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Bellevue Hill
Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta
August 10, 2007

Distance: 5.2 km
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 750 m

Bellevue Hill seemed like a suitable short trip since Dinah and I had arrived late in the day in Waterton and lost time setting up our camp. Undoubtedly the most interesting way to do the hill 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 up, we hiked up and down the descent route,the south ridge. The lower slopes are 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 rustle drew my attention to a blonde bear not ten metres away. The bear turned tail and bolted down the slope. 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 us. There seemed little likelihood of the same bear attacking us if we 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 and without seeing a bear.

KLM and GPX Tracks

When we saw this bear feeding on the ascent route, we turned to the descent route

False summit seen from the start

Most of the trip was in the open

Soon after the bear encounter, Dinah looked back

Mount Galwey

Heading to the false summit

The mountain shows its colours

Approaching the false summit

The summit is ahead

Far left is Sofa Mountain

On the summit

82 H/4 Waterton

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