We love mountains

My thoughts and experiences cycling, snowboarding and travelling around the world

So you want to hear my bear story eh?

This is Boo the Grizzly Bear looking fairly nonchalant against a tree (no it is not a man in a suit and yes I had a good zoom lens!). These are my pictures from another trip but my scary bear story starts, summer 2012 in Fernie, BC.
I had seen quite a few bears so far that summer, a few black bears and a few Grizzlies however one encounter was a bit different.

DSCN1029

I started pushing my bike up the trail in the provincial park outside Fernie and near the top a loud crashing came from the bushes to my right. I was on my own and was a bit startled, I made lots of noise and warned whatever it was, that I was there and luckily it seemed to move away. Then from in front of me the loudest roar I had ever heard came from further up the single track. I foolishly had no bear spray with me, I was greeted by a full grown grizzly bear charging me and still roaring loudly. I remember noting the rippling muscle of its huge bulk as it sprint towards me so fast for such a large animal. I thought stand my ground, move my bike in front and be big. I stretched to my full height and shouted ‘away, away’. It slowed and stopped about 30 feet away. Just a bluff charge I thought, phew, I’ll back away and all will be good. Then it proceeded to stand on its hind legs and roar again, bears are quite tall on their hind legs I think about 8ft tall but certainly enough to freak the life out of me, it then lowered as if to charge one more time, forget this I thought and swung my bike around and with a running jump launched downhill. I knew the trail well and as the bear gave chase I focused on going fast and getting out of there.

DSCN0943I am not sure where the bear stopped it’s chase I didn’t stop until I was back at home. I was just glad the trail was twisting, I knew it well and I could head downhill to flee the scene.

After analyzing the incident I think the first noise I heard was cubs and I had managed to get in between them and their mum. Making loud noises probably antagonized the bear but I think it was the right decision to get out of there! Grizzlies can run up to 45 mph,

DSCN1028which is deceptively fast so fleeing really is only possible on a bike and in an extreme situation. It is quite common for them to bluff charge in such a situation but to give charge again in such aggressive manner and then give chase is pretty unusual. It took a while to get back on the bike on my own. I never did ride that trail again, especially as the week after a local guy came across two cougars halfway down!

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This entry was posted on July 7, 2012 by in Cycling, General Travel, Hiking.
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