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Bears Shotguns and Bottomless Pits

July 19th 2019

Peter Curtis

Tim English (r)

I know one thing for sure, this year is the year we find a 'going cave'.

After a winter waiting to get back up to recce on the Creek, I decided it's finally time. I called Peter Curtis and as usual he was keen and available. He picked me up at Anutz lake a few days later. We wasted no time to make our way up the road and take our trail to the open alpine limestone. We hiked 5 km of beautiful exposed sculpted limestone only going into easy to check holes because we would not make it to our destination if we checked them all.

So much frost shatter! Even at the summits were pits completely plugged with no chance of ever digging through. There has to be an unbelievable cave system underneath this place there is literally hundreds of pits with scallops lining the walls and fossil creek beds everywhere you look.

We are aiming to check an area in a picture Peter Curtis took several years ago which looks very intriguing. Unfortunately this area boggled us and we did not find the location of the photo. Maybe next time. On the way back we found several pits, and a few caves that need ropes in order to enter. (later explored and named Cut To The Chase Cave after the late Dale Chase)This is in a very interesting area where the Limestone does a fold. On the way out we checked out Peter's favorite dike and lots of mining remnants. Peter dropped me off at Anutz Lake where we unexpectedly met up with several VICEG members.

After arriving home and analyzing the photo more, Peter came to the conclusion we were checking too low.

AUG 8 2019

Franck Tuot

Arnaud Coppola

Tim English (r)

We convened at the high point on the road and made our way to the South Summit. After many trips up over the last few years, Peter Curtis spotted a nice looking pit directly on our trail. I don't know how we missed this so many times, so Frank, Arnaud and I decided to rig it up and see if it goes. Again frost shatter! Endless frost shatter in every hole.

Our maps show us some very intriguing spots on the west side of the South Summit, so we make our way down through uncharted territory. With Frank and Arnaud just ahead of me, I hear a rustle in the bushes, when a good-sized black bear pops up over the knoll with his head down about 8 feet away. We made direct eye contact for a few seconds until I said “hey buddy” and he peeled off into the old growth. We all had a good laugh as this was a ridiculously close encounter. I wonder if this is the same bear that fell into pit trap cave last year and that I see on the road almost every time I go up.

We made our way down to the draw, then Frank & Arnaud scrambled their way up to the source of the water. No go! Too small of resurgences. So where is the drainage? Maybe next trip.

OCT 1 2019

Mateo Laboussole

Tim English (r)

After driving a dark, elk ridden road, I arrived to meet Mateo at Anutz Lake. Our plan is to go and search the south summit above the polje. Morning came quick and we made our way to the high point on the road. A quick hike up and we are at the south summit. We spent the afternoon searching the area, finding unlimited frost shatter and one very intriguing pit that I could not get anywhere near as there were absolutely no rigging points and it was a funnel shape that looked like it would pull in anything

that went near it. We found blue and pink flagging with numbers on them marking this pit. We also found the same flagging at Grand Opening cave and at the mine site on the southwest side of the mountain. It looked to be fairly old. That's it for this trip, off to camp.

We decided to camp on the Zeballos River for the night as there was a beautiful campsite close by our road. We found an old spot that somebody uses once in awhile. Went for a hike on the other side of the river and when we came back there was a note very rudely telling us that we've destroyed this person's table with a candle because one drop of wax and a small char mark got on his hand split Cedar board. After the sun went down he came back. He circled us firing off a shotgun. My guess it was just a scare tactic but who knows when you're in the backwoods of Zeballos. There was no sound of any vehicle entering or leaving, which was odd because we are several kilometres from town. Luckily the shotgun faded off quickly and we managed to get a little sleep.

I know one thing for sure, next year is the year we find a 'going cave'!

All locations kept secret to protect the area. Email for more info

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