Grizzly bear photo

A young grizzly bear walks across the alpine tundra in search of food, not long before hibernation Wrangell-St Elias National Park, Alaska.

A young grizzly bear walks across the alpine tundra in search of food, not long before hibernation Wrangell-St Elias National Park, Alaska.

I shot this photo on a backpacking trip to Skolai Pass, several years ago. We were camped at the north end of the valley, and I wanted to hike to the southern end for some evening photography of the glacier and University Peaks. After dinner I made a solo trip across Skolai Pass to the Russell Glacier and the lateral moraine there, where I waited for the light to unfold. As luck would have it, the light was great early on, but as evening approached, so to did some rather unscrupulous clouds, rolling in from the east.

Instead, this young grizzly came wandering round the corner, right toward me, along the crest of the moraine I was sitting on. He saw me, stood up for a second, then dropped down to the tundra and proceeded on around me as if I were nothing more than pond to walk around. I, on the other hand, was more than a little concerned at having a grizzly bear so close by, while I was alone. The bear hardly glanced my way, walked around me and disappeared shortly afterward. I took this photo and that was all.

The alpenglow never did happen on the nearby mountains that evening.

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