And the great reviews keeps on coming.....thanks all!

2013-03-07

Craig Hergert with Brian Hurlbut | Montana, Skiing The Last Best Place

Published: March 6, 2013
By Judy Shafter - Lively Times

 Link to Lively Times review:

The state of Montana offers an abundance of world-class recreational opportunities, and certainly downhill skiing is near the top of this list. Craig Hergert’s masterful photography, accompanied by Brian Hurlbut’s friendly narratives, beautifully illustrate the state’s 16 public ski areas, along with one private facility.

“For me, skiing in Montana is the way skiing was back in the 1940s … Simple, beautiful, and quiet,” writes famous ski filmmaker and winter sports enthusiast Warren Miller in the book’s foreword.

Hergert conceived the idea for this project about eight years ago, and began visiting as many ski areas as time and money would afford. Well into the project, he realized that his photos would need descriptions to fully capture their essence, so he approached his friend, professional writer Hurlbut, to take on that part of the project.

Their combined talents offer readers a visual perspective, as well as useful information, on what each site has to offer. Breathtaking aerial shots of snow-covered mountains are apt to make skiers wish for another round of winter.

The state boasts a few deluxe resort facilities, but for the most part, small to mid-size hills offer families and school groups lift prices and slopes geared to their interests, with plenty of atmosphere and friendly service. Learn about Bridger Bowl’s famous “Cold Smoke” powder, marvel at the tenacity behind Montana’s oldest ski hill, Showdown, and admire Whitefish Mountain Resort’s surreal snow ghosts.

The book is certain to inspire winter road trips for skiers and boarders, while the dazzling photographs and historical tidbits will keep armchair enthusiasts entertained.

Hergert, an award-winning photographer, owns Montana Panoramic gallery and studio in Bozeman. Hurlbut is the author of the Insider’s Guide to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, a frequent contributor to several magazines, and director of the Arts Council of Big Sky.

Their handsome new collaboration was published by Great Wide Open Publishing of Bozeman and sells for $60.

 

A great story on the new book today in the Whitefish Pilot:

2013-03-06

Documentary project explores Montana ski areas:
http://www.flatheadnewsgroup.com/whitefishpilot/article_88b3d6a4-8688-11e2-972c-001a4bcf887a.html


By MATT BALDWIN Whitefish Pilot

Bozeman-based photographer Craig Hergert has spent the past eight years traveling in his truck and camper to every lift-serviced ski area in Montana. From the “biggest skiing in America” of Big Sky to the dozen or so mom and pop areas scattered throughout the state, Hergert has photographed and skied them all. He’s complied the best images from his journey into a 226-page coffee table-style book “Montana: Skiing The Last Best Place.” The book follows in the spirit of a true documentary project and attempts to capture each ski area in its naked truth — as they actually are. “The goal was to tell the story of what is there right now,” he said. “There is enough ski porn out there.” The book’s afterword says it best.
“I did not want to stage professional skiers ripping down the steepest slopes and cliffs depicting a world of what skiing should look like, but rather what it does look like.”

He references one photo in the book of a snowy, foggy view at Whitefish Mountain Resort.
“It is like that there a lot of the time,” he said about the raw image. “I didn’t want to paint a glossy picture.” Hergert’s travels took him to 18 ski areas in Montana as far east as Bear Paw Ski Bowl near Havre, and as far west as Lookout Pass on the Montana / Idaho border. It’s the contrast of skiing in Montana that intrigued him most on his journey. High-speed quad lifts and $14 cheese burgers on one end of the spectrum, a lonely T-bar on the other.
“Having places like Big Sky and Whitefish contrast with ski areas only open on the weekends — they’re similar in ways, but also completely different,” he explained. Hergert started the book in the real-estate development boom years around 2005 when slopeside condos were going up at an unprecedented rate. “I was concerned some of the mom and pop ski areas would get bought up and I wanted to document these places as soon as I could,” he said.
When the recession hit, the building slowed, but Hergert’s project went on. He found that many of the ski areas in the state haven’t changed in decades and are in no danger of changing any time soon. “That’s the allure to some of these places,” he said. “It’s still 1972 at some of these ski areas. Some even have the same carpet in the lodge from 1972, and nobody wants them to change.”

After visiting every ski area in Big Sky Country, Hergert does have a few favorites. Discovery Basin near Phillipsburg tops his list. He enjoys the Wild West feel of the area with the variety of terrain. “The front side is family fun, while the back side is full-on expert skiing,” he said. One of his favorite days while traveling came at Turner Mountain near Libby. He timed the trip to perfection. “We got there on a Friday and it had snowed 30 inches,” he remembered. “One bus load of drunk Canadians was there, and us, and that was it.” It felt like they had the mountain to themselves. He made a few trip to Whitefish, which he calls in the book, “one of the liveliest ski towns in the state.”
“Although the skiing can be top-notch, the best part of Whitefish is the overall atmosphere. It’s a mountain that truly embraces and relishes in its history as the oldest ski resort in Montana.” Hergert hopes the book has a long shelf-life as a historical place marker and says that it just might spark a local to check out a new ski area in Montana. “I made it for us, people that live in Whitefish, Bozeman or Havre,” he said. “I wanted it to be something that documented these places and something for people to look at and maybe inspire them to go on a road trip,” he said.

The book is available online at www.MontanaPanoramic.com, iTunes and Amazon, and sells for $60.

BIG SKI COUNTRY 'Quirky, quaint' Montana ski areas featured in new book Author Craig Hergert wanted to document small hills before they changed "Helena Independent Record" 2-21-13

2013-02-22


A new story in the Helena Independent Record newspaper today on the ski book...here is a link to the digital version:

BIG SKI COUNTRY
'Quirky, quaint' Montana ski areas featured in new book
Author Craig Hergert wanted to document small hills before they changed

 

“Montana: Skiing the Last Best Place” sells for $60 and will be available at Montana Book and Toy Company and can be ordered on Amazon.

 

A love of skiing and the desire to document Montana’s 17 mostly “mom and pop” ski areas are combined in a vivid new coffee table book by Craig Hergert.

In “Montana: Skiing the Last Best Place,” Hergert uses scores of images to show the quirky, quaint and quality ski hills, where attire is anything from Carhartts to Pataguchi and chairlifts range from tow ropes to high-speed quads. Warren Miller, the esteemed ski and snowboard filmmaker, writes in the book that Hergert has done a “masterful job” of catching timeless feelings in breathtaking color, taking in not only the physical beauty but also the ambiance of their communities.

“Craig has spent thousands of days getting up before dawn to climb to just the right location, so that when the sun comes up and before the lifts turn on, he will get that magic photo that will excite you and make you want to experience freedom of your own on the side of that same hill,” Miller wrote in the foreword. “Being in Montana and absorbing some of the views captured by Craig will make your heart race as you drive toward them from the flatlands in between.”

Hergert said the idea for the book came to him about eight years ago. The Bozeman-based photographer said he was watching the Big Sky building boom and decided he wanted to document small towns and small ski areas before they changed. “And the honest truth is I wanted to go skiing,” the self-professed ski bum added. But he notes that beyond documenting ski areas, he wanted to share the hidden treasures so that Montanans might want to visit a new mountain. “And I also wanted tourists to see what’s out there and not just go to the big resorts,” Hergert said. “I included a little bit about the cities and towns nearby, especially since the area is part of it. “There’s a lot of love in all these places. Very few people are making much money, especially the smaller ones, but they are so important to the communities.”He added that what people won’t see are the magazine-type photos of tight shots of people making perfect turns.

“There’s plenty of that out there,” Hergert said. “I wanted the wide open scope of towns and ski areas.” He started at Lost Trail Powder Moutain, which in the book is noted as a “little gem” with some of the best snow in the state and lift tickets that max out at $36. Along with the iconic snow ghosts in Whitefish and the cold smoke of Bridger, Hergert shot photos of ski joring in Wisdom, White Sulphur’s infamous hot springs, the alpenglow of sunrise on Ear Mountain and Tibetan prayer flags fluttering in the breeze at Red Lodge.

He’s hesitant to say which is his favorite photo, since “that’s like asking which kid you like best — you have a favorite but would never tell them.” However, he acknowledges that a shot of Discovery Ski Area does hold a special place in his heart. Closer to home, Hergert hit Great Divide on a powder day in January last year, showing spectacular skiing in the Big Open, the beauty of night skiing and the “unique” watering hole that is Jester’s Bar. Great Divide owner Kevin Taylor said he didn’t realize Hergert was on a photo assignment until afterward.

“It’s refreshing that someone produced such a high-quality book,” Taylor said. “It’s good exposure, although I still think people from out of state will still go to resort areas. But there are some hardy souls who will come around on auto tours to the small areas and understand some of our limitations.”

Author Brian Hurlbut also contributed to the effort, writing short synopses of the communities and ski hills to explain why each is worth a visit. Hergert said he used a mix of digital and film cameras with a variety of lenses to take the photographs, which made it a bit difficult to get around at times. “Some days I would put skins on my skis and hike up the mountain across from the ski hill or get up early to get that one shot,” Hergert said. “Timing is the tricky part, and I finally had to concede that in some cases I wasn’t going to be able to get the perfect shot. But I did get the one that told the story.”

Reporter Eve Byron: 447-4076 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Follow Eve on Twitter @IR_EveByron

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"Craig, your work is just simply captivating. I've never seen anything like it, I catch myself getting lost in the amazingly detailed and creatively composed panoramic images that capture the Montana landscape and lifestyle better than any photo I've ever seen in my life."

Brian Hurlbut

Author, "Falcon Guide to the Greater Yellowstone Region" Read More ...
Hi Craig,

I received the poster that I ordered from your website.  It is breathtaking!!!  I expected it to be wonderful but it is so much more!  I look forward to enjoying it for years to come.  Makes me want to plan another visit to Bozeman!!! 
s so very much!  I appreciate you signing it too.  I love that touch!  You really do great work!
Read More ...
...Instead of merely imparting a place in time, as most photos do, Hergert’s panoramics seem to capture the entirety of a scene, from subtle differences in topography and color to holistic form and totality of detail. The result is a more comprehensive engagement of the mind, and a more visceral aesthetic response. When you see an image in Montana Read More ...
...We received the book yesterday, it is truly beautiful! As an Englishman who has spent a total of about 8 days in Montana in my entire life, it made me homesick for the place....

Ben

California Read More ...
...Viewing his 180-plus degree panoramas is as close as you can get to actually visiting scenic places such as the Bridger Range, Paradise Valley, and Lee Metcalf Wilderness. Hergert's ability to capture and highlight the diversity and grandiosity of landscapes makes the average Montana postcard look like a Kodak Instamatic snapshot. © "Montana Out Read More ...
"Craig, thank you so much for your quick shipping of the Bridger Bowl print we ordered last week. We just got it framed, and it is flat out amazing!!!!! My dad is going to absolutely love this years Christmas present more than anything ever. Keep up the good work!"

Nancy VanDermolen

Minneapolis Minnesota Read More ...
The book is great!  We absolutely love your work, and will definitely be back at the shop this summer.

Thanks Craig!  I had a tough time choosing which to pick.  You do beautiful work!!!  I used to live in Bozeman and you're photos bring back all the beauty and peacefulness of Montana.  I'm sure I will be ordering from you again!

s again!
Read More ...
Hi Craig,

Your photos of Montana have an emotional and epic feel to them.  I actually said, "wow" out-loud when your homepage loaded.

Jim Read More ...
Hi Craig,

I wanted to let you know that we did receive your book all in good order last friday. Ah what a majestic land it is and your photographs capture it about right, they are truly stunningly beautiful. We sure did see a lot of familiar places, we are itching to get back to Montana next year, until then your book will do just fine..

Thanks again
Read More ...
Dear Craig,
               
I was jus
ing through your website and was awestruck by the beauty of your photos. I can’t wait to purchase my first image! It’s just so hard to decide! I live in Bozeman and am getting married at Roy’s Barn next July. I just wanted to tell you that your story is inspirational and you are a blessing to the Bozeman co Read More ...
...I ordered 4 of the Montana Panoramic books; one for each of my in-laws, my father, and my husband and I kept one for ourselves. I just wanted to let you know that everyone loved it, there is endless beauty on every page. I hope the book is doing well and please keep me posted on any new volumes that come out....

Sarah

Wyoming Read More ...
"Hello Craig, First, thank you for the great photo of Three dollar Bridge that we gave to the Attorney General - he loves it. It is now proudly displayed in his office for everyone to see."

Craig Sharpe

Executive Director, Montana Wildlife Federation Read More ...
"I am thrilled I found your website. The Madison is my husband's favorite river and we fished there on our honeymoon, so this will be a great anniversary present. Your work is beautiful and not only that, it's REAL. In my online search, I saw so many pictures of Montana that looked altered to the point that I wasn't interested in hanging them in Read More ...