Category Archives: Back Country

GNFAC Powder Blast - Why You Should Be There

2e1ax_default_entry_Powder-BlastThe Powder Blast

For years, the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center (GNFAC) has offered data on winter backcountry conditions, as well as provided basic avalanche education. The GNFAC provides information for several mountain ranges surrounding their headquarters in Bozeman and beyond. Grizzly Outfitters actively supports the GNFAC, and works with them to educate skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers in the Big Sky area.

The GNFAC daily avalanche advisory is available at their website (www.mtavalanche.com), via email updates, Facebook and your Smartphone (of course!). On average, the advisory reached 4,491 people each day during the 2012-13 season.

The Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center (FGNFAC) is a non-profit that works to support the GNFAC through fundraising and educational efforts (I blatantly stole that sentence from their Facebook page).

This fall marks the GNFAC’s 24th season in operation, and tomorrow the FGNFAC will hold the 15th annual Powder Blast benefit. It’s my favorite party of the year (after the ones that I throw for Grizzly, obviously). It’s always nice for this Big Sky bumpkin to throw on a dress (ok, more likely a Patagonia sweater of some type) and head into the big city for a night out. The event is held at the Emerson Cultural Center, and always includes phenomenal food, drink, music (bluegrass, due to the high infestation of telemarkers), and a stellar silent auction.

Many a ski bum might balk at the $30 donation cost for entry – but let’s think this through together. A Tasty meal (a buffet, nonetheless), beer/wine, awesome music (Holler n’ Pine), PLUS daily advice that will save your life and education for your friends (so that maybe they can save your life) – all for only $30?

It’s a no-brainer (meaning snowboarders should come too). I’m guessing that folks who don’t frequent fundraisers might be timid – but this is not the time. Do you enjoy the back country? Do you love someone who does? See you tonight.

LOVE this? HATE this? Email me! amy@grizzlyoutfitters.com

*I should admit that I am a telemark skier and I date a snowboarder. Any stereotypical references to either subculture were intended to be loving and lighthearted. Feel free to send me a mean email if you’d like – I love hearing from you either way.*

Worst Blog Ever - Lie Revealed

2e1ax_default_entry_IMG_2955I was letting the Montana sun saturate me when I realized that spring was upon us. I thought about all the wonderful moments I’ve enjoyed this winter: days of incredible powder, cruising scenic trails at Lone Mountain Ranch, fresh lines in the back country, snowshoeing with my dog, wobbly afternoons at the ice rink, winter smores at the fire pit, New Year’s Eve fireworks, watching my boys race with the BSSEF, attempting to skate ski, and many other unparalleled moments. On Sunday alone, I skied Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin, then fly fished the Gallatin River until sunset. Suddenly, it hit me – I’m the worst blogger ever. I’ve enjoyed so much, and neglected to share it.

I started working for Grizzly Outfitters in 2001, when I stumbled upon the shop and found myself applying for a job. As I filled out the application (like a 3rd grader), I wondered why I was doing it. I’d secured (what I thought would be) an incredible waitressing job. Fate funneled me to Grizzly Outfitters, and it was one of the luckiest flukes of my life.

After 12 years on and off, Ken and Andrew are still kind enough to employee me. Sometimes I wonder why exactly. I’ve realized that despite all my flaws, I share their vision and passion for the outdoors. Grizzly Outfitters was founded on a love of these mountains and rivers, and a drive to help others experience them. That is what fuels them; why they continually invest in their business, employees, and community. They want those who happen upon Grizzly Outfitters to leave happy, stay content, and return as friends.

Over a year ago, I began planning events and giveaways. It is my favorite part of the job. In winter 2012-13 alone, Grizzly Outfitters gave away around $15,000 in prizes. We donate to countless organizations and events in the community and beyond. We partner with organizations like the Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center and the Lone Peak Booster Club to fund raise and educate our customers. It is awesome.

Our buyers are constantly searching for innovative brands and equipment. We’ve instituted an online reservation system to make rentals more convenient. We constantly seek education about products that promote the overall health and comfort of our customers. Why? For the love of the outdoors, and a drive to share it. It’s incredible to work at a place where you can honestly say that. Honestly.

Oh yes, now to reveal the lie. I’ve run into a handful of people who read my blog. Some have asked with surprise, “You’re Mountain Girl?” I realize that my face may not be that of a girl; my mind may not be either (thank heavens). However, no one can deny that my heart is still that of a girl. Life has passed by in a blur, but I’m still just a girl who loves to be outside.

How did you end up in Big Sky? How did you find Grizzly Outfitters?

Please stay tuned for blog posts about what’s new in Big Sky, notable clothing and gear, and upcoming events!

Hate this? Love this? Well, tell me about it! Visit us on Facebook

Big Sky's Secrets, and My Drunk Driving

In Big Sky, summer is finally upon us.  The snow falling in early June has given way to deep azure skies and warmer weather.  We’re thought of as a winter destination, but summertime in Big Sky in unparallelled.  There are so many activities from hiking to zip-lining.  Mountain bike out your back door.  Fish the country’s most iconic rivers.  Enjoy a horseback ride or cowboy cookout with Cache Creek Outfitters.  This summer, Big Sky Resort will offer rides to the top of Lone Peak via the tram!  Disc golf, skateboard, shoot hoops, or play on the swings at one of the most scenic community parks in existence.  Dig for crystals and fossils.  White water raft or try rock climbing.  It’s all right here in Big Sky.  Day trips to Yellowstone National Park are a piece of cake, and you avoid the swarm of tourists.  Yes, Big Sky is a secret summertime jewel here in the Treasure State!

This time of year, I am usually still getting my legs under me for mountain biking.  Big Sky has great trails for everyone – from first timers to experts.  Lots have easy warm ups on roads and cruisy single track finishes.  This year I am making an effort to really learn how to fly fish.  I’ve dabbled in it for years – first back in the Adirondacks of upstate New York, and now here.  As a younger person, I thought of it as a little boring, but considering it involved water and friends (and sometimes beer), I went anyway.  I depended on friends to help and never really caught anything.

I caught my first trout on a fly rod in late May on the Gallatin.  It was snowing and the fish was little, but it was a complete thrill!  The rush of catching a beautiful (even little) fish is immense, and I was hooked (ha ha ha).  Anyway, this summer I am lucky enough to have award winning, world-class guides right here Grizzly Outfitters.  They’ve been helping me to become an independent fly fisher woman, so thanks guys!

Mountain biking is still my first love, but it always takes a few rides to regain my concentration and balance.  “Drunk Driving”  the the phenomenon when a biker wobbles their front tire around in an attempt to balance.  This is the stage I am at right now:)  My biking season started late, but it will all come together sooner or later!

Speaking of which, we are trying to organize the return of the Grizzly Ride.  For years, we had a group ride for bikers of all levels.  Stop into the expanded bike shop or drop us a line via Facebook and let us know you are interested.  Right now, we are considering a Tuesday morning ride.  What works for you?  We have some other exciting events planned for summer…..so stay tuned.  Hope your day has been beautiful!