Yaak skyline

The Yaak is a contradictory place, equal parts obscuring temperate forest and friendly eroded hills.  The few spiky places in the landscape draw your eye from miles and miles away.  Satellite photos reveal glacial history in series, scalloped ridges, whose pattern and line pull from afar, but on the ground, in a fire lookout, atop…More

The new rules for nature

There has been much discussion in the past few months about how the significant, perhaps even colossal, surge in those camping and going outside will in effect unite the insta-hipster trend of the past 5 years with the COVID-induced cabin fever and lack of options.  Those who went camping twice last year, and wouldn’t have…More

Part of the system

I’m using Andew’s post from the other week to call myself out; since returning from the Salmon to a world newly convulsed by protest and riots I have checked out and tried to go about business as usual, at least to the greatest extent possible.  Normalcy has been a fleeting ideal for some time, since…More

Deep

3 years ago at the packraft roundup Kevin Colburn blew my mind.  We had been emailing for years, about creeks and water levels, without having ever met and thus eagerly sat down to chat about packrafting.  He showed me a gorgeous photo guide to creeks in western Montana he had put together for friends, and…More

Basal outdoor skills

A few days ago I was exploring some of the exceptional, hidden limestone cliffs we have locally, and following some mountain goat tracks up a scree slope led to option soloing up broken gullies and sticky slabs.  While liebacking off crisp solution pockets and smearing floppy shoes up sharp corrugations my mind went backwards.  To…More

2020 Bob Open report

Top photo by Mike Moore. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the mass start for the 2020 Open was cancelled, a decision I made not to avoid the modest social contact at the start point but rather to discourage the still inherently problematic matter of folks traveling to Montana from out of state.  A still robust…More

Middle Fork Salmon debrief

After a day and a half of floating, and over 30 miles and 1500′ of vertical from our put in, Marble Creek felt comforting in it’s familiarity.  We blew up and put in on a tiny side channel and were swept downstream, the thin eddies and beaver-cut willows a quick 30 feet apart.  A mile…More

Shorty

For a number of years I’ve wanted a short handy shotgun like my modified Tuffy, but with more ummph.  .410 is an excellent squirrel chambering, and mostly adequate for grouse and rabbit.  With these larger critters range is a practical limiter, not so much outright than with respect to pattern.  With a .410 20 yard…More

Drones in Wilderness

You can’t fly drones in federal Wilderness.  Not much debate on that, either from the legal side, or I would contend the philosophical one.  If the essential spirit of the Wilderness Act is the tightrope of permitting/encouraging human access on the landscape while using restrictions on technology to reduce impact, aircraft restrictions are fitting.  Though…More

Distance learning

There has been a lot of discussion lately concerning the new, or newly rediscovered, hikers and bikers and outdoorspeople the pandemic has brought out of rooms amongst the trees.  It is logical, and I see it as an extension of the last decades trend of increased outdoor participation in profile, if not as a percentage…More