Into the West: A Journey to Big Sky Country for Ski Mountaineering
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The Madison range is nestled in the south west corner of Montana right between Yellowstone and Bozeman. Surrounding southwest Montana are the Bridger, Madison, Hyalite, Greater Gallatins, Absaroka and Beartooth range. This unsupported expedition will take place over a 14 day period. My team which includes Bobby O'Connor and Dan Nesel picked the Madison range for its amount of snow; in the northern range the mountains annually get 300 to 400 inches while the southern range gets 400 to 500 inches. This range I think is our best option not only because of snow but also because it is known for its low traffic of skiers, good spring skiing, some technical routes and some easy approaches. It holds the opportunity for us as expeditionary leaders to put our skills to practice, finding out what works and what doesn't. What follows is sample of peaks that we would like to mountaineer/ski mountaineer. These areas have little to no restrictions regarding permits for skinning and skiing which make it easier to camp in the backcountry. Following the end of the spring semester my team will be driving out to Montana which we plan on taking 4 to 5 days to get out to Bozeman. The fuel coast according to AAA (split between 3 people) for my Subaru forester will be 137 $. With gas prices fluctuating from region to region my team will throw an extra 45$ each. As far as food goes will we each allow ourselves a budget of 7$ per person per day. This 7$ budget includes the drive out and amount per day on the expedition as to not go over our purposed budget. In the event the weather does not cooperate we will follow out our contingency plan, heading further to the Pacific Northwest in the north cascades in Washington. If snow is still unsuitable we will follow out on mountaineering in or around Bozeman Montana in one of the many mountainous ranges to complete our requirements for 436 Senior Expedition.