BOLES, Glen




Author Tags: Outdoors

Born in New Brunswick in 1934, Glen Boles came to Calgary in 1953 where he became an ardent climber in the Canadian Rockies, Alaska and Europe. For fifty years he had extensive involvement in the "Rockies' culture" as a member of the Calgary Mountain Rescue Group, the Calgary Mountain Club, the Canadian Ski Patrol and Lake Louise Ski Friends. A gifted artist and photographer, he has summited more than 450 peaks in the Rockies, often by a difficult new route. Many were first ascents. My Mountain Album: Art & Photography of the Canadian Rockies and Columbia Mountains (Rocky Mountain Books, 2006) pays tribute to the closely-knit climbers known as the "Grizzly Group" that evolved during the 1970s. These climbing friends included Boles, Don Forest, Gordon Scruggs, Mike Simpson, Jim Fosti, Walt Davies, Leon Kubbernus and Lyn Michaud. The group derived its name from an incident in July of 1973 when four tired and hungry climbers arrived in Lyell meadows in the Rockies.

"The first words we heard were from Mike saying, 'Look at that big pile of dung, it's still steaming.' Oblivious to his words, we dropped our packs and knelt to swill down the nice cold water. Don, more interested in a good camp spot, proceeded towards a small spruce tree a short distance up the meadow, which seemed to be located in a level spot.

"Halfway to the tree, Don dropped his pack and kept going. Shortly, we were very surprised to hear Don making a sound like a dog barking. 'Woff! Woff!" as he slowly started coming back towards us. Then we noticed the grizzly. Don retreated almost to us, then realized his pack was farther on. So still saying, "Woff! Woff!" to warn us, he went back to retrieve it. By this time the bear was standing, swaying, taking us in.

"Standing spellbound, we watched as the bear looked us over, then took off up the hill, stopping once more to have another look at these strange beings. Luckily, what could have been a serious encounter turned into another experience. In the end we set up camp across the creek; the ground by the spruce tree was too lumpy."

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[BCBW 2006] "Outdoors"