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From fat skis to seaweed face masks, the Mountain Outlaw editorial staff gathered some items to help you get through Montana’s long winter. -Abbie Digel

1. Light


Working long days leaves little daylight for biking or skiing local trails. The solution comes with the A-51 Series from JetLite, a powerful LED system that throws out 700 lumens (standard headlamps give out anywhere between 35-80 lumens) to guide you through the night.

The overall system may seem bulky at first, said creative director Mike Martins, “But as soon as you strap it onto you handlebars or helmet, the A-51 becomes a seamless extension.”

The battery life of the 7.4v Lithium Ion 4500 has plenty of juice to last for your entire three-hour ride. Martins’s tip: Squeeze every ounce of power from the battery by setting it on low for uphill and high for downhill.

A great gift for the biker in your life, Jetlite also offers various mounting systems, so runners, skiers and hikers can enjoy night adventures. The JetLite A-51 Series is lightweight, customizable and puts out plenty of beam for the fastest riders of the night. $199

2. Wear


In the ‘70s the world had Birkenstocks. In ‘00s we got Sanuks. This U.S. based company has an eco-approach and over 50 styles of easy-going footwear.

Sanuks are foot friendly and bring an element of style missing from dated footwear choices. With a variety of colors and patterns to choose from, Sanuks are equally equipped for cozy nights in the lodge or trips to town.

Our publisher Eric Ladd got his hands on a pair of Vagabond Mossy Oak and hasn’t taken them off since.

“After all,” he said, “who doesn’t love camo sandals? $60 – $68

3. Skin

Phytomer spa collection

Living in the mountains inevitably causes dry skin. Keep winter skin in check with Phytomer, OZssage Spa’s new collection, imported from France.

Phytomer is based on the principal that life began in seawater. The first to bring the virtues of the sea to modern skin care, Phytomer products are made of 100 percent freeze-dried seaweeds and seawater. The line includes all facets of skincare for both men and women.

Editor Taylor Anderson, who recently moved to Big Sky from Illinois, gave the Hydracontinue Relaxing Moisturing Mask a try.

“The mask dried quickly and left my skin hydrated,” he said. “It gave me the moisture my skin craved.”

We wish we’d gotten a photo of that.

Products made of seawater components are rejuvenating for the human body. Ask for a treatment using Phytomer products at OZssage in Big Sky, or take Phytomer home and create an ocean experience to balance out mountain living. $30 – $50


Rossignol x-ium, World Cup Series 1 and 2

The gals at Freeheel and Wheel in West Yellowstone rave about Rossignol’s X-IUM World Cup Series skate setup.

Rossi’s combination of X-IUM World Cup boot and NIS binding system (plated instead of screwed) make X-IUM WCS ski the lightest setup on the market.

“A lot of lightweight skis lack stability, but not the X-IUM series,” said Freeheel and Wheel’s Melissa Alder. Both Alder and Kelli Sanders use the Rossi X-IUM setup.

“Anything that can feel like less effort makes you more efficient, carve better and feel more stable, especially at high speeds,” Sanders said.

Although the X-IUM line isn’t new this year, Rossi updated the materials, sidecut, weight and flex.

Alder says any beginner, intermediate or advanced skier can try it. “It just flies up the trails.”

They recommend trying on boots first, then fitting the binding and finally matching the ski. $660


Armada jj, vjj

For the 2012 season, at skiers’ request, Armada built new sizes of its popular JJ model: the longer AK JJ (195 cm) and a smaller JJ (175, 165 cm). They also added the women’s-specific VJJ.

“The variety of sizes opens this technology up for kids and women,” said Andrew Schreiner, co-owner of Grizzly Outfitters in Big Sky. “This is going to be the ski.”

The women’s VJJ is similar to the Rossignol S7, but lighter. Don’t be deterred by the naughty name—these sticks are perfect for gals looking to rip big terrain.

Put any of these on a beginner, and they’d have a blast in powder, Schreiner says.

With laminated construction under foot, both the VJJ and JJ are capped at the tip and tail. Many laminated fat skis tend to knick at the tips and tales, but with the cap construction on these babies, that won’t happen. Plus, the early rise and partial reverse sidecut make them easy to throw around quickly.

“Armada made a real beefy, nice wood ski,” Schreiner says. JJ, VJJ $674.99, AK JJ $699.99

6. Board

Venture Odin

The Odin split board is bombproof: perfect for Big Sky’s rocky terrain and surrounding backcountry. Venture’s newest split board model was designed in collaboration with Johan Olofsson, a big mountain rider who was one of the first to take freestyle skills into the backcountry.

“With p-tex sidewalls and Voile hardware, this board is it,” said Ryan Morse of Big Sky’s Gallatin Alpine Sports.

Olofsson, who has a Guinness World Record for the 35-second 3,000-foot descent he pulled off in the 1996 film “T-B5,” has changed the way people think about big mountain riding, says Lisa Brannan, one of the founders of Venture Snowboards. Brannan is excited to have Olofsson on board because his riding style shows through in his design work.

The Odin’s offset stance and tapered bindings work together to keep the board’s nose out of snow and floating in powder. Also, its narrow tail helps it cut wide arching carves.

“I’m always looking into projects that will progress snowboarding,” Olofsson said. $585

This story was first published in the winter 11/12 issue of Mountain Outlaw magazine.
See explorebigsky’s gift and gear guide here.

The Outlaw Partners is a creative marketing, media and events company based in Big Sky, Montana.

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