Sunday, 22 March 2009

Walking with wolves

We are back from the mountains after an amazing weekend. On Saturday we went to the Northern Lights Wolf Sanctuary in Golden. I found this place about 18 months ago and have been desperate to do their wolf photography hike. With the clocking ticking on our last few months, I persuaded Jim to forfeit a weekend on the slopes in Fernie and do the hike instead, and we were not disappointed!

The sanctuary has four wolves, three are pure bred and one is a 25% malamute mix. Some of the wolves who have been handled since pups are relatively "tame" others are still very wild and frightened of human contact.

We went on our 2 hour hike with Aspen (the malamute mix, left) and Tuk (who is pure wolf and very timid, photo above). We started at the sanctuary where our group of four had to stand at a distance and remain quiet, while Tuk was coaxed from his enclosure to the truck that transported him to the area for the hike.

Both animals are bonded to Casey who runs the centre, and consider him their pack leader so neither are inclined to "run off" when let out, which is why you are able to walk in the open with them both off leash.

Seven kilometres down the road and on a remote logging track, both animals and humans were let out of the cars to wander, and we had the most spectacular two hours in the woods.

The photo opportunities were amazing. Tuk hung back and had to be persuaded out into the open, but Aspen almost knew the routine, posing in just the right spots!

The whole afternoon was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had, both animals were still clearly wild and to have the privilege to interact with them was astonishing. I am seriously considering returning when the snow is off the ground to do it again with the other two dogs in the pack.

I'm rather pleased with these photos, so I have watermarked them just in case anyone (not my blog readers obviously) tries stealing them, I hope it doesn't get in the way of your enjoyment! Lots more photos (most without watermarks) here.

After our experience with the wolves on Saturday, we finished up the weekend with brunch on Sunday at the Banff Springs Hotel.

This splendid buffet turned out to be surprisingly good value as it was the only meal we needed all day! The highlight for me was banana french toast with fresh fruit and maple syrup, but everything they served was sensational!

My final photo this post is off a rather more indulged animal! This is Macy getting away with absolute murder in our hotel room in Banff. Suffice to say she isn't allowed to do this at home, but when someone else is doing the laundry it's another story....


  1. Cool pics there Clare. Very impressive.
    (You know that anyone can download the unwatermarked pictures from Flickr in all of their unspoilt glory, should the want to use them for their own purposes?)

  2. Wonderful what an experience.. very jealous

  3. It must be such a great experience! The pictures are quite cool to. I must put that on my to-do list.