Bighorn Peak, Yellowstone NP

Last week I attended the National Conference on Wilderness Medicine in Big Sky, Montana, along with four other ER residents from my program. During our free time, Alex and I took advantage of the opportunity to squeeze in some hiking.

Picture with Jordan Spieth

As a side note, we ended up sharing a flight with Jordan Spieth from Dallas to Bozeman, so we got to meet him and get some pictures. He’d just won the British Open a few days before, but was flying in coach with his family, then stood in line with us at Budget to rent a car.

Our conference sessions took place mostly during the mornings, so the first afternoon Alex and I drove down to the edge of Yellowstone NP to hike to the top of Bighorn Peak (9,930′), just north of the Wyoming border.

Bull Moose

A couple miles into the hike, I looked up to our right and spotted two bull moose. They kept a close eye on us for a few minutes, then wandered off into the trees. I turned to Alex and said, “You know, the last time I ran into a bull moose this close, Allison and I saw two grizzlies just a few minutes later…so keep your eyes peeled.” (Here’s the LINK, from 2012)

Almost exactly five minutes later, I looked up again and saw a bear.

There’s a bear over there

Of course we hadn’t brought bear spray (not allowed in carry-on bags), but fortunately he didn’t get aggressive with us. Just stared us down for 30 seconds ago, then climbed up onto a fallen tree and slowly moved away.

We didn’t see much more wildlife after that, and managed to reach the summit 20 minutes or so before a thunderstorm rolled in. This gave us just enough time to jog back downhill and under tree cover.

Standing atop Bighorn Peak

The total round trip distance ended up at 12.2 miles, with 3,178′ elevation gain.

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Published in: on August 1, 2017 at 1:09 pm  Comments (1)  
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