|View from Crater Notch.|
“No, you’ll just get mauled.”
I find this immensely reassuring. Still Waters always knows the right thing to say.
I find it tough being scared of bears. I’ve encountered plenty of black bears, have hundreds (thousands?) of solo miles under my belt. I thought I got past this long ago. But things were different in Yosemite, in the Smokies. This is Montana. These are grizzly bears, a whole different beast. Signs and guidebooks say “never hike alone in grizzly country” and all the hikers I see carry bear spray.
I choose this trip deliberately since a friend says this is a safer place to go solo, I scouted it last week and saw no signs of bears, bear spray is on my hipbelt, I make a ton of noise, I stay aware, and plan not to travel at dusk or dawn.
I’ve mitigated all the risks except the one--I am solo.
|It's just me out here.|
|Sunset over In-Thlam-Keh Lake in the Jewel Basin.|
|I hang my food up higher than I imagine I could ever throw the bear rope.|
Yes, this is worth it.
Jewel Basin Hiking Area
Jewel Basin map