Spring Road Plowing in Yellowstone
Spring road plowing in Yellowstone starts just after the first Sunday in March. Our season at the yurt camp ends when the plows cross our driveway the second weekend of March. There is often four feet of snow packed on the road surface by the time the plowing starts.
The normal method for plowing is to mount a V plow on the front of a huge front end loader or road grader. A bulldozer (or two for deep snow) is then connected to the front of the V plow with a heavy chain or cable. The front end loader pushes, the bulldozer pulls, and presto, the snow is stripped off of the road in one pass. The Walters follows the V-Plow, pushing the snow that was torn up over to the edge of the roadway. Then several large snowblowers widen the road and do the final clearing.
Each year we feel a bit of sadness as we pack up the snowvans for the last time and head down the road in front of plows.
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Plowing Four Feet of Snow
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The Plowing Train
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Road Plowing Equipment
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Road Clearing Snowblowers
Snowplowing Video released by the National Park Service in Yellowstone. Can also be found at https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/photosmultimedia/minute_springplowing.htm