After a month of playing around the with the work schedule I finally made it out of a hunt in DC001.
My freind Bob and I took mountain bikes south from Hope 12 miles the first day and stayed at the Fox Creek cabin. The next day we woke up to 2-3 inches of new snow. We took the bikes about another mile down the trail and stashed them in the trees and continue on another 1/2-3/4 miles to the point where we jumped off the main trail, over a steep bank, waded across Resurrection Creek in our socks, and bushwacked our way up the mountain on the other side. It snowed lightly most of the morning. We finally managed to get above the treeline and made our way sidehilling up the Moose Creek valley. The north facing slope of the valley is all rockslide and was covered with snow, so travel was slow and cautious. My trekking poles saved my rear more than once!
We made camp and started up a fire to dry out our clothes, we were soaked from walking through all the snowcovered trees and brush. Fog and clouds blew threw the valley the rest of the evening making glassing difficult, but we did manage to spot 3 brown bears accross the valley.
The next morning was clear and cold. Everything that was wet from the day before was now a block of ice, including our boots. Pulled out the binos first thing and started glassing the sunny slope across the valley, when Bob turned around and said "yeah look up there." Right above our camp in a snow bowl we could see around 20 caribou. All cows and young bulls, except for one set of decent looking tops sticking above the snow. I grabbed the day pack, some snacks(no breakfast yet) and headed 1000 feet up a snowcovered rockslid mountain face. I went up myself because my partner's boots were so frozen he couldn't get them on. When I got the the top (an hour later) I worked down the ridgeline just out of site and came up throught some rocks looking down on the caribou.
There were actually around 65 in the group and I had 4 decent bulls to choose between so I picked the one I liked. I took aim and squeezed the trigger with anticipation of a loud pop and a little kick, but the trigger didn't move. "What the ...?", safety was off. The snow the day before had gotten moisture in the trigger and frozen the trigger, along with my bolt release. After some huffing and puffing and blowing I got everything working, dry fired a couple times to be sure, and got set up again on my bull. Of course now my scope had a layer of frost on the lens caused by the moisture from my breath from blowing into the trigger. "For the love of ...". Cleaned it off enough to at least be able to tell what I was shooting at and let my Kimber 270wsm get its first taste of blood.
I actually shot the bull from the peak that is above my head in the pictures. The caribou were hanging out at just to the left of the peak at around 3000 feet. The snow has a funny way of moving things downhill at an incredible rate of speed. I almost had a fun trip down with him when I tried to slide him down onto a bench just below us to dress him out. That was one of those Darwin moments where two seconds into what you're doing the lightbulb goes off , that trying to slide a 200+ pound caribou down the side of snowcovered mountain while holding on to the antlers was probably a bad idea and could potentially hurt a little. Of course this is all going through my head as my rear is bouncing off rocks. Suffered some scrapes on the antlers, but I guess I can live with that. As much trouble as I had getting up the mountain I really wasn't looking forward to trying to pack him down all those snowcovered rocks anyway. So he kind of took care of the getting down part for me.
Nothing left to do now but pack the 160 lbs of caribou and antlers the 15 miles back to the truck. The day after the kill we were able to get back to our bikes and move the meat up to mile 11 of the Resurrection Trail, then we dropped back to the Fox Creek cabin for a good nights sleep. The next day we hiked back up to our bikes and made the 11 mile push back to the trailhead. We loaded our bike racks down with as much weight as possible, left the rest in our packs and actually walked the bikes out the 11 miles. The added weight and icy/muddy trails made the bikes to unstable to ride the out.
Not a bruiser, but a Kenai Mountain caribou none the less. Sorry for the long story. 2nd post with a couple more pics.