In just over two months Yellowstone National Park will be opening its gates for its 144th spring season and will be celebrating the upcoming 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Currently the Park is open to over-snow travel as visitors enjoy the quite winter wonderland of all that Yellowstone has to offer. Beginning March 1st, all operations will cease within the interior and National Park Service (NPS) employees will begin the month-long $1 million process of clearing all 300 miles of road from snow. The initial plows will be cutting through packed snow at depths of up to 20 feet and will typically move at one mile per hour moving up to 2,500 tons of snow per hour of operation. On any given day the NPS will go through 1,300 to 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel in the plowing process.
Meanwhile, Yellowstone General Store staff is busy preparing for the upcoming 2016 season. Year-around staff are well into the processes of hiring seasonal staff, securing product from vendors, preparing for upcoming projects, and working with the National Park Service on providing the best visitor experience possible in Yellowstone. Along with these daily tasks the staff moves snow, a lot of snow.
Currently, the town of West Yellowstone has 35 inches of snow on the ground, and if there is that much on the ground then there is typically that much on the roofs too. With the majority of the region’s snow usually arriving in February and March there was a need in January to conduct a little preventative maintenance. Delaware North staff contributed to the effort (including Regional VP, Derek Zwickey and Director of Finance, Aaron Short) by shoveling snow from the 10,000 square foot roof of the Yellowstone General Stores Warehouse building. The team removed an estimated 300,000 pounds of snow!
Although the Park opens in just over two months, it seems as though that spring weather in Yellowstone cannot come soon enough.
Published January 2016