Backcountry Yurt Nordic Ski

My daughter and I did an overnight ski to the Medicine Bow Yurt in Central Colorado. We reached the yurt right before nightfall and were able to get a fire going before complete darkness. The yurt has no power, but does have a propane stove–which was great to make some hot drinks. We unpacked our sleeping bags and I made a quick supper of soup and Finnish rye cracker bread with almond butter. A bit of salted vegan chocolate and some fresh clementines made for a satisfying dessert. The cloudless night was perfect for star gazing. I showed my daughter how to find Polaris, the north star, from first finding the Big Dipper.

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View looking east from the yurt’s deck. The outhouse is in the foreground and Medicine Bow Range in the background. 

We fell asleep in our bunk beds around 9:30 p.m. and it was a fairly peaceful night until about 11 p.m.  I was awakened by a scream of an animal; and it keep up the screams for at least 20 minutes. I’ve heard people say that a mountain lion can make the sound of a woman screaming–and whatever animal was out there– sure sounded like a woman screaming.  About ten minutes later my daughter says “I have to use the bathroom.” Great. Well, I grabbed the ax and my headlamp and down the hill we went.

Well, we made it through the rest of the night undisturbed. I got up a few times to stoke the fire with wood. Right at dawn, we heard a coyote yipping nearby. After some breakfast of oatmeal and dried fruit– we went exploring to find mountain lion tracks. After skiing up hill some distance, we did find some medium sized cat paw prints–maybe too small for a lion, but about the right size for a bobcat or lynx– which are known to frequent the area. Well, until the next adventure…