Chester Lake - Grizzly Encounter - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Exclamation Chester Lake - Grizzly Encounter

One of the hikes we wanted to do on our recent trip to Kananaskis was Chester Lake.

On our first attempt, heavy rains at the trail head, and socked in weather made it a no go. On our second attempt the weather was perfect. Sunny and warm, but not too hot.

As we neared the lake, we entered the final large open area on the right (those who have been there will know what I am talking about). Spotted a male grizzly about 400 metres away. He got wind of me, stood up on his hind legs to get a better scent, then started off paralleling the trail. He was moving a a very good pace. He stopped again about 150 metres out, stood up again, then started in our direction. I turned to my hiking partner to tell her that it was time to back out, while trying to keep an eye on the bear, but she had already bugged out.

I started blowing my whistle - a couple of toots and a few "yo bears" repeated several times. As I backed down the trail, I finally came to my partner who was a few hundred metres away. She had met up with a couple of ladies from the lower mainland, and was convinced that I was being mauled by the bear. After getting her calmed down, the four of us grouped togther and completed the hike around the lake without further incident (thank you Paula and Janet) !

I don't know what the bears' intentions were - getting a good sniff on what I was, or have me for lunch, but it is an encounter that will stick with me for some time. We did meet other hikers, who were unaware of the bears' presence, so we passed on a "heads up". We also passed on the information to the "bear reporting line" at the interpretive centre.

Any time I am in the back country, situational awareness is of the utmost importance !!

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 06:35 PM
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I think sometimes it is just simple curiosity about what originally spooked them.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by alpalmer View Post
I think sometimes it is just simple curiosity about what originally spooked them.

Exactly. I had young griz following me this spring on urban park pathway within city limits so to speak.


These meadows before Chester lake are known for griz encounters btw; on occasion K-country had to close the area to protect both animal and ppl because it is so popular
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 11:01 AM
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+1 what Zeljkok said. I used to work for Alberta Parks years ago in K-Country, and Chester was often under bear warnings and occasionally closures for pretty much exactly the same type of situations.

Good on ya for spotting the grizz 400m out, and being prepared to react. It might have ended differently if you had not seen it, then freaked out when it came close.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Originally Posted by woodland.telegraph View Post
+1 what Zeljkok said. I used to work for Alberta Parks years ago in K-Country, and Chester was often under bear warnings and occasionally closures for pretty much exactly the same type of situations.

Good on ya for spotting the grizz 400m out, and being prepared to react. It might have ended differently if you had not seen it, then freaked out when it came close.

I was a Park Ranger in central Alberta during the early 80's. Only "wildlife" we had to worry about came from the big cities
As mentioned in my previous post, situational awareness is forefront when I am in the back country / bear country.



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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 01:52 AM
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That Grizz would scare me too... your report invaluable in showing how to react in such a situation.

K

Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
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