Dutch Expedition September 11–13

Else emailed me to ask if it would be irresponsible to go to our Phelix Hut during the grizzly bear “closure” with her friends from Holland who were on the “Felix” rowing team, and would they be eaten by bears. I replied that it wouldn’t be very irresponsible and I could somehow protect them from bears, and ferry them up the 4WD road with my Jeep. So suddenly I was a member of an all-ladies trip, something I’ve been wondering about for a while. Bears were scared away by our staying in a group of 8 people and singing loud songs in Dutch, which seemed to work. We saw tracks from a large grizzly and one or two cubs at the hut end of the lake but they appeared to be several days old (the tracks, I mean).

The next day, while the ladies went off to climb Gandalf, I stayed at the hut and re-hung the new door to keep the mice out, or maybe in. The Cd’s hung from the hut roof to scare away birds were flashing very bright and there were no new holes in the hut from the annoying birds. The new propane-burning Coleman stove worked well, except it sucked our cylinder of propane dry; fortunately we had a small stove for backup. The lake was too cold for swimming but the ladies gave it a try anyway. In the evening they made a large bonfire and toasted marshmallows.

The third day I had mysterious back muscle spasms so I expected to be going slow on the way out. I left the hut a couple of hours early while the ladies climbed Cabin Hill. On the drive home our carload saw a medium-sized black bear, so they were able to cross “see a bear” from their to-do list. It was a good trip, with happy people. When I asked how they could afford to come to Canada, they explained that they were DINKS, which means Dual Income, No KidS.

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4 Responses to Dutch Expedition September 11–13

  1. Mark Grist says:

    from the VOC Wiki

    Bear Activity

    On the advice of a local biologist, this area is prime feeding for grizzly and black bears during the late summer – August 15th through October 15th. Although use is not prohibited during this time, it is discouraged as it may be a disruption to the bear feeding activities.

    From Blair Hammond, one of the VOCers who got the hut project started in the first place:

    The impetus for the voluntary closure is that the area has traditionally been important for grizzly and that there had been some history of conflicts with grizzly in the area (involving back-country recreationists). Members of the hut committee did not want to be complicit in facilitating bear-human conflicts or in displacing grizzly from habitat important to them. MOF, who approved the huts location, were quite pleased at the time that we would be giving this kind of consideration, and whilst it was not a condition of the permit, it was appreciated and a good way to build the relationship.

  2. Roland Burton says:

    Glad to see that you are still reading this stuff, Mark.

  3. Anne Vialettes says:

    Also maybe something about not making bone fire at Phelix since it’s in the alpine and we don’t want people to burn trees that already have a hard time to grow?

  4. Roland Burton says:

    Anne: There’s a lot of fire pits around the hut. Only dead wood gets burned. Lots of people come up there and make fires; every time I have been up there and anybody else was up, they were burning wood. I don’t see why we shouldn’t if everybody else does. My own personal rule is, if there is a fire pit and no forest closure, and no sign saying don’t, then I can burn wood, but I’m not going to make a new fire pit. I’d much rather see the burning wood going to heating the hut, but it seems that won’t happen soon. Maybe George will design and build a micro-hydro project that will result in a warm hut with lights, but I’m not holding my breath.

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