COVID Powder: Isolation In Montana Mountain Town Offers Solitary Snowboarding
Social isolation that began in March has been a blessing for Jessica Jane Hart and Reed Youngbar.
“It really has felt like we have won the lottery with nobody here,” she said recently.
Here, for Hart, is the Cooke City area. She spent the past winter in the south-central Montana town with Youngbar, her fiance. They both love to backcountry snowboard, and few other places can compare with the mountains around Cooke City for wide-open hillsides, navigable tree runs and heavy snowfall.
Although not a high traffic area in March and April in a normal year, during the COVID-19 pandemic all outside travel to the community has been halted. The only way to reach Cooke City in winter is through the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park near Gardiner. When Yellowstone closed to the public, Park County followed up with a directive limiting travel to Cooke City to residents and those providing necessary services.