Polar Bear Diary from Great Ice Bear Adventure 2010 at Dymond Lake Lodge

November 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Polar Bear Tours

Polar bear saunters towards Dymond Lake Lodge Dinner Hall

Polar bear saunters towards Dymond Lake Lodge Dinner Hall

Text and photos by Nolan Booth

We pieced together some of our notes to describe a week in the life of Dymond Lake Lodge at the Great Ice Bear Adventure. We’re always happy when Mother Nature cooperates with good weather and plenty of polar bears, but we know full well that she is always in charge!

Monday

This week’s guests are a very interesting and diverse group of Swiss, English and New Zealanders. They took a day to start talking, but the polar bear action really helped. They definitely feel special to have had one bear travel all the way home with them and walk right past the camp, and another sleeping 25 feet from their front window. They’ll be telling these stories forever…

Tuesday

The weather has gone from warm to cold and snowy and back over the last few days. It’s windy now and the snow is melting.  Our Inuit couple, Peter and Mary, who graciously offered to visit Dymond Lake to teach our guests a little bit about their culture and their way of life, have been working hard. Peter is constantly carving antlers into tools, toys and games. Mary is always cooking bannock or sewing.

Tupik at Dymond Lake Lodge

Tupik built by Inuit couple Peter and Mary at Dymond Lake Lodge

The Inuit couple have set up a summer tupik to show us what they would live in while traveling and hunting during the summer months in the north. The tupik is constructed of about 20 caribou hides and long skinny timbers.

Today Peter surprised me and built a one man igloo with the little snow we have. He shoveled a small pad on the ground and then cut blocks from a snow drift that had formed behind one of the cabins. As expected, the little snow hut is quite warm once you get in and block off the door. It takes nothing more than a candle and some body heat to stay warm inside.

No polar bear sightings yet but all guests are sleeping and I can hear “Mr. Big” back behind the garage. Right now our igloo blocks have shrunk by half so it may turn into a doghouse unless it gets colder soon.  Busy day checking all systems, everything is running smooth.  Just have to get rid of the Martin in the garage. He keeps eating anything that’s fuzzy.

Wednesday

Six polar bears today – amazing how things change, but once again, Mother Nature dictates the pace up here.  A mom and two cubs hanging around the wind sock; a big male circling camp all day; two 3-year-old bears dancing on the ice outside the dining room. Tonight we took the guests out with the spotlight after dinner just to hear the bears sparring – thumping each other, their claws scraping the cracking ice in the dark – eerie and amazing.

Thursday

Polar bear and guests meet outside Dymond Lake Lodge

Polar bear and guests meet outside Dymond Lake Lodge

New group of guests in today and the polar bears are already here. All outgoing guests are extremely happy.  Sam (our dog) got to show off his skills tonight after another bear walked right across the step of my cabin while Peter was on his way outside to have a cigarette. I told him he now has a choice between smoking or getting eaten by a polar bear that has now patterned him and knows that he comes out every couple of hours.  He says he’ll take his chances… and keeps me laughing while dancing around the cabin yelling “Polar Bear! Polar Bear! Polar Bear!” over and over.

Friday

Just came back and had a bear sleeping on the road 20 feet from the Wilson cabin. Woke everyone up and they had a great first day. Thirty photo-ops, lights on and off, then informed the guests I would have to chase the bear off later so that I wouldn’t have to sleep in their cabin tonight. The big bear is now sleeping and doesn’t even notice me yelling at him. Guests had a good laugh and in the end the bear did too. One screamer and two crackers had him sleeping 200 yards back in the bush. George and Sam are on high alert while I sleep… until George gets me up to see the northern lights…  Maybe tomorrow I’ll get a nap in.

Saturday

I think we have five different bears visiting us regularly and they have become more active over the past few days.  One is big and I was standing 30 feet from him last night. He does not like it when I yell at him and for now I’m hoping it stays that way because the garage door he was prying at doesn’t stand a chance.

Sunday

Polar bear Mr. Big outside compound at Dymond Lake Lodge

Good morning Mr. Big! Polar bear outside compound at Dymond Lake Lodge.

More bears today, banging on the garage, walking between the cabins, interrupting my speech. The guests love it but George does not like the bears looking into his bedroom. Tonight I will get little sleep. The big polar bear is walking around the cabin again. Thank goodness for the compound fence and George or I wouldn’t get any sleep.

Four wolves at the end of the runway, not sticking around but will be back. Five polar bears roamed passed the compound fence before the sun came up and one decided to stay awhile… sleeping 10 feet from the fence.

Good morning Mr. Big!

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  1. [...] and their way of life during the Great Ice Bear Adventure at Dymond Lake Ecolodge. Peter and Mary built the tupik to show us what they would live in while traveling and hunting during the summer months in the [...]



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