A fantastic journey into the BC and Yukon mountains for aurora and grizzly bear

A total of eight of us have been granted exclusive use of this camp where you will photograph amazing bear activity that includes fishing on the spawning salmon, bears swimming in the pools and playing along the banks.

We will all meet at our hotel in Whitehorse on August 17, 2017 and enjoy a welcome dinner together in downtown Whitehorse. We can get to know each other and discuss what you can expect during our time with the Grizzly Bear. We then overnight in Whitehorse and leave at 7am for a 2 hour drive to the helicopter pad.

Our first leg of our trip, the Grizzly Bear adventure, begins as we board the helicopter for an exhilarating and scenic trip to our home base for the next few days. On our way you will pass over some of northern British Columbia’s most beautiful wilderness locations. Then, when we arrive at our base camp, we will have the opportunity to experience a closeness and intimacy with the inland grizzly bears seldom experienced, and normally only see on the Nature Channel.

When you arrive by a 45 minute helicopter ride at the camp, you know you are in an area virtually untouched by man. Giant spruce and cotton wood trees tower over the clear rushing water of the river. The camp is built riverside and offers comfortable heated cabins of double occupancy, and a main lodge with kitchen and dining room facilities where our chef provides excellent meals 3 times a day, and by night, an area to sit as a group and regale in the days exciting photo opportunities.

A helicopter landing at our mountain lodge for the grizzly bear portion of our workshop in the BC mountains.

A helicopter landing at our mountain lodge for the grizzly bear portion of our workshop in the BC mountains.

During our days you will be photographing the Grizzly bears that are drawn into the area of the camp to fish and feed on spawning pink as well as Chinook salmon. This fishing ritual of the Grizzly bears has been going on for decades in that specific area and within the last 30 years the bears became very accustomed to the presence of the camp and its inhabitants.

Thus, they will go about all their normal daily activities – including fishing, eating their prey, interacting with each other and much more – in and around camp. This provides exceptional photographic opportunities all around the clock. Guests are literally living in the world of grizzly bears from the time they get up in the morning until their head hits the pillow again at night. Here, virtually all bear age- and sex-classes are present – from large adults through to females with cubs. While yearling and third-spring cubs are more commonly seen, there is always the chance of seeing and photographing small cubs-of-the-year.

There are four ground-based locations to view and photograph the bears. One of these is the platform adjoining the main lodge (ground- level) and the three others are locations along the river where we can view the bears fishing. Each location offers different scenery and backdrops. So most of the Grizzly bear viewing and photography is done “face to face” on the ground with a guide. However, guests also have the option of being put out at one of the two platforms where they can view and photograph bears and other wildlife in a non-guided situation.

Due to the closeness of our viewing sites and the excellent viewing opportunities from the deck of the lodge, the physical fitness level required for your wildlife adventure is basic. We even have had wheelchairs up at the lodge in the past.

A grizzly feeding on a salmon right near one of our viewing platforms

A grizzly feeding on a salmon right near one of our viewing platforms

As an added benefit, You will also learn about bear behavior from our expert guides and owner of the camp, Phil. A seasoned bear expert that has an intimate relationship with the bears that have been calling this location home for generations. Phil will be on hand the whole trip to answer all your questions regarding the species, the location and the salmon spawn that is occurring.

The second leg of our trip starts as we land in our helicopter on our return from the Bear Lodge. From there we will head right for Sky High Wilderness Ranch where we will stay for the next three nights.

For three days and three nights we will be standing a midst a sweeping landscape of mountain valleys carved by glaciers and sprinkled with alpine wildflowers and vibrant fall colours.

Encompassing breathtaking views of lush valleys, mountain ranges, the Yukon is part of the largest internationally protected wilderness area in the world. Four interconnecting wilderness parks in British Columbia, Alaska and the Yukon are designated a World Heritage Site.

We will take different hikes into the back country before our home cooked dinners.  After dinner, its a golden hour photo shoot at some of the most beautiful glacier lakes in Canada.

Long into darkness we will remain in the area. You will be presented with golden hour and blue hour photography opportunities that end with a star show with zero light pollution, and maybe, a once in a lifetime chance to photograph an aurora show in this area. But if the aurora doesn't present itself, the night skies still offer the opportunity to learn how to easily create star trail photos or other night time long exposure photos.

The aurora over Fox Lake in the Yukon.

The aurora over Fox Lake in the Yukon.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner are cooked fresh and served daily by Executive Chefs at Bear Camp and by our own cook at our Ranch in Yukon. We can even accommodate special dietary requirements with sufficient notice.

Flight Destination: Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Flights are offered daily from Vancouver and Edmonton by West-jet, Air Canada and Air North.

Group size: a maximum of 7 participants and one workshop leaders (minimum group size of 5 needed for this workshop)

Workshop Leaders: Kevin Allen Pepper

Price of Workshop: $6995CAD ($5275USD. Check at time of booking for actual exchange rate into CAD)

Deposits: $1000CAD with balance due Friday, May 12, 2017

Dates of Workshop: August 17, 2017 to August 25, 2017

Book your flight to arrive in Whitehorse not later than 5:00pm on August 17, 2017

August 17, 2017 we will have a welcome dinner in Whitehorse, overnight in Whitehorse

August 18, 2017 We board our helicopter to depart for the BC Bears wilderness lodge. Overnight at bear camp, 18, 19, 20, 21 of August.

August 22, 2017 Return to Whitehorse from bear camp, overnight in Sky High Wilderness Ranch. Overnight at Sky High Lodge 22, 23, 24 of August, 2017

August 25, 2017 schedule your departures for home as you wish.

An example of the fall colours that can be seen in the Yukon at this time of year.

An example of the fall colours that can be seen in the Yukon at this time of year.

Included: Single accommodations in Whitehorse on first night, Accommodations at the lodge based on double occupancy (No single supplement available), accommodation at Sky High Ranch (Limited single rooms), welcome dinner, All meals while at the lodge and Ranch, Shuttle from Whitehorse to helipad and return, Helicopter ride in and out of camp, guides while at camp, photo instruction and guidance in the field, transportation in Yukon for Aurora viewing. Laundry facilities can be used once we return back to the Yukon.

Not Included: anything not listed as included, International airfare to place of tour origin. (Whitehorse),  Alcoholic beverages or personal gifts or items, additional tips for staff such as guides and camp staff, additional excursions or gifts are not included.

***Please note due to weather your flight may be delayed or changed. Additional accommodations, meals, flight charges etc.  due to unforeseen circumstances are not included in the workshop price.

Suggested camera equipment and clothing requirements:

Two camera bodies, if you have one that is OK. Lenses: 300mm to 600mm, or a 100-400 or other short zoom lens, 70-200mm. A wide angle for landscapes, preferably 16mm to 20mm wide for aurora photography. Tripod. Rain protection for your camera equipment. External hard drive and sufficient memory cards. In regards to clothing: Mornings can be very cool. Dress in layers with fleece undergarments. Fleece layers to fall jacket shell. Light gloves and rain gear are a good idea. Good waterproof hiking boots or shoes. Rain pants.

Note: The weight restrictions are as follows: 70lbs. per person. That would be equal to one suitcase of clothes and personal items and one photo gear bag. There is a central shower with hot water and laundry facilities are also available. No flush toilets, outhouses are used. There are a few black flies and mosquitoes so a bug repellent might be a good idea.

To view more photos, please visit the workshop page here http://northof49photography.com/2017-grizzly-and-aurora

Contact Kevin to register, or if you have more questions, contact us through our contact us page. Click Here

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Kevin A Pepper

Kevin is a photographer and educator based in Waterloo, Ontario. His first love is photographing nature, regardless of the season or weather condition; the Ontario landscape and its wildlife are his inspiration. But you will also see other styles of photography in his portfolio. From street photography to urban exploration of abandoned buildings and architecture, he loves to capture it all with his camera for his corporate clients and his growing personal portfolio. Kevin’s images have been featured in Canadian Nature Photographer, PHOTONews Canada, Photo Technique Magazine, The London Free Press, The Weather Network, and National Geographic Online. His diverse client list includes the City of Cambridge, Olympus, GORE Mutual, TVO, and African Lion Safari. Kevin also operates “Northof49 Photography”, a company launched in 2012 dedicated to teaching amateur photographers through International and Canadian-based workshops. In the coming year, Kevin will be leading workshops in Iceland, Mongolia, Tanzania, Venezuela, Provence, and numerous destinations across Canada. Website: www.kevinpepperphotography.com