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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Grand Teton National Park in Winter

March 8th, 2012 · 2 Comments

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Continuing the Mountain Outin’ tour of Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks in winter, we took a coach from Jackson, Wyoming, through Grand Teton to Flagg Ranch. There, in the area known as the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway between the two national parks, the road comes to its winter end.

We had heavy snow all day and didn’t catch a single glance of the majestic mountains known as the Teton Range. I know that they are majestic because I saw them in August 2009, as I then wrote in “Yellowstone Bonuses:”

The Majestic Teton Range Rises Sharply Above Jackson Lake

The Majestic Teton Range Rises Sharply Above Jackson Lake

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I did attempt a winter shot of the Snake River, one of the great wild rivers of the West. More than 1,000 miles long, the Snake is the largest tributary of the Columbia River. While I shot the Snake in color, it looks more like the black and white that Ansel Adams preferred. Actually, it looks more like a smudge in the snow than a river.

The Snake in Snow

The Snake in Snow

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In fact, I made this shot at same location that Ansel Adams used for his photo of the Snake River and the Teton Range. This is one of 116 photographs on “The Golden Record,” which we included on the Voyager spacecraft to portray Earth’s diversity to whoever might find them.

By comparison, it’s clear that my photography has a ways to grown. But the great photographer had somewhat better weather than I did. And the trees have grown a bit too, blocking much of the view now.

The Teton Range and the Snake River -- the Justly Famous Photo by Ansel Adams

The Teton Range and the Snake River -- the Justly Famous Photo by Ansel Adams

Click on the picture above to enlarge

This photograph is in the public domain. Ansel Adams took it in 1942, when the U.S. Government employed him.

When we reached Flagg Ranch just before entering Yellowstone National Park, we boarded a snow coach. I think that this one of the most interesting vehicles in the world, certainly something I had never experienced before.

All Aboard the Snow Coaches!

All Aboard the Snow Coaches!

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Built by a Canadian company named Bombardier, the snow coaches that we took on the tour of Yellowstone carry nine or 10 passengers — “packed like sardines,” as one fellow passenger said. Instead of wheels they have tank treads in the back and skis in the front (they also carries an optional wheel for use when it town). Snow coaches and snow mobiles are the only vehicles that in winter can travel most of the roads in Yellowstone, which the park doesn’t plow.


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Posted in: Photography

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 winnie // Apr 4, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I enjoyed my trip to see Yellowstone in the Winter with Rolland Graham. It was a beautiful sight, all covered with snow and looking so peaceful and serene. Everything looks different in the Winter. My only concern was my inability to breath very well which unbeknowst to me was because I had a blood clot on my lung. Thanks to God I made it safely home and was put in the hospital for treatment. I would like to thank you again David for helping me climb up the hill to where the snow coaches were. Without your help I never would have made it. You`re my hero !

  • 2 David Mendosa // Apr 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Dear Winnie,

    I am so glad that you are well now. A blood clot in your lung! That could have been really serious.

    Best regards,


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