Glen Pass time is 10:10 a.m.
The pass has lots of snow in scary places. I didn’t want to look down and for a while my legs were stiff and then they were like jelly. It must have taken me about three hours to get from Rae Lakes to here.
The solitude of the pass is broken only by the sound of a trail crew and their jack hammer on the other side.
1:40 p.m. . . . I am just sitting down to lunch and up walks this bear. I had the two bags full of food and I ran. I had just tip-toed and this time I just ran right through––I can’t believe the bear passed my mess by––tent out, bag out, Top Ramen on the stove. He walked right by me and he could come back. Spooky, eat, run.
I’d spent the morning, slogging up and over Glen Pass and everything from my socks to my giant, leather Fabiano mountaineering boots, was soaked.
It was also the scariest of the passes, with all the snow and angles that it had. I pretty much treated every step as though a mistake would lead to my doom, but I think I was just full of a little too much unneeded fear––and an ice axe would have been very nice.
Once I got down the other side I decided that I would need to let my boots air out a bit and I made every attempt at keeping them out of the snow and certainly out of the next few water crossings.
When I got down into Vidette Meadow, I gingerly crossed two happy, rushing, bouncing streams and the boots stayed dry. I was feeling good.
So I decided to stop and not only eat something, but this would also give me a chance to empty out the pack and give everything a good afternoon dry out.
I had everything out, including a food––some in the stuff sack, but then most of it, wet and drying in the sun.
I was fairly occupied with cooking when I noticed out of the corner of my eye a mother bear and cub, sauntering along not ten yards from me, keeping to the trail. I freaked out, grabbed a bag with some food in it and pretty much low-crawled, thinking that somehow the bear wouldn’t see me––yeah, right.
I ran right through the lovely raging stream I had just, minutes ago, stepped so gingerly across.
Yes, the boots got soaked and I eventually stopped and huddled low, expecting the mother and cub to loot and ravage my lunch and gear, but nothing happened–they just walked on by.
And I slushed back to my noodles, still simmering on the stove, untouched. I was freaking out though, my head swiveling around in anticipation of a horde of bears, coming back to enjoy my lunch.
I ate quickly and stashed everything, dry or not, back into the pack and just when I was feeling all alone (was I wishing for Scott?) and like the dark forest was growing thicker around me, a casual couple showed up, saying they’d just seen the cutest mama bear and her cub.
If anything, these two folks had deep southern accents and a very easy-going sense about the bear I was sure, would be coming back to eat me––just listening to the guy talk sort of had me laughing and feeling a little more at ease.
Even so, I asked if they’d wait for me to finish packing, so we could all hike out of Vidette together. They did and off we all went, me in the rear, constantly looking over my shoulder, fearing the worst.