Steps to Working a Grizzly Bear in the Chilcotins
1. Meet a man and a woman leading a horsepack train over Windy Pass. Chat briefly, then pay attention when they say…
2. “Watch out for the grizzly up the trail. Make some noise. And work it. You’ll be fine.”
3. Pretend, collectively, that you know what it means to ‘work’ a bear.
4. Tie your shoelaces, have a snack, stay together, and continue up the trail, because what else are you going to do?
5. Just when you thought the horse packers were – like you’d said all along – ghosts from the 1800s haunting the Chilcotins, see the bear, spook the bear, watch it run off the trail about 10 metres before it stands up and turns around.
6. Hold your ground, make eye contact, unholster your bear spray, whistle, shout, and importantly, back away slowly and deliberately. Make eye contact. Chill.
7. Think about stopping to take a photograph, agonise over it, decide against it, and continue walking deliberately backward.
8. You’ll know if it’s gonna succeed in less than a minute. Good luck!