Monday, 8 November 2004

Monday, 1 November 2004

Grizzlies, Rock and Ice... at the Jurassic-Triassic Boundary

Excitement, adventure and an adrenaline junkie spirit provoked the paleo trip of all paleo trips. A team of elite paleo enthusiasts were flown into the Tyaughton area near Castle Peak north of Goldbridge in a new Jet Ranger to experience a trip of a lifetime. "Love being out here and seeing so much of this beautiful country from the air," the words of our competent pilot.

The group were originally interested in coming here to check out the fossils and did our first trip in 2001. Interested in the local geology and fossils from the Jurassic/Triassic exposures high in the alpine, we've arranged to get flown in to gain easier access and keep some of the riskier elements away. It is possible to hike in but with four seasons possible in a day up here, we'd risk getting snowed in well before we'd ever reach the site.

Camping at about 7,500 ft, we were get snow, hail, high winds and sunshine... collecting over the course of the week.

Past trips have included grizzlies at close quarters. This year we saw fresh tracks each day, but the bears were actively avoiding our camp but still leaving enough scat to give us the heads up that this is their territory. We got some great shots of other wildlife.

Peter Bryant captured a fabulous moment with a resident marmot. A few whistles and her curious little face was immortalized for all to see. Over the course of the week we also saw a buck with a sexy set of horns (always a hit with the does... ) flocks of Franciscans and a majestic lone wolf.

The area is home to active research by UBC budding paleontologist, Louise Longridge and boasts abundant ammonites, bivalves, belemnites AND have a chance to see the Triassic-Jurassic boundary – a rare treat.