Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Jun 2015
Interest: Scrambling, rock climbing, road biking & landscape photography
Solo scrambling in group restricted areas
For the past three years I have been steadily converting from hiking to scrambling. Both this season and last season I have been able to summit something most weekends from June - October. For me an enormous part of my passion for the mountains is spending time in nature alone where I can work hard at my own intense pace and think and work out the particulars of my life. Over the past three years I must have hiked hundreds of kilometres in Banff, Yoho and Kananaskis, 90% of which has been solo.
I am very bear aware, have extensively read up on bear safety, carry a marine air horn and bear spray on my hip and do regular yodeling and bear calls.
I am wondering how the community feels about hiking / scrambling solo in areas with group restrictions due to bears? The reason why I am asking is I have still not been up Eiffel Peak and am thinking of scrambling it tomorrow alone. I was going to go up Mount Sparrowhawk but honestly I have wanted to get up Eiffel FOREVER But I never end up doing it for fear of getting fined or ticketed (what a outrage that I could be ticketed for hiking) - so I just keep putting Eiffel off. I was reading the trip reports for Sparrowhawk but then remembered how much I have been wanting Eiffel.
My issue is why is the hiking restriction in place at all?? Is there actually any more bears at Moraine Lake area than anywhere else in the Rockies? Deep down I suspect the restriction is in place as a means to ensure and protect the ability for the area to generate revenue in that if they put up a restriction of groups of 4 - the chances of that area ever having a serious bear incident are next to nothing (very rare for bear attacks to happen to groups of 4 or more). So – they put up the restriction, when it is no more dangerous than any other area – and ensure that people keep coming for years to come and be able to continue to charge park fees in this extremly popular area.
I have seen nothing that leads me to believe the Moraine Lake area is any more dangerous than any other area in terms of bears. Bears roam extensively through *all* areas of the Rockies. For instance, in my experience the area where a person if most likely to encounter a bear is the Highwood Pass in Kananaskis - every spring I take my road bike up the Highwood Pass before it opens to traffic on June 15 from the south end via Longview and *every* year for the past three years I see a bear on that road - if there should be a restriction anywhere, the Highwood is the place to put it in
I want to get up Eiffel tomorrow but I do not see why I should have to worry about being ticketed by a parks officer?
Is anyone else on board with me here or do I just sound crazy with my protection of the revenue stream hypothesis?
Last edited by brcollette; 09-27-2015 at 03:10 PM.
Reason: Initial version to dramatic