spirit bears of the great bear rainforest: october 5-10, 2018
Sacred Symbols of an Intact Ecosystem
Update 7/12/18 - Please Note: This year’s workshop is sold out, but we do have a waiting list. Subscribe to our mailing list or join our Facebook group to be notified as soon as future workshops are announced!
Forgive yourself if your first Spirit bear photographs turn out a bit blurry. That’s because it’s almost impossible not to tremble with excitement and awe the first time you witness a Spirit bear materialize from dark, dense, moss draped old growth. Instantly, you understand why the First Nations peoples of the area also refer to this magnificent creature as the Ghost Bear.
Everything about Spirit Bears is special. They are one of the rarest bears on earth, with perhaps 300 in existence, no one knows for sure. They reside only in the pristine environs of the Great Bear Rainforest of coastal British Columbia, the largest temperate rainforest left on the planet. Neither a polar bear nor an albino, science explains Spirit bears as the product of rare recessive genes. But to the First Nations peoples of the area they are sacred symbols, Ghost Bears, their unique coloration the result of an ancient bargain made with wise Raven to remind us of an age when the world was covered with ice and snow.
Opportunities to photograph Spirit bears are almost as rare as the animals themselves. Most of the time, they lead solitary lives deep inside inaccessible rainforests. But for a few weeks each autumn, spawning salmon coax them to gather along coastal streams where they feast on Mother Nature’s annual abundance. Access to these areas is under the control of the local First Nations peoples like the Gitga’at. Practically speaking, the only reasonable chance of seeing and photographing Spirit bears in the wild is to join an organized trip sanctioned by a local First Nations group. Our partnership with Gitga’at guide and community leader, Marven Robinson allows 5 lucky photographers to participate in a wildlife photography adventure of a lifetime. Seize the opportunity.
More information about Spirit Bears, Marven Robinson and the Gitga’at First Nation:
This Rare, White Bear May Be the Key to Saving a Canadian Rainforest – Smithsonian magazine
Capturing the Spirit Bear – National Geographic Live
Rainforest Guardians: Spirit Bears and the Gitga'at Nation – Spencer Cordovano
Gitga’at People of the Cave – gigaat.net
How Do I Sign Up?
A $1,500 deposit is required to secure your reservation.
Balance due July 28, 2018 (10 weeks prior to starting date.)
Cancellation and refund policy:
Due to advance commitments neccessary to make this workshop possible, our normal Cancellation & Refund policy DOES NOT APPLY. Instead the following policy is in effect for this workshop:
All payments, including deposits, are NON-REFUNDABLE unless we are able to fill your spot on the trip
Trip/Travel insurance is widely available, reasonably priced and highly recommended in case you need to cancel your reservation for any reason
AT A GLANCE
Dates: October 5 - October 10, 2018
6 Days/5 Nights
Max Participants: 5
Difficulty Level: Medium(see FAQ)
Location: Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada
What's Included: Lodging & Meals in Hartley Bay, Transportation, and Guides & Photography Instruction
What's Not Included: Airfare to/from Prince Rupert, Meals & Lodging in Prince Rupert, Personal Expenses and Gratuities