Welcome to my blog. I hike and camp in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada, and I am a professional musician.
Feel free to say hi and have a look around. There's lots of posts about my hikes and various movies from these adventures.
Thanks for coming by, Pete

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sniffy the bear

The two loud sniffs among snapping branches about four meters away were my introduction to sniffy the bear. I grabbed the bear spray and jumped up shouting " There's nothing for you here"-although my all my food was on the ground-and "I'm the apex predator here!", immediately grateful that it choose not to challenge either of these questionable notions. 

   It was day three of a seven day backpacking trip into the coast mountains. Over decades of solo hikes I have learned a lot about being prepared.

   Food is the big attraction for critters.Bears and cougars can get very close without a sound. For that matter add ants and mice. Whenever I am preparing food I just take out what I need at the time and keep putting things back into a zipper nylon bag. I can pack things up quickly if need be.
  Sniffy scampered off into the dense bush. It all took about thirty seconds but left quite an impression. I tied up the food and then sat on the other side of the lake for a few hours to see if it was still around. If so, I would pack up and go back down to the lower valley.
   After an hour after seeing the bear I was quietly sewing a button on my shirt when suddenly a helicopter flew low over the lake, circled, then landed for about 10 minutes out of my sight. Biologists? Sightseeing? The noise really rattled me. On the way out it flew low and slow then disappeared down the valley. All was quite for the next three days as I did some day hikes up higher. On the day I attempted the peak through some very dense bush up a steep ridge I suddenly was hit with a bout of 'beaver fever' Giardia. 
   When deer are drinking water in the creeks they defecate and release these parasites into the water. [yum!] It is not fatal but can be serious. It was enough to make me stop and abandon the peak. Back down to camp.
It seems I share more than just hill and dale with the crepuscular ungulate.
    On day five I made my way down to the lower valley. At my low camp it felt like summer again. I like to walk around looking at muddy or sandy areas for animal tracks. Spotting many fresh deer tracks, I was thinking how unusual it is for me to actually see them in the open areas.

The next morning I found more fresh tracks but this time with fresh cougar tracks over top. A bit more looking and I found what looked like a splash of blood. It looked watery and I wandered if it was from giving birth or a cougar slash. This made me on guard watching to see if there was a fresh kill in the area, in which case I must leave immediately. I decided to stay.
     A couple hours later I was walking down to the creek to get some water when I noticed two deer, a two-prong buck and a young one. I froze and tilted my
head down, watching through my sunglasses. We had a good long look at each other before they had a drink of water then slowly wondered into the forest.
   This is the third time on my past two hikes where I have been sewing then an aircraft flew low over me. If I ever need emergency help first I'll use my emergency locator and then whip out the 'ol needle and thread.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Seal Birth

On a warm summer day I was paddling in a quite bay when I spotted the Seals.
The big males were the guards so I gave them lots of room as I drifted into a channel where I could see the females on shore. It is really important that I don't disturb them so I just stayed in the kayak and shot some video, hand held in the bright sun. It was so bright that I couldn't see what was happening, just that the seals were wiggling around and some had pups feeding

 At one point one of the males swam up the channel nearby and gave a low grunt so I knew it was time to move on. It wasn't until I watched at home that I noticed the seal seems to be giving birth.The video is authentic hand-held with a  digital zoom with some of my original music.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Tantalus ridge walk

The moon was in full eclipse as it rose over the mountains while I watched from my camp 1500 meters above my starting point that morning. Most of this trip is beyond the trail and over the years I have tried to find an easier way up to the high lake. Still haven't found it but the nasty stuff is easier to take, knowing how open it is above the tree line.

The old growth forest is great to pass through on the way up with that cool air and the greenery. There was this mushroom about the size of a plate that looked like a painting.

I like to get up as high as I can above the tree line, where the bears don't go................... very often.
This is the first time that I didn't see any bears in the mid-elevation valley and only saw scat once. A few times in the past I have been cooking in a dense forest area when a bear has crept up to have a sniff. It always amazes me how this big animal can walk along without even snapping a twig. Usually I notice them because I see a shadow move from the corner of my eye.  After dozens of encounters with those critters over the years I continue to treat them with greatest respect. You never know if the next one will be injured or cranky. It always makes me nervous when the food is out, so it feels a lot more comfortable to be looking down over the valley.

Keeping watch over Glacier melt.                                    
Sept 28/2015

Oct. 9  2006

The bug net only came out once on this trip but somehow I'm sure all the biting insects will survive another season without chomping on my hide. 
It's funny how a few minutes of those rare, natural open meadows help you forget about all the gnarly brush in-between.