Thursday, October 27, 2011
While on our goat hunt we did some bushwhacking. To get home we had to cross a deep valley, and the plan had been to cross it way back in the mountains where there would be less brush due to the higher elevation. However, running into the bears denning up changed all that. Once we got 'charged' in a whiteout up on top twice in 2 hours, we decided to turn around and cross the valley lower down than we had wished. So we camped just above the brush line, and spent the night dreading the dawn - and the bushwhack from Hell.
And it was REALLY, REALLY bad. It was super steep with cliffs and choked with salmonberry, alder and devilsclub (the second photo show what we climbed down through). Going down we were not even sure if we could make it to the bottom, and we were super worried about running into an unscalable cliff and having to climb back up. Once down we had to bushwhack for another mile and a half to get up and around a ravine and across the valley. All and all, it took us almost 3 hours.
What's funny is that I used to get stuck in the brush all the time, but over the years I have learned to avoid it. As a consequence, I think I had forgotten just how bad it can get. Under normal circumstances I would have never chosen the route we tried. Now my memory is refreshed, and I think that next time I might just brave the bears to avoid the brush. Patrick
Photos: Top 2 show our bushwhack while the bottom is the view from the top. The other 2 are of the valley where we camped on our last night.