Tag Archives: snowcoach

Bombardier Snowcoaches

I posted pictures of the snowcoaches in use within Yellowstone but I left one type out.  This appears to be the original design for snowcoahces and they are known as the Bombardier’s.  I assume this is because the Canadian manufacturer of snowmobiles was involved in their creation.  They have a cool body styling and they can get up some serious speed.  However, I understand that they are cold and rather uncomfortable.  Therefore, I was happy to watch some passing by rather than ride in them (although it might be fun to see how fast they really are).

Snowcoach Adventures

For my birthday, Nancy took me on a trip to Jackson Hole.  Part of the trip was a journey in to Yellowstone National park in a snowcoach.  The snowcoaches are modified vehicles to handle to snowy terrain.  They come in two main forms.  One is the tracked vehicle and the other is based on monster truck tires.  The one we took was tracked.  It was a pretty standard van design with four wheel drive but the wheels had been removed and replaced with triangular track arrangements called Mattracks.  These can deal with pretty much any snow.  The only downside is that they are a bit noisy, not too fast and boy do they guzzle fuel.  One our trip we stopped for fuel twice and were pretty low by the time we got back.

We also saw some of the other vehicles out and about.  The monster truck tired vehicles can attain better speeds and efficiency (plus the maintenance is so much lower) but they are not as reliable in dealing with the worst of the conditions.  However, they do seem to be the way that everyone is going.  Our guide told us the tracked vehicles are gradually being replaced.  It should be noted that, after the winter, the tracks are taken off and they revert to normal road use.

Bison in the Snow

As a celebration of a milestone birthday for m, we took a weekend in Jackson Hole.  Part of the visit was a trip into Yellowstone on a snowcoach.  There isn’t much in the way of wildlife in Yellowstone during the winter.  The bears are hibernating and the moose and elk have all headed down to lower levels.  Some bison have also headed down but other stay, attracted by the thawed areas around the hot springs.  We saw a few of them working their way through snow covered grounds using their powerful necks to move snow away from the plants underneath.