Skiers seen jumping over the Beartooth Highway - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Skiers seen jumping over the Beartooth Highway

Posted: Updated:
CODY, Wyo. -

The Beartooth Highway, near Yellowstone, is finally open to visitors and at this time of year, daring skiers. It opened last weekend, after Yellowstone Park snowplows pushed through deep snowpack, then had to plow the road again after a snowstorm.

But, soon after the road opened, some skiers started using the highway as a jump obstacle.

Imagine driving slowly through snow drifts ten to twenty feet high, looking out your window at a scenic snow-covered landscape, coming around a corner to see a skier flying off a ramp high into the air, and over the Beartooth Highway.

A small group of skiers from Jackson, Wyoming, built an ice block ramp. They surveyed the terrain to try to make sure cars weren’t coming, tested the wind, which was mighty at this 10,000-foot elevation, tested the speed on the ramp, then jumped off it over the two-lane road.

Then, a snowboarder made the long jump over the 24-foot wide highway, the snow lip on the other side, and tumbled down the far slope.  He jumped up and said, “I’m alive”, which seemed like a miracle to the couple from Australia who happened to drive up and see it.

Judy Watkins said, “They’re mad.  Just absolutely mad.  Who would drive over a highway and build a ski jump?”

A photographer from Jackson, Wyoming was one who would do that.  He called it a road gap.

Amon Baker said he did it, “For fun.  Yeah.”

Baker said this road gap over the Beartooth Highway was a first for him. He said his friends did it last year.  But, this was not his first highway jump.

He explained, “I’ve done a couple of road gaps.  Some a lot bigger than this.”

If you are wondering if there is a law against ski jumping over a highway, Wyoming State Trooper Rodney Miears said, “Absolutely there is, and it’s called Reckless Endangerment.”

But, what could possibly go wrong?

Miears explained,  “People who are driving around that curve have no idea they are ski jumping over that highway, and if that person were to stop in the middle of the road, that person jumping off that jump could go right into the vehicle…”

That did not happen while we watched.  But, the couple from Brisbane, who came as soon as the road was opened to see something unusual got more than they expected.

Watkins said, “We don’t have snow back home, and to come here and see snow piled on the roadway is unbelievable.”

She watched another skier jump, and said,  “It’s just silly. Silly, silly, silly.”

The Beartooth Highway stretches from Red Lodge, Montana through Wyoming to Yellowstone’s northeast entrance near Silvergate. Tropper Miears said some skiers have been ticketed in Jackson in years past, for ski jumping over roads.