Brown bear on Whistler Mountain

The bears supposedly clear off Whistler Mountain ski run by late morning in mid-June, which is apparently a good time to hike down to the base if so inclined. It was about a two kilometres to the bottom along a narrow matted trail that had been used by many hikers and mountain bikers before me. With my Olympus OM-1 and 75-300mm lens in hand I gingerly headed down the slope as my eyes constantly scanned the terrain for bears. It’s a beautiful walk with a spectacular view of the valley of Whistler below. My wife, Vicky, was going to meet me in the parking lot and then we were headed to the South Side Deli for lunch.

A steady drizzle accompanied me as I continued down the forest lined sloped when about half way down with nowhere to go but down and up, I spotted two brown bears on the path 400 metres below. After breathing in a couple of gulps of courage I continued down the hill making up a song as I carefully stepped and waved to make sure they saw me. After the two bears became aware of my presence they slowly began making their way up the side of an embankment at the edge of the forest leaving me space to pass within a fifty metres or so of where they stood. Meanwhile we exchanged looks as I quickly snapped a handful of photos. Once we were clear of each other they continued up the mountain and I smiled while resuming the trail to the bottom to excitedly tell Vicky my story.

I found out later that these brown bears were actually a different colour of black bear which vegetarian and generally timid and non-aggressive. Just give them their space and they are happy to coexist. I gained a new respect for these beautiful creatures on this trip to Whistler.

Feel the presence

Wait silently with anything, and you will discover a new phenomenon which was always there, but of which you were not alert – not aware of it. Your mind will become completely silent as you feel the presence of the ever-living existence. You will be just a part in it, just a note in the great symphony. No burden, no tension...the drop has fallen into the ocean. ~ Osho

Latest Presence Blogs