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Bear attack at Cataract Gulch TH?

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Re: Bear attack at Cataract Gulch TH?

Postby San Juan Ron » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:56 am

There was a bear attack on a man in a tent by Lake San Cristobal a couple weeks ago. He is doing okay (92 stitches). The signs are posted all over (Cat Gulch, Sunshine/Grizzly Gulch TH). SJ Ron


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Re: Bear attack at Cataract Gulch TH?

Postby San Juan Ron » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:02 am

I forgot to mention that the DOW shot a suspect bear, but it turned out NOT to be the bear involved in the attack (per DNA analysis). SJ Ron

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Re: Bear attack at Cataract Gulch TH?

Postby mikem0687 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:22 am

"This is the time of year when bears are eating non-stop...they can eat 20,000 calories a day, equivalent to 72 cheeseburgers."

Boom! Problem solved. All we need to do is feed each bear 72 cheeseburgers (preferably McDonald's) a day, and they will be happy and it will be the end of bear attacks for good!

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Re: Bear attack at Cataract Gulch TH?

Postby Mel McKinney » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:44 pm

San Juan Ron wrote:I forgot to mention that the DOW shot a suspect bear, but it turned out NOT to be the bear involved in the attack (per DNA analysis). SJ Ron

We saw that in the paper when we visited the area a few weeks ago. It was a little disconcerting but we try to be "bear aware." We didn't realize that the shot bear wasn't determined to be the culprit.
Mountains cast spells on me - Why, because of the way Earth-heaps lie, should I be Chocked by joy mysteriously; stilled or drunken-gay? Why should a brown hill trail Tug at my feet to go? Why should a boggy swale Tune my heart to a nameless tale Mountain marshes know?
--- Belle Turnbull ("Mountain-Mad")

"Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said couldn't be done."
---Sam Ewing

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Re: Bear attack at Cataract Gulch TH?

Postby caverdude » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:01 pm

Same warning signs are posted at turn off to Matterhorn Creek TH and at the Nellie Creek TH.

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Re: Bear attack at Cataract Gulch TH?

Postby highcountryhiker » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:10 pm

Thanks for the heads up that the bear that was shot turned out to NOT be the offending bear. Had intended on tent camping in that area this coming weekend but, even though I also follow "bear aware" safety practices, I will now make other plans.

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Re: Bear attack at Cataract Gulch TH?

Postby climbingaggie03 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:35 pm

I've spent alot of time around bears and dealt with many problem bears, if you remember a couple of things, you can still camp in this area reasonably safely. The biggest thing to remember is that bears lives are dictated by their noses and their stomachs. There is also the mother and cub scenario, but that's not what your dealing with at a campsite most of the time. So if you make sure that your tent and sleeping gear doesn't smell like food then you should be pretty safe. A bear bag (or canister) is also required, and I find that if you use a couple of trash bags to seal your food/smelly stuff the airtightness tends to keep the smell inside which helps to not draw bears to your bear hang.

My favorite bear deterrent is fire crackers. I've never seen a bear run away faster than the time I lit my black cats and tossed them out of my tent.

The only time I've seen a bear not run was when my buddy was working in a ropes course, he was up on a pole and this sow started climbing up after him. He threw tools and pulleys at the bear and she just kept coming. I don't know if she would have run away from firecrackers, but the bullet stopped her.

of course if you feel it's safest to avoid the area, by all means, do so, but just so you know it is possible to camp around even habituated bears.

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Re: Bear attack at Cataract Gulch TH?

Postby Mel McKinney » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:18 pm

The bear attack happened on Weds of the week we camped in the area (We camped right after on Fri - Mon). Didn't hear or see any bears while we were there. We camped about 10 miles from the campground where it happened.

We were only disturbed by a bunch of annoying, ballsy chipmunks and a loud, yelping coyote one morning that wandered by pretty close to our camp. Must have been looking for its pack or a pup.

We've purchased an air horn and take that into the tent at night just in case. We poached the garbage bins at the nearby campground just to get rid of the garbage every day.
Mountains cast spells on me - Why, because of the way Earth-heaps lie, should I be Chocked by joy mysteriously; stilled or drunken-gay? Why should a brown hill trail Tug at my feet to go? Why should a boggy swale Tune my heart to a nameless tale Mountain marshes know?
--- Belle Turnbull ("Mountain-Mad")

"Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said couldn't be done."
---Sam Ewing

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Re: Bear attack at Cataract Gulch TH?

Postby highcountryhiker » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:34 pm

I have tent-camped and backpacked in Colorado for many years and have never been overly concerned about bears. In all those years I have only had a bear come into my camp once and that was in an established campground shortly after I had finished dinner (food smells still in the air). Normal "bear aware" safety practices are generally all that is needed to avoid bear encounters. However, by all indications, this is an aggressive bear that might enter a campsite regardless of any preventative measures taken.

Mel McKinney wrote:We've purchased an air horn and take that into the tent at night just in case.


An air horn would probably scare away almost any animal. Although it might scare a skunk a little too much! #-o

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Re: Bear attack at Cataract Gulch TH?

Postby Mel McKinney » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:42 pm

highcountryhiker wrote:
An air horn would probably scare away almost any animal. Although it might scare a skunk a little too much! #-o


:lol:

That would end the camping trip....quickly! Actually camped once where we all slept outside on tarps and had a skunk keep wandering through during the night. Luckily no spraying!
Mountains cast spells on me - Why, because of the way Earth-heaps lie, should I be Chocked by joy mysteriously; stilled or drunken-gay? Why should a brown hill trail Tug at my feet to go? Why should a boggy swale Tune my heart to a nameless tale Mountain marshes know?
--- Belle Turnbull ("Mountain-Mad")

"Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said couldn't be done."
---Sam Ewing

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Re: Bear attack at Cataract Gulch TH?

Postby OnyourLeft » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:09 pm

I've been within 30 feet of two separate bears this summer and neither one of them seemed too interested in me. It seems like the bad encounters are very often while in tents. I might just start sleeping with my rock helmet on. Problem solved.

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