Thursday, May 15, 2014

Crust Cruise in Yellowstone

We call it Crust Cruising when you can ski just about anywhere on your skate skis.

Awesome day yesterday, doing a big loop from Lewis Lake. Snow was PRIMO, and I caught it before it got soft. Fun, fast conditions. Check it out!
Aster Lake tour May 14, 2014
It may seem like there's an awful lot of skiing through open forests on loud snow, and some of my humor might be lost to the music, but hey, I'm still a rookie at this film production stuff - if you can call it that. The thing is, as fast as some of it seems, and as long as it runs, you might think it miles, but it's really just small fraction of the of the long gradual traverse along the foothills of the Sheridan massif, which stretches for several miles. West of Heart Lake, and north of the nascent Snake River, just inside Yellowstone's South Entrance.
It was my first big tour of the year, and barely a scouting mission at that. 12 miles in just under four hours, a not-very-impressive 3 mph average. But that was with a lot of gaping - if I can self-declare. And as much as the gradual grade is fairly ideal for climbing on skate skis, there's matching elevation gain for each vertical foot of the descent, seen in the YouTube downhill footage.

And at the end, I did meet a couple of YNP Rangers who informed me about a Bear Management Area that's on the Park maps, with signage at the snow-covered trailhead. So they graciously educated me about the closure from April 1 to June 30, between the Heart Lake Trailhead, Heart Lake and a big chunk of terrain to the east. For the actual closure map, see: