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Author Topic: Winter In Yellowstone - LIFEONTERRA website  (Read 4233 times)

Offline HOOP

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Winter In Yellowstone - LIFEONTERRA website
« on: March 22, 2009, 12:55:59 pm »
As winter winds down here with the meltdown in late March, many of us could use another 2 or 3 months of deep cold and snow (I live too far south  :-[ )   So its nice to find on-line films and photos of full-on winter to deal with the depressing withdrawl symptoms of melting snow and ice.

The website Lifeonterra, or "TERRA - The Nature of Our World"  http://www.lifeonterra.com/   is a phenomenal website, with hundreds of free on-line documentary films that are not just educational, but are pure entertainment. 

Recently added to their on-line films, #505, is Tom Murphy's "Winter in Yellowstone".   http://www.lifeonterra.com/archive.php  (You can view in medium or hi rez.  You can view immediately while its downloading - no need to wait for the entire download.  Just click the forward arrow and it starts).  It's about 10 minutes long, and shows him skiing through deep snow in that magnificent open terrain of Yellowstone, doing landscape and wildlife photography.

Where I winter trek in the thick boreal forest here, our only ability to ski across the landscape is via lakes or roads, with all the issues and constraints of ice hazard conditions and slush.   So I am always jealous of the beauty of that open prairie / savanna type forest, where you can go almost anywhere on skis and snowshoes.  The vistas and the wildlife viewing is spectacular.   

I was interested in his ultra-light gear - just a back pack and wide back country skis apparently.  There is also not the firewood resources we have here with our thick forests, so I am interested in the camping gear and skills, and what level of cold he is dealing with, especially with camera equipment.  Maybe he uses a heated base camp?   

The credits in the film listed Tom Murphy's own website, where he has posted many great photos which include lots of winter themes.  Check it out:    http://www.tmurphywild.com/
« Last Edit: March 22, 2009, 02:04:09 pm by HOOP »
My Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Wintertrekker

"I firmly believe that far from hurting the planet, the growing knowledge of Bushcraft is helping our natural world. When we employ bushcraft skills, it may seem as though we are consuming natural resources.  But of course, the more we learn about the trees, the plants, the animals around us, the more we respect them. The more we respect them, the more we cherish them, the more we nurture and take care of them. That is the underlying principle of Bushcraft.

Offline Tomd

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Re: Winter In Yellowstone - LIFEONTERRA website
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2009, 03:28:22 pm »
Hoop, I think that piece is part of a PBS special that ran a couple of years ago called Christmas in Yellowstone.  I taped it off the air, so haven't seen it in a while, but as I recall,  he had a tarp and a Western Mountaineering bag. I could see the bag's label in a close up.

He had skis and a pack with his photo gear.  The show made it look like that was all he had, but I doubt it.  Maybe when he goes out without a film crew following him, he carries a lot more or just does short overnight trips, no idea.  I don't recall it showing him cooking.

The PBS website, www.pbs.org had a clip or two from the show.
You can buy it on DVD now-
http://tinyurl.com/czc68e
« Last Edit: March 22, 2009, 03:48:14 pm by Tomd »

Offline Musher

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Re: Winter In Yellowstone - LIFEONTERRA website
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2009, 09:39:28 pm »
Hey, thanks for sharing. I live just outside of the park, and own a dogsled tour company, and get to see alot of similar stuff on a daily basis. But, often times I am so involved in the minutia of what I am doing, I don't take the time to appreciate the magnificance of my surroundings. This video, just captures it so perfectly and makes me so thankful for what I have and were I am! Thanks again for sharing it.

Offline Musher

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Re: Winter In Yellowstone - LIFEONTERRA website
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2009, 03:27:48 am »
I was interested in his ultra-light gear - just a back pack and wide back country skis apparently.  There is also not the firewood resources we have here with our thick forests, so I am interested in the camping gear and skills, and what level of cold he is dealing with, especially with camera equipment.  Maybe he uses a heated base camp?   

I have seen him speak before, and he normally goes ultra light weight and solo.  His camera gear is so heavy, that he sacrifices comfort for pictures, and carries bare minimum camping stuff.  He does not have a base camp set-up. And he normally doesn't build fires- he cold camps. He basically just huddles up in his bag under a tarp.  The cold here is dry. We can have temperatures down to about -30 and thats about it. Historically, this area used to be very cold, but now other than a couple of weeks a winter it normally doesnt get below -20.  However, we can have a solid month of low temperatures hoovering around -20 at night, then warm up to 0 to +10 during the day.
Winter camping is different here, than from what alot of you folks seem to do. Cold camping in mountaineering tents is the norm. Followed by digging snow caves. Very few people use the canvas tents and stoves, other than elk hunters in the late fall.  Rarely do you see people pulling sleds either.  Most folks wear internal frame packs and use wide backcountry telemark skis, and skin up the mountains and then ski down them.  Also, normally when you encounter dog teams here- they are big teams. 12 dogs or so. Rarely do you see small teams of freighting dogs around here.  Most people use Alaskan Huskies of the Iditarod variety and can cover 50 miles a day or so.
Also you very rarely see people with mukluks or wool, canvas and fur clothing. Its almost all, modern light weight patagonia, North Face style mountaineering type stuff and pac boots. Except for ice fisherman who are in Carhart type canvas work clothes.  Defiently different traditons. More mountaineering influence than north woods style.

Offline Tomd

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Re: Winter In Yellowstone - LIFEONTERRA website
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2009, 02:41:43 am »
Thanks Musher. I was wondering how accurate the video was about his camping style.  I assume he takes a small stove of some kind. Too cold for canisters, so I am thinking maybe an MSR or Optimus white gas stove of some kind.

Also, do you run your trips in the park or the surrounding area?

A friend of mine is headed to the park soon to do a photo workshop or photo trip, something like that. Not sure who organized it.

Offline Musher

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Re: Winter In Yellowstone - LIFEONTERRA website
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2009, 10:56:47 am »
I do trips right outside of the park, and along the park boundary.  Unfortuantly, dogsledding and whitewater rafting, river canoe tripping are not allowed in Yellowstone. I have trips that are literally, one-step outside of the park though.

Offline Tomd

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Re: Winter In Yellowstone - LIFEONTERRA website
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2009, 02:44:32 am »
I didn't know that about no rafting, canoeing or dogsledding. Yet they allow hundreds of snowmobiles in every day. That I do not understand. Snowmobiles have their place, but I am dubious of them in national parks. To me, it would be like allowing off road motorcyles on the trails, which are allowed in some parks here in California that are set up for them.

Offline cousin Pete

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Re: Winter In Yellowstone - LIFEONTERRA website
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2009, 08:48:17 pm »
This was a very nice video.  I just recently returned from a 16 day road trip through the U.S. with my parents.  Part of the trip was through Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.  The landscape is beautiful.  The lakes were still covered in ice and there were snow banks on the sides of the road up to 12 feet in height in the higher elevations.  In the lower elevations the snow was melted.  There was a whole lot of standing dead wood which would be great for camp fires.  I got some nice photos of wild life and some pictures of the ice that I think might compliment HOOP's Lake Ice: Over flow and Slush essay. 

Cousin Pete
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Offline steven

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Re: Winter In Yellowstone - LIFEONTERRA website
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2009, 06:41:00 am »
nice video thanks for sharing with us.. :D

Offline lonegreeneagle

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Re: Winter In Yellowstone - LIFEONTERRA website
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2009, 10:51:08 am »
     Late in the month of March 2007 I checked in at the Mammoth hot Springs Ranger station to get a back country permit. In my pack, a Eddy Bauer 3500 I had my Kelty ORB2 (a 9 lb. 4 season tent), a Kelty 0 degree sleeping bag with a Fleece sleeping bag liner. I carried 8 dehydrated meals and 6 packages of oatmeal with my Jetboil personal cooking system (a 2 qt. mug?), in another compression sack I carried a full size down comforter.
I wore arctic (military grade) polypros, insulated gortex pants, a flannel shirt (wool) and had my down parka in the pack. I also carried my 14 winter essentials, 2 quarts of water in a bladder and my Katadyn hiker pro water filter/purifier.
       Day time temps were around zero, but since I was snowshoeing I was sweating and having to slow down to keep from soaking. At night this part of Montana sees extreme temp changes. After I hung up my food and hiked another 100 meters +- ( bears came out early due to a lean fall), I set my tent and my zipper temp gauge read -5.
In cold camp (hot also) my boots reside in a water proof bag in my fart sack. My coat is my pillow and the vents are opened to limit condensation. The temps dropped to 20 below and I slept warm and snuggy ( I carry a hospital pee jar and leave it by the door) only to wake up to the rising sun.  Silver Gate (snowmobile heaven) sees good snow into JUNE!
Avid outdoorsman? My son and I snowshoe and winter camp with a four season tent and no stove. When my daughter comes along we drag sleds holding the campfire style tent I made and my military style Yukon stove. We canoe and kayak long trips in the early spring till Thanksgiving. That's my son's and my last float of the canoe season as we celebrate his birthday.  My daughter more than my son loves climbing. My sore neck!
Along with the tent, I've made packs,paddles and the poor man's RV from an 18' boat trailer. It now carries our canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes, camping ger and the TeePee pole