By Joseph T. O’Connor EBS Managing Editor
BIG SKY – Outlaw Partners welcomed its newest Outlaw to the team on Nov. 16. Amanda Eggert, hired as staff writer, will perform reporting and editing duties for the Explore Big Sky newspaper, annual Explore Yellowstone magazine, and biannual Mountain Outlaw magazine.
Eggert earned a print journalism degree from University of Montana’s School of Journalism in 2009, though she wasn’t sure of the major at first.
“I definitely considered going with photojournalism,” Eggert said. “But with print you really get to engage with the people you’re writing about. All my family members will tell you that I ask questions all the time.”
From October 2014 through April 2015, Eggert honed her journalism skills during a fellowship with Outside magazine at the publication’s Santa Fe headquarters. She wrote “News from the Field” for Outside’s same-day online publication, fact-checked articles, and received guidance under some top journalists in the business.
“I was very lucky to work with some talented writers and very talented editors [at Outside],” Eggert said. “They put out some really high-quality reporting.”
Eggert, who turned 30 on Nov. 19 along with her twin sister, Tanya, grew up outside Billings in the small town of Huntley, Mont. Each year since they were 5 years old, the twins and their older sister Chandra, held season ski passes at Red Lodge Mountain. The experience solidified a love for the outdoors that she’s carried with her through high school, college and beyond.
A raft guide for six years, Eggert took a year off between her freshman and sophomore years to guide canoe trips on the Whangunui River in central New Zealand, where she lived for eight months. She was a ski instructor for two seasons at Snowbowl in Missoula during college, and after graduation volunteered with Eagle Mount at Bridger and Big Sky resorts.
Eggert also spent four seasons fighting wildfire and says the skills she learned on these crews will lend themselves to her new position with Outlaw.
“Something I really appreciate that I still carry with me is a profound appreciation for situational awareness – being aware of my surroundings,” she said. “Situations in fire can change really quickly, and you have to be adaptable and be really comfortable thinking on your feet.”
Eggert says her broad range of interests will bode well for her as Outlaw’s new staff writer, allowing her to engage with community members in the political arena or in the recreation industry.
Aside from general reporting duties in Big Sky, Eggert says she looks forward to rafting the Gallatin River and exploring Beehive Basin.
“Big Sky has a really vibrant community,” she said. “Outlaw does a fantastic job of spreading the word about the great things that happen [here], and the great things people from Big Sky are doing around the world.”