Warm temperatures cut into ski hill snowpack

By PETER HOAG/Montana State News

Bridger Bowl has recently experienced an alarming amount of warm weather. The current data indicates a troubling situation for local skiers and snowboarders, especially those who purchased a season pass.

The last four weeks have all maintained an average temperature at or above freezing, slowly increasing to this past week’s average temperature of 44 degrees Fahrenheit. The current mean average temperature for February is currently 39 degrees Fahrenheit, 15 degrees higher than the last three months’ average, and 13 degrees higher than the next highest February average of the last five years.

The most startling data would be the maximum high temperatures: In the last 30 days, 19 days have recorded temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above, six days have recorded 50 or above, one day peaked over 60, and four record highs were recorded. Continue reading “Warm temperatures cut into ski hill snowpack”

Lack of snow frustrates locals

By ERIC JOONDEPH/Montana State News

This winter has been tough financially for many businesses in and around the Gallatin Valley due to the lack of snowfall. The beautiful sunshine, a spectacular sight Bozeman doesn’t normally see in the wintery months, has left many of its residents wondering if the ski season is dripping away.

“It’s on everyone’s mind. It’s just a matter of staying positive, everything tends to work out,” said Andy Haynes, a sales associate at Roundhouse Ski and Sports.

The last storm that swept through the state left some cities with 10 inches of snow or more yet left Bozeman with nothing. Continue reading “Lack of snow frustrates locals”

New hoops coach plans ‘player first’ program

By SCOTT PHELAN/Montana State News

Montana State University’s newest head basketball coach, Brian Fish, characterizes his philosophy with one word: integrity.

Fish said he demands integrity from others as well as himself. “We are going to work hard and we’re going to play the game the right way,” said Fish at a press conference.

Integrity is part of the reason Fish landed the new coaching job at Montana State University.

“We were looking for integrity; someone who won’t sacrifice academics” said Athletic Director Peter Fields.

Fish was also hired because of his impressive coaching resume.

“He worked at Creighton and they built a program at Creighton when Creighton wasn’t very good. He brings a lot of understanding on that process,” said Fields. Continue reading “New hoops coach plans ‘player first’ program”

MSU hoops coach names new assistant

By SCOTT PHELAN/Montana State News

Montana State University men’s basketball program has made its second big move this offseason with the recent hiring of Kenya Crandell.

“I’m very excited to get back on the floor and coach, which is what I love to do,” said Crandell in a Montana State University press release.

“Crandell’s coaching career began at his alma mater, Nebraska-Kearney, as a graduate assistant from 1997-2000,” according to the press release

Since then, Crandell has maintained a variety of coaching positions. Before his time at Oregon he spent four years (2008-2012) at Southern Utah, and the year before was at Sacramento State for a season. Continue reading “MSU hoops coach names new assistant”

Commission OKs funding for sports complex

By CLARK MOORMAN and DANIELLE MARTIN/Montana State News

The Bozeman City Commission unanimously approved Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOP) bond funding for a $7.5 million, 10-field., multi-use sports complex at last Monday’s weekly meeting.

However, the proposal was only approved after amendments were approved. The most major of these amendments states that developers who build across from the park on Cottonwood Rd must contribute to a fund for Cottonwood Rd maintenance.

There has been controversy as to whether or not spending such a large portion of TOP’s $15 million in funds on such a facility is what the public had in mind when they voted for the bond in 2012.

On Monday night, City Hall was filled with citizens eager to voice their opinion on the matter. During the public comment section of the meeting, the majority of citizen comments were about the proposal, with the overwhelming majority of citizens speaking in favor of the proposal.

In addition, TOP Program Manager Jeff Graff shared that of the 112 public posted comments on the proposal’s website, the “overwhelming majority” were in favor of passing the proposal. Continue reading “Commission OKs funding for sports complex”

Fish named new MSU men’s basketball coach

By JACQUELINE BLACKWOOD/Montana State News

Brian Fish has been hired as the new head coach of Montana State University men’s basketball program. Fish is leaving the University of Oregon after a 15-year long partnership with coach Dana Altman to become the 22nd head coach in Bobcat history.

The search for a new head coach began shortly after former head coach, Brad Huse, resigned from his position after eight seasons with the Bobcats. In regards to finding a replacement for head coach, MSU Director of Athletics Peter Fields said, “hiring the right person is the most important factor.”

Fish is expected to be that right person because of his experience both playing and coaching basketball. Fish played at Western Kentucky University from 1984-1986 and transferred to Marshall where he played from 1987-1989.

After earning a BA in sports management, Fish began working with Altman at Oregon, Creighton and Marshall. From this experience he “learned the business the right way, with integrity yet being able to win a lot of games,” Fish said. Continue reading “Fish named new MSU men’s basketball coach”

Plans afoot to address Bridger parking woes

By MORGAN SOLOMON/Montana State News 

With 10 inches of new snow overnight, Bridger Bowl Ski Resort announced through their snow-phone and Facebook page that parking lots were completely filled by 9 a.m. on Saturday.

“The line of cars was backed up at least 5 miles,” said Paige Maskill, who was volunteering with Eagle Mount at Bridger on Saturday. “It was past Olson Creek Jeep Road at least.”

With the growing popularity of the community-owned ski hill, this scene is becoming more and more common.

According to Gallatin County’s Bridger Bowl Base Area Plan, the ski resort is limited to 1,500 parking spaces due to zoning restrictions. As a result, many skiers and riders participate in the “any space without a restriction sign is a parking space” guidelines.

According to Doug Wales, the Marketing Director for Bridger Bowl, the parking lots weren’t full until about 10 a.m., but with the long line of cars coming through the canyon, a message was put out to the public early.

He said efforts are under way to address the situation. Continue reading “Plans afoot to address Bridger parking woes”

MSU track team heads to championship

By MAKENZIE JOHNSON/ Montana State News

The MSU track team leaves Thursday for this weekend’s Indoor Big Sky Conference Championship held in Pocatello, Idaho.

Michael Asay, a fourth-year distance runner, is going into the weekend ranked sixth in the Big Sky Conference in the mile. He is signed up for the 3,000 meter run, the mile, and DMR (distance medley relay). The men’s DMR team is ranked first.

“We don’t know what we’re ranked as a team yet,” Asay says of the team’s expected rank in conference.

He says that competing schools to watch will be Northern Arizona University and Southern Utah. Continue reading “MSU track team heads to championship”

Hyalite Canyon a big draw for ice climbers

By CASEY SULLIVAN/Montana State News

Hyalite Canyon south of Bozeman has become a mecca for ice climbers around the region.

For MSU students it is about a 40-minute drive to reach the canyon followed by a hike ranging anywhere from fifteen minutes to over an hour, depending on the difficulty of climbing a person is looking for. Together the Southwest Montana Climbers Association and Gallatin National Forest help maintain and plow the roads throughout the winter to ensure access.

Frequent climber, freshman Jacob Oberman explains that at the end of the road, “you have G1 and G2; which are some of the easiest accessed ice climbing locations in Hyalite, because they are the shortest hike in and are the easiest to get to the top to set top ropes.” He said that you will almost always find other climbers during the day, but at nine on a Saturday night, you will most likely have the incredible frozen waterfalls to yourself. Continue reading “Hyalite Canyon a big draw for ice climbers”

Renovations planned for fieldhouse

By JENNIFER WEBSTER/Montana State News

The Brick Breeden Fieldhouse and Worthington Arena at Montana State University are scheduled to undergo renovations beginning in May. Multiple sources who work in the fieldhouse said the between $2.6 million and $2.7 million will be spent on the renovations.

An source involved in the renovations says they are still in the design and development phase. The source says there are four stages to the entire renovation, which include adding curtains, replacing bleachers, improving the sound system and replacing the flooring. Continue reading “Renovations planned for fieldhouse”

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