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info@cowboyhvn.com
406-587-9563
1-877-613-0404

Backcountry Skiing

We represent a couple of top-notch guided backcountry skiing operations in southwest Montana.  The first offers guide services both at area ski resorts and in the backcountry.  You might question whether you need a guide at a ski area, but if you're standing atop the Ridge at Bridger Bowl, wondering which of the couloirs below you end in cliffs, you just might have a new perspective on the situation.  The Ridge has a long-standing reputation amongst hardcore skiers and boarders world-wide as some of the more extreme terrain anywhere, and has spawned some renowned  skiers like Scot Schmidt and Tom Jungst, as well as a host of lesser-known but equally capable hardcores, affectionately known locally as Ridge Hippies.  Regardless of your hair length and financial status, to ride the ridge you're going to need a partner, avalanche transceiver, shovel, and the legs & lungs to hump it up the last 400 vertical feet to theLibertyBowl.jpg (13020 bytes) top of the mountain.  That's right, the Ridge isn't lift-serviced, except for an ancient and terrifying rope tow limited to ski patrol personnel.  While none of the routes down can be classified as even remotely easy, you don't need to be a star of extreme ski movies to ski the Ridge.  In fact, a buddy and I once took a friend up there on his third day of skiing.  Perhaps unwise, I'll concede, but he was a big strapping athletic kid,  made it down by dint of sheer strength and determination, and was only slightly peeved at us afterward!  Still, there are chutes off the ridge that are only slightly wider than a ski length, and having someone along who knows the terrain could be invaluable.  Plus, they have avalanche transceivers and shovels available for your use.  They also guide at Big Sky, as well as in the backcountry, using snowmobiles and occasionally helicopters to access some of the extreme backcountry skiing the Bridgers are famous for.  Also, they're largely a family operation, and for you snowboarders, the second-generation members are world-class, professionally sponsored boarders.   They're also top-notch photographers, and have hosted backcountry promotional photo shoots for the likes of Burton snowboards, so if you want some magazine-quality shots of you ripping powder, they're your folks.

The other operation offers snowcat skiing and snowboarding on exclusive private land, located on the north side of Lone Mountain at Big Sky.  YouSnowcat skiing in the Montana backcountry can plan on skiing up to 12,500 vertical feet daily, with an expert guide leading you through  the open bowls and steep & deep trees that usually receive up to 400 inches of light Montana powder annually.   You'll get a backcountry safety lesson, and be equipped with a backpack, avalanche beacon, shovel, and helmet.  If your thighs have had all the 12,000' days they can handle, try a two-hour snowshoe tour around the Ulery's Lakes area that provides great views of  Lone Mountain, Fan Mountain, and the Spanish Peaks.  And then, in the evening you can enjoy a unique dining experience found nowhere else, at their backcountry dining lodge accessible via snowcat.  You'll enjoy gourmet food, live acoustic music, and if you wish can burn off some of the calories by going sledding under the moonlight.  

As always, contact us at 1-877-613-0404 or e-mail to set up a backcountry skiing adventure.

 

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