Out like a Lion

Two die in separate avalanches, today, in the mountains around Cooke City...


the Cat was let from the Bag

Some might say the cat was let out of the bag today...

HIGH hazard
(and not quite manageable, as the lower photo would lead you to believe)


drum stick

a fifteen second exposure from the South Fork of the Shoshone today
(a route known as The Drumstick)
It's wild abseiling big, frozen waterfalls at night.  
(which is standard operating procedure for folks into that sort of thing)


all is well on the Beartooth front

especially when you can make synchronized eights with RD
in golden sunshine, on fresh 'roy


Deep and Dirty

Not quite Cooke City... but a few of you might find it interesting.

(watch here for higher resolution)


roun the horn

En route to Red Lodge for the week.  Circumnavigating the Absaroka Beartooth.

Super psyched to have gotten the scoop on the wolves I've been tracking around town lately (followed one up Woody Creek yesterday).

Turns out they are the Lamar Pack (9 deep), probably pushed out of their namesake valley by the Molly Pack, which has 18 canines in the clan.

Photo from this morning, five minutes from Silver Gate. 
Fantastic to watch them feast on an elk, and frolic in the Soda Butte steam (sub zero temps ;)


trust your intuition

Took two pitons, a hammer, two dead men, a harness, a 40m rope, and a bunch of tat up the hill today.
Turned out it didn't seem safe to 'approach' my project.

It's often wise to listen to you instinct.  
(I've never once regretted backing off a slope I wasn't comfortable traveling on.
But definitely regret a few I feel I've gotten away wtih.)

So if you find yourself in the mountains around Cooke City (or really anywhere for that matter)
study snow!
Here are two of my favorite books on the subject.
Doug and Karl (the consummate local snow gurus) recently revised and updated Snow Sense.  The go to.
And zen master Bruce's book.

Worth re-reading ever year.  And re-visiting often.

A nice educational complement to lots of time in the field.  


10cm back

Just got some new powder skis!

Accidentally skied them off Sunset Pk. straight away.  
(in a crazy Trent Reznor headspace.  kung fu style)

181 Walk Free's.  
10cm back from true center.

If you haven't yet, please check out Surface Skis, of Salt Lake.
Very stoked to be collaborating with them.  bright future. 
(much more on this later).


Anders Beer Wilse

Skied Mt. Wilse yesterday.
Fascinating Norwegian fellow.  

How would you like to have 'Beer' as a middle name?!

He was one of the first to discover this Grasshopper Glacier.

And is reported to have described the magnitude of 'hoppers frozen in the ice to 
"look like the skin of an elephant".

Would love to see more of his large format photographs,
of the Beartooths, from the early 1900's..!

(this one is not Wilse, but east Sheep.  just liked it, so I thought I'd throw it in there)



Just landed a 56k dial-up modem for our place.!  
(satellite service being the only other option here)

It's baller.  We're stoked.


Northern Gallatin ski traverse

Linked the P. Valley with Hyalite yesterday...
Terrific tour.

Eric Knoff, crushing it.

One of the most challenging parts was acquiring access to public land.  

A huge thanks goes out to Dale at Timber Trails.  And the Story family, for letting us ski through their spread. (we went up Fridley Cr.)

The wildlife was an undoubted highlight.
Things stared out when I saw a bighorn ram swim the ‘Stone. and never let up..  
A slough of wolf tracks at the put in,  a plethora of prints the WHole way up Hyalite Pk...

eventually wrapping up the trip with a good look at a LION!
(no shit, 50 feet from a cougar)

Doctor Jones was especially stoked on that last part.


went for a nIce walk around Goose Lake yesterday.

deep space up there.

one of three zones we sessioned 

and near another.


One Frame per Second

Sent about 40 feet of cumulative air today...  
(nice to have the intervalometer catch one once in awhile)

And this line in YNP, from yesterday...
Though it's not obvious in this image, there is a barrel in there somewhere!
(on the to-do list)


New Den Site

Skied off Mt. Wolverine today.
Cut some wolverine tracks too!

Also, just moved down to Silver Gate!  (2 ½ miles from Cooke)

So yeah, I’ll probably be skiing in the Park fairly often.  
And you might see me on the Bannock a time or two…

Friendly folk down here.

Much more on this later..


Roundabout mid-day

took a roundabout route today.

sensitive wind slabs give or take the ridgelines


Wolves on the Bannock

Skied down to Silver Gate this afternoon.  Jay lent me his shop copy of Winter Dance, and 15 minutes later I was skiing back up the Bannock, quickly to realize I had been backtracked by a wolf.! (during those 15 minutes)  Needless to say, my senses were fairly sharp on the return.  A nice adrenaline rush even.

One of the many reasons why I choose to winter around these parts; the WILDlife.

Wonder why they are up so high?  (Aside from the Bannock being THE corridor) A break from battling rival packs down in the Lamar?  Perhaps hunting the cow moose I saw over by the Dude’s place?  Would be interesting to hear Rick and his cohorts’ thoughts on the matter…



Hung out at Bbowl today, helping out with a GNFAC/ Friends/ ASMSU Avalanche Field Session...
  another good turn out.

Got to talking with Lucas, a hydrologist for the NRCS, about the value of our SNOTEL program (and how many might not be aware of it's usefulness).

So, if you think water and climate are cool,  keep tabs.


Kind of Blue

About 4 inches of fresh snow in town, maybe 8 up high.

Nice day to be out.

Fewer natural slab avalanches than I anticipated.  East Henderson shed a couple hard slabs (yesterday?).  And this avalanche on Scotch Bonnet is very similar in aspect and elevation to the recent Crown Butte slide.  Both SE-erly, and both avalanching PRior to yesterday’s snowfall.