Middle Basin, located between Beehive and Bear Basin in the Spanish Peaks is a great place to go for a spring tour. It offers a wide variety of terrain from rocky steeps to wide open mellow slopes. A popular line known as the Buttcrack chute is one of the best options. Located on the far end of the basin if you skin in from Beehive it is a worthy objective for a good moderate day tour. The top of the basin is a great place to check out the views of the Spanish Peaks, Lone Peak, and the Southern Madison Range. In addition keep an eye out for Mountain Goats.
The Line: Buttcrack Chute, Middle Basin
The Approach: Start at the Upper Beehive Basin Trail head and follow the trail into Beehive Basin, after about a mile of moderate skinning the trail will split with tracks continuing to head north into Beehive Basin and other tracks going east to the top of the ridge between Beehive and Bear Basin. Take the skin track going east and climb to the top of the ridge. Once at the top you will have a great view of both Bear Basin and Beehive, looking North you will see where Bear Basin and Middle Basin split (Middle Basin being the western of the two. From here you want to follow the ridge line North until you find a good spot to ski down into Middle.
Head North in Middle Basin to the obvious highpoint. The easiest approach is lookers right of the large rocks. From this highpoint you can see countless lines to ski with the more conservative lines heading back into Middle Basin and several steeper lines heading into upper Bear Basin. Be aware of snow and avalanche conditions before you head out and make an assessment once you are there. A great line is the "Butt Crack" Chute shown in red on the picture below...
From the bottom of the line you have the option to swing back to your skin track for another lap or head back to Beehive and ski to the car. See below for the video and some more pictures of the area.
The View of Beehive Peak in the distance and some intriguing lines into Bear Basin.
Gallatin Peak and Upper Bear Basin.
Lone Peak with the Southern Madison Range.
The You Belong Outside Spotlight is a new blog update brought to you by Northern Lights Trading Company. It will spotlight different areas and activities in an effort to show why Bozeman is such a great place to recreate! Also check out the Our Backyard section of our website. The information given here is just a start. Make sure you are well prepared and let someone know where you are going before you head out into the backcountry. Weather and snow conditions can change very quickly. Be aware of your surroundings and be prepared with the correct safety gear and the knowledge of how to use it. Your comments and critiques are welcome as we try to show off some areas of Southwest Montana that we know and love.