The rocky cliffs of the North Pacific Ocean open to an endless snow-covered land that transforms into forests, extends to rolling valleys with just the tops of trees, bushes and plants popping through the snow, enters canyons with steep cliffs; and as you work your way to the next ridge, you see snowcapped volcanoes in the distance. What a breathtaking view
A hearty Russian breakfast of hot cereal with a scoop of fresh honey, eggs, ham, thin pancakes and coffee with sweet milk starts the day. The hunting area is 1 ½ – 2 hours away from the camp and we are taken there on a sled pulled by a snowmobile. Pulled over frozen lakes, through woods, up rough now snow-packed valleys carved from winds to resemble the Sahara desert, scaling sides of canyons and ascending to the rims of non-active volcanoes. Extra time had to be taken to be able to cross streams. But, before the steam crossing took place, a path through 4 to 5 foot of packed snow had to be dug out on both sides of the bank to allow the snowmobiles and sleds to access the stream and cross. The streams are not frozen because of the thermal heat in the ground in the area and are about 2 to 3 feet deep with a strong current flowing to the North Pacific. Taking off our hunting boots and putting on waders was a task, but necessary as we had to walk across the stream.
As we move along we stop and glass the sides of the valleys for tracks. We start climbing, at times, very steep slopes and again we stop and glass for tracks. The sun, when out, is very strong; reflecting off the snow required sunglasses when we take off our goggles. A heavy application of suntan lotion is needed for your face and nose. I came home looking like a raccoon where my goggles protected me from the sun and had a peeling sunburnt nose. As we get to the top of a high ridge we stop and I glass with my ZEISS VICTORY 10X45 T*RF binoculars and see another stream in our path. At the base of the next snow-covered slope was a running stream that we had to cross. The guide again had to dig out a passageway down to the stream and up the other side. The path was the width of the snowmobile going through the 5 feet of snow on a steep incline to the other side. While they were opening the path for the crossing, I took the time to fill my GRAYL Ultralight Purifier Bottle with water from the stream for drinking water. The purified water was cold and refreshing.
As we start to approach the rim of the snowcapped volcano it was getting warm as the sun is directly above us, so it is time to shed a layer of clothing. Thank goodness for multi-layers of warm clothing. It is time for a break and lunch. They break out hard sharp cheese, brown bread, moose burger from last night’s dinner, hard salami, dark chocolate candy and warm tea from their thermoses. Taking the time to relax and enjoy the views, I start to think of other memorable views. Being able to see is unique for every Adventure, but here are a few that come to mind…………..
- In the Idaho Mountains – on your horse climbing to the highest mountain top
- In the Virginia fields, – sitting in your deer stand at the edge of a harvested corn field
- In New Zealand – being air dropped on the side of Mount Cook by helicopter
- In the Karoo – sitting on top of your buckee glassing the open valley
- In Montana – viewing the headwaters of the Greater Yellowstone Wilderness
- In Kamchatka – drawn on a sled to the rim of a snowcapped volcano