Winter has arrived, and the Bitterroot Range is at its early stages of being ski friendly again. With about 6-8″ at ~6,000ft and 18-20″ in wind protected areas at ~8,000 we are well on our way to a solid year. For our tour, we took to the prestine and pretty easy to reach, Lolo Peak for a short 9 mile ~4,000 vertical ft tour. For more adventurous tours, to include Trapper Peak couloir, visit MontanaEscapades.com
After a brisk skin up to Carlton Ridge we scanned the clearly wind spanked east face of N. Lolo Peak. There was hope though! Although the peak has zero ski tracks, we convinced ourselves there was a small path that might support Lolo Peak’s first decent of the year.
We are sitting pretty for a great year. Although there wasn’t much of a base layer on this tour, the warm weather over the weekend should be just enough to set up a great foundation. There is just one more weekend before one can make use of the Mormon road since it’ll be gated Dec. 1st until May 15th. Otherwise you’ll be stuck using the Mill Creek TH, which is quite the stretch of the legs.
There’s more to enjoy than the beautiful scenery and great outdoors while living in Montana, and that’s because the state also plays host to a variety of great events held throughout the year. You can’t beat life while living in Montana, and you sure as heck can’t live in Montana without attending some of these events!!
Mullet Fest is an annual co-ed softball tournament put on by the M-Club at Montana Tech University. You are sure to have a great time with friends from all over the state when you meet up in chilly Butte, America for some fun softball action. Oh yeah, and have a mullet (even you ladies)!
Haha just messing, ladies please don’t do that.
Brawl of the Wild (Cat/Griz or Griz-Cat)
Where: Missoula, MT
When: November 22nd, 2014
Attire: Dress Warm!!!! Muck boots are the best for this one!!
Beverage: Any type of beer (have gloves, hand warmers and a koozie though)
It’s time to show your colors – whether you’re a Griz, Cat, or House Divided, you better be ready to cheer loud and proud at the state’s largest sporting event. Featuring a showdown between two of the state’s top football programs, the Brawl of the Wild is a true testament of what it means to be a die-hard football fan. Be brave and face the elements. Have fun and support your state.
Note: Attendance is a MUST for any college student.
Headwaters Country Jam
Where: The Bridge near Three Forks, MT
When: June 25th-27th, 2015
Attire: Country duh
Beverage: Coors or Budweiser
If you like country music and drinking beer then Country Jam is the right place for you. This Watershed spinoff has slowly grown into one of Montana’s biggest summer hits, and it continues to attract more big name artists year after year. Attendees can also enjoy mechanical bull riding, dancing, food vendors and horseshoe tournaments.
Montana State Fair
Where: Great Falls, MT
When: July 25 – August 2, 2015
Beverage: Go to the beer garden or food concessionaires
The Montana State Fair is one gnarly way to celebrate a summer full of fun, with animals, motor sports, exhibits, concerts, rodeo, fair food and much more on display. Don’t be that dude who doesn’t go to the fair, no one likes them. Go and enjoy life.
Testicle Festival (Testy Festy)
Where: Rock Creek Lodge in Clinton, MT
When: August 1-5, 2015 (Unconfirmed)
Attire: Not much…at all
Better bring a strong appetite and a parka if you’re attending this event because you are sure to leave bear-soaked and full of Rocky Mountain Oysters. Testy Festy is packed with all sorts of wild fun; featuring wet T-shirt and hairy chest contests, some oil wrestling, and other R-rated shenanigans. Go big or go home with this one ladies n gents.
Big Sky Pond Skim
Where: Ambush headwall at Big Sky Resort’s Mountain Village
When: April 18, 2015
Attire: Snow pants and a pullover
Beverage: Twisted Tea
If you are looking for a slightly sketchy, yet totally BA way to rock out during the winter, then participate in the Big Sky Pond Skim. If you are a big fan of Jack Ass and like watching people perform dangerous stuff then go watch! Overall, the Big Sky Pond Skim is a great event that sponsors lots of fun and entertainment.
St. Patrick’s Day
Where: Butte, MT
When: March 17, 2015
Attire: Green, green, green my friends
Beverage: Green beer and shots of celebration
What better place is there to celebrate St. Patty’s Day then in Butte, America? The city is rich with Irish history and tradition, and considers itself Ireland’s Fifth Province. Get ready for bagpipers, green-died beards, parades and dancing, drinking, and one hell of a good time.
Tip: Go wherever the green beer tastes the best. Good luck!
Where: Missoula, MT
When: Depends – Winter Brewfest (Feb.), Maverick Brew Fest (Sept.), Garden City Brewfest (May)
Attire: Depends on which one you attend. Always bring some gloves or a koozie to hold your brewskies though
Beverage: Try everything
Brewfest features an array of taps that are mainly made in Montana. This is a great event to go to if you are looking to casually drink and hang out with friends before a night out on the town. There’s also live music and food available for purchase.
Tip: Enjoy ALL of the brewskies. Cheers!
Miles City Bucking Horse Sale
Where: Miles City, MT
When: May 14-17, 2015
The Miles City Bucking Horse Sale has it all: showdowns between cowboy and bronc, street dances, live music, a parade and much more. Chances are you’ll find what you are looking for at this extravaganza.
Montana Folk Festival
Where: Butte, MT
When: July 10-12, 2015
Attire: Shorts and a T-shirt
Beverage: Water & beer
The Montana Folk Festival is one of the largest, free outdoor musical festivals in the Northwest. This is a great family event that features some of the best traditional performers in the nation, Folklife workshops, regional artists, and ethnic and festival foods. You, your family, and friends are sure to have a good time in Butte for this one.
Have you ever wanted to spend the evening fighting off ghosts and ghouls in Montana? Here is a comprehensive list of the most frightening and haunted places that you can visit…..if you dare!!
1. Garnett Ghost Town
This old mining town was home to more than 1,000 people, mainly gold miners and their families, in 1895. The town consisted of homes, stores, hotels and 13 bars. A fire in 1912 destroyed most of the businesses and only 150 people stayed and continued to live in Garnett Ghost Town. In 1947 the town was officially considered abandoned. In the 1970’s the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) decided to have someone stay year round because buildings were burning down. Since then there have been reports of a pianos playing quietly, men’s voices echoing, transparent figures walking the streets, fresh footprints in the snow leading into houses but never exiting and also the ghost of a women that was allegedly executed for murder. If you are feeling adventurous in the winter you may rent one of two historic cabins built in the 1930’s from the BLM.
2. Chico Hot Springs
Chico Hot Springs opened as a health-care resort in 1900 and was owned and operated by Bill and Percie Knowles. After the Great Depression Percie’s health began to decline and she spent most of her time in room 349 sitting in a rocking chair and looking out the window. In 1936 she was committed to Warm Springs State Hospital and soon passed away. There have been many reports from guests and employees of sightings of Percie. She has been seen as a hazy apparition in a period dress floating down the third floor hallway or in the dining room. There have also been reports of a strong smell of perfume and the rocking chair rocking even though no one is sitting in it. You can rent a room and relax all weekend and maybe even see a ghost!
3. Deer Lodge Prison
The old Deer Lodge Prison was built in 1871 and was a response to reign in the outlaws of the Wild West. This Prison was used until 1979 and was then converted into a museum that also leads tours. Visitors and staff members have complained of seeing flying objects, unexplained shadows, whispers and footsteps, feelings of dread and sadness, the smell of burning flesh and even the sensation of being choked. One particular cell in the hole is reported to be very cold and has a foul odor with an evil threatening presence. When people have tried to leave the hole by walking up the stairs they have said to experience a pushing back feeling, hindering them from leaving.
4. Canyon Ferry Mansion, Townsend
Wealthy railroad contractor and cattleman A.B. Cook built this 12,750 square foot mansion in 1914. In 1970 there was a brutal murder here when an intruder killed Franklin Hervey Cook, A.B’s stepson. The mansion was bought by owners Sandy and Steve Rose who turned it into a bed and breakfast. The mansion is said to have seven spirits and a poltergeist haunting the property and there have been many sightings. Some sightings include a man said to be Hervey Cook, a lady in the garden, a teenager crying on the stairs and old cars turning down the driveway and then disappearing. There have also been reports of a piano playing in the background even though there is no piano on the property, cold spots, items being unexplainably moved and the aroma of cigars.
5. Elks Lodge, Miles City
Elks Lodge #537 was built in 1914 and has a meeting room, clubroom, bar, ballroom and rooms for guests. During prohibition the Elk’s Lodge was a place where people could go for drinks and entertainment. According to legend there was a suicide committed there in 1936 and it is said that Bonnie and Clyde sat one-night playing cards. There have been numerous incidents reported including the ghost of a man donning a green jacket; a female ghost wearing a long dress has been seen gliding across rooms as well as unexplained footsteps and dark shadows.
6. Boulder Hot Springs Inn
In 1863 James Riley built a tavern and bathhouse for miners to use and has since been through many renovations. The Inn is now used as a conference center and is alcohol and tobacco free. There is evidence that suggests that a mining executive murdered a prostitute and she now haunts the halls. There has been the unexplained odor of perfume, footsteps in empty hallways, cold temperatures, strong energy and a woman in a white gown has been seen in numerous windows. The legend has grown so epic that people have even named the ghost, Simone, and you can even stay in her sweet, if you dare.
7. The University of Montana
Brantley Hall was built in 1922 as a dormitory and since the mid 1980’s has been used as an administrative office building. According to legend, a female student that killed her self in 1929 haunts the building. Countless incidences have been reported including, doors slamming, loud clapping, an eerie “sense of presence,” a female voice calling when the building was dark and locked, and woman’s feet underneath the bathroom partition when nobody was in the stall.
Jeanette Rankin hall was first erected in 1908 but it wasn’t until numerous transformations that it was named after Jeanette Rankin in 1983. It is said that an entire ghostly lecture class gathers and restlessly shuffles around. There have also been reports of the sound of chairs moving around coming from the second floor and windows opening after custodians have shut them.
These are my two best friends Becca and Jack. We are from Whitefish, Montana and spent our lives growing up together from preschool to high school and finally college. It wasn’t until freshman year at University of Montana when Becca and Jack began to date. Since 2010, Becca and Jack’s romance has grown and I’ve enjoyed watching my two best friends fall in love. We graduated May 17, 2014 from college and later that night Jack proposed to Becca.
Traveling when strapped for cash can be both difficult and stressful. Although planning ahead helps there can often be unexpected changes in plans, or bumps in the road (pun intended). It’s at these times that having the right travel resources or travel apps to make impromptu decisions can make your trip a success.
These are my 6 most used travel apps.
1. Google Maps
I can’t say enough about google maps. As long as you have a smart phone or computer available, you have access to the seemingly limitless navigation power of almighty google. Many people take this for granted, but try finding your way somewhere where you have no cell service or internet and you will quickly realize how important this tool is.
One benefit Google maps offers that may people don’t know about is their integration with public transportation. Just search the directions you need and choose the bus image instead of driving or walking. This will give you specific instructions for the most efficient way to get where you need to go, even including the relevant bus or subway schedules and the cost of each portion of the trip.
Although yelp provides reviews for all sorts of attractions, I’ve found it most beneficial for “underground” activities (No, I’m not referring to spelunking). I’m talking about hikes that only locals know about. Or the best lookout for a romantic drive. Or somewhere you can get a taco and bring your own beers without being hassled. No matter what you’re looking for, if it exists, it’s likely a yelp-er has reviewed it on this travel app.
No matter where I’ve found myself in the world Urbanspoon is an app that has given me a quick, reliable information on great places to eat within my budget. Their intuitive interface allows you to find eats based upon a variety of factors so you’ll always get exactly what you want.
Craigslist for travel? I know it may sound odd, but craigslist has countless services that make travel easier. Ride-share is one example. This is an area where people post carpooling opportunities and you can usually find a ride between between most cities. If your flexible with dates you can pretty much get anywhere for just pitching in some gas money. If you’re driving your own vehicle, the automotive services section is an excellent resource to find extremely inexpensive repairs for your rig. Most cities have countless “mobile mechanics” who will be happy to meet you anywhere and get you back on the road.
Uber is an extremely successful recent startup that connects people with drivers. It’s basically like a crowd-sourced taxi service where anyone can sign up to be a driver. It is a great alternative to expensive taxi services and is quickly expanding its reach around the world.
6. Air bnb
Looking for inexpensive lodging while traveling? Air bnb, much like Uber, is a crowd sourced program that allows people to rent out rooms in their homes to travelers. There is a very wide range of price and quality, so it’s likely you can find just what you’re looking for.
If you haven’t used these travel apps before, try them out! They really do make travel more feasible, less stressful, and most importantly less expensive.