quote:Originally posted by Candy Sack
Sweet TR Benoit! We just got back last night. Interesting to see the difference in snow levels and compare your route to ours. We took three days, climbing MacGillvery and finding that shelter on day one. Summitting and back to shelter on day two. Hike out day three. The ski-lodge was in use by some scientists who were exploring the meadows on our last day.
You are brave to do this solo. We saw lots of bear dens and two grizzlies, and had one scratching at our shelter on night one, which spooked us a bit. What an AMAZING area! I'll throw up some pics in a seperate TR later. Thanks for the beta you provided.
Glad you guys made it out there Clayton, and good on you for taking three days. I really wish I did, Mcgillivray looks like a very nice mellow ascent with grat views. Your first day must have been huge, I thought backpacking to the col was pretty tough. It sounds like your girlfriend had a nice first few days in BC!
Re: bears. I nearly always camp above treeline. I've never been very comfortable camping in the trees as it seems more likely that animals will be around. I do know that bears will cross high passes (I've seen many tracks as high as 2500m and bear scat on glaciers), but it seems the likelihood of them stumbling into camp by chance high in the alpine is lower than if I was camping in the trees, especially if this camp has been used by others or if there is a source of food. This is why, for instance, when I go to Semaphore lakes I camp far away from the lakes on the flats below the train glacier headwall. Probably fewer food scraps there (although grizzlies seem to like alluvial flats as I found out in the Tchaikazasn valley - see TR) Having said this, I have had bears come into alpine camps twice so it's not an exact science - just what I've been rolling with and it's worked fairly well so far. I've always assumed that I will one day have a very close and probably scary as shit encounter with a grizz since I'm out in grizzly country so often. I think It'll happen one day. I accept that. That's why carry bear spray.
I also make a lot of noise when I hike solo. I mean a LOT. Thank god I don't go to oft-visited places because people would think I'm some kind of loonie, singing songs about bears and how I'm not a source of food. I also call out when I'm in camp. I think about bears a lot on my trips. It's something that's always in the back of my mind, often in front.
And if you still think I'm crazy, I recall reading somewhere on here that John Clarke used his food bag as a pillow. I keep mine wrapped in a dirty old shirt in my pack in my tent when in the alpine at night. I never leave anything in camp unless it's an extended (week or more) trip, if out on a day trip I carry all my food. On long trips in the alpine, when I leave camp for the day the food bag goes into the stinky shirt, preferably with stinky socks, and in the bottom of my stinky sleeping bag. I've been told by a guide that this is ok and I have not (yet) lost any food this way. The idea is that the smell of humans is more perceptible than that of food, and most of the times bears want nothing to do with humans. So I'm told.
Anyway, enough with this tangent, I really like discussions about bears as you can perhaps see. I'm very fascinated by them. Congratulations on making it and I look forward to the pictures of mcgillivray!