Author: sitemaster

GMC pic
The Mountain Bug

 I've always been a bit wobbly with serious heights. I don't know when the phobia dates back to, but despite much time spent in mountainous countries, hours in small planes and several years now as a trekking guide in the sub-alpine and alpine, I still get...

A nice cold winter
Yo, Dude, Powder!

I must admit I had never really understood the fascination. In the Kootenays, where we live, as autumn turned each year to winter, it was if the locals fell under a sorcerer's spell, real enough to its victims, but inexplicable to the unaffected. The initiated were...

A Kootenay Winter

Arriving at the ranch in mid-winter, however much we steel ourselves ahead of time, is always a bit of a jaw-dropper. The silence and the remoteness at this time of year always impress, but it is the sheer volume of snow in our small mountain...

Rafting with Bears

Even at a distance its sculpted feline features were distinct. A roundish head, attentive ears and that unmistakable tail with a small black brush on the end. For 20 or 30 seconds, the huge cat just stood there watching us. And then slowly, slowly it...

Two Corners of the Old Empire

Even after half a lifetime spent in war-torn and battered places, the present corner of the British Empire that I now call home is a fairly ramshackle affair.Measuring approximately 300 yards by 400 yards, built on a base layer of rock and covered in dust...

Afghan Sojourn

Whichever way I look at it, I'm a long way from home, more than a dozen time zones away from our beloved snow-enveloped ranch. My journey started in late November with a two-day icy drive across British Columbia. The came a side trip to Estonia,...

Huckleberry bear

Grizzly bear yearling It's a far cry from this time two years ago.   Back then one of our guests, who had travelled all the way from the UK to see the great Rocky Mountain grizzly bear and was clearly getting frustrated at its elusiveness, wrote...

A bear called Apple

We can't be one hundred percent certain. But we're pretty sure it's her. No other bear has quite the same poise, charm or attitude. Whether she's strolling along the dirt highway or fishing lazily in the river, she lacks that skittishness that haunts so many grizzlies...

The Ridge

I'd been wanting to walk it for nearly four years. In a land of gorgeous mountains, rarely-trodden trails and magnificent vistas, The Ridge stands out as a place of unique beauty, something close to alpine perfection.It is bordered on the west by a blue, blue...

River Runner

For the first year or two after we moved to our quiet, secluded valley we were content to just sit and watch the beautiful blue-green river flowing at the end of our garden.Each day it was a different beast, sometimes dark, feisty and turbulent, at...