Sunday, February 19, 2012

Skiing Adventures in Yellowstone

My Dad, Adam and I are not the type who like to vacation sitting down. No sir, we skied every day of our trip except for the last which we officially dedicated to lounging:) Just in case my posts entice anyone to foray into the Winter Wonderland of Yellowstone, here are a few words about some of the skis we did.

Around Mammoth:

Upon arrival, we were quite travel weary (we got up at 3:30 am for our 6 am flight) but figured our options were nap, which would only make us more groggy, or ski! Thankfully, we skied! We did the short (1.5 mile) Upper Terrace Loop, which passed many beautiful thermal features.

Sisterbison....skiing with the herd
The next day we headed out for a ~ 5 mile ski along Tower Canyon. Last time Adam and I were here we had a really cool wolf experience. As we were skiing along looking at beautiful views, appreciating the silence, elated by our close bison encounter just a few minutes earlier (well, I was elated, Adam was likely just humoring me), we noticed the silence had been broken. By howling. Unmistakable wolf howling. We grabbed the binocs and looked around but didn't see a thing. A few minutes later, however, we turned a corner and the wolves were in sight!!

I, of course, ripped off my lobster mitts, threw down my poles, and got out my camera as I barreled over to the cliff's edge. Just in time I realized my wolf sighting would be short-lived if I didn't get it together and STOP before going over the cliff and I managed to slow myself down.

Here is a picture from this year:

Dad and I at Tower Canyon

We were in EXACTLY the same spot 3 years ago (albeit with more snow last time):

And we saw THIS:

The howling continued, and we stayed to watch. There ended up being three wolves in sight though we suspect the rest of the pack was around as well. They put on a show walking around and interacting. It was so great! We were sorry we weren't able to produce a repeat performance for my Dad, but alas, the wild is unpredictable!

Later that day, we headed over to Blacktail Plateau and did some more skiing. We were greeted with sweeping vistas and plenty of snow- you can barely even find Adam in the photo below.

Around Old Faithful:

Our longest ski was over 11 miles up to Fairy Falls. We didn't actually make it to the falls- figured they'd be frozen anyway, but it was a nice long ski with plenty of bison to see along the river. Here are some scenes:

The Firehole River with bison in the distance.

On Valentine's Day, Adam and I headed over to Black Sands Basin. The clouds parted exactly when we arrived in the basin which was wonderful because we were able to get shots like this:

Ridiculous, right? There are plenty more where that came from. I'll put up on a slide show on my blog home page in the next few days so check back!

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