Hey there everyone, I thought I’d put up another video to help with the lockdown boredom that we’re all probably going through, and this time have spun to the far north of North America, and the remote regions of the northern Yukon. Around two hours from the city of Dawson by helicopter, is this remote river valley where the water stays running through most of the winter whilst everywhere else freezes. This enables a late late late run of fish, and a handful of resourceful bears have learned that whilst their fellow ursines are all tucked up in their winter dens, they can continue to fish for a few weeks more, packing on the pounds. The combination of course of a furry bear, a wet coat and an air temperature of -25 centigrade or lower means one thing: ice. These grizzlies pay the price for their fish craving by ending up covered in icicles as the season progresses, a fact that doesn’t bother them of course, but does give them this unique appearance. However, it’s not just what they look like, it’s the fact that they have learned the behaviour in the first place. Nature always finds a way huh?
Shooting days were short; it was light only around 9.45am, and dark by 4pm, and the small wooden sleeping cabin with its log burner was either blisteringly hot or freezing cold…although, I think that was a lot down to my fire-making abilities 🙂 Conditions are basic, but comfortable with a sleeping hut, a “loo with a view”, and a cosy eating hut where the long evenings were spent drinking wine, beer and swapping stories with our friends; film-cameraman Phil Timpany and his bear guides and supports, Ross and Amy who keep this tiny outpost operating throughout the autumn and into the winter, food on the table, the bears at arms length (well, sometimes, only about arms length…as you’ll see!) and the logistics running…not easy when everything is a couple of hours away by helicopter….
This is one of the world’s truly special places, so much so that literally only a handful of people will get there in a given year…and if you want to try and see bears with ice, then the window is even smaller…given that you need to be there right at the end…into mid-November really, otherwise it simply isn’t cold enough to get the effect of the frozen coats..
Finally, a slight admission here, if you’ve seen a bear talk of mine, or saw the article I was commissioned to do for BBC Wildlife, then you will have seen some of these images before. However, I’ve not completely taken the shortcut route, and re-built the video with some new footage, images and music…hopefully it’ll help provide some escapism from those lockdown blues 🙂
This is the story of Sophie, and her two cubs, who eked out a living in this remote corner of the world, suitably referred to as “Bear Cave Mountain”…So sit back, turn up the volume and I hope you enjoy it!
***WANT TO TRY THIS FOR YOURSELF? CONTACT ME DIRECTLY. THERE IS ONLY ONE TINY WINDOW TO SEE THE BEARS WITH ICE ON (the last days of the season), SO IF YOU WANT TO GIVE IT A TRY, THEN DROP ME AN EMAIL AND WE CAN SET IT UP FOR YOU. THERE IS A WAITING LIST FOR THIS (THE CAMP ONLY HOLDS 4 PEOPLE), BUT WE DO HAVE ACCESS TO FUTURE DATES AND ALSO ARE ALWAYS AT THE TOP OF THE LIST IF THERE ARE ANY CANCELLATIONS***