11 Lone Peak Drive ● Town Center ● Big Sky, Montana ● 406-995-2939 ● Winter Hours 8am - 8pm 7 Days

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The 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 backcountry? Do you love someone who does? See you tonight.

LOVE this? HATE this? Email me! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*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.*

Posted by on in Grizzly Outfitters Blog

Yesterday was a stunning, sunscreen-and-Capilene day on Lone Peak. The sun warmed the snow into fun creamy slush, commonly referred to as “corn snow’. Corn is characterized by large-grained crystals formed through repetitive melt-freeze cycles. When the temperature drops, corn snow hardens into an icy crust. As it warms, it transforms to a velvety texture that’s a dream to ski or ride.

As the temperature rises, this creamy corn can transform into dangerous slush and result in wet snow avalanches. In the most basic language, dry snow avalanches are caused when a dump overloads buried weak layers. Wet snow avalanches happen when the strength of the buried weak layers is decreased through melt.

Imagine corn snow crystals as grapes, and the vines are crystalline bonds between them. As the sun warms the snowpack, the “vines” transform into water. Now you just have a bunch of loose grapes floating in water. Add a slope and you get a wet snow avalanche, or “wet slide”. Surface tension is the property that holds molecules of the same liquid together (think raindrop). The surface tension of water will keep a slide from occurring until a certain point, when the amount of water percolating through the snowpack overpowers it.

When in the spring backcountry, beware of wet slides. The spring snowpack can transform greatly in short periods!!

At Griz, we’re still having a blast up at Big Sky Resort……BUT, we’re also pulling out our bike gear, and thinking spring. All winter clothing and last year’s spring/summer clothing is 50% OFF, and we have all sorts of deals throughout the shop.

Posted by on in Grizzly Outfitters Blog
Our Spring Meltdown Sale continues! After a fun weekend here at Griz, Ken & Andrew have decided to keep the sale rolling.   Winter clothing, last year’s spring/summer clothing, and gloves will remain at 50% OFF! Most skis, poles, and helmets will continue to be 30% OFF, and we have assorted sale bins throughout the store. We’re supposed to get a nice hit of pow in the next couple days, so treat yourself and SAVE.

Thanks to everyone who came out for the “Spring in the Backcountry” event. We had Alex B. of Big Sky Resort Ski Patrol bring his avy dog, Charlie. The Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center sent Alex M. to hold a beacon practice clinic. Both were super fun and informative! We hope to hold a similar beacon clinic during the 2012-13 winter season, so stay tuned.            

The store is flooded with NEW Spring inventory from all of our vendors. This spring we are pleased to add Carve Designs and Chico Bags to our list of vendors.

Interested in more DEALS? Like us on Facebook, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be added to our “Friends of the Shop” list and receive exclusive deals and sale information.

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