Writing this on the snow coach back to West Yellowstone. It’s still snowing but not as heavily. We headed out this morning down Otter Creek. Unlike last week when we skied through the meadows to a magical woodland, this week we climbed up a small hill (several times!) to practice our downhill skills.

The snow conditions were excellent, not grippy at all. Enough new snow to slow down our speed so that I could practice my tele-turns. To start with I only managed one at a time and would have to stop before being comfortable about initiating the next turn. However, towards the end I managed to link 3 turns which felt a huge achievement. More practice required!

A good end to the week, decided not to do the Virginia Cascades ski on the way out as my cold had returned and I didn’t feel like ‘saddling up’ again. On our way back we saw a pregnant elk in the river and a blue crane looking for something to eat along the river bank as well as some bison including one large Male walking down the road. There were nice sightings of trumpeter swans and Canada geese in the Madison River. Earlier in the day at the end of our ski we saw 3 golden eyes (ducks).

So what are my main reflections as we head of out this special place:

  • I am so happy to have eventually got to Yellowstone in winter, a trip that has been on my bucket list since we first visited in the late 90s
  • It exceeded my expectations, in particular the geothermal features set against the snow and being able to ski past large herds of Bison in the Hayden Valley
  • I loved exploring the North and South Rim of the Yellowstone Canyon both on skis and snowshoes. What a unique sensation
  • I surprised myself by being able to handle the cold. I should have more faith in myself and my abilities
  • Sitting in a hot spring surrounded by deep snow
  • Skiing the rollercoaster trail by the camp in fresh powder, just being able to see my skis gliding under the surface
  • Having lunch on our snowshoe trip in brilliant blue sunshine, 5 meters from a bubbling mud pot and surrounded by steam from multiple vents
  • I never imagined I would be bush-whacking in cross country skis through narrow gaps between trees up and down ridges.
  • This trip has taken me to a totally different plane of experience on Nordic Skis
  • Staying at the Yurt Camp was a wonderful experience. Largely because of the people we met and made friends with both among the staff and our fellow visitors.

Reflecting makes me realise how fortunate Mike and I are both to have each other as well as enjoying being in the outdoors and having the ability to visit these special places

See below for a video of the previous evenings entertainment. Press play to view