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Peyto Lake from Bow Summit Lookout | by Wilson Hui
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Peyto Lake from Bow Summit Lookout

We had quite the encounter here at the Bow Summit Lookout. As you can see, this is an elevated area and you can't see further down this hill without getting further down and getting closer. This is not the tourist lookout, but is further up via a trail to the site of the old fire lookout. Great view of the glacier that's feeding Peyto Lake.

 

We had arrived up here and was joined shortly after by an older couple and a guy from Germany with a baby strapped to his back. We put down our bags and prepare for our packed lunch. I take a picture for the German guy and chatted a bit about his Sony RX-100 (I remember cameras more than I do people haha) and he wanders off behind me to the side opposite of Peyto Lake. I take this photo and the German guy comes back and says he saw a big bear. We're thinking @$#!, time to pack up and go. We're making loud noises and the older couple had whistles on them and made noise with those as well while we all pack up and make our way single file back down this hill. I grab my bear spray from my bag and readies it in my hand. There's really no running off the beaten path unless you wanted to go rolling off the steep hill. German guy with baby goes first, followed by the ladies, just myself and the other guy left. Just as I was about to head down the path, I see this big flat light coloured face come popping up over the ridge kinda half galloping strafing from my left to my right while maintaining a distance of 20~30' and disappears back down away from view again.

 

I could clearly see his eyes and he was looking back. That big bear moves FAST and silently! This was the absolute closest I've been to a grizzly bear or any other bear for that matter. Usually, my car is nearby and there's some other people between myself and the bear. This was something else, this had some real potential immediate danger. We tried to make our way quickly back down and luckily the grizzly didn't pursue. German guy must've got into a whole lot of trouble with his wife who didn't want to make the climb up. He was long gone by the time I got down.

 

And so, this is the only shot I got of Peyto Lake while atop the Bow Summit Lookout. My wife didn't get a shot as she was busy with her lunch. Neither of us has a shot of the bear as we packed the cameras away and needed our hands for other things like trekking poles. This was quite the adventure and although there's no picture of the bear, this shot of Peyto Lake will always remind me of our encounter. We'll be back some time in the future to revisit this place properly.

 

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Taken on September 21, 2014