Top seed in Powder magazine ‘ski town throwdown’

By Emily Stifler Explorebigsky.com Managing Editor

Bozeman has once again made the list.

National Geographic magazine’s online “World’s Best 25 Ski Towns” included the town among giants such as Chamonix, Zermatt, Fernie, Jackson and Whistler.

Dubbing Bozeman “the adventure capital of the Northern Rockies,” the article points to Montana’s cowboy culture and quality, “no frills” skiing, noting the locals are “diehard skiers who wear their duct tape with pride.”

“You don’t come here for the restaurants, you come to ski the two wild Montana mountains,” it proclaims, referring to Bridger Bowl and Big Sky/Moonlight, and noting the proximity to Yellowstone National Park.

Powder magazine also has Bozeman and Big Sky in its sights. It named Bozeman the No. 1 place to “Live to Ski” in 2010, and No. 3 in its November 2012 “Best 32 Best Places to ski in North America” feature, behind only Revelstoke, British Columbia and Ogden, Utah.

The ranking was based on a “P3” formula, short for “powder per person.” The idea: “Obviously you want powder, but you don’t want it to be tracked out by 10:30,” said Powder editor John Stifter. Included in the math were annual snowfall, acreage, skier numbers and the cost of beer.

In conjunction with that feature, powder.com is hosting an online “Ski Town Throwdown,” where readers weigh in. Set up with brackets á la March Madness, Bozeman started in the top seed and clobbered Marquette, Mich., seeded eighth, 1116 to 151 during the Oct. 29 – 30 voting.

“As a skier it’s hard to want to promote where you love to ski = more people. However, it’s also a pride thing, and we need to win this one hands down,” wrote Bozeman ski photographer Travis Anderson on Powder’s Facebook page. “Since we live here and are making a living here with our families, it makes sense to self promote.”

Bozeman’s next match is Nov. 28 – 29, against Park City, Utah or Taos, N.M., and if it moves on to the final four, Dec. 10 – 11. The final throwdown will be Dec. 19 – 20. The winning resort will present a prize package to one of its loyal voters.

“It’s a fun way to get people involved with the magazine and also create this communal stoke before the season,” Stifter said. “Let’s let the readers decide the best ski town in North America.”

The deeps

Breckenridge, Colo.-based photographer/writer Liam Doran wrote about Big Sky and Moonlight in his essay “On a Whim,” in Powder’s November 2012 issue.

Dropping into the North Summit Snowfield (pictured at right), Doran described “[picking] up speed with a 100-foot straightline into a huge left turn that sent me deep into the storm’s bounty.”

It’s coming.