Beta Scout: the Web

Are you an MSU student who enjoys exploring the vast Montana landscape right outside your door? Do you love finding like-minded people to go out and enjoy the distractions with you? Check out Beta Scout, the new free online community network.

Beta Scout was designed to help outdoorsmen find new areas to take their recreation and check out conditions on local favorite hotspots. Be it skiing, backpacking, ice climbing, rock climbing, fishing, snowmobiling, mountain biking or dirtbiking, Beta Scout has set up a community of which students can take advantage.

Beta Scout is designed to encourage the sharing of outdoor knowledge. It can be used to answer questions like: Which flies are working on the Gallatin today? Are “The Virtues” worth the hike up? Is ice on “the Good Looking One” strong enough to climb?

It can be hard to go to school in Bozeman with so many outside distractions, and spending a few hours on the Ridge when there are no good lines can impact a tight homework schedule. Thanks to Beta Scout, you can look at what other people are saying about the conditions in these troublesome areas. The community can also see official reports from the GNF Avalanche Center and the Forest Service to ensure the areas are safe to use.

Beta Scout was developed in Bozeman by Blake Maxwell and Mike Porco and got its start last August at Catapalooza. The community was specifically designed for MSU students with the hopes they would spread the network wherever they go.

“It is our intention to make this a usable tool for people all over Montana,” said Maxwell. “We created a venue; it’s up to the students to populate it.” It is simple and encouraged for members to add new locations to the site; with spring break around the corner, Maxwell and Porco are expecting many new locations to be added. They are encouraging posts by offering a photography contest — the most acclaimed photos will be featured in the online newspaper, the Bozeman Magpie.

Beta Scout is also a great way to meet new people with similar interests. The site allows members to leave messages on other people’s posts — if someone is repeatedly on the same mountain bike trail you ride, you may want to ask to meet up next time. Beta Scout wants users to connect with the community and show off their adventures. Sign on to www.beta-scout.com and show them what you are involved in.