Pete Goes Climbing

But Never Again

Story and photos by Ray Brooks

In August 1973, the first summer I owned an outdoor shop in Moscow, I took a retail client and inexperienced climber named Pete on an overnight climbing trip into the Selkirk Mountains. I knew there were a few grizzlies in the range, and mentioned this to Pete—after we got there.

As a 1970s hippie, I wasn’t packing a firearm and didn’t even have an ice axe along, since it was late summer and almost all the snow in the range had melted.

At age twenty-three, I had spent hundreds of nights in the outdoors, but only a few nights in grizzly country. At age twenty-one, Pete had spent very few nights in the outdoors, and it turned out he was apprehensive of grizzlies.

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