S: Yellowstone - Grand Tetons
FC: Yellowstone - Grand Tetons | February 19 - 28, 2012
1: Record low temperature -46 degrees in 1933 | Elk Arch -Jackson Wyoming | Jackson Hole is a valley located in Wyoming near the western border with Idaho. The name "hole" derives from language used by early trappers or mountain men who primarily entered the valley from the north and east and had to descend along relatively steep slopes, giving the sensation of entering a hole. Descriptions of the valley and its features were recorded in the journals of John Colter who had been a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. After returning to the Rocky Mountains, Colter entered the region in 1807 in the vicinity of Togwotee Pass and became the first white American to see the valley. His reports of the valley, the Teton Range and of the Yellowstone region to the north were viewed by people of the day with skepticism. The National Elk Refuge, established in 1912, provides a winter habitat to preserve the Jackson elk herd, avg 7,500. Each spring, the Boy Scouts collect the ten to eleven thousand pounds of shed elk antlers which is then sold to support the reserve. | Jackson Wyoming Population: 9,577 (2010 census) Elevation: 6,237 ft (1,901 m)
2: Disappointment Peak 11,618 feet (3,541 m) Grand Teton, 13,775 feet (4,199 m) Mt Owen 12,928 feet | The Teton Range, the youngest mountain range in the Rocky Mountains, began forming between 6 to 9 million years ago. The Teton Range runs roughly north to south and rises from the floor of Jackson Hole without any foothills along an active fault-block mountain front 40 miles long by 7 to 9 miles wide. There are nine peaks over 12,000 fee in the range. The Grand Teton was first climbed in 1898 by a group of four, including William Owen and Franklin Spalding. Today there are 38 routes and 58 variations. Lodgepole pine is the common pine named for its use in the Native American tepee lodge.
3: Jackson Hole from Taggart Lake | Taggart Lake 5 mile cross county ski Monday 2/20/2012
4: Travel to Yellowstone The first National Park established in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978 Earliest evidence of aboriginal Americans dated 11,000 years ago 3,468 Sq miles - 8,000 ft avg elevation | 2 | The average snowfall in the southwest area of the park 262 inches
5: Yellowstone derived its name from the Native Americans "Mi tsi a-da-zi" (Rock Yellow River) which French Trappers translated as Roche Jaune.
6: The park is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. Fueled by this ongoing volcanism. Yellowstone has over 250 active geysers and 10,000 thermal features - half of the world's geothermal features! | Seismograph Pool 167 degrees
7: West Thumb Geyser Basin | Yellowstone Lake - largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet in North America - 7,732 ft above sea level - 136 square miles - 110 miles of shoreline. - 139 feet avg depth - 390 feet deepest spot - 3 ft ice covers lake from December to May - Lake Erie: 10th largest lake in the world: - 9,940 sqm, 850m shoreline, 62 ft avg depth
8: More than three times as many people were injured by bison (79) than by bears (24) in Yellowstone National Park between 1980 - 1999.
9: Morning Glory Pool is a hot spring which has erupted as a geyser following earthquakes or nearby seismic activity. The colors of the pools are due to bacteria in the water and are more vibrant in the summer
11: Upper Geyser Basin Wednesday Feb 22 | 6 mile ski along the Firehole River in the Upper Geyser and Biscuit Basin to Mystic Falls trailhead. Looking at geysers, fumaroles, hot springs and mud pots from the boardwalk.
12: \ | The heat that drives geothermal activity in the Yellowstone area comes from brine (salty water) that is 1.5 to 3 miles below the surface. At that depth the brine is superheated to temperatures that exceed 400F or 205C (double the boiling point at the surface) but is able to remain a liquid because it is under great pressure (like a huge pressure cooker). Convection of the churning brine and conduction from surrounding rock transfers heat to an overlaying layer of fresh groundwater. Movement of the two liquids is facilitated by the highly fractured and porous nature of the rocks under the Yellowstone Plateau. Some silica is dissolved from the fractured rhyolite into the hot water as it travels through the fractured rock. Part of this hard mineral is later redeposited on the walls of the cracks and fissures to make a nearly pressure-tight system. Silica precipitates at the surface to form either geyserite or sinter, creating the massive geyser cones, the scalloped edges of hot springs, and the seemingly barren landscape of geyser basins. | Castle Geyser
13: Upper Geyser Basin
14: Old Faithful
15: Old Faithful was named in 1870 during the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition and was the first geyser in the park to receive a name. With a margin of error of 10 minutes, Old Faithful will erupt 65 minutes after an eruption lasting less than 2.5 minutes or 91 minutes after an eruption lasting more than 2.5 minutes. The reliability of Old Faithful can be attributed to the fact that it is not connected to any other thermal features of the Upper Geyser Basin. Eruptions can shoot 3,700 to 8,400 US gallons of boiling water to a height of 106 to 185 feet lasting from 1.5 to 5 minutes. Water temperature of 244 F was measured 72 ft below the surface. Watch geyser eruptions on-line: http://www.nps.gov/yell/photosmultimedia | Riverside Geyser
17: Mallard Lake Thursday Feb 23 8 mile snow shoe The lake covers a resurgent dome, here the caldera floor rises and falls due to underground magma movements. | Continental Divide Trail Spring Creek Trail Lone Star Geyser Trail Total 15 miles Friday Feb 24 Serge and Maélys completed an epic 11 hour ski trip with an elevation change of 1,546 ft. The snow depth on the divide is 87 inches.
18: Off trail exploration in the back country
19: Bushwacking - opening the trail
20: Old Faithful Snow Lodge Opened in 1998 on the site of the original Campers Cabins built in the 1920s for the new breed of tourists discovering America by automobile.
21: The drive back to Jackson was 40 miles of whiteout - As we passed each road post the next post was not visible for 5 seconds. We traveled south and as we approached Jackson the northbound lane was closed to traffic. | Jackson Lake dam Built in 1916 and upgraded in 1986 to withstand a 7.5 earthquake from the Teton Fault | There's a lake and mountain behind this snow screen
22: Grow Ventre Landside The landslide occurred on June 23,1925, following the melt from a heavy snow pack and several weeks of heavy rain. Approximately 50,000,000 cu yd of primarily sedimentary rock slid down the north face of Sheep Mountain, crossed over the Gros Ventre River and raced up the opposing mountainside a distance of 300 feet. The landslide created a huge dam over the Gros Ventre River, backing up the water and forming Lower Slide Lake. On May 18, 1927, a portion of the landslide dam failed, resulting in a massive flood that was 6 feet deep for at least 25 miles downstream. The small town of Kelly, six miles downstream, was wiped out. It is one of the world's largest known examples of recent mass wasting events aside from volcanic eruptions.
23: Both Taggart Lake (6,902 feet) and Bradley Lake (7,022 feet) are named for members of the Hayden Survey party of 1872. Each was formed by glaciers flowing from the Teton Range. A glacier from Avalanche Canyon filled Taggart Lake and a glacier from Garnet Canyon filled Bradley Lake. Both have mature forests of lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, and alpine fir. | Bradley Lake, Grand Teton NP Sunday Feb 26 Snow Shoe 6 miles
25: Togwotee Pass Monday Feb 27, 2012 Snow Shoe to 10,000 ft (pronounced toe-go-tee) (el. 9658 ft/2944 m) is a mountain pass located on the continental divide in the Absaroka Mountains in the Jackson Hole valley. The pass receives heavy winter snowfall and is a top destination for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Snowfall at the pass often exceeds 25 to over 50 feet of snow. The road can be shut down for days at a time during blizzards. The pass is named for Togwotee, a subchief under Chief Washakie of the Sheepeater tribe, a branch of the Shoshones. Togwotee led a U.S. government exploratory expedition over this pass in 1873. Sacajawea is said to have guided Lewis and Clarke through the pass on the return of their expedition in 1806. | 66 inches of powder snow!