What do exceptional graduate students and their amazing colleagues do with their time “off” from sampling? Ascend mountains of course. In my day, we went exploring for new places to go surfing in the Great Bear Rainforest. Although our lab culture is more peaks than waves these days, I feel so grateful to be surrounded by such accomplished young scholars and all-round good people. CTD
June 23rd, 2013
By Laura Grant & Christina Service
During field seasons the bear research team extensively explores Kitasoo/Xai’Xais’ lands and waters on their never-ending quest for bear hair. However, throughout their travels they rarely gain elevation; their view often limited to sea level or enclosed winding creeks. Although every moment is a stunning one, team members find themselves yearning to summit and explore surrounding peaks. A ridgeline leading to the summit of North Needle Peak on Princess Royal Island caught their attention during the fall 2012 field season.
The team is very grateful to the Alpine Club of Canada-Vancouver Island’s Memorial Fund, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Spirit Bear Research Foundation, and the Tula Foundation, who helped to make this vision a reality this spring. After four days and approximately 2700 ft. of extreme bushwhacking, the team managed to safely navigate the ridgeline and summit North Needle Peak.
Making our way up the north end of the ridgeline on Day 1.From left to right: Christina Service, Vernon Brown, and Laura Grant.
Vern taking in the beauty of his Territory.
Breathtaking views of Laredo Inlet from the first camp site.
The ladies taking a break from a morning scramble on Day 2.
Vern gaining elevation as the fog rolls in.
Christina’s first glimpse of North Needle Peak.
Excited to see North Needle Peak and the open ocean simultaneously.
Our third night campsite amidst the granite and snow.
At the base of North Needle Peak on Day 3.
Christina navigating the snow pack as we near the summit.
The summit of North Needle!