I'll pick up the narrative where I left off in my last post, "Scouting for Sheep" so the reader is advised to read up on that before they continue.
The initial ascent went slowly given our heavy loads of equipment and we were much relieved to to finally break free of the treeline. At the tree line the trail to the top turned painfully up- gaining over 1000 feet in elevation in a little over a quarter of a mile. We cautiously climbed inch by painful inch up the slope watching our footing because a tumble over the edge with our unwieldy packs would result in a long fall on broken rock only to be stopped by being strained through the brush. An errant piece of scree inadvertently knocked loose reminded us just exactly how far down the mountain we would fall if we misjudged our footing. The crashing went on for what seemed an eternity as it bounced down the scree chute and through the brush.
That left side was broomed heavily and what few glimpses we got it appeared either full curl or slightly broomed. His bases were very large for a sheep younger than 8 years old. A legal sheep either has to be full curl on either side or broomed on both -so either of those conditions would make this guy legal...on Wednesday morning. We changed priorities immediately, no longer looking for a legal sheep we now decided to quietly bird dog this guy for the next two days until the season opened.
Retiring to camp at around 11:00p we watched a band of 6 caribou bulls with massive racks and shovels make their way over a ridge a mile distant as we ate our freeze dried dinners and drank a cup of coffee. The sky turned a wonderful shade of pink as the setting sun reflected off the braided river 4000' below.
Life was good. Very Good. But nothing scares me like a good day since the law of averages never sleeps.
To be continued....