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Chris Benchetler getting it good. photo - Peter Morning
Team Clif Bar Blog
Apr 9, 2012
Voyage into the Great Bear

Team CLIF Bar's Trevor Gordon recently made a trip up to the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada and had the chance to learn more about the proposed oil pipeline and raise awareness around some of what remains threatened with the pending devistation to come.

Making the journey with the mighty brothers Malloy, photographer Jeremy Koreski and fellow Team CLIF surfer Pete Devries, this crew was surely stacked to make the most of the mission at hand. Below is an account of Trevor's experience in his words with his images and artwork come to life....

The Great Bear Rainforest is the largest temperate rainforest on the planet. It is a section of land on Canada’s west coast that stretches from inland of Vancouver Island upwards to the Canadian/Alaskan border. It is roughly 27,000 square miles of extremely remote, stunningly wild coastline and mountain ranges. Enbridge has proposed a pipeline to pump crude oil from the Alberta tar sands out to the port of Kitimat, B.C.; then to be loaded onto massive tankers, which will thread through the narrow fjords and channels out to the world. The risk that this poses is so huge to  the life of so many animals, ecosystems and people alike that it would be devastating to all life in the region.

I was lucky enough to have visited the Great Bear Rain Forest last October for an amazing boat based adventure with the Raincoast Commission. Aboard the boat was eclectic crew of filmmakers, photographers, surfers and biologists. The mission of the trip was to raise awareness on the issue through a short film. We found some really great waves, hiked alongside grizzly bears, saw some amazing things and learned a ton in the process. Here are a few photos that I took with my 35mm and a couple quick drawings from the trip.

This was taken on our way back down the river after an entire day of hiking. On this hike we saw a momma bear and her two cubs meandering up the river feasting on the spawned salmon. On the way down we were greeted with this sunset.


One of the many humpback whales we saw while cruising up and down the Great Bear coastline. This was prime feeding season for them and what a sight it was to wake up to a feeding pod.


With such a “seen it all” sort of crew along for the trip, there was bound to be some after dinner story banter. The captain shared his of a Sasquatch siting, over a hot squash soup.


Another local creature…


After being off the coast of the Great Bear for a few days we had gone a while without seeing any people. When we did, we invited them to join us for dinner that night. In return the fisherman guests traded us some fresh caught salmon. This is Dan Malloy cooking it over the fire after a long cold surf session.


After exploring one of the many rivers most of the day, we hopped in the skiff down the river towards the main boat. We had this surreal moment where the water looked like an exact mirror of the land. I could have stared at those shapes for hours. A magical moment.


We passed by a lighthouse island off the coast that had been clear cut. Turns out the lighthouse keeper went crazy and said the trees made him feel claustrophobic.


To learn more or get involved visit

Posted by: 
B Cole
Surfing, Other Sports
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