Tanner and I spent Independence Day skiing corn snow on the Beartooth Highway. Located in south central Montana, it’s three hours from my hometown of Bozeman, where I’ve spent the last week. The highway winds through the mountains from Red Lodge to Cooke City before topping out at 10,947 feet and descending into Yellowstone National Park. This was my sixth time skiing the pass, which usually opens on Memorial Day, but was delayed to June tenth this year after receiving more than twenty-five feet of snow.
Hiking to the top of Gardiner Head Wall
Skiing the Top of Gardiner Head Wall
We skied a couple runs on the Gardiner Head Wall and found the conditions to be perfect. Met some nice people on top as well. The beauty of skiing the highway is you hitchhike to the top, decreasing the amount of hiking with skis on your back. At the Rock Creek Head Wall you can ski right back to the road. At the Gardiner Head Wall you hike back up to the road from the bottom of the bowl.
A gentleman and a scholar, Mr. Tanner Claridge
Loaded up hitch hiking in a truck. We were told the wall of snow was about five feet higher just two weeks earlier.
Tanner rippin’ tele turns
Skiing down the Gardiner Head Wall with Gardiner Lake in the background
Hiking back up to the road
All in all, it was an excellent day of summer skiing.