Annual Traditions: Part 2

As I noted in Part 1 of Annual Traditions, the shakedown trip to the Jon Wilson Yurt proved to actually be more work than expected. 

First, the mile and half packed/groomed sled trail/forest road was incredibly steep and though I thought I could herringbone my way up while pulling Forest in the Chariot, I was WRONG.

Thankfully, my husband gave up his skins (Cue frustrated Sam ;)) because I did not actually expect to need mine. Oops. Major preparedness fail! Then, even with skins, the uphill didn’t allow me to go fast enough to sooth the little one to sleep in the Chariot.

Cue baby in meltdown mode.

Forest was not interested in play time at this moment but the ski in caused a similar look of desperation


I quickly ended up carrying Forest in the Ergo; my camera, water, and snacks in a hip pack Mountainsmith Day pack; and kept the empty Chariot strapped to my waist.

Honestly, it was slightly treacherous. Too steep, too much food, too warm, too high-energy dogs. Too Everything! But when we finally got to the yurt, all that (kind of) melted away…

Until we realized the wood was wet and the wood stove was not functioning well.

Cue cold, tired (but somehow still cheerful!), EVERYONE.

There were burning logs in there, yet the stove was cold to the touch

The good news? The skies were gorgeous day and night and even with temps dipping below zero overnight, a half-working wood stove, a minor dog fight, and a nearly 100% filled outhouse, We (somehow) still had so Much FUN!

Alpenglow at sunrise
Sunset at the Jon Wilson Yurt
Night views

Was it the whiskey?
No, no…it was being in the wilderness with good friends and taking our awesome boys along to experience it!!

Skinnies, fatties, and a Chariot
Matt splitting (wet) firewood
Carrying a baby means not always skiing the sketchy parts of the trail – Sam hikes my skis down trail and across a creek
Touring Sawmill Park
The uphill track through Sawmill Park with Tasha, Asa, Forest & Matt (Photo: Sam)
We found the trees! (Photo: Sam)

And, though the skiing was enjoyable once all of our gear was unloaded, lounging around the yurt was actutally Really fun, too (and warm during the daylight hours thanks to solar exchange!)….

Matt, Asa, Forest & Sam bunk-side
A sleepy pooch is a happy pooch
Forest trying some headware by Knotty by Nature
Tasha workin’ it with both boys!
Yurt life
Front porch lounging
Smiles for days!
Matching onesies because thats what besties do
When you run out of TP, anything will do…

In the end, the trip was actually the perfect shakedown option. It pushed us to our limits and taught us some important lessons and things to think about like:

  • what WORKS and what DOESN’T WORK (e.g., terrain, carrying/packing systems, dog personalities near the yurt, etc.)
  • what gear to take (I will always take my skins now!) and how much food we “really” need
  • attitude and perspective are everything and sometimes you just need to give your partner some space to cool down and take some turns down the nearby hill 😉
Skinng up for the ski out
Tasha rocking the downhill
We made it!


The Jon Wilson Yurt, in my opinion, was an amazing trip. We proved (to ourselves, at least) that babies are awesome in the backcountry and though I was frustrated with the terrain at times (and felt really guilty for taking Sam’s ski skins) it gave me the confidence I needed for our next adeventure…a 6 mile ski to Tomichi Lodge!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s