Crossing 7 Mile Bridge in YNP.

13 of us guides met yesterday morning at Yellowstone Alpen Guides for a day trip through YNP.  Prepping Snake and Rosebud, 2 of the 8 vintage Bombardiers in the Red Fleet, was quickly accomplished as skiing somewhere was on docket.   We had to be out by 4:30, or else….. With only one new guide on the staff and D. Akers handling the reins, the rest of us sat back and talked Winter in Yellowstone – elk, wolves, birds, rising trout on the Firehole, the new save you from yourself  backcountry ban in thermal areas, Thermus aquaticus and the distinction of the Caldera Boundary from 640,000 years ago.  Apparently, there is some discussion on where the boundary actually lies. 

Peering over the edge for a view of the Gibbon River.

After a quick run up to Gibbon Falls, to check out the new parking and viewing area, we headed out for Madison Junction and the Lower Geyser Basin.  There are quite a few elk and bison around, as there should be, but one thing is for certain – the snowpack is deep.  Not many, maybe one rig, had been in front of us and the road had atleast 18 inches of fresh snow which fell the over the past couple of nights.  Faceshots in a Bombardier is pretty sweet and there were times when the snow would curl over the windshield and our view, for a second, disappeared.  There is more snow in Yellowstone right now than we had all last Winter – no shit. 

10,000 of these exist in YNP.

Yellowstone National Park opens up for Winter travel on Wednesday December 15, 2010.  You coming?  You should.