Early winter


Winter has been off to an interesting start this year. We had some good snow before Thanksgiving but then the dreaded basal facets appeared. This persistent weak layer has relegated me to sticking to low angle pow. Despite the frustrating snowpack I have had some good days meadow skipping with the dog and showing my cousin-in-law what is up with the backcountry scene in SW Montana.

Heading out for some exploration in the Northern Bridgers

Dudley Dog scoping the views from an early morning tour in the Northern Gallatin Mountains.

Cousin-in-law Tommy finding some good snow up at Bridger Bowl.

Tommy on the approach in the Northern Bridgers

Tommy reaping the benefits of all the hard work backcountry skiing requires

Dudley and his pal Weebo on the march in the Absaroka-Beartooth Mountains

View of the Southern Gallatin Mountains in Yellowstone National Park

Tommy avoiding stumps above Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park

This curious coyote was very interested in what we were doing.

Mission accomplished!

Insert Game of Thrones Cliche Here


Enjoy some nice wildlife and scenic photography from Yellowstone National Park this fall.

 


 


 


 


 


 

Winter Storm Watch


The annual vigil of carefully watching the weather and waiting for the flakes to fall has begun. This year’s summer felt too brief with the majority of it spent rehabbing my knee. Nonetheless, I did get out on some hikes and enjoyed the wonderful Paradise Valley just out my back door.

Mount Wallace (10,620′) in the southern Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness.

My lovely wife, Sarah, biking in Paradise Valley on her way to brunch at the Pine Creek Cafe.

Passage Creek in the southern Absaroka-Beartooths.

Passage Falls in the Mill Creek watershed.

Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium)

Fishermen on the Yellowstone River

Yellowstone Lake, look closely and you can the Teton Range in the distance.

Paradise Valley, perhaps the best place on earth?

Broken Knees and Sightseeing


Well I’ve done it again. I blew out my other knee during closing weekend at Bridger Bowl. With a torn MCL, ACL, and meniscus my ski season is effectively over. Sorry about minimal posts but with persistent, deep instability I stuck mostly to skiing inbounds at Bridger. I did sneak out for a nice tour on Elephant Head a week before ending my season.

Touring to the top of Elephant Head Peak

I have however, been able to hobble around Yellowstone National Park and take some photographs.

Porcelain Basin in the Norris Geyser Basin.

Hot Springs outlet channels can be otherworldly.

Another shot of Porcelain Basin

Opposing colors in two hot springs.

Cyanobacteria in a hot springs outlet channel.

Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.

A wolf on the hunt. This was one of the coolest moments I have ever experienced in Yellowstone.

Trout Lake with Druid Peak looming above.

A coyote hoping to catch some lunch?

Grizzly bears in the distance.

Sandhill Cranes

Summer 2013 Wrap-Up


With the temperatures consistently falling below freezing I feel that autumn has finally arrived and summer has wrapped up. As I look forward to colder days and deep powder it is always nice to reminisce about my adventures over the warmer months.

This summer was notable because we had several very strong thunderstorms, which led to lots of wildfires and a fairly hazy August and September.

Lightning flash within an incoming thunderstorm



The weather was nicer early during the summer Sarah and I spent a fair amount of time in our canoe. We mostly floated the Madison River and Hyalite Reservoir enjoying the warm days and doing some fishing.

Tim and Amber joined us on a float of the Madison River



Steve G floating in his pack-raft along the same stretch.



Sarah and Amber enjoy a calm float on Hyalite Reservoir



Canoe camping on the far side of Hyalite



We also took our annual trip to Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park west of Bozeman. These caves are very cool and unique and they offer a great tour of the beautiful caverns.

Eerie light in the caverns





The main rooms in the caverns use special UV lights which shine at a spectrum that allows the human eye to see what the caves would look if the sun could shine in these tunnels. You can really see the pink iron oxides with these lights.



Hard to grasp the scale on how big these columns are, the main column is probably 75 feet tall.



Sarah and I also made it out to Seattle this summer to see the sights and sounds of this fun city. We were able to see our friends who recently moved to Seattle from Denver as well as check out the amazing Chihuly Glass Gardens near the Space Needle. This gallery is probably one of the coolest and most amazing galleries I have ever visited. I have a ton more pictures if anyone is interested but for the sake of brevity here are just a couple.

The outside portion of the Chihuly Gardens



A tree made of glass under the Seattle Space Needle



Leaving Seattle on a ferry heading to Port Angeles



Finally, I also spent a bunch of time in the mountains and looking at wildlife in Yellowstone.

Close up of a Bison eating some food



Panorama of from above East Hyalite Creek



Emmigrant Peak during sunset



My dog Dudley high above Hyalite Reservoir



Came upon this guy at the top of Beartooth Pass. We were the only people stopped and this goat just kind of chilled about 30 yards from us before ambling up and over a ridge.



The goat seemed more curious than scared of us.



Came upon a large herd of elk while working in the Centennial Valley in far southwest Montana.



Sorry if a few of these images seem overly edited, I am experimenting with some new software and still trying to get it dialed. Next post will hopefully involve some snow as the mountains are turning more and more white.

The Southwest with my Wife


Yep, you heard that right. I am now married to my longtime girlfriend Sarah. We were married at Chico Hot Springs in Paradise Valley, her and I’s favorite place, and had a great time. I may post some more wedding pictures later, but considering this is an adventure blog I figure I would focus on our honeymoon. We spent several days traveling to Moab with some awesome stops in between.

A couple of days after the wedding we drove to Teton Village going through Yellowstone and Teton National Parks on the way. We made a day out of it and visited a couple geyser basins.

(Warning this post is very picture heavy)

The Southern Gallatins

Cool formations on Steamboat Geyser in the Norris Geyser Basin

The sapphire waters of a spring in the Norris Geyser Basin

Norris Geyser Basin

Eerie blue waters

Good Ol’ Faithful

Mount Moran in Grand Teton National Park

Sunset on the Tetons

Nice looking Bull Elk

After staying the night at the swank Four Seasons Resort (yeah off season discount!) in Teton Village. The next morning we got up and rallied south to Vernal, Utah and Dinosaur National Monument. I had visited this Monument when I was about 8 years old so this was essentially my first time there. We arrived in the late afternoon and drove a little ways. We then went and inquired about camping where we were told that most of the campgrounds were closed. I prodded a little more and she directed me to a small campground that is first come first serve and about an hour away. We decided to go for it, which was committing as we were out in the middle of nowhere, and we were nervous all three of the campsites would be taken.

We arrived to find absolutely no one there.

Camping in Dinosaur National Monument

Views from the campsite

The campsite was located right on the Green River. I am going to withhold the campsites name for now, but anyone clever with a map should be able to find it.

Petroglyphs at McKee Springs

Split Mountain

The Quarry at Dinosaur National Monument is an amazing exhibit of fossils still in the ground.

There are tons of large dinosaur fossils, and it is unique from a regular museum because you get to see fossils similar to how they are found.

My wife, Sarah, enjoys the geology of this little known and visited National Monument

East Split Mountain from outside The Quarry

After checking out Dinosaur National Monument, and swearing we would return in the future, we kept heading south to Moab. Again, we lucked out with a campsite and scored the spot with the best view.

Our camp south of Moab near Kane Creek

The view of the Colardo River from our tent

Our campground friend

Sunset at camp

The next day we headed into Arches National Park.

Sunrise in Arches National Park

We ventured into the Fiery Furnace

Cool rock formations in the Fiery Furnace. We were lucky and got the last two tickets for the the tour.

I believe this is Double O Arch (someone correct me if I am wrong though).

Deep, narrow canyons in the Furnace

Sarah in the sunlight, deep in the Fiery Furnace

Arches National Park

After a fun tour through the Fiery Furnace, Sarah and I set off to Canyonlands to check out the views for the afternoon.

Window Arch in Canyonlands National Park

Colorado River side of Canyonlands

Canyon Country

Pillars

The White Rim

Exposure

I also was able to capture these three panoramics (save the best for last).

Norris Hot Springs

Sunrise on my wedding morning in Paradise Valley

The Green River in Dinosaur National Monument

More Yellowstone!


My last post about Yellowstone turned out to be quite popular. So here is some more Yellowstone National Park action!

All the way back in May my mother came up to Bozeman and we spent a day in the Park with my older brother who was doing geothermal research. We got to get up and close to some features in Mammoth and learn all sorts of fun facts.

Mammoth Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs

This hot spring is off the beaten path and I think is a fairly new spring.

This hot spring is off the beaten path and I think is a fairly new spring.

Narrow Gauge hot spring used to be fairly small, but in the last ten years or so really started spewing water. Here you can see terraces forming around trees.

Narrow Gauge hot spring used to be fairly small, but in the last ten years or so really started spewing water. Here you can see terraces forming around trees.

Narrow Gauge hot spring, near Mammoth hot springs.

Narrow Gauge hot spring, near Mammoth hot springs.

A little black bear taking a nap.

A little black bear taking a nap.

Then this last weekend I headed to Yellowstone one last time for the year. Only the Gardiner to Cooke City road was open, but we still drove to Cooke City then hit the boiling river.

Pretty cool falls that I had never stopped at before. Don't know their name either.

Pretty cool falls that I had never stopped at before. Don't know their name either.

Abiathar Peak. Yes this face is skiable, and yes I want to make an attempt this winter.

Abiathar Peak. Yes this face is skiable, and yes I want to make an attempt this winter.

Lamar Valley looking back towards the Absaroka Mountains.

Lamar Valley looking back towards the Absaroka Mountains.