Fast, light and gunless in the arctic


PDA






Cosmoline
June 19, 2006, 04:16 PM
It was only a matter of time before the "fast and light" gurus took on the Brooks Range.

http://www.ryanjordan.com/

They are of course gunless. It's part of the "fair means" doctrine they have. They're not the first ones to cross that area with no rifles, but their accounts of griz encounters so far tells me they're underestimating Mr. UAH "Sneaking" around a sow with cubs? Bad idea. We shall see if they end up following Treadwell, but unlike Timmy boy they're dealing with true barren ground griz here, not fat and happy coastal brown bears. Dial's been around the block, but that doesn't mean he's entirely sane. My guess is they'll make it, but I'm more concerned about the cultists of the movement who try to follow them without the benefit of triathalon-level physical development and experience in the bush. But then again, it's been a few days since they reported in. You get arrogant out there and this state will kill you, even if you are super fit and super fast and ultra light and xtreme to the max.

If you enjoyed reading about "Fast, light and gunless in the arctic" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Preacherman
June 19, 2006, 04:23 PM
Oooh! Grizzly meals on the hoof! How nice of them!

:evil:

JesseJames
June 19, 2006, 04:31 PM
Good grief. They're not even carrying pepper spray?
At the very least I'd be carrying a .44 magnum pistol. Not much good against a pissed off grizz but better than nothing.

Cosmoline
June 19, 2006, 04:42 PM
I think they mention one of them has spray. But even more dangerous than being gunless is their attitude. To them it's this race to get to some arbitrary point furthest away from roads. What a truly bizarre goal. They're also on a race, necessitated by their self-imposed time constraints and the fact that they have limited gear, limited food and no safety net. They should be going in there slower and heavier, so they can take the time to avoid bad griz areas if needed. Above all else they shouldn't be treating this like some sort of contest. They're way too arrogant.

carterbeauford
June 19, 2006, 05:28 PM
Their lives are not worth the weight of a Ruger .454 Alaskan? Sorry to hear that.

stevelyn
June 19, 2006, 05:50 PM
I think they mention one of them has spray.

They also mention strong winds too. Good luck deploying spray under those conditions.:uhoh:

Their lives aren't worth the weight of a Ruger .454 Alaskan? Sorry to hear that.

I'm not. The herd needs thinned. Better to thin out fools and idiots first. I agree with Cosmoline that they'll probably make it, but the "cultists" that follow may make for interesting entertainment.:evil:

carterbeauford
June 19, 2006, 06:05 PM
I'm not. The herd needs thinned. Better to thin out fools and idiots first. I agree with Cosmoline that they'll probably make it, but the "cultists" that follow may make for interesting entertainment.

Well, grizzlyman learned his lesson.

If anyone has never heard, he was some dude who lived "as one" with grizzlies in Alaska, until one of them ate him for lunch.

0007
June 19, 2006, 06:18 PM
Maybe they will get lucky and run into a southern ranging polar bear. When I was working north of 60 we saw quite a few of them. Was told by the local reps that they will range 50 miles a day looking for ANYTHING they can eat. And they WILL eat anything...

rudolf
June 19, 2006, 07:01 PM
If the human is more stupid than the bear, what is wrong with the bear eating the human?
Bears eating humans do an important job in evolution, they make sure those humans survive who are not stupid enough to be eaten by a bear.

JesseJames
June 19, 2006, 07:29 PM
My one bit of advice for anyone going into bear country.
Always bring a friend. And make sure they run slower than you. :D ;) :neener:

Mannlicher
June 19, 2006, 08:23 PM
whatever happens to them is of zero concern

Dave R
June 19, 2006, 08:33 PM
This time while walking a high bench below a ridge, a grizzly on the ridge spotted us from half a mile away and ran straight for us.

We tucked down under the bench hoping that the grizzly would come behind us catch our scent and give us a wind advantage for our bear spray.

That's exactly what happened, when he kept approaching and we were sure he would charge.

We made lots of noise and eventually scared him off leaving him wandering around the scent trail we left.

Tonight we are at a beautiful quite serene camp on Surprise Creek at the base of one of the most scenic ridge walks so far. Man, some people just cannot get a clue. Apparently, this episode proved their invincibility. To them.

DoubleTapDrew
June 19, 2006, 08:40 PM
If they become bear droppings, so be it. Some people don't understand that it wasn't our brute strength that got us to the top of the food chain. It was our brains and our tools.
Animals generally don't have pity, compassion, conscience, reasoning, etc. They are hungry, you are food. Lunchtime.

MechAg94
June 19, 2006, 09:04 PM
I like Ron White's comment about the grizzly man. He said he remembered those times when his Dad told him he wouldn't amount to *****. "Well Pappa, look at me now! A steaming pile of bear feces. Aren't you proud of me." :D

torpid
June 19, 2006, 09:04 PM
The funny thing is that if there was some magical way to make the bears understand and be able to use firearms, they would be packing and using them in a heartbeat.

And no matter how you tried to explain the "contest" these gents are undertaking, the bears would never be able to wrap their heads around that one.

;)

falling leaves
June 19, 2006, 09:06 PM
A good friend of mine lives up in Fairbanks. Told me not to worry too much about which load to put in the handgun for bear defense. According to him I'd never get the chance to use it. Seems they like to have a couple backup guys with 300 win mags keeping an eye out for unfriendly bears. Wandering into true wilderness - with a fully functioning food chain - sounds a bit too idealistic for me.

Cosmoline
June 19, 2006, 09:54 PM
That's an old myth. While I much prefer a rifle, handguns are used for bear defense on an increasingly regular basis. You just don't hear about it outside Alaska.

http://www.adn.com/front/story/7875611p-7769246c.html

He didn't take notice until his dog Thelma let out a distinct, low-pitched growl. Gillespie drew his .44 revolver, just as a pair of adult bears burst from dense brush 15 yards away, he said.

The roaring grizzlies, hackles on end, lowered their heads and charged. He said he thumped warning shots into the ground before them, scaring one off.

But the bigger bear, about 400 pounds, kept coming. Gillespie fired three rounds, hitting the grizzly with a death blow to the temple. The animal collapsed with a sigh about 12 feet away, he said.

These sort of encounters happen all the time up here. The keys to coming out on top are speed of the draw and location of the hit. The power of the projectile does not matter as much. Nothing short of a 30mm cannon can physically stop a bear with its force. But even a 9x19 in the shoulder joint or brain pan will stop one.

Preacherman
June 19, 2006, 10:29 PM
Thanks for the linked article, Cosmo. I enjoyed this bit: :D

Longtime Seward resident Doug McRae, a former big-game guide and trapper, said grizzly numbers have risen because the state rarely allows brown bear hunting on the Kenai Peninsula. Hunting is also not allowed in the park, established in 1980.

A swimming grizzly charged him near Seward two years ago, said McRae, 62. An antler carver, he was hiking through brush near the popular Resurrection River trail looking for shed moose horns. He saw a huge brown bear stalking a moose across a 50-foot-wide branch of the river, he said.

He said he shouted to warn the animals of his presence. It worked. The bear dove toward McRae like an "Olympic diver."

"He just exploded, made about two jumps into the water and started swimming hard as he could right for me," he said.

McRae dashed about 200 yards to his truck at the trail head. Never one to use bear protection, he now carries pepper spray and jingles with bells when he hikes.

The bear probably heard: "Lunch over here! Come and get me!" :D

Tokugawa
June 19, 2006, 11:08 PM
Some years ago I was in the Brooks range with my father and brother, one drainage over from the Kongakut. We are strolling along and come across a guide with a bunch of newbies. The newbies were all wearing brand new clothes and gear with enormous cans of pepper spray hung around thier necks. But the guide was the real show. He was wearing purple spandex pants and mirror shades, I am sure his guiding experiance was limited to Aspen or Sun Valley, especially after he looked at my short barrel 12 gauge and asked if I was sheep hunting! His clients looked scared to death and probably rightfully so being entrusted to the idiots care.

oh, the guides weapon was a rusty old savage bolt gun with a long flouresent surveyers flagging tied to the muzzle, presumably so he would remember where he put it.

Tom Bri
June 20, 2006, 01:12 AM
Saw one of those nature specials. A griz RAN DOWN an adult deer! The deer ran. The bear ran. The deer leapt bushes. The bear ran over them. The deer dodged and jumped. The bear grabbed it and... I never had any idea just how fast those bears are. To actually out run a deer, and not on an ambush charge either. No way any human could outrun a bear.

U.S.SFC_RET
June 20, 2006, 01:27 AM
Ignorance is truly the destruction of fools. Bear!:neener: :eek:

DoubleTapDrew
June 20, 2006, 01:57 AM
Saw one of those nature specials. A griz RAN DOWN an adult deer!

From what I've heard a grizzly will outrun a quarterhorse for the first 50yards. A couple thousand pounds of muscle...and all wheel drive :evil:
A family friend got a job timber cruising up in Alaska, going into bear country. My dad helped him select a .445 supermag (what a sweet piece that was). He isn't really a gun-guy but he realized going unarmed was not a smart thing to do in the wild.

silverlance
June 20, 2006, 02:06 AM
not sure how true this stuff is, but this is what a guide up in skagway told me (he runs a fur shop) a few months ago when I was up that a ways.

1. three miners headed back to the city one winter. they left a camper trailer with all their food supplies inside, packed inside sealed plastic jars. came back four months later - to discover that their trailer had been peeled back FROM THE TOP like a sardine can, all the jugs busted open and flour and rice and what not spewed all over the inside of the camper.

2. bear he once shot took a 30.06 hit directly to the head. blew off a small chunk of bone, but easily deflected. did eventually go down, but not until the 3rd shot. from the other two guys. no way he could have done it himself - bear was doing about 30 mph.

and from a female ranger i met:

1. friend of hers killed a rogue grizzly with a .357 mag. right to the heart, she assumes, because it was DOA on the first shot. that ranger, though, put three more into Mr. UAH and waited quite some time to make sure it wouldn't suddenly get back up.

C. Rabbit
June 20, 2006, 02:35 AM
Ultra light, and sneaking around bears?

Slow and heavy would seem to be safer. And on the extreme end of that scale, we have bear armor: http://outside.away.com/magazine/0597/0597grizzlies.html
http://outside.away.com/outside/magazine/0597/images/grizzly3.jpg

More on the inventor. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troy_Hurtubise)

CR

Cosmoline
June 20, 2006, 02:47 AM
You can always sneak bear lure into the DEET container of your hiking partner :evil:

bromdenlong
June 20, 2006, 03:52 AM
"...He was wearing purple spandex pants and mirror shades, I am sure his guiding experiance was limited to Aspen or Sun Valley, especially after he looked at my short barrel 12 gauge and asked if I was sheep hunting!"


Superb. Simply superb. :rolleyes:

Chrontius
June 20, 2006, 04:03 AM
Mister Rabbit: I've always wanted to see one of those with an RMK30 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheinmetall_RMK30) over the shoulder instead of a camera. Bonus points for exoskeletal power-assist (HAL30, maybe?)

Slap a few coats of alternating Superman composite (more by Mr. Troy) and Starlite (French hairdresser... stuff'll supposedly take a nuke hit without burning, but I'm not sure about thermal X-rays within the 18-meter "totally ionized" radius) and a fuel cell to power the beast. :evil:

I call it the Mjolnir Mk.1

Cosmoline
June 20, 2006, 08:35 PM
Update from the site:

That step plunged through the edge of an ice shelf on a small creek and ended with a hard impact on a rock.

The next morning, swelling and discoloration clearly indicated an injury.

But cold river crossings, ibuprofen and the body's own natural splint (i.e. inflammation) kept Ryan walking strong for the next 3 days.

TRANSLATION: One of us had a bad fall but we had packed bupkus to treat injuries, not even enough for a simple splint

Yesterday however, with inflammation going down, the stress of trekking became extremely painful, shutting down the nerve endings in his foot, causing it to go numb and loose strength.

TRANSLATION: Ryan realized without even basic treatment available, he might be losing his foot.

We stopped early on an unknown creek, worked with Roman's wife Peggy in Anchorage, and a Bush Pilot in a nearby city and have walked another 10 miles today to a gravel bar on the Utukok River where a Bush plane can land.

TRANSLATION: We called a woman (always smarter than the men) and she bailed our fast and light rear ends out)

So the mighty RYAN JORDAN, famous for advocating that hikers leave behind all that useless and heavy first aid gear, has proven himself just as vulnerable to gravity and loose scree as the rest of us.

ALASKA: 1
FAST & LIGHT: 0

Let's see if the other two manage to complete this insane trek intact.

American By Blood
June 20, 2006, 11:05 PM
He didn't take notice until his dog Thelma let out a distinct, low-pitched growl. Gillespie drew his .44 revolver, just as a pair of adult bears burst from dense brush 15 yards away, he said.

The roaring grizzlies, hackles on end, lowered their heads and charged. He said he thumped warning shots into the ground before them, scaring one off.

But the bigger bear, about 400 pounds, kept coming. Gillespie fired three rounds, hitting the grizzly with a death blow to the temple. The animal collapsed with a sigh about 12 feet away, he said.

Only in Alaska can you get newspapers writing about the use of a firearm that way. Heck, the description of the weapon was even plausible.

If a Maryland paper had covered the same story the article would have read something like:

He didn't realize that he was violating the bear's sacred den-space until his companion animal, Thelma, used a language older than words to inform him of their transgression. Gillespie drew his 44mm automatic revolver assault pistol and cavalierly brandished it at the two adult bears who emerged from the bush to greet him and his canine prisoner.

The grizzlies hailed them, startling the trigger-happy NRA member and causing him fire burst after burst wildly into the ground and air. These uncontrolled vollies frightened off one of the bears, her being unused to man's technology of destruction.

The male of the pair, however, was determined to continue the discussion about Gillespie's reckless incursion into the Ursine-Americans' ancestral lands. Like most white males, the poacher is only capable of speaking English (and a barely intelligible backwoods dialect at that) and thus failed to understand the bear chief's questions. Instead, he pumped three clips into the innocent bear's head. Witnesses say that he continued shooting well after the non-human (yet still deserving of full civil rights) animal's skull was a red pulp. Before dying, the noble creature let out one last cry to the Great Spirit.

Authorities are investigating and word has it that the DA will pursue murder charges.

Bart Noir
June 21, 2006, 04:11 PM
Nicely down, By Blood, I just hope you don't put your writing skills to work for "the other side".

Bart Noir

JesseJames
June 21, 2006, 04:21 PM
American By Blood that is one of the funniest things I've ever read in a while.
You made my day.:D :p

Cosmoline
June 21, 2006, 08:07 PM
I'm in trouble now over on Jordan's blog. This movement resembles something of a cult. I dared to criticize his choice of HARDROCK RUNNING SHOES over traditional leather boots for the notoriously uneven and ankle-splitting tundra.

http://www.ryanjordan.com/2006_arctic/2006/06/day_9_several_h.html#comments

WayneConrad
June 21, 2006, 08:32 PM
Here's a quote from Ryan Jordan's latest update:

"I would consider a big gun however. All rules and behavior that we know about grizzly bears in areas where humans hang out get thrown out the window up there. These bears act weird. I really think they want to eat you. Fortunately, Roman and Jason are now walking into areas more frequented by rafters and trekkers, and hopefully, bears that have seen humans before."

I don't understand the need to throw feces at this guy. Some of the comments implying that it'll be alright if he gets eaten by a bear... those are just distasteful. When I read what he wrote, he doesn't seem like an ideologue to me, but some of us do.

Glass houses, stones, etc.

Cosmoline
June 21, 2006, 08:41 PM
There's a dangerous arrogance in the whole enterprise and the "ultralight" cult. These people are so fixated they will discard wool socks to save an ounce or two. And you'll note that Ryan, even after getting brought up short, is still claiming he made a good choice with rock running shoes instead of proper boots.

I was also rather annoyed to see that these guys who brag about not hunting or living off the land were using brush fires! There's already an enormous wildfire in the interior, and more on the way. I'd much rather they add a few pounds of stove and fuel and not burn up my damn state, thank you very much.

Harry Tuttle
July 11, 2006, 07:15 PM
hungry bears on parade:
http://www.ngm.com/wildcamgrizzlies
a live web cam from the McNeil river falls in AK

seeker_two
July 11, 2006, 07:39 PM
Fast & light = Happy Meals for Bears.... :D

Cosmoline
July 11, 2006, 08:26 PM
Two of the three made it out in one piece. But they were fit enough to do a triathlon. What concerns me is if others who aren't as fit and who may be used to lower 48 hiking conditions try to pull the same stunt or something similar. As people get more and more distant from the wilderness I suspect we'll be seeing more and more of this kind of nonsense.

Stevie-Ray
July 11, 2006, 11:01 PM
C. Rabbit, nothing less than the Tin Man Berp suits from Dale Brown's novels would "suit" me in grizzly country.:uhoh:

SteveS
July 12, 2006, 01:26 PM
I just read through some of the postings on that site and it does seem to be like a cult. Most critiques are rudely dismissed and the rest of the comments are just adoration and praise.

Creeping Incrementalism
July 12, 2006, 04:07 PM
I was also rather annoyed to see that these guys who brag about not hunting or living off the land were using brush fires! There's already an enormous wildfire in the interior, and more on the way. I'd much rather they add a few pounds of stove and fuel and not burn up my damn state, thank you very much.

What's so bad about them making a campfire? It's not that hard to build a fire in the wilderness and keep it under control. We do it all the time in California, where it's hotter and drier than Alaska.

If you enjoyed reading about "Fast, light and gunless in the arctic" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!