I completed all 70 hikes in his self-published Beyond Mount SI guidebook. https://botnw.com/blog/2020/1/27/trailrunningsafety-a4wlg-s4zm6-cksfh Fast forward a few years and John is taking his creative/innovative side to a new level co-founding a new running shoe company that builds models tuned to your running pace. Learn more and follow there progress at: https://vimazi.com/
September 16, 2021
Justin Bigart - Skimo
Justin Bigart and friends started getting lighter gear and going faster in the backcountry, which lead to training for and racing in the European—derived sport of Ski Mountaineering or “Skimo.” It was something to do in the winter that felt like trail running. A lot of it had to do with gear and wanting to move quick in the mountains. I went to a Skitrab ski—they are 140cm, they weigh nothing, featherweight. Uphill you can run like you are trail running. You need a compatible Skimo partner. A lot of the races you have to do with a partner anyway. You need someone who has the same risk profile, goals, endurance, willingness to work and get out every day. I really enjoy going to History Rock and getting a bunch of laps in. Being able to move fast in the mountains is the best part. It is the fountain of youth. I think skinning is the single best way to move the human body. - Justin Bigart
September 14, 2021
Laurie Spence - Nordic Director - Lone Mountain Ranch
85 kilometers of pristinely groomed track from Big Sky Meadows to the base of the ski lifts. Let’s talk Lone Mountain Ranch with Nordic Director Laurie Spence. "You can get about 10 minutes away from the Nordic center on the ski trails and not see anyone. It can be secluded. We are anticipating a very, very busy season this year because the mountain is going to be appointment only for the day skiers. If they can't get into the mountain, we expect they will come Nordic skiing." Visit Lone Mountain Ranch.com to learn more about terrain, grooming conditions, and lodging packages. Visit TheLastBestSKI.com to learn more about skiing SW Montana.
September 09, 2021
Cliff Montagne - Crosscut Nordic
With several decades of experience skiing in the Bozeman area, Cliff Montangne shares the local history of Nordic skiing and how cross-country skiing can build personal wellness and healthy communities. Originally recorded October 1, 2020. "We have the opportunity to get more school kids going with skiing and get more people out of doors. I see that as one of the keys for the future. Hopefully humankind can become more connected with nature and more respectful. Lots of younger people and older people that become engaged with skiing become really aware of their bodies and the proper diet and health and how to take care of themselves, and hopefully that translates into more respect for other people and awareness. It isn’t always how hard and fast one can go but how respectfully one can move and enjoy the activities of breathing, seeing, smelling and tasting, and talking and communicating with other people as well as with nature, it becomes a practice." Photo: Cliff skating at Crosscut, Janes Gate, Ross Peak in the background For more information and season passes go to: https://crosscut.secure.nonprofitsoapbox.com/2022seasonpasses
September 03, 2021
Hailey Renner - The Bike Kitchen
Bozeman's Bike Kitchen is the place to learn how to fix your bike or build a bike. Hailey Renner takes us through what the Bike Kitchen does and invites us to come in and check out this unique place. https://www.bozemanbikekitchen.org/
August 19, 2021
Tim Hawke - Architect Copper City Trails
How punk rock built trails The origin story of Copper City from the mastermind, architect, trail builder and co author of Southern Montana Singletrack guidebook - Tim Hawke. This is the last chance to get your copy of the first limited edition autographed copy of The Last Best BIKE smart book. Back on Kickstarter today to pre-order. Thanks!
June 30, 2021
Scott Schmidt (Schmitty) - Crosscut Mountain Sports Center
Schmitty, the director of trails at Crosscut Mountain Sports center talks about the origins of Bohart to Crosscut and current trail building. Along with some daydream scheming to connect the east Bridgers trails. Only a few days left to back The Last Best BIKE project and get your copy of the book this summer!
June 29, 2021
Mel Cronin - Direcctor of Development SWMMBA
Bozeman Pedal Project co-founder Mel Cronin loves Bozeman mountain biking communities. Her roles at Bozeman Pedal Project and SWMMBA help foster the enjoyment for many riders in the region. Mel talks about how these groups came into being and what makes Bozeman such a great place for mountain biking and mountain biking organizations to flourish. Pre-order your copy of The Last Best Bike on Kickstarter today. Only a few days left to pre-order the First Limited Edition autographed copy of The Last Best Bike Montana, Bozeman, Big Sky & Beyond!
June 28, 2021
Jason Donald - Bike Mechanic Owenhouse Cycles
Bike mechanic and former racer Jason Donald shares how to get your bike in the best operational shape for safety and performance. And what he brings in his filed kit on long exploratory rides. Pre-order your copy of The Last Best Bike on Kickstarter today. Only one week left to pre-order the First Limited Edition autographed copy of The Last Best Bike Montana, Bozeman, Big Sky & Beyond!
June 25, 2021
Rob Funderburk - Manager Bangtail Bikes
Bangtail Bikes Rob Funderburk has been in the business many years. This past year has been an exceptional one in many ways. Rob talks about the cycling industry and how the growth in Bozeman can be a positive for building and supporting trails. Pre-order your copy of The Last Best Bike on Kickstarter today. Only one week left to pre-order the First Limited Edition autographed copy of The Last Best Bike Montana, Bozeman, Big Sky & Beyond!
June 24, 2021
Natalie Osborne - Big Sky Biggie Race Director
Race director of Big Sky's epic cross-country mountain bike race (The Big Sky Biggie) Natalie Osborne talks about the creation of the event, the course details and how you can get involved with this classic event. Pre-order your copy of The Last Best Bike on Kickstarter today. Only one week left to pre-order the First Limited Edition autographed copy of The Last Best Bike Montana, Bozeman, Big Sky & Beyond! If you want to get a copy of the portal to mountain biking this this summer offer is exclusively through Kickstarter and ends at the end of June. The book has: * Over 110 pages of hand-drawn illustrations of the best Bozeman area mountain bike trails. * QR codes for over a dozen audio interviews with program directors, mountain biking coaches and trail advocates * SingleTrack Mind animated short film starring local riders and locations! * Custom GPS map designed for your smartphone (no app required) for directions to the trailhead and extended routes
June 22, 2021
Adam Johnson - Big Sky Community Organization - Park & Trails Director
Big things in the works connecting the communities within the Big Sky area with biking trails. Let's talk the Big Sky trails Master Plan with Adam Johnson! Pre-order The Last Best BIKE book and Ready to Ride kit on Kickstarter now.
June 18, 2021
David Tucker - SWMMBA - Director of Outreach
David Tucker with the Southwest Montana Mountain Bike Association talks about the rapid growth of the organization and the legacy of mountain bike advocacy resting on the leaders that came before. Pre-order The Last Best BIKE book and Ready to Ride kit on Kickstarter now.
June 15, 2021
Christine Baker - Director of Mountain Sports Big Sky Resort
Big Sky Resort opens its lifts for mountain biking on Saturday! Mountain Sports Director Christine Baker talks about what’s new for this season. Learn about the progression of downhill riding in one of only three lift-accessed mountain biking centers in Montana. Pre-order The Last Best BIKE book and Ready to Ride kit on Kickstarter now.
June 11, 2021
Heidi Makoutz - Bozeman NICA Head Coach
Bike into your best self with Bozeman’s head NICA coach Heidi Makoutz. If you have ever been around Sunset Hills trails in the summer or the winter, you might recognize Heidi. She is the Masters Coach for the Bridger Ski Foundation and Bozeman’s head coach of the NICA mountain biking program. Learn about the upcoming third season of Bozeman's National Interscholastic Cycling Association for high school riders. Pre-order limited firsts-edition The Last Best BIKE Books and more on Kickstarter this June only. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thelastbestski/the-last-best-bike-book-montana-bozeman-big-sky-and-beyond
June 08, 2021
EJ Porth - Gallatin Valley Land Trust
The Gallatin Valley Land Trust's Mainstreet to Mountains trails connect Bozeman to local mountain biking adventures right from town. Join us as Associate Director EJ Porth describes how land trusts work and plans for future connections in the valley. See how many fundraising miles you can rack up this month on GVLT trails on June's Summer Trails Challenge! The Last Best BIKE Kickstarter is live! Pre-order your copy today here.
June 04, 2021
Molly Bowman - Bozeman Youth Cycling
Bozeman Youth Cycling started as a few family groups riding Lindley Park and grew in to the thriving program it is today. Join us a s Executive Director Molly Bowman talks about the development of the program and what makes Bozeman cycling communities so special. Learn more: Bozeman Youth Cycling The Last Best BIKE Book
May 25, 2021
Jason Lunden - Bike Fitting Excel PT
A proper bike fit will keep you riding with less pain and greater performance. Here are some tips on adjustments to get the most out of your ride. More info about bike fitting.
May 18, 2021
Tami Asars - Guidebook Author
Tami has authored books including Hiking the Wonderland trail and Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail Washington and many others. My wife and I were fortunate to go backpacking in the Cascades a few seasons back with Tami. Her vast experience in Through Hiking and enthusiasm for photography and writing make her a great source of inspiration and information in pursuing your own trail adventures. Join us as Tami shares her latest long hiking adventures, The Arizona Trail and The Continental Divide Trail. Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/tamiasars/
May 11, 2021
Dani Aravich - Paralympic Athlete
Paralympic Nordic skier and track athlete Dani Aravich talks about training, why exercising in nature is so important and what makes her home base between travel for competitions Bozeman so special.
May 04, 2021
19. Hannah Bratterud - Mental Benefits of Social Outdoor Exercise
“Being in nature can restore connections in your brain and unload stress and help you recenter and refocus. Research would indicate we are hard wired for that. The trifecta is physical exercise with other people in nature. Those of us who experienced that at an early age are maybe more aware of it because we have seen the benefit of the difference it makes. If you want peak performance, to be able to operate at a peak level you have to understand what are the mechanisms that help your brain recover its energy and restore itself. Physical exercise is the most important thing for the brain outside of getting good sleep.” -Hannah Bratterud You can learn more about Hannah and her work at: multipliersale.com. Visit: TheLastBestSKI.com for more information about the book and endurance sport communities in the Bozeman area. Check out TheLastBestBike.com for the new book coming out in the summer of 2021. Until next time. Happy Trails! Learn more, read: The Joy of Movement, Born to Run and Visit The Healthy Minds Platter.
April 27, 2021
Graham Zimmerman - Alpinist - Protect our Winters
"Bozeman and the Greater Yellowstone Region is very close to my heart. Yellowstone is a place for most Americans that is this iconic place of wilderness. It is a zone that really represents wilderness in the American ideology. That is something really powerful. It is an idea that drives a lot of people to form a relationship with wild spaces. The ideals created by our forefathers of the American wilderness and the American West. I love that it is so deeply ingrained in what it means to be American. The mountain ranges extending from every direction of the Yellowstone ecosystem, if you are interested in climbing in wilderness in the lower 48, those are the best places to go. That’s where it’s at. Where you aren’t going to see people, you are going to be climbing on large mountains with very technical aspects, and whether or not you are making first ascents or you are repeating things, you are going to be having an adventure." -Graham Zimmerman To learn how you can help to Protect Our Winters visit www.protectourwinters.org and come back to www.TheLastBestSKI.com for the scoop on skiing SW Montana. Until next time happy (ski) trails!
April 20, 2021
Cory Birkenbuel - Ski Instructor, Artist, Filmmaker
Yellowstone Club ski instructor Cory Birkenbuel grew up shredding the slopes at Maverick Mountain. His school project dubbed Montana’s Sweet 16 made him the first Montanan to ski each ski resort in Montana on consecutive days. Cory shares his love of skiing and SW Montana. Cory and I grew up skiing through the little skiers program to impromptu ski days with our boisterous crews in high school. Man, I’ll tell you what - walking in boots, you can tell something about somebody right away. How they walk in their boots little kids to older people, if their shins are slammed up against the boot and they are walking like that you can already see what they need to work on. With true progression its those little steps from the boots, take one ski across the parking lot. Put both skis on, start walking on them. Teach it on the flat ground first. You want to build up confidence and that’s what skiing is; confidence. -Cory Birkenbuel
April 13, 2021
Jim Schaeffer - Yellowstone National Park
Jim & Claudia Schaeffer (my folks) spent winters in the late 70s working at the new Big Sky Resort and off hours exploring Yellowstone National Park on backcountry skis. The meadows and ski basins along corridor from Big Sky to Yellowstone have a timeless feel, not having changed much over all those years. "I like the quietness. The snow conditions are great, it’s dry snow, easy to wax. I like being able to see critters running around. There’s buffalo; we have seen wolves driving through Lamar (Valley) in the wintertime. And the lack of people in the wintertime. A lot of the stuff that’s really busy in the summertime turns in to a defacto wilderness, so it’s a totally different experience in the winter." - Jim Schaeffer former Forest Ranger Gallatin, Beaverhead and Bighorn Mountains
April 08, 2021
Bob Allen - Photo Journalist
Outdoor Sports Photo Journalist Bob Allen spends a lot of time up high in the mountains perfecting his craft. Bob shares his background in the sport and safety recommendations for protective gear to help us lengthen our days and years enjoying the slopes. Visit http://boballenimages.com/ for ski photography and 360 tour of Big Sky resort.
April 02, 2021
Simon Peterson - Outside Bozeman Photo Editor
Photo editor of Outside Bozeman Magazine and Backcountry Skier Simon Peterson shares why he’s not good about keeping secrets about great ski lines in the mountains around Bozeman. "There shouldn’t be any secrets. We need the user days to progress the sport, to keep the accesses open. We are getting more people, the sport is getting more popular. All you have to do is drive 15 more minutes and you are going to find a spot where there is nobody. I don’t like the secretive, hush, hush; how did you learn about it? You learned about it from somebody. Teach the next person, maybe, just maybe they will become your friend. Maybe they are a great skier and fun to ski with. I’m not good about keeping secrets about that stuff. I had my priorities straight. I moved here for the skiing and school second. Doing some progression where you learn the fundamentals before you are diving into extreme terrain is huge." - Simon Peterson Photo Editor Outside Bozeman Magazine
March 30, 2021
Doug Chabot - Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center Director
Doug Chabot talks about adventuring with the late great Alex Lowe and his ongoing work with the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. Visit https://www.mtavalanche.com for more information and come back to the last best ski to get the scoop on skiing in SW Montana. Happy Trails! The Fundamentals Don’t change. It’s not minutia it’s the basics; it’s the foundational things that we can never forget about. Decisions are based on information. Where people get into trouble, whether you are a beginner, or you have been backcountry skiing for 30 years if you don’t take in good relevant new information to make your decision, you are hamstrung. Our job at the avalanche center is to give people good, new relevant information. -Doug Chabot
March 25, 2021
Dan Lakatos - Vice President of Outdoor Pursuits at Yellowstone Club
Former BSF Freestyle Coach and Vice President of Outdoor Pursuits at Yellowstone Club - Dan Lakatos schools us on the progression of freestyle skiing and Montana’s special place in the Yellowstone Corridor. From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it. Giving members and guests a transformative experience through skiing. Guests and visitors see globally how beautiful and unique the greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is. Yellowstone Club is a huge economic driver for Montana. - Dan Lakatos Vice President of Outdoor Pursuits at Yellowstone Club
March 22, 2021
Fay Johnson - Crosscut Nordic
Right next to Bridger Bowl. Let’s talk Crosscut Mountain Sports Center’s big plans with Nordic Center Director Fay Johnson. "Our enthusiasm and optimism is the community's response and interest in Crosscut. They recognize the fact that cross-country Skiing is a great alternative in these troubled times because you can distance so easily. We are instituting a new online system where people can purchase day tickets as well as reserve rental gear and book lessons." - Fay Johnson Nordic Center Director
March 18, 2021
Nick Michaud - US Paralympic Team Coach
After missing the Olympics, by one spot, Nick Michaud turned his focus to coaching a diverse population of Nordic skiers including the US Paralympic Team partnered with Crosscut. Yeah, I think skiing is for everyone—it just requires some collaborative, creative pooling of organizations & resources. People from all backgrounds are coming here. We have a couple of the best sit skiers in the world as part of our program and we have athletes that have just learned to ski this year. There are all these unique stories in a sport that is less widely unique. That is a huge motivation for me and the other staff. It makes our sport more special. We are bringing in more people; it makes it more accessible. Our goal as the paralympic team is for the sport to keep growing from the bottom up. They are thriving in that community. Asking questions, questions, questions, good coaching is good coaching. In an ego-free way, let’s learn together. Meeting people where they are at to help them become the best version of themselves. At some level we are all adaptive. - Nick Michaud US Paralympic Ski Team Crosscut Mountain Sports Center
March 15, 2021
Jason Lunden - Splitboarder - Excel Physical Therapy
Splitboarder and Doctor of Physical Therapy, Jason Lunden, shares how to be physically ready for the ski season and safely find powder stashes. Talk to ski patrol. Ideally going with someone that can show you is the best way to safely find powder stashes on the ridge. Avalanche safety and awareness of avalanche terrain is the biggest thing. I think it is important you know how to use your gear before you go out in the backcountry. Bring your splitboard and see how it rides off the lift as well as practice converting from skin mode to ride mode and back. You don’t want to be that person there at the trailhead with your friends and your stuff doesn’t work. - Jason Lunden Excel Physical Therapy Visit excelptmt.com for ski-specific physical therapy and come back to TheLastBestSKI.com for more interviews and the scoop on skiing SW Montana. Until next time. Happy Trails!
March 09, 2021
Shannon Griffin - Bridger Bowl Snowsports School Director
Bridger Bowl Snowsports School Director Shannon Griffin shares her love for Bridger, gives us some great ideas on where to go exploring at different skill levels and some new changes for this season. There is easy beginner terrain to steep technical chutes, trees and cliffs. Everything you could want is accessible and it’s right there only 20—30 minutes away from town. The spirit at Bridger has really stayed as being a community area it’s our backyard. It’s where we get to go play. With the Bridgers being a north to south range, primary winds move west to east. The Bridgers catch the air masses forming a long cloud that hangs over the range known as the (BBC) Bridger Bowl Cloud. Any snow storms that come through start dumping straight down leaving Bridger’s famous cold smoke Powder. -Shannon Griffin Bridger Bowl Snowsports School Director
March 03, 2021
Erika Flowers - Nordic Ski Racer
I’m in Bozeman grabbing coffee with Nordic skier and North Face mountain athlete Erika Flowers. Erika shares her transition from pro athlete to making the balance training, racing, and working full time and having a blast in the mountains. And her amazing attitude. "The access here is probably some of the best cross-country skiing access in the world. Just the fact that there is so much access here makes it a really ideal spot for a skier growing up." -Erika Flowers
March 01, 2021
Ben Werner - Backcountry Ski Gudebook Author
Author of The Bozeman and Big Sky Backcountry Ski Guide - Ben Werner shares how he got into skiing, some of his favorite repeat locations and why he loves backcountry skiing in SW Montana. www.bozemanskiguide.com #1 Take an avalanche course before you do anything. That is going to be your best intro. There certainly can be a lot of specialized gear associated with backcountry skiing, but I think if you take an avalanche course first, it is a good way to learn what the essentials are that you need.” - Ben Werner
February 15, 2021
Karl Birkeland - National Avalanche Center, Director, United States Forest Service
Bozeman has played a prominent role in avalanche safety in the United States. Before working for the National Avalanche Center Karl Birkeland founded the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center in 1990. Avalanches kill more people on Forest Service Lands than any other natural hazard. Bozeman is the place where we have people not only doing active avalanche research, we also have the National Avalanche Center, we have the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, Big Sky, Bridger, Yellowstone Club, all of us also coordinate with some of the other ski areas in our area. For an area of strong academics and practitioners, there’s nothing quite like Bozeman. -Karl Birkeland National Avalanche Center, Director, Forest Service
February 08, 2021
Big Sky Resort - Christine Baker Director of Mountain Sports School
The Director of Mountain Sports School at Big Sky Christine Baker lets us in on the changes and opportunities skiing at Big Sky this season. “We have 5,800 acres that is a lot of space, it creates good skiing. If there isn’t good snow on one side of the mountain, you know there is good snow on the other side of the mountain. This is such an opportunity to consider why we are doing things. This is the time to take the step and make improvements into the future beyond Covid.” Christine Baker Director Mountain Sports School Big Sky Resort Purchase your tickets in advance at BigSkyResort.com and come back to TheLastBestSKI.com for your scoop on skiing SW Montana Yellowstone Region. Until next time happy (ski) trials!
February 01, 2021
Dragan Danevski - Montana Endurance Academy
I’m speaking with co-founder of The Montana Endurance Academy Dragan Danevski about developing new Nordic ski trails at the Gallatin Regional Park in Bozeman. “In the beginning I had a very small group of people who were supportive, we tried to work little by little to convince the community that what we were doing was beneficial not just for a small Nordic team but for the community. People can use those trails and be part of the program or not be part of the program. That was my vision. We were working to make cross country skiing a year-round sport. If you are doing other endurance sports through the year, you will feel better and be more fit to do cross country skiing in the winter. If your fitness, strength, agility, coordination and balance is good you can enjoy cross country skiing more. The regional park is a great idea. It is another option for this (growing) town. It is a place to go with the family or during lunch time. For intensity or just go get out on skis. I see potential with help from community businesses to build hills, maybe a snow making system. I think this town will have the ability to support more than just one ski area. Not just Sunset Hills, but something like this regional park.” We will continue work with the community in all levels, private businesses, local government improving the trails system for skiing, running and all other activities.” - Dragan Danevski Co-founder Montana Endurance Academy To learn more about The Montana Endurance Academy programs visit www.montanaenduranceacademy.org and come back to TheLastBestSKI.com for the scoop on skiing SW Montana. Until next time happy (ski) trails!
January 26, 2021
The Last Best SKI Book Interview with DJ Zepp on The Eagle 105.7FM
"This is my favorite type of book because it gets to the point." It's really the best of both worlds - beautifully illustrated book and you get the digital world if you want it. It's always great to have a reference guide to get you started." -DJ Zepp
January 07, 2021
Andy Newell - Coach Nordic Team Solutions
Nordic ski racers are some of the fittest athletes in the world. With off-the-charts VO2 Max, the ability to maintain speed over long distances in varied terrain, the strength to climb steep hills and technical skills to descend at high speeds in tight packs - all while saving just enough for the final full body sprint to the finish. This sport takes preparation building fitness, technical skills and mental stamina. I am here in Bozeman, MT grabbing a coffee with 4-time Nordic Ski Olympian Andy Newell. I wanted to get some insights into Andy’s background and what he sees developing in this ski community as I write and illustrate the next Discover Montana Treasures book The Last Best SKI Montana - Bozeman, Big Sky & Beyond. Learn about how he approaches the ski season, developing mental/physical resiliency as an all round winter athlete and what to look forward to in the future.
December 31, 2020