Cross-country ski clues: Glide the groomers, or trek the wilds of Yellowstone

Brett French

This past September, in the wake of a glacier’s continued melting, Norwegian archaeologists uncovered a wooden ski estimated at 1,300 years old.

The 6-foot long, 6.6-inch wide ski even held a preserved leather and birch binding and was grooved on the bottom to aid steering. In 2014, a similar ski was found in the same area, prompting the long search for its companion.

This photo taken around 1910 captures Yellowstone National Park’s Canyon ski patrol, back when skiing was often a means of winter transport rather than recreation.

NPS archives

The skis are proof that cross-country travel on wooden boards has long been a winter mode of transport. Today, the activity is better known as a sport for exercise rather than a necessary means of travel. Luckily, in southwestern Montana there are a variety of maintained trails and resorts offering cross-country skiers options for experiencing and exploring winter.

As a bonus, this region of the state is adjacent to Yellowstone National Park. Skiing into or around the park provides an experience unlike most other places since geysers

View Source