Cozy Up, Learn a Backcountry Skill

This winter, join the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation for a series of monthly free, online workshops to help wilderness enthusiasts enjoy (and care for) our snowy backyard wildlands. Each month, we’ll introduce another outdoors person in the Greater Yellowstone and dive into a topic of their choice, giving attendees access to the presenter’s passions and experience. Expect a combination of recorded videos from the field, live explanations and insights, and time for Q and A. See schedule below:


Date and TimePresenterTopicRegistration On Zoom
January 18, 6 PMAsano OtsuBackcountry Pizza! Enough One Pot Wonders… Let’s eat real food outside! Register Here
February 15, 6 PMDr. Jeffrey StricklerStories These Mountains Tell Us Register Here
March 29, 6 PMLee NellisFrom Solitude to SociabilityRegister Here
April 26, 6 PMMelissa GundersonGeologic History of the Beartooth MountainsRegister Here

2023 Webinars

Backcountry Pizza! Enough One Pot Wonders… Let’s eat real food outside!

  • Back by popular demand, Asano Otsu (owner of Everyday Foods) shares more in-depth tips on how to cook simple and fun backcountry pizza on a camping stove.
  • Preparation is key – some simple tricks to eat well on your trips
  • No fancy equipment – Asano will be demonstrating on backpacking cookware and stove, everything you would take on your overnighter.

About Asano Otsu:

  • Born out of passion to create – Asano Otsu shares her life experiences through her creative original food. She came to Red Lodge as an Outward Bound instructor more than dozen years ago and has worked, served and thrived in our community ever since then. Over the years, she wore many hats in the Outdoor Industry: educator, retail expert, technical specialist and safety auditor to name a few. Nowadays you can find her slinging small batch Sourdough Breads with local retailers under the company she founded in winter of 2018, “Everyday Foods.”

Stories These Mountains Tell Us

Our culture often presents history in a linear manner – a story with a start and a finish. This is a model, but not a requirement. The history of an area can also be seen as a collection of stories related to the names of the various mountains, lakes and streams. This creates a kaleidoscope of tales that, taken together, creates a beautiful picture. One could imagine hiking an area like the A-B Wildernes where each individual feature (or name) has its own tale.

The story of the day only depends on the path the hiker has chosen. The stories will vary but the features’ names will reveal what is known of the explorers, miners, Native Americans, dude ranchers, and modern day hikers that wandered these hills. In this webinar, we look at the stories behind some interesting features in the Absaroka-Beartooth and see what we find.

Dr. Strickler, the author of several books on Big Sky and western Montana, has also just written, Meanings in the Mountains, Place Names in the Absaroka-Beartooth and Crazies, the topic of tonight’s Webinar. His roots in Montana date back to early years of the twentieth century. He and his wife Karen raised their children in Helena where he opened the Helena Pediatric Clinic and practiced for 30 years. Upon retirement in 2005, they moved to Big Sky to continue to enjoy the outdoor life with skiing, hiking, and wandering through the land and its stories.

From Solitude to Sociability

Lee Nellis, who wrote the “Tracks” essay in Voices from Yellowstone’s Capstone, was a pioneer of land use planning in the rural West. He has worked with local governments; conservation groups, and land management agencies, as well as teaching at the university level. Lee was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2010 in recognition of innovative contributions to rural communities and landscapes throughout the U.S. He took breaks from the constant controversy of western planning to work in Vermont and serve as a guide and ranger in Yellowstone and the surrounding region. He is currently consulting with communities in the Adirondacks and southern Utah. If you’ve read the atlas, you know that Crazy Creek is his favorite place in the Beartooths.

In this webinar, Lee will update the “Tracks: The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness and Human Migration ” chapter in the Atlas, then pose questions about what loving wilderness means in 2023.

Geologic History of the Beartooth Mountains

In this webinar, Melissa Gunderson will highlight the unique geology and terrain of the Beartooth Mountains, which have some of the oldest exposed rocks on Planet Earth and host some of the world’s most critical metals such as palladium, platinum, and chromium. In contrast to the old rocks, the landscape we see today has been sculpted and carved by glaciers just a mere 13,000 years ago (geologically speaking). Melissa will dig deep into the formation and uplift of the Beartooth Mountains, the multitude of glacial features we can see out in the A-B, and briefly touch on the history of mining in the area.

Melissa Gundersen is a Geologist on the Custer Gallatin National Forest in the Beartooth Ranger District. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s in Geology with a focus in structural geology, stratigraphy, and tectonics. Her education and research instilled a deep interest in understanding how the landscapes we live and recreate in form. With the USFS, she provides geologic expertise for land management projects (including cave and karst management), mineral administration for active mines, and reclamation work for abandoned mines.

Winter Webinar 2022 Recordings

Trip Visioning and Planning Using Free, Online Resources (Recorded Webinar 2-17-2021)

Science in the A-B (Recorded Webinar 3-24-2021)

Upcoming Stewardship Opportunities (Recorded Webinar 4-21-2021)