18 December 2014

Remember "You'll Never Walk Alone"?

After exploring glacier caves, hiker looks at his photos and realizes he wasn't alone

Michael Glidden was wandering the ice-blue remains of a glacier in the Chugach National Forest Saturday when he spotted one particularly, deep, dark tunnel, he says.

The Anchorage retiree and his two American Eskimo Dogs, Shasta and Aspen, ventured inside. Temperatures had dipped to 29 degrees along the riverbeds outside.

It must have been about 10 degrees warmer there in the dark. "Echo! Echo!" Glidden yelled.  He listened. Water dripped.

‘“Very cozy in there, actually," Glidden recalled. He set his camera down and snapped a picture. The flash was blinding.

"I continued to explore the main cave for some time. ... It wasn't until I got home and looked over the pictures I had taken that I realized when I took the picture, my flash had caught a hibernating black bear only yards from where I was."

It wasn’t until he got home and began posting pictures online that Glidden noticed an unusual shape, hidden in the shadows, had been there in the cave with him all long.

The photo was cloudy but the claws gave the animal away.

Mr. Glidden went on to say that it was "an honor" to get that close. I have to tell you: "honor" isn't the word that comes to my mind ...


Sandy said...

Rev. Paul,

He was very lucky this bear was sleeping, in hibernation. Great picture!!!

Rev. Paul said...

Sandy, you're right - he's a VERY lucky fellow.

joated said...

In New Jersey, we had a conservation officer who would crawl into the dens to retrieve the cubs of black bear sows while they were hibernating The cubs would be measured, sexed and weighed before she would put them back with mom. That CO was all of 5' and maybe 130 pounds. She was a great CO.

Rev. Paul said...

That sounds like quite a brave woman, joated. It's reasonably safe as long as you know the sow is sleeping ... and that's the tricky part.