Climbers fight a grizzly and barely escape attack in Banff
Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 11:52 AM -
DISCRETION : The following article contains graphic material.
At first attempt, two UK mountain climbers had a relatively smooth ascent in the Rockies near Banff, Alta.
They’d come quite far before getting ready to set up camp at the edge of a forest, but things took a grizzly turn.
The pair were partway through ascending “Dirty Love,” a 500-metre alpine climb on Alberta’s Mount Wilson, when they crossed paths with an agitated grizzly bear.
”I spun to watch Greg sprint past me and in hot pursuit was a grizzly,” Nick Bullock recounted on his blog.
”The bear bounded, pulling and pushing the snow with powerful legs. The snow lapped its belly and didn’t appear to slow it.”
Moments later, Scottish climber Greg Boswell fell on his back, and the bear pounced.
”Greg kicked at Ursus arctos horribilis and it bit straight though his brand new boot as if it were a carpet slipper” Boswell writes. “It lunged once more and crunched into his shin, placing a paw on his other leg before lifting him off the ground.”
Boswell pried the bear’s mouth apart and narrowly escaped, and the pair ran into the woods following their old tracks. After getting lost, they retraced their path through Boswell’s bloody footprints before beginning the descent down.
Hours later they arrived at Banff Mineral Springs Hospital, where Boswell’s wounds were tended to.
Parks Canada’s human-wildlife conflict specialist, Jon Stuart-Smith, told CBC that officials presume “the bear attacked because it felt threatened.”
Parks Canada has closed the area of the incident, allowing the bear to hibernate.