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Thread: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

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    United States Avalon Member Foxie Loxie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Thanks, Bill! These pictures are like Food for the Soul!! It is most kind of you to share these trips with us. I've been wondering how old Mara is? Again...MuCHIsimas Gracias!!

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures. It is beautiful there! I love the hummingbird

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Wonderful report, thanks a lot for these great pictures and this breath a fresh air in the middle of so many crazy international tensions

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote intelligent animal to stay concealed
    Hi Bill, some of the photos show small woody shrubs for concealment but most show a treeless landscape. Does the change in vegetation type happen shortly below this elevation?The reason being if you are or going to explore by traveling along the edge of vegetation types for instance grasses to woody shrubs & trees is usually a good spot check for sign. Imagine if you spot one, what would Mara do?...

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Sstarss (here)
    Muchas, muchas gracias!
    Thank you, thank you to you both for sharing.


    Attachment 34372
    One of my favs

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Foxie Loxie (here)
    I've been wondering how old Mara is?
    She’s about three and a half, I think.

    Quote Posted by Jean-Luc (here)
    Wonderful report, thanks a lot for these great pictures and this breath a fresh air in the middle of so many crazy international tensions
    Yes, and this is a serious point. I spent hours every day tracking international news (and other stuff) like a laser beam. So every now and then it’s really healthy to get out, connect with nature, re-balance, and get grounded.

    Quote Posted by mojo (here)
    Quote intelligent animal to stay concealed
    Hi Bill, some of the photos show small woody shrubs for concealment but most show a treeless landscape. Does the change in vegetation type happen shortly below this elevation? The reason being if you are or going to explore by traveling along the edge of vegetation types for instance grasses to woody shrubs & trees is usually a good spot check for sign. Imagine if you spot one, what would Mara do?...
    There are thick patches of Quinoa Forest (interestingly, this is officially the highest forest in the world) spread over the entire park, in a band at pretty much exactly the same altitude in each valley, 13,000—13,750 ft. That's really pretty high.

    Here’s some forest I passed by on Monday’s hike, but didn’t venture into. You can see how dense it is.


    http://projectavalon.net/lake_at_13,...h_trees_lg.jpg


    http://projectavalon.net/lake_at_13,..._detail_lg.jpg

    And the trees are really quite large… here’s another photo of myself in a different tract of the same forest (i.e. in a different area, taken last year). This is exactly where I’d seek refuge if I were caught in a storm up there. It'd be very sheltered, and quite warm… there’s a LOT of moss and soft vegetation all around.



    One could easily improvise a kind of cozy nest even if one didn’t have a tent or sleeping bag. There are house-sized fallen boulders everywhere, with overhangs, caves, hollows, and all kinds of places a large creature could call home. Next time I'm anywhere close to that lake again, I’ll venture in and take some photos.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    .
    Here’s my plan for the next trip (maybe at the end of next week)… heading up on to a long, high north-south ridge to the east of where I was last. It looks quite do-able.



    The views might be spectacular if the weather is good, and from there I could see where else I might go rather than just retrace my steps.

    I think — consulting my memory, and trying to analyze this photo! — that the ridgeline is the one which I've marked. (It’s possible, though, that that’s the one on the map further east. I’ll know when I'm there.)




    http://projectavalon.net/the_view_to..._detail_lg.jpg

    Not much chance of seeing a Wawa Grande up there (llamas way up in the rocks are more likely, it seems), but it’d be fun to do, and I’m learning a great deal more about the area each trip.

    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 21st October 2016 at 22:39.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Pardon all the questions Bill...

    Never heard of this kind of forest type, a Quinoa forest? Is Quinoa a grain, does it grow there?

    Could not tell if conifers?? or deciduous?? but definitely they have the cover you mention. The advantageous root growth up the tree speaks of a changing environment like along beaches in sand where you see the same pattern of roots up the tree, perhaps wind blown silt up this altitude.

    Do you happen to have a game cam for placing there near the gift site? ...glad we can join you vicariously...

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by mojo (here)
    Pardon all the questions Bill...

    Never heard of this kind of forest type, a Quinoa forest? Is Quinoa a grain, does it grow there?

    Could not tell if conifers?? or deciduous?? but definitely they have the cover you mention. The advantageous root growth up the tree speaks of a changing environment like along beaches in sand where you see the same pattern of roots up the tree, perhaps wind blown silt up this altitude.
    No worries! I love the questions.

    I think that 'Quinoa Tree' is a colloquial name. (There appears to be no relation to the grain... but anyone with botanical knowledge is welcome to clarify! I'd be interested to know more.)

    The scientific name is Polylepis. Here's a good page...
    This photo is from that page: not mine. But I've been in places exactly like this. You can see what I mean about shelter. (They're deciduous, not coniferous.)



    Here's a photo I posted earlier, of a few old trees right up at the treeline (Mara the is in the middle right): a most gorgeous place.



    Quote Posted by mojo (here)
    Do you happen to have a game cam for placing there near the gift site? ...glad we can join you vicariously...
    I don't! If I did, I'd certainly place it overlooking the cairn. I might be able to save up and get one... they're weatherproof, use almost no power, and are only triggered by local movement. It'd sure be a fun thing to do.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Beautiful...The tree you posted reminds me of a tree here called the Pacific Madrone...a most amazing tree...no pitch and the burls that grow on it are highly sought after...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    What a wonderful world this is. This series displays a character of the place we live quite nicely I find.
    Why not now?

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    What interesting trees amidst an interesting region.

    Now, re the trail cam, my opinion, which could be entirely worthless and completely erroneous, is that it would be a waste of money and time. (Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained). I believe you could camoflauge that thing to be be invisible to a human but it would still stick out as a discordant note to a being such as we hypothesise the 'bigfoot' family to be. Further, if as some suspect, they can see, even partly, in infra-red or other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that we are blind too then it would literally stick out. Zoom lenses, high magnification from distance, may be the best approach but that is hardly practical.

    I'm sure we are all familiar with the sense of being stared at, when you turn and look at someone that is studying you. I imagine they are way more sensitive than us in that particular area too.

    All that said, I really hope you catch a glimpse of one Bill.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Ewan (here)
    What interesting trees amidst an interesting region.

    Now, re the trail cam, my opinion, which could be entirely worthless and completely erroneous, is that it would be a waste of money and time. (Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained). I believe you could camoflauge that thing to be be invisible to a human but it would still stick out as a discordant note to a being such as we hypothesise the 'bigfoot' family to be. Further, if as some suspect, they can see, even partly, in infra-red or other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that we are blind too then it would literally stick out. Zoom lenses, high magnification from distance, may be the best approach but that is hardly practical.

    I'm sure we are all familiar with the sense of being stared at, when you turn and look at someone that is studying you. I imagine they are way more sensitive than us in that particular area too.

    All that said, I really hope you catch a glimpse of one Bill.
    My experience with a trail cam is that deer sometimes sense its presence. Perhaps they notice the low intensity red light on the camera, or perhaps they notice my residual scent. The ex used to mention the scent to me but I think she left for other reasons.

    If the camera disappeared it would be another piece of the story but an expensive loss.
    Last edited by Ron Mauer Sr; 24th October 2016 at 13:56.

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    United States Avalon Member Foxie Loxie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Too funny, Ron....you made me laugh out loud!!

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Interesting Ewan...It's good point about what Sas might be able to sense, and good synchronicity in your point as earlier PM'd Bill on just that thought and about concealment/protection for the trail cam and by the reply its sounds like there are good places. We can assume that by the other evidence out there some of SAS's modis operande such as leary of any changes and extremely aware of surroundings. Likely he will know something is there, but other trail cams have paid off and there's a lesson for us maybe about placement. If all goes well and a trail cam becomes part of Bill's toolkit we can see many rewards with him capturing other wildlife...
    Looking at Tom Freeman's video and others it shows just how much Sas does wish to remain elusive. Yet he still showed a little knowing that he will be curious yet cautious and probably want to know Bills motive too , probably even will recognize Bill's smell and maybe vice versa. So placing the trail cam will be important as in what distance from gifting site also to consider safe approach for him.
    Hopefully Bill can also put some open sky in the cam shot just in case...

    like this placement distance safe enough way and left there fore 7 days...
    Last edited by mojo; 25th October 2016 at 18:42.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by mojo (here)

    I PM'd Bill on just that thought and about concealment/protection for the trail cam, and by the reply it sounds like there are good places.
    Yes, I think there are. mojo had also asked if there'd be a wide angle view. I replied:

    Yes, re a wide angle view... here's the cairn (telephoto shot from quite a distance), and you can also see the large boulders a little higher on the hillside where a camera could be concealed.



    This below is a different angle (90 degrees rotated), but it shows the kind of thing it'd capture, if there was any movement on the flat surface of 'The Altar'.



    The trail cam might be something like this one, which attaches with a strap...



    ... either directly to the rock, if there was a suitable place, or to a stake firmly hammered into the ground.

    mojo (and others!), thank you for all your help with this.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote This below is a different angle (90 degrees rotated), but it shows the kind of thing it'd capture, if there was any movement on the flat surface of 'The Altar'.
    That's a great angle showing side profile and more. Too bad you didnt have a small Hollywood workshop and create a small rock structure like this image...
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    While reading the last several posts, I had a strange shift of perspective to that of a WaWa living in that beautiful forest:

    When the trail cam appeared, I felt disappointment, suspicion and anxiety. I had been curious about the lone human and the dog when they first appeared.

    Humans of course must be avoided at all cost because of their violent and unpredictable nature but this one had seemed different. He had an aura of peace and gentleness and even brought gifts for us.

    But we felt a sense of betrayal with the trail camera was concealed and directed at the altar. The human had manifested a spiritual place from nothing more than a rock where we would sun ourselves. The imprint of his aura had created a feeling of sacredness that we had felt when we visited.

    Now with the camera in place we had to avoid the rock at all costs. It was disruptive to our daily routine as we had to ensure the children never wandered near the camera when out playing. They had enjoyed the gifts and the altar had become one of their favorite places to frolic with their friends; now they were very disappointed that it became a forbidden place to visit.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Certainly can appreciate having a sacred place and there is wisdom in your counsel. From a personal experience of another kind of contact had often thought about the intrusion of the camera in what was felt a very spiritual moment at the time. Perhaps there's a place that can be created nearby that does not intrude on the alter ie a public place for the WaWA where he decides to enter the frame....

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by TEOTWAIKI (here)
    While reading the last several posts, I had a strange shift of perspective to that of a WaWa living in that beautiful forest:

    When the trail cam appeared, I felt disappointment, suspicion and anxiety. I had been curious about the lone human and the dog when they first appeared.

    Humans of course must be avoided at all cost because of their violent and unpredictable nature but this one had seemed different. He had an aura of peace and gentleness and even brought gifts for us.

    But we felt a sense of betrayal with the trail camera was concealed and directed at the altar. The human had manifested a spiritual place from nothing more than a rock where we would sun ourselves. The imprint of his aura had created a feeling of sacredness that we had felt when we visited.

    Now with the camera in place we had to avoid the rock at all costs. It was disruptive to our daily routine as we had to ensure the children never wandered near the camera when out playing. They had enjoyed the gifts and the altar had become one of their favorite places to frolic with their friends; now they were very disappointed that it became a forbidden place to visit.
    I really wanted to thank you for this beautifully-written post. Not just superficially -- it grabbed me, stopped me in my tracks, and made me think.

    The last reported encounter, in 2013, was written up here (below). Most fascinating article, do read. The hikers who took the photos, including one who was a scientist, never did release the images.

    I can genuinely imagine the dilemma. If I did get any pictures (unlikely, of course, but theoretically possible: I do believe I'm in the right area), I might find myself rethinking everything if I had them in my hand. Thinking about it is very different from crashing into the actual situation. What I do know is that I'd certainly not reveal the location.

    The very sensitive issue of whether to honor the sovereignty of the creatures is quite another one. In this extraordinary account, of the 1999 Nevada Battle Mountain forest fire, an adult Bigfoot was badly burned and emerged from the forest in front of all the firefighters. A vet and a medic were both summoned. The vet attended to it first, but withdrew, feeling the creature was human, and not an animal. It was treated by the medic. The creature was then transported to another location, and everyone involved was sworn to secrecy.

    I'm convinced this story is fully accurate. The significance there (apart from the cover-up by the Bureau of Land Management) is that it's a human, not an animal. That of course exactly corresponds with the recent DNA analysis by Dr Melba Ketchum.

    Okay, back to topic here: Here's the article, for those who have not seen this:

    http://cuencahighlife.com/another-mo...release-photos

    Another ‘monster’ sighting in the Cajas Mountains; British hikers and guide debating whether to release photos


    (May 2013)

    He is called Wawa Grande by the indigenous people living in the Cajas Mountains west of Cuenca. He was called the Monstruo de las Cajas in a 1997 German magazine article.

    He can also be called the monster that won’t go away, despite the best efforts of Ecuador’s national park service and a number of scientists.

    A Quito television station reported three weeks ago that two British hikers and their tour guide spotted the elusive creature in Cajas National Park during a three-day trek. The trio claimed to have observed the over-sized humanoid animal for several minutes in a remote area of the park in early April.

    “I have no idea what it was other than to say it was quite large, with light colored fur and had human characteristics. It was able to stand on two legs but also came down on all fours,” said Sean Worthington, one of the hikers. He added: “I am a scientist by training and not prone to make fanciful claims, but I cannot deny seeing the thing.”

    Worthington and his companion, Roger Chrisma, and the guide, reported that they watched the creature for several minutes from a distance of about 100 meters. Worthington said they took pictures but don’t know whether they will release them to the media.

    It is the first publicly reported Wawa Grande sighting since 2008 and 2009, when there was a rash of them. Tour guides then said that the sightings were concentrated in a small area, in the higher elevations of the park.

    Wawa Grande, which takes its name from the Quechuan word for 'baby' and the Spanish word for 'big', reportedly stands upright on two legs and has thick, light gray or reddish hair. The Wawa legend dates back at least 200 years in Ecuador’s southern Andes but several reported sightings since the 1980s sparked international interest.

    Wawa made headlines in July, 1988 when a Scottish hiker claims he was attacked by a pair of the creatures. Robert Burns, who sought shelter in a cave from a late afternoon snow storm, says he was mauled by the Wawas and tossed from the cave. Burns was treated for a broken arm, deep lacerations and bite wounds at a Cuenca hospital. His story was reported on Cuenca television as well as in newspapers in Great Britain.

    In 2009, two Swedish hikers say they saw the creature and reported that it stood between seven and eight feet in height and weighed 300 to 400 pounds. Their story, along with a picture that they claimed to have taken, appeared in a Stockholm newspaper in July of that year.

    Quito-based guide Carlos Castro, who says he took video of the creature during a 1997 hike with three German tourists, claims to have seen Wawa on two occasions.

    According to Castro, many Cajas guides are aware of Wawa, either from personal contact or through reports from hikers. “Some people don’t like to talk about it because their friends will think they’re crazy,” he says. “Even if they haven’t seen Wawa, almost everyone who has spent much time in the mountains has seen the footprints and other evidence.”

    Castro says he has seen plaster castings of Wawa footprints, some measuring almost two feet in length. “These are kept at the University of Cuenca, as well as pictures and other items, but it is impossible to gain access,” he adds, “In fact, it is official policy to deny that they even exist.”

    A retired national park service biologist, who worked in the Cajas Park when it was established in 1996, agrees that there is an official policy of denial and that park employees are told not to talk about the alleged monster. “It does not exist. That is what we told anyone who asked about it.” He also says that the science department at the University of Cuenca has some “objects” and photos connected to Wawa, but these are off limits to the public.

    While he worked at the park, the biologist, who asked not to be identified, said that the park office routinely turned down media requests for information and assistance regarding Wawa. “There was a U.S. television show called Monster Quest that kept asking for help, but we refused. We told them there was nothing up there and no reason to do a TV show.”

    The biologist says he has seen the creature personally. “I am a very skeptical person but I am very sure that I saw something. It was very big, with light colored fur, but looked like a little like a human being.”

    He adds: “Something that is important to say, however, is that the area where I saw this thing and where other people have too, is very high. It is above 4,200 meters and is often foggy and sometimes snowy. It could be easy to imagine something up there.” On the other hand, he says it is ideal terrain for avoiding contact with the outside world. “It is very isolated with caves and hot springs, so something could survive there without being seen.”

    Worthington and Chrisma, both from London, say that they are not sure what they will do with the pictures. “Only us, our guide, and another hiker we met in Cuenca have seen them. We may end up simply keeping them to ourselves. We’re not looking for publicity, and, in fact, would prefer to avoid it.”
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 28th October 2016 at 15:16.

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