Friday, May 29, 2009

Spring in the Rockies

Mount Indefatigable
Originally uploaded by ofreflection

Dumped some photos over at flickr from some great camping/hiking last weekend. We headed out to Kananaskis for Sean's birthday and our first summer outing to the mountains for the year. Camping in the shoulder season can always be interesting given the amount of snow still on the ground, but thankfully we're a little older and wiser and have some pretty kick-ass camping pads to take the edge of the chill. The best part of the weekend though was the amount of wildlife we saw. Sadly not many photos of said encounters due to general flightiness of the wildlife or the scarediness of the photo-takers... Ignoring the marmots/ground squirrels, jays, deer, elk and sheep, because, well, they're just not that interesting, we had a very near encounter with a Grizzly, what we probably think was a Moose and a not so near miss with a Black bear. All of which neither of us have ever seen in our 2.5 years here so far. The Grizzly was spotted about 50m up the ridge from us, before disappearing into the woods. Seems he didn't want to see us either. We made a hellova noise clasped our bear spray and pushed on when we thought he'd gone, but not 100m further on strange noises were emanating from the trees beside us. At this point, we're almost literally in between a rock and a hard place, the rock being the cliff off to our right and the hard place the noises from the trees to our left. With the assistance of Sean's penchant for photographing shit (literally) and a handy 'identifying shit' card in the campsite we came to the conclusion that we'd had a near miss with a Moose. A Moose is probably more dangerous than a Grizzly and so the hike was aborted. Grizzly plus Moose was enough for one hike. We moved off and did another hike to a frozen lake where we were all jubilant that the snow was still on the ground and thus we could see any prints - there were none. Jo reported the bear sighting and was then told that not long after we'd seen the Grizzly it (assuming it was the same one is probably fair) had popped out of the woods on some unsuspecting fishermen below the ridge we'd been hiking. Apparently they weren't too happy we'd scared it off the mountain... To top the weekend off, the next day we saw a Black Bear running across the ice on the half-frozen lake we were lazing around by. This time we were much more pleased to see the bear, we had about 300m of open water between us and a car parked not 10m behind us. Even in my decrepit state i figured i could make that 10m before he swam his 300 but thankfully we didn't have to race. Instead we watched from afar and played on the beach. Good times. You should come visit.

1 comment:

Roy said...

Wow, thanks man! What a weekend you had, not bad spottage for one day! I wuld love to come, don't you worry, especially if you can guarantee sightings/encounters like that!