Absaroka TIM Dispatches from the Field 9/27 Greybull Pass

One of the requirements for this line of work is getting out early and staying out late – night work.

I’ve been getting into the Absaroka Range the last few days, hiking to Greybull Pass to see the headwaters of the Greybull River and up to Copper Lakes, the headwaters of Sunlight Creek with Martin Kidston of the Billings Gazette last night. Catching good light means hiking in darkness with grizzlies roaming, a time known around here as “witching hour.” It gets a little creepy, but Wyoming Game and Fish says if you make noise, hike with a partner, carry bear spray, and keep a cool head should you encounter a bear, both you and the bear will be just fine. Use your head, save a bear. The bonus is getting to see these remarkably rugged mountains in beautiful light. Martin and i had a 3 mile, 2,200 vertical feet descent in the dark last night – with fresh bear scat on the trail – a tad nerve-racking. We got down safely, then spotted a massive grizzly bear on the drive out. That’s part of the magic and exhilaration of recreating in the Absaroka-Beartooth Front, keystone predators roaming a wild landscape. I hope they’ll always have freedom to roam.