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Very cool black bear encounter.


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It's been 3 weeks since my cardiac surgery and I had a clean normal EKG last Wed. So it was time to get up into the clean thin mountain air again. I made it to Alta Vista at 8,200'. It was 2,800' in just over two miles.

 

On the way down back below the tree line I spotted a Black bear about 300' away. I took several pics thinking that would be it.

 

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Me and my friend from Germany would stop and look back to see which direction he was moving. After about 15 minutes we realized that it was towards us.:o:o

 

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Mt Rainier has a very healthy black bear population and they are very used to people. So Martin and I just stood still and started getting pics.

 

And he got even closer.......

 

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And then about 12' from us. It's very intense being that close without any fence or wall in between. He smelled some what like a dog FWIW.:blink:

 

 

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I have had a couple bear encounters at the park in the past but this was by far the closest. The only safe thing to do is stay put and don't do anything that would appear to be aggressive or threatening.

 

At 12' away it would have taken him about two seconds to get to me. But I never sensed any aggressive body language from him which didn't trigger any fear in me. Just total awe and amazement.

 

We stayed put and let him drop down onto the trail to stay ahead of us. We very conservatively followed him for about a 1/4 mile as he moseyed around eating. We only followed him because that was the only direction back to the trail head.

 

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The weather was perfect and we had a clear view of Mt Adams, Mt Hood in Oregon and Mt St Helens.

 

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St Helens.

 

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Mt Hood in Oregon.

 

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Alta Vista at 8,200. Good spot for lunch.

 

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Alta Vista sat image.

 

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The trail follows along the Nisqually glacier. My regular camera was not working right so I didn't have any decent zoom to get close up into the crevasses. If I did I would have got some pics of the deep blue color inside them. But at least I had my cellphone camera. Not the best but a good back up.

 

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Myrtle Falls on the Upper Skyline Trail.

 

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More pics.......

 

Gallery

Edited by B Finnigan
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There hasn't been a bear attack in the park in over 40 yrs. so that allowed me to enjoy the encounter. Just the fact he came that close shows they are used to people.

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My wife's parents go up to Mt Adams every fall and pick mountain huckleberries. And every year they have to pick along with the black bears. They have lots of great pics. Never any incidents, when they get too close they shoo them away like a dog.

 

Mountain huckleberries are about pea size and they will pic 2-3 gallons. Serious work but if you have not had huckleberry pie with a big pile of hagen daz vanilla ice cream then you have not really lived yet.

 

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Glad to hear it's working out for you still.

 

I forgot to add that if anyone is in my neck of the woods I would be more then happy to drag you up into the snow. Even got an extra kayak.

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I had PSVT so I had to have cardiac ablation where they burn the node in the atrium that is responsible for triggering the rapid irregular heart rate. It would shoot up to 230-240 BPM and needless to say it kicked my butt real bad since my pressure would drop down to the 80-90/60 range. Not real good flow to the cells at that level.

 

Then two weeks ago the insertion site in my femoral vein started leaking into my abdominal cavity and triggered some ugly gut pain. But that went away within a week.

 

When I hit the trail last week within minutes I realized something had drastically improved. It seemed I had twice the energy and stamina. I would have been very happy reaching the 7000' level but when I got their I was still busting with energy so I made it up another 1,200'. The only thing keeping me from pushing higher was I wouldn't have had enough daylight to be back in time. That is one place you don't want to be when it gets dark.:unsure: I was ready to hit the mountain again six days later. Only to see a brown bear this time.

Edited by B Finnigan
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Martin just got back to Germany and emailed me his pick of the bear from his angle. He was a little above me and the bear actually got closer to him.

 

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Edited by B Finnigan
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