Bellevue Hill seemed like a suitable short trip since we had arrived late in the day in Waterton and lost time setting up our camp. Undoubtedly the best way to do the hilll is the scrambling loop that Andrew proposes -- unless one has to pass a bear that is feeding on berries along the road. Instead of scrambling, we hiked up and down the descent route. The lower slopes were semi-wooded but an open ridge leads to a false summit. From the false summit, it's only a few minutes to the true summit.
Despite our caution, however, we still ran into a bear. About 30 minutes into the trip, while on a ridge, a rustling noise drew my attention to a blonde bear not ten metres away. I saw the bear as it turned tail and bolted down the slope. Dinah was a few metres behind me and missed seeing it. After a brief discussion we decided to go against conventional wisdom that suggests leaving the area after a bear encounter. The bear was not large and apparently fearful of one person. There seemed little likelihood of the same bear attacking us if Dinah and I stayed close together. More likely, the bear had fled the area.
We continued hiking up the ridge, although more slowly and cautiously. Once we were out of the trees, we relaxed and had an enjoyable climb to the summit. Given the small effort it took to summit, the views were rewarding. We returned to our car without incident.
Bear feeding on berries (slightly slowed)
False summit (left) seen from the start
Most of the trip was in the open
Soon after the bear encounter, Dinah looks back
Heading to the false summit
The mountain shows its colours
Approaching the false summit
The summit (mouse over for the view back)
On the summit
Waterton 82 H/4
Nugara | Canada | Home