RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR OUR FUTURE
October 2003 Journal
It is the October, 2003 Thanksgiving weekend. John Turpin and I fly into Terrace and collect the truck. We drive to Prince Rupert, fuel the boat and collect some groceries and a few beer. At 1540 we proceed by boat from Prince Rupert via Vim Passage past Metlakatla and on up to Anyox. The skies are blue with very little wind. Ideal conditions for traveling and once past Work Channel we cross the Dixon Entrance and head right up the Portland Inlet this time without diverting through Steamer Passage. At 1800 we approach Kincolith perched on the north side of the broad and very volatile mouth of the Nass River. We finally arrive in Anyox at 7:35 P.M. The sky is already getting pretty dark when we round the Anyox Rocks and make the turn into Granby Bay. The camp and barge are lit up brilliantly and resemble a large swiss chalet from a distance. We comment that the lights are back on at Anyox. Shawn T Barton (our camp cook from Kincolith) has just finished cooking up some spectacular ribs served together with a special rice dish and fresh salad. At Anyox we eat like kings. The wind stays down over the course of this evening. However, there are “Gale Force” outflows predicted later in the night and in fact the entire BC coast is dotted with Gale force warnings, indicating sustained winds of greater than 35 knots. The bad news is the prediction that these winds will increase to “Storm Force” in the early morning and sustained winds of 45 or 50 knots are expected on the Dixon Entrance East and West. This is predicted as a major wet front moves in. We have experienced 55 knots from the southeast once before in this area and hopefully never will again.
We sleep fitfully in My Lady after getting the update from Ed until 2340 that first evening. The topic of conversation as usual was the road construction and Ed reports that progress has been steady. Our target is to get a new road built from Granby Bay all of the way up to the Anyox Storage Dam during the 2003 season. We plan to install a grapple yarder above the dam early next year and clean out 75 years of accumulated debris on the upstream side of the dam. This will be a necessary first step before we can access the trash rack assembly that protects the upstream side of our three low water outlet valves. These valves are situated at the very lowest point of the dam. Each of the three original 30” low water outlet valves consists of a combination “Butterfly/Gate valve assembly. We have been able to obtain an original name plate from one of the valves. Subsequently, our very talented and resourceful engineer Jack Snyder was actually able to track down the original manufacturer of these valves still operating in the United States some 82 years after their manufacture. The company was good enough to provide us with some key specifications for these old valves.
We talk about our road building challenges and in particular two sections of the road that are veritable thorns in our sides with 30 degree plus grades. Both of these grades require attention during the 2003 work season. The second of the two severe grades has been eliminated now with the help of a mountain of loose rock just above the grade’s top end. The first big grade complete with a dogleg right and a creek crossing will require a significant switch back for sure and we all agree that this will be done only after the basic route to the dam is in place. We will not be working through the winter and hopefully the snow will be somewhat late in arriving this year. Once the heavy snow starts we cannot get up the steep grade to the top end of the road with our 4X4 crew cab or pick up truck. Once these grades are dealt with winter work on the dam will be possible.
The road building crew consists of Ed Gavelin (Ed #1) , Ed Campbell (Ed #2), Gary Cox (rock blasting expert), Herb Bahm and Shawn T. Barton. Along with a newly acquired rock drill we are building road with a smallish D-6 Cat, a Gravel Truck and trusty “Kato”, a mid sized excavator. Until very late in the season we also had a small mini-excavator. This was instrumental in constructing the road over various stretches of swamp along the way and particularly on the top end where the road connects to the ridge line via a wide 120 yard long stretch of swamp. We have made several trips in to Anyox now on “My Lady” with two to three 20 foot long rolls of “Road Rug” lashed to the roof of the cabin. “Road Rug” is a very tough form of filter cloth, black in color providing an excellent base for the road over these swampy sections.
Lately, the going has been good and new road is built past the ancient steam locomotive some 800 Yards from the dam. The road is heading up a final rise some 150 feet above the crest height of the dam. Here the road takes a big swing back to the south and will start to wind down a gentle gradient to a flat bench about 80 feet above the crest. We have invested in a very good Ingersol Rand compressor and track style rock drill unit enabling us to do the required dynamite work and to create a nice quality rock for the road bed. Up until we acquired the rock drill long stretches of the road past the first major swamp crossing were somewhat like a house of cards built on loose rock, small trees and assorted timber cleared along the way. Perched precariously along a ridge where an old rail spur once traveled (we believe) some 40 feet above the low lying bog transition into “Lucky Lake” this grade was selected only after some very careful site reconnaissance and a chance find of a discarded Rail car which was apparently formerly a trailer car or dolly.
“Lucky Lake” with its vigilant Beaver population lies to the north of this stretch of our road and we sometimes hear the slap of a tail or the crashing of a sapling onto the forest floor as the Beavers too engage in dam repairs. We can only use very small charges of dynamite from this point on down to the grapple yarder pad to blow the rock. We are very careful not to create a seismic echo that could damage or weaken the structure of the dam. This will be time consuming and it will be a challenge to get down to the grapple yarder pad site by our target date of October 31st, 2003.
We find ourselves the next morning driving up this very road with Ed Gavelin in the F-150 pick-up truck. Ed explains to us the consequences to a road from very big rain events that tend to happen every fall in and around Observatory Inlet, Alice and Hastings arms and in particular a most recent September, 2003 rain event which was a very good test for our defenses. It turns out that despite the great pains taken to locate and install significant numbers of appropriately sized culverts and despite the almost religious ditching program undertaken our road in certain sections was easily overtopped and a seemingly unending flow of water rolled down from every possible nook and cranny above the road. One could only watch with awe an event of this magnitude. A large 5’ tall empty propane tank from near the “Core Shack” located at the base of the old mine some 3 miles up from Granby Bay was deposited via Hidden Creek amongst the old piles near our ramp barge landing site at tide water. This was absolutely mind blowing to John and I as the old tank had sat undisturbed near the mine since the early 80’s we suspect. A Bear must have been playing with it to start the chain of events.
We have purchased from Terrace plastic culverts with heavy ribbing rather than the more common galvanized steel culverts. These are very good culverts and were a little less expensive than the traditional galvanized steel ones. The plastic culverts also can be removed without destroying the integrity of the culvert and therefore are capable of being re-used.
The road from the camp to the storage dam has been a major project and a complete and detailed description of this road is required to better sense the difficulties that are encountered when one undertakes construction projects in remote country not serviced by roads of any sort within many miles. Anyox is accessible only by boat or by air. The provision of basic services and infrastructure to support construction activities that we all take for granted in civilization need to be carefully considered and planned. Water, Fuel, lube, Lodging, Food, Heat, Moorage, Electricity and a myriad of other vital, basic needs must be accommodated prior to actually doing any real work.
The road project commenced early in June, 2002, when Bert Spizak and I prepared to hike up to the dam after an initial aerial fly over (see video capture) several weeks prior. We would attempt to determine the location of the former narrow gauge rail line route which we believed and still believe would be the easiest way to the dam. In advance we have obtained from various intelligence sources including old photos and personal visits with former Anyox residents key information concerning this route and the legendary electric railway service network at Anyox. In essence we are looking for a route that is fast, easy and cheap to build. I can tell you now with conviction that it is very challenging to meet any of these criteria when building road in this country. However, not to divert, John, myself and Paul Rochetti (our very committed and capable Hydrologist) traveled up from Prince Rupert in My Lady on August 12th, 2002 enjoying very warm and summer like conditions. We arrived at Alice Arm in the late afternoon after some productive Coho fishing on the way up.
Bert Spizak joined us in Alice Arm after driving the very suspect road from Nass Camp to the town of Kitsault. We picked Bert up at the Kitsault dock that evening. This dock is perched on the outboard end of an old ramp barge located on the east side of Alice Arm. Bert is a very likable man in his 50’s who is a bit of a guru around the Nass Valley when it comes to roads and bridges. He is a very successful contractor who has prospered greatly during the now seemingly distant glory days of the British Columbia logging shows. John and I like him right away. He is a very powerfully built man about 5’ 11” tall and about 220pounds. He has brought along with him a small pack and his magic road building probe, a 5’ length of 5/16” or 3/8” rod with a “T” welded onto the top. Bert pushes the rod into the ground and thereby detects the presence of good rock (BC) or the marshy swamp that generally prevails in the gulleys and draws in this country affectionately called “Loon Shit”.
After journeying early the following morning to Anyox from our rustic lodging in Alice Arm we rendezvous in Granby Bay with the Wainwright tug “Aurora” presently engaged in landing a small ramp barge loaded with the basic equipment we will need at Anyox including a “Hi-Boy Trailer” loaded with pre-cut timbers. The “Hi-Boy” trailer is significant as it will soon become (after removal of its axles) the interim bridge over Hidden Creek and its cargo will become the bridge deck and rails. This will be a “seasonal” light duty bridge that we will pull out and store during the winter months. Monster 26 foot tides and pack ice in Granby Bay driven by a southerly wind can easily do this job for us if we are not careful.
The plan for today is to have John oversee the unloading of equipment and the installation of the two sets (4 total) of “A-sticks” which will be tethered to shore via chain, cable and big rock pins. The rock pins are actually a heavy eye bolt drilled and grouted into solid intertidal rock and cabled via the “A-sticks” to a massive 100 foot long and 3 foot thick “Boom Stick” on the outboard side of the A-stocks along which our Barge Camp the “Aqua Transporter” (see link) will be tied. The A-sticks allow the boom stick and barge to evenly ride up and down together in a trouble free manner (such is the theory) with the ebb and flood of the tide. This manner of tie is ideal for remote areas where there is no existing dock infrastructure. Tides of up to 26 feet reducing to –1 foot must be allowed for due to our Northerly location and this is challenging. We are now only 30 miles from a position which is British Columbia’s northernmost point of Ocean. To further complicate matters there is a very annoying rock knob that tends to catch our forward most “A-stick” twice a day thus creating some cantilevering effects generally stressful both to the A-stick and the management. At the beginning of next season we vow to deal with this matter.
John and I surveyed possible locations for our barge camp at a zero tide several months ago and the terminus of the old rail line where it transitions into the former Anyox docks at their northern extremity seems to be the best spot. This is a historically significant location. When this very area was blasted in or around 1908 to create an ideal depth for docking the large supply ships a tremendous vein of gold was found and it is rumored that the construction of the town of Anyox was virtually fully funded by this Gold.
A small point adjacent the stern of our current barge location offers some cover from the southerlies that often prevail in the area. Several old piles protrude from this point as final evidence of the rail spur that once ran off this point of land onto the massive dock. A nice beach with an old well head visible amongst the thick Sedge grasses is located some 200 feet from the bow of Aqua Transporter with a row of piles between. These piles have been standing like sentinels for over 90 years and are now severely deteriorated. Their timber superstructure has long since vanished into Granby Bay and we can almost push them over with the boat but we do not wish to disturb them. Multitudes of Swallows now nest in their rotted out recesses near the tops and the whole arrangement resembles a condominium development. The very tops of the piles are tufted with wild Sedge grass resembling a thatched roof. The swallows are superb at ridding the area of the volumes of bugs including “no-see-ums”, Black Flies, Horse Flies, large Mosquitoes and a particularly large and colorful variety of Northern Wasp. We value highly the Swallows as neighbours.
During the unloading exercise Bert and I pack up and slip away into the bush after scrambling over the Aurora and the ramp barge we are rafted up to. Our objective is to find the route we envisioned from the aerial flyover. We believe this is the best possible route for the road to the Anyox Dam. After ground proofing the route a proper cost estimate to build the required road can then be prepared. The road will access the storage dam and also the #1 and #2 Powerhouses residing on both sides of Anyox Creek near tidewater at the base of the Anyox falls.
We have a defender with us just in case. It is a 12 gauge pump style Winchester. A combination of buck shot and slugs seems to be the magic formula of choice up here when Yogi turns bad. There are a couple of Grizzly bears that have been down to the nearby slag pile in the last couple of days and one was curious about the water line work that Harley Knudson was undertaking at the inlet for the True Grit mining camp. The water supply inlet structure is located in a deep pool ? mile up Anyox Creek. An unfortunate accident occurred the day before and one of the pet dogs slipped into the pool where the water inlet was and got carried downstream and went over the falls. Unfortunately, the dog didn’t make it and his body was retrieved below the powerhouse. It is an awesome and hazardous set of falls even in very low water and several of the drops exceed 25 feet.
Bert and I begin our journey by walking through the waist high sedge grass for 100 yards approximately back to a rail line trestle which ends on a rocky outcropping formerly the northernmost extremity of the Anyox docks. During the trip down in My Lady Bert reiterated that if we could find the way the old timers built the railway line to the dam we would have found the best route, meticulously ballasted if somewhat narrow. Our plan, therefore, was to try and retrace the rail grade up to the Anyox Storage Dam.
The distance to the dam from the powerhouse as the raven flies is 5 kilometers. However, the river has been cut out of steep sided mountains and where the mountains do subside into valleys and flat benches for brief intervals the Spruce and Hemlock trees are dense and the Devil’s Club and Coastal Salal are brutal. It is necessary in our opinion to retrace the rail grade north about 1/2 of a mile to Hidden Creek and then find the lower “B-line” railway and a subsequent spur leading North to the storage dam. There are actually 2 grades to choose from when you stand at the docks. A central Lagoon is formed between them at a high tide and at a low tide a small creek maneuvers its way between abandoned ore cars pushed off the tracks years ago. We choose the inner (and drier) grade to start our trip and the tide is low so we are confident that we will be able to wade across Hidden Creek without our waders which would have added too much extra carrying weight.
The Wainwright ramp barge is now a beehive of activity with the unloading our new bridge designed to span Hidden Creek. The bridge will be okay for the lighter equipment that we have initially but will eventually be replaced by one of our eight newly acquired 54’ rail flat cars bought in Terrace in August, 2003.
Bert does not believe in carrying guns in the bush for protection and tells me that taking a gun actually creates a more dangerous situation as the Bears are very smart and they get defensive easily. He does not believe in carrying them for protection but I hastily remind him that when you’re driving a D-7 Cat around you don’t really have to worry about Bears and after all the defender isn’t even going to be loaded unless there is a problem. Bert maintains that the bear sees the gun as an aggressive threat and is more likely to behave aggressively in its presence. I didn’t mind having it based on later events. We hiked about 1200 meters around a slow curve to Hidden Creek. The skeletal industrial remnants were everywhere and countless piles ran out endlessly along the intertidal zone. The bones of Anyox are most impressive on a very low tide but become a dangerous presence to marine traffic at other times.
The barge ramp zone itself is perfect. We believe it was originally set up by a mining exploration company called “Prospectors Airways”. There is a large slightly rusted fuel tank lying on the gravel landing in tight to the trees. We would later salvage this old discarded tank and after burning off its contents. We filled it with rock after placing it at the base of our main ramp to Aqua Transporter. Everything of value gets used up here. Materials if not present must be barged in at considerable expense.
The ramp-way through the intertidal zone was beautiful, obviously cleared by a Cat to a groomed 8% slope and completely devoid of snags, piles or even large rocks. It is wide, too and quite a large Ramp Barge could be maneuvered in at the height of a big flood tide.
All of the railway tracks which should have been under our feet have been salvaged long ago but the ties themselves are remarkably intact covered with a coppery/rust colored grit which is quite compact and has somehow preserved the 10X10 first growth timbers. The old railway bed will soon form some of the finest ballast possible for our new road bed and I think the old timers looking down from the Graveyard above would feel a sense of satisfaction that the old town was going to inch its way back.
Before crossing Hidden Creek we had traveled back to the terminus of the old docks. We stood for some time at the very end of the old rail line and tried to imagine the vast dock works that we had seen pictured in the glory days complete with the General Store, a massive structure which proudly remains to this day. I think if you cut the trees and roots out of the interior of this building it could be restored. The massive steel roof and crane beams have been salvaged years ago but the slotted inserts cast into the solid concrete walls are still evident and intact. I would like to restore this particularly solid structure which is formed right onto a rocky outcropping or prominatory at the intertidal mark. It is built like a fortress. There are several other of the old structures which in good time may be restored. Most people feel that this is quite far fetched but I think it can be done.
There is an old in line 4 cylinder engine mounted onto the side of the rail spur we are standing on cantilevered precariously on a very suspect timber. The engine with its antiquated transmission apparently was gas fired and designed to winch cars along the various railway sidings on the docks. Immediately below this engine on today’s very low tide I can see an enormous bar magnet down in the mud. One can only guess what this had been used for.
The low tide reminds Bert and I that we must push on in order to cross Hidden Creek unaided by boat. We hike back almost due North past the ramp barge landing and around a bend to the site of the former bridge over Hidden Creek. The old abutment bases are still visible but the super-structures themselves are long gone probably washed out by a combination of a very high tide and winter ice pack conditions. It will be a challenge to build the new bridge required and there is a large rock that should be blasted on the south side of the new bridge in order to eliminate a tight turn to the bridge deck. Old train wheels, rotten piles, bricks, large timbers, steel bars, wire windings from old wood stave water pipes and other industrial gems adorn a Rust colored creek bed. We pick our way over to a low gradient spot near some old piles where the water is only calf deep and we hop across the 30’ stretch only overtopping our hiking boots slightly. The overgrown road leads us to the old Prospectors Airways mining camp consisting of two dilapidated Atco trailers side by side with a centre covered (well formerly covered) walkway. The trailers are in really rough shape and the Martens have obviously been holing up in them. The Northern Marten is a tough and very opportunistic little customer. They are highly prized for their fur and are known as BC/s version of the Sable. The Marten also is renown for its ability to inflict unprecedented damage to a cabin or home once they find a way in. Only a Mink is worse as the Mink likes to bring into the home all of their food which is normally fish. Their usually prodigious families can ransack a place in no time so special care has to be taken to “Pest Proof” camps and homes for winter in this country.
There have obviously been bears around as the scat is evident in large mounds. We are sure that the old foundations of the former homes between the mining camp and the Anyox Creek about 100 yards to the west are primo winter accommodations for black bears. The Black Bears are not that selective about their winter quarters and it is not unusual for the wolf pack in the dead of winter to dig up and eat a hibernating Black Bear from under a stump or other relatively modest cover.
Bert has his machete along to clear the way through the myriad of saplings we will face and isn’t worried a bit, especially with two guys traveling together.
An old steel trailer unit designed as a lock-up sits just across a clearing from the camp and 2” black plastic water pipe snakes its way along the makeshift road, and leads up to a large plunge pool on Anyox Creek which was the source of the camp’s water supply. The old water line skirts some very steep cliffs along the lower Anyox Creek and is suspended by old yellow poly ropes anchored to trees and scrub on the shelf above. The distant roar tells us we are about 500 meters from the falls. One trailer still has a large commercial grade gas fired camp range and kitchen set-up. An old fuel cache shed is littered with empty barrels of Jet “B” chopper fuel, dyed gas and Diesel. We will subsequently spend considerable time cleaning up this mess, getting rid of the trailers and abandoned junk. The empty 45 gallon barrels carry a deposit of $50 each so we will profit by our next return barge trip. By the summer of 2003 this area will look just like a picnic ground except for the Storage shack which we will organize and re-use for Anyox Hydro Electric’s needs. An old cast fire hydrant is left standing on the right hand side as we head up the old rail grade towards the mine. We will later clear around this relic as we have done with other pieces taking care not to remove or damage the artifacts.
The old exploration road is in really good shape around the lower end of Anyox Creek and we soon come upon the massive relic of the former #2 powerhouse. This powerhouse was fuelled by coal shipped from Northern Vancouver Island. The “Steam Plant” served to provide a back up power supply for the town and smelter works during winter months when the water levels are low in Anyox Creek. The Storage (#2) Dam was built in one year from 1922 to 1923 about 5 kilometers upstream of the powerhouse in an ideal rock notch carved out by the river over thousands of years. This dam provided valuable water storage capabilities. An elaborate siphon spillway system, entirely intact today, allowed a slow release of water and was used in conjunction with the three 30” diameter low water outlet valves during the winter from late December to late March facilitating a steady release of water down to the head pond and diversion dam some 2 kilometers downstream. This new found storage capability rendered the Steam Plant obsolete most years and it became rare for the town to rely on coal burning electricity generation. This was just as well since the supply of coal was sketchy and the delivered price to Anyox was high. The old #2 Powerhouse is adorned with fancy cast mouldings below corniced overhangs all around the perimeter of the square shaped building. Enormous “O” bolts jut out at regular intervals from the upper works cast out of solid concrete some 25 feet skyward. These look like the very bolts we are using as rock pins to anchor our barge to the shore. Again, all of the steel I-beams and girders have been stripped for salvage long ago. An enormous heap of red “Granby” bricks lays on the North side along with other remains of the former 150 foot tall smoke stack structure. This stack was constructed in layers of these bricks. The stack is actually still standing in pictures I have seen from the early 60’s. I am in awe of the volume of bricks and their impressive industrial heritage. We linger here and walk around the ruins. Trees have taken hold and the young conifers spread their roots through the old concrete building. We dodge and weave through a maze of growth which looks rather benign from a distance of 150 paces but now proves to be a minefield with Devil’s club coming into play. We notice multiple mounds of Bear dung, some fresh, and decide we should get on with the job at hand
The next ? mile takes us along the lower railroad grade known as the “B-Line”. We travel along this grade heading east towards the old mine. We pass the multi tiered concrete constructed primary crusher structure soaring above us just to our left. A massive concrete ore depository is visible several miles up the Hidden Creek Valley. This enormous structure was about the size of a football stadium originally and featured a huge wooden trellis and superstructure covered with a snow shed type roof that ran around the entire circumference of the structure. We believe that this was the hub of the old Granby Mine. Ore cars ran around the top track network and dumped ore from the mines into the top of this massive repository bin. Another set of tracks some 150 feet below allowed ore cars bound for the crusher and smelter to load ore from the bin efficiently from the bottom. We have yet to hike into this structure and test our theory but we have old photographs of the original structure. This structure must be really huge as it is very prominent from 3 miles off. We are now above the valley floor by about 150 feet and we look down towards what once may have been a really pristine valley broad and very flat. Literally hundreds of old steel barrels circa 1920 adorn the base of the rise we are on and beyond lay the acres of rust colored tailings apparently spilled over the side or piped down from the plant. Only very small Scrub Spruce survive down there and they are located in very isolated pockets where apparently the soil was spared from contamination. A big set of steel wheels much too large for a train lie below along with several steel vessels and the hulks of century old equipment. Beyond the “Copper Plains of Anyox” the lower end of Hidden Creek is visible from our vantage point some one and one half miles distant. The marshes of Sedge grasses and Skunk Cabbages flourish and meander alongside the ox bowed banks of Hidden Creek. In the distance we see a large Black Bear wandering along the far side of the valley.
We continue our march right over top an old trestle still intact and undamaged by the big 1948 fire that finished off what was left of the town. A little creek runs along and under this trestle and probably helped saved it. A decision must now be made. We know that we have to tack to the North if we are to bear in the direction of the Storage Dam. The B-line ends at a major washout where a very large trestle must have formerly been in place and picks up again several hundred yards due east. We see the telltale signs of a Cat road including very faded orange trail tape and begin to bull our way through thickly bunched Alders and Birch saplings that have grown in over the past 20 years. This must have been the route to the old core shack that we hear exists up near the mine. The route generally heads in the direction we need to travel in order to reach the dam. The rock under foot is good quality and obviously a Cat had been up here some 15 or 20 years ago. There is a very steep grade in excess of 30% initially. It then levels out on top and we can follow the route more easily. Bert and I look at each other as our road heads straight into the main stem of Hidden Creek. The creek is relatively high and meanders towards a precipice several hundred feet downstream and catapults over a large rock ledge. We can hear the muffled roar of its swift descent.
Obviously, the old road ran across the creek and the broad rock lined creek bed formed the road and we can see the traces and some shallow Cat tracks on the other side. It is very hot and we find ourselves stripping down to t-shirts and drinking rapidly from our modest supply of water. We each have a 3 inch thick chunk of fresh Halibut contained in tin foil Bert has brought along and try to decide how we are going to get across this creek without completely filling up our hiking boots with water. The options are very limited as the creek is very uniform over this stretch so there is nothing for it but speed and agility. Thoroughly soaked below the knees we reach the other side of the creek and begin to hike up what we feel must be the road and it is here we make a very time consuming mistake. We fail to see no less than three rather conspicuous lengths of trail tape just upstream of our position on the side we crossed over from. Later in the day while backtracking we will pick up these signposts of the bush and take the marked route. However, not to stray from the present we hike along the edge of the Hidden Creek bed following the cat depressions and soon we deviate east again and begin our hike over a smallish ridge heavily ingrown with Birch and Alder saplings. Bert’s machete is working double time here and as we begin to start down the far side of this ridge we almost walk directly into a very deep mine portal or a tunnel of some description. The road has slumped into the tunnel over about an 8 foot radius and the old shoring timbers are evident. Dropping a rock down the shaft tells me it is at least forty to fifty down to the bottom or the start of the next stope. We place some trail tape here attached to a large branch and proceed with care. Soon we are on a flat boggy area and we note the preponderance of both Wolf and Bear tracks. Bert talks to me about the differences between Black Bears and Grizzly Bears here because both sets of tracks are clearly evident among the ripening Skunk Cabbages. The Grizzly Bear, as Bert explains has very long protruding claws which are deadly weapons. They also leave a series of point like depressions up to several inches ahead of the pad mark. The Black Bear