sdkeil wrote:At that point the mountain lion headed off into the night, and as it turned away I saw the long tail that confirmed to me what I had seen.
A few years ago, my parents were walking more or less in their back yard in Crestone. The were a bit separated, maybe 50 yards away or so, just walking around. For some reason my father decided to look behind him and there was a giant cat stalking 20 yards behind him. He yelled at it and it turned and walked off. He also noted the tail - the cat had dark rings on its tail, marking it as a juvenile which is probably why it was stalking an adult human. He didn't realize any of this until he bought and read a book on mountain lions though. Like your cat (which may well have been a juvenile too) this one was just checking him out, and had surely had ample time to attack already if it was going to. The same cat (we assume) was seen a few months later walking right past the house when I was visiting, but since then it's learned to stay away. Now deer seem to flock around the house and take naps; maybe they know it's safe ground.
You do bring up a good point though, which most people probably know: kneeling or crouching or sitting makes you look smaller and more prey-like, as does running (and probably skiing). I didn't mention this before because it's my opinion an adult human really shouldn't waste time worrying about a deadly attack even in this situation; the odds are just so much against it and there's not much you can do about it anyway since you have to sit down sometime. Mountain climbing has a lot of risks and while you shouldn't take them for granted, neither should you overestimate small ones just because they are grisly-sounding.
LTbear wrote:I'd say it's well worth the weight. That stuff can be powerful and hardly weighs anything at all. I always carry some, just in case. It's about the same weight as the small tube of sun screen I carry.
If you want to take bear spray hiking to stop yourself from being mugged, go ahead. It might even be useful against a bear, though that is extremely rare. But don't expect a cat to let you get a chance to use it; by the time you see the lion the danger is already over. That's what i mean when I say it's not worth the weight
hatidua wrote:I'd be curious what mountains they are commonly sighted just about everywhere. I've asked countless people that live in prime habitat and while many have lost pets to them, few if anyone I've asked has ever actually seen anything other than footprints or scat.
You're right, they aren't "common". What I meant was that they happen regularly everywhere, because the cats live everywhere around here - regardless of the presence of humans. A given individual's chance of seeing one is low however.