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COUNTY: Inyo County
LOCATION DETAILS: From Big Pine, go west on Glacier Rd. The trailhead is almost at the end of the road (before Glacier Lodge). The trail goes up to the seven lakes, located in Palisades Glacier. This incident occured at the west end of sixth lake, with seven lake a short distance away.
NEAREST TOWN: Big Pine
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 395
OBSERVED: When I was a young boy, my father would take me backpacking in the Sierra Nevada mountains every summer. When I was 10 years old, my father decided I was strong enough for a long excursion in the wilderness, and we set off for a place called Seven Lakes near Big Pine. We had hiked for a few days when we came to the sixth lake, and we could see the seventh lake just beyond it. Seventh lake was covered with ice and there was snow all around just past where we decided to camp for the night.
We thought this would be a good place to stay and explore the next day. During the night a snow storm hit and it became freezing cold, so my father and I put our sleeping bags over us and huddled together for warmth. I kept looking at my father's watch and hitting the light on it to see when we could expect the sun to rise so we could get warm. It was 3:45 a.m when we heard footsteps walking up the trail towards us. Our tent was right on the edge of the trail, and whatever was out there walking was on two feet and very big, we could almost feel the ground shake as it got closer. My father and I looked at eachother in silence, both of us a bit shocked by what we were hearing. It walked right up to our tent and stood there for about five minutes, completely silent.
I have very good senses and I could feel that whatever it was absolutely didn't want us there. I could feel its anger resonating, I can't explain how, but I got the most scary feeling in my heart. It wanted us to leave. Then it walked off just as suddenly as it came, but it headed in the direction of the frozen lake, and beyond that the trail went into very rugged wilderness. I didn't think it was a person because it had no flashlight, was very large, and only an idiot would continue walking on the trail into the wilderness at that time of night, in the middle of a snowstorm.
My father and I were quite frightened by our nightime visitor, and when first light hit we instantly broke camp and headed down the mountain without making breakfast, nor saying a word to eachother. We both knew we had to get out of there. Unfortunately, we were so far in the wilderness that we had to camp again that night further down the mountain, but this time we were not visited luckily.
My father has a MBA and is a successful businessman, very well liked and trusted in his community. To this day we still talk about the incident from time-to-time, and we still don't know what it was. At the time the incident happened, I was so scared I didn't even think to look for tracks, and I don't think I wanted to. We didn't notice a smell, but the direction of the wind was going from us towards the creature and I think that may be why we didn't smell it. We never actually saw it, but it sure didn't seem to be a man.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing noteworthy other than the "vibe" the creature was giving. It was like nothing I've ever felt before. My father served in Vietnam and it spooked him pretty good too.
OTHER WITNESSES: One witness, my father.
OTHER STORIES: I was reading about incidents on your website that were near where ours occured, and I noticed in each of those incidents the Bigfoot seemed to be trying to scare or intimidate. It made me want to share my experience. I've never reported what happened because we didn't actually see anything, but it is definately a Class B incident.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 3:45 A.M., windy, moderate snow, cold, probably about 30 degrees.
ENVIRONMENT: We were in a huge glacial valley, lots of trees and large rocks. Beautiful, but very isolated and rugged wilderness.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Brandon Kiel:
I spoke with the witness at length and felt very confident in the accuracy of his report. I have the following to add:
It was late Spring. They had camped at what essentially was the end of the trail; all that was beyond them was a frozen lake and a steep ridgeline. As they were going to sleep a mild snowstorm blew in with pretty strong winds.
Both he and his father heard the animal approach from roughly 50 yards away. He describes the footsteps as very heavy "to such a degree that you could feel the approach". The animal stopped about 5ft from the tent and stood silently for close to 5 minutes. The reporter said he could "feel that we weren't welcome there; almost like it was angry at us for being there".
The animal then continued up the path in the direction of the lake and ridgeline.
The next morning at first light the two of them packed up and left the area rather quickly. They didn't think to look for prints. Both had/have no idea what they encountered that night but note that whatever it was was clearly bipedal, very large, and traversing an obscure, remote location deep in the night without any light source.
About BFRO Investigator Brandon Kiel:
Brandon Kiel is a professional photographer and naturalist living in the Bay Area.
He was the chief coordinator of Northern California Expeditions for 7 years and has planned/attended more than 20 expeditions throughout the US.