Triple grizzly bear encounter in Jasper National Park

Looking ahead to this year’s mountain hiking season, I am reminded of a remarkable bear encounter that I had while hiking solo early one morning in late August 2019 in the Poboktan Valley, below Jonas Shoulder in south Jasper National Park. No one else had stirred in the Jonas Cut-off campsite when I began hiking at 7 a.m., climbing into a brilliantly clear sunrise after a night of rain. Soon after emerging from treeline into the morning sunlight, I encountered three grizzly bears, a female and what I soon realized were her two three-year old cubs, all about the same size. I was at one corner of a triangle, the cubs were at another, and the female was at the third, bellowing to them to come to her. My general practice in previous bear encounters had been to focus on the bear(s) and on my actions, not on taking pictures. However, on this occasion, having done all that I could to mitigate the situation, the opportunity was there to shoot some admittedly shaky pictures and video.

I recently produced a new cut of this. Details of the encounter are in the accompanying YouTube notes, and also appeared in the Fall 2019 Cloudburst.

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