I apologize for the long delays in posting here – it’s been busy this summer, with backpacking trips, and I really haven’t taken the photos I was hoping to, either. Either smoke from numerous wildfires, bad timing, or bad weather have made the summer not a great one for me, photographically, so far. Hopefully that’ll change a little as fall approaches.
This is a grizzly bear that I’ve observed in the Skolai Pass the last few years – I saw him as a younger, immature or subadult, in 2007, again last year and this year back in July. He’s very tolerant of humans, for a bear in the backcountry, and we were really fortunate to be able to spend some time photographing him this summer. It took a lot of patience and waiting, on both our part and the bear’s part, before we were able to be close enough to shoot some decent images of him, but it was a real treat this year. The first evening we saw him, he appeared near where we’d camped; we watched him closely for a while, and made certain he wasn’t interested in ourselves or our camp, and I ended up going to bed around midnight, with the young bear laid up and sound asleep by a large erratic (boulder) on the tundra, maybe 200 yards distant from our camp. It’s quite an experience crawling inside a tent knowing a grizzly is sleeping nearby. The next morning we awoke and he’d moved off up over a nearby ridge.
Normally I don’t pursue grizzlies in the backcountry much, especially when I’m guiding a trip, but this bear had displayed no interest in our group at all, and was very tolerant of us being nearby – so I thought it might be worth the effort. We ended up spending hours up on a ridge with the bear, and managed to take some keeper photos. He ignored us for the most part, and we did our best to move slowly, or not at all, and only when he appeared to be comfortable with out presence. It was a great afternoon, and all the folks on the trip commented how much they enjoyed it. Definitely a highlight for everyone!
Thanks for viewing, and I’ll try to add another post before too long.