Our main homey, Beau Fredlund has been a busy boy lately. Upon returning home from another epic ski mountaineering trip to NZ, Beau put the finishing touches on a new guide service he is involved with up in Montana, Beartooth Powder Guide. We fired over some questions to him pertaining to BPG and this is what he had to say:
You're fresh off an epic trip to NZ. How was that trip? How was hanging with AC for that long? Did he hit on you in the tent? NZ was amazing as always. It's like a different planet over there. Incredibly rich experiences. Hanging with AC everyday went quite well. Especially considering we didn't know one another before the trip.! Hadn't skied together, nor even hung out.! Lifelong homies now though. Inviting him along just seemed right. And it turned out to be. And surprisingly, we didn't tent together at all. Mountain huts all but a couple days. Good livin' there.
You came home and got straight to work on a new guide company, Beartooth Powder Guides. How did that come about? Are you guys fully operational? Beartooth Powder Guides has been in the works for quite some time, but it started to come together in ernest last winter. I had been pursuing a Special Use Permit to guide backcountry skiing in the mountains around Cooke City, and Ben Zavora (from Bozeman) came to town with similar ideas, so it made a lot of sense to team up. He managed to reinstate an old permit, and we've run with it from there. Now we are fully operational, with a Yurt north of town, and a backcountry cabin south of town (on an old mining claim). We are offering guided skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling, in addition to classes on avalanche education, local ecology and ski mountaineering.
What kind of terrain are you accessing there? Can old farts like me come up and ski low angle pow? The terrain is quite diverse up here. It's cool because Cooke City lies on a geologic fault of sorts. South of town the terrain is young, wild and volcanic (North Abasarokas), while north of town you'll find the ancient granite and gneiss of the Beartooths (the highest mountains in Montana). The complex geology means you have access to a full gamut of terrain options. There are plenty of zones with low angle pow for old farts, as well as a plethora of ski mountaineering objectives accessed right from your front door.
You gotta cool little cabin. How big is it and how far of a skin is it from civilization? My cabin or the Woody Creek Cabin? ;) Both are pretty cool. The Woody Creek Cabin has beds for 10. It's about 2.5 miles and 1000' above town, on a nice single track though the forest. It takes about an hour to skin there. But Cooke City itself, is not your typical civilization.
What do you think makes BPG unique? I'd say it's a combination of the snowfall (akin to upper Big Cottonwood Canyon), the geography/ terrain, and the ecology. We're surround by vast tracks of Wilderness and right on the edge of Yellowstone Park. Case in point: we had a pack of wolves marauding around town last week.
Not very many folks get after it like young Brody Leven. The winter of 2012/2013 he has been ticking off pretty much every major peak in the Wasatch... and doing it with a style all his own. Pretty stoked to be working with Brody. Here's a nice little mash up edit of a day ski touring with Brody. We like and it hope you do too. Click and Watch.