Monthly Archives: May 2013

Off Season in Big Sky

Off-season is upon us here in Big Sky. After the chairs stop spinning at Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin, tourist traffic slows, seasonal employees vanish, and locals travel. Big Sky becomes a mellow hideaway. Some associate off-season with desolation and chaotic weather, but it’s an incredible time of year.

At Grizzly Outfitters, we pack up our ski rental fleet and set up our bike and fly shops. We mark down our winter gear and set up for summer. Locals hit the backcountry, or voyage to warmed climes to hike, bike, climb, surf, etc. I took my boys for a week of camping in Southern Utah. We biked the Slickrock Trail, jumped off hidden waterfalls, and climbed on the Swiss cheese rocks at the San Rafael Swell. It could not have been a more perfect getaway.

Mother Nature has been treating us to wonderful weather since our return. We’ve gotten enough moisture to help the gardens grow, but enough sun to draw us outside. Right now, my purple hyacinths and daffodils are bursting. It’s time to rake the yard and check the sprinklers – but, I probably won’t (sorry neighbors).

As you may know, Grizzly has a full-service fly shop and guide service. I’ve made it out for a couple floats on the legendary Yellowstone River. I stripped my first streamer, and caught my first decent Montana native cutthroat trout. Our guides are busy already, and it’s going to be a great summer. Stay tuned for gear reviews, casting clinic and demo information, as well as our area fishing report.

Back in the shop, we’re geared up for summer. We’ve received most of our 2013 summer clothing and gear. Our buyers have picked out some gorgeous clothing, so keep an eye on our Facebook page to check them out.

I got my bike tuned and have been hitting local trails to whip myself back into shape. The snow has melted from the lower elevation trails in Big Sky. To celebrate Mothers Day, I met up with a bunch of friends for a great early season ride up the Buck Ridge Road, and down the Doe Creek trail. It was a great ride and great company. On the ascent, we came upon grizzly bear tracks up the center of the trail. Remember, bear spray season is here, so don’t forget yours as you explore around Big Sky.

Considering we had a group of 12, we forged on until we hit snow. The cruisy downhill was a blast, and the beers at The Corral were cold as usual. Our bike shop is up and running. We’re planning to bring back Grizzly’s weekly mountain bike ride, and some basic bike repair clinics. Have you ever used a chain tool on the trail?

As you know (hopefully), Grizzly Outfitters has an expert boot fitting staff. We can also help you find the perfect fit for your summer footwear. Our state-of-the-art custom Amfit footbeds can also be used in slippers, sneakers, hiking boots, or almost any shoes you want to feel great. I put my extra pair in my roller skates. They’re performing incredibly.

This morning, I went for a run and let the dogs splash in the river. When I was just about to head to the shop, Marc Lange (our magical bootfitter and bike repair geek) told me that our long-time rep from Kona Bikes was in town. I figured the only polite thing to do was join them on a bike ride.

Trying to keep up with Kevin and Marc was a challenge, but the only way to get stronger is to ride, right? We laughed, we cried (not really), we talked bikes. I stumbled into an incredible day during off-season.