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Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby RoanMtnMan » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:24 pm

Neil wrote:Thanks Brian...good info. This confirms my suspicions that just because something could happen, doesn't mean it does or will. Mountain lions certainly have the capability of inflicting harm on humans, but the odds are low that such an attack will occur anywhere in CO, especially 14ers.


Totally agree. If one were to actually run the numbers, I think the lottery is a better bet. I still have fear though. Just one of those things that bounces around the back of the mind when out hiking, hunting, or running solo. Though lightening, rockfall, avalanches, car accidents and bad people are much more likely disaster scenarios.
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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby Billy the Kid » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:31 pm

Neil wrote:Thanks Brian...good info. This confirms my suspicions that just because something could happen, doesn't mean it does or will. Mountain lions certainly have the capability of inflicting harm on humans, but the odds are low that such an attack will occur anywhere in CO, especially 14ers.


This is true. I remember reading an acticle once that stated, statistcally, people are more likely to be killed by bees in the Colorado wilderness than a Mountain Lion. However, I would rather come face to face with a swarm of angry bees than an adult mountain lion, any day! 8-[
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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby jdorje » Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:29 pm

I wasn't joking about the hat, despite my sarcastic pictures. A nice floppy brim to cover the back of your neck could go a long way toward survivability, I feel.

The reason humans don't get attacked in Colorado is that deer are delicious and there are a lot of them. Until that changes I don't think mountain lions will become a threat. Of course there is the rare juvenile or diseased individual not capable of catching deer or aware of how delicious they are.

And for those of you looking to panic despite all odds to the contrary - mountain lions can carry (in a loose sense) bubonic plague.
-Jason Dorje Short

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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby Brian Thomas » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:03 pm

anna wrote:
Neil wrote:This confirms my suspicions that just because something could happen, doesn't mean it does or will.

... or won't.

My father who is retired and spends too much time on the internet looking for reasons to worry thinks me and my brother should carry loaded guns while trail running in Golden and Boulder, which I think is ridiculous.

When I slept in my car at the Grizzly Gulch trailhead last year I was woken up with the same scratching/gnawing sounds that others have recently described. It was very freaky, and I laid in my sleeping bag with my ice axe close at hand but didn't get out of the car to investigate.

In the event I were to get attacked by a mountain lion I would take it on with my bare hands. Mother Nature wins sometimes, that's just part of the game \:D/
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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby Tory Wells » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:13 pm

jdorje wrote:Mountain lions typically attack by jumping on the neck of their prey, biting through it and severing the spinal cord in a single bite.

I think they actually suffocate their prey by latching onto the windpipe until the animal succumbs. I don't think a cat's teeth would hold up very long to biting through vertebrae. This video shows a cat taking a deer down with suffocation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGfxD5hcInw
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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby Neil » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:29 pm

anna wrote:
Neil wrote:This confirms my suspicions that just because something could happen, doesn't mean it does or will.


... or won't.


Anna, I see your point...anything is possible! This is the "reasoning" I use when I occasionally buy a lottery ticket. \:D/ But in the case of mountain lions attacking adults on 14ers in Colorado, there isn't even a sample class to set the odds. The chances are that remote. Consider all the hiker-days that have accumulated just in the last ten years without one attack. Even when it does happen (and you're right, it probably will someday), hiker-days per attack will likely be well into the millions, if not tens of millions. My only point is, the actual risk is incredibly low. The risk of scaring ourselves at 3:00 a.m. hiking alone? Very high...I'm guilty! :-D
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Throwing the bone for the dog I see two passing lights
Well, I wonder where that driver's bound
Is there someone, somewhere, someway out there that I've not found"
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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby jdorje » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:32 pm

Tory Wells wrote:
jdorje wrote:Mountain lions typically attack by jumping on the neck of their prey, biting through it and severing the spinal cord in a single bite.

I think they actually suffocate their prey by latching onto the windpipe until the animal succumbs. I don't think a cat's teeth would hold up very long to biting through vertebrae. This video shows a cat taking a deer down with suffocation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGfxD5hcInw


You make a good point, and that's a crazy video. My info comes from "The Cougar Almanac", which was pretty interesting reading a couple years ago. Maybe we need shields around the front as well as the back of our neck? Maybe something like this:

Image

And again, protecting your pets from the mountain lion menace is even more important:

Image
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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby hotrod » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:41 pm

In India, they wear masks, replicas of human faces, on the backs of their heads, to make any tigers think that they are being looked at. Supposedly tigers like to attack from the back, so this dissuades them. Maybe this would work with cougars?
If I were hiking up a trail and saw someone ahead of me who looked like he should be coming toward me but never got any closer, I would get confused. :?
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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby Randy » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:34 pm

Ive seen two lions one very close, the best animal Ive ever encountered, second would be a fisher cat. While the odds of being attacked might be low, at 40ft thats no comfort I assure you. [-o<

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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby Neil » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:33 pm

Randy wrote:Ive seen two lions one very close, the best animal Ive ever encountered, second would be a fisher cat. While the odds of being attacked might be low, at 40ft thats no comfort I assure you. [-o<


Very cool Randy. While I'm sure the encounters were a little spooky, you are fortunate to have two sightings. While the odds make me feel good at home, irrational fear usually wins when I'm alone at 10,000 ft. at 4:00 a.m. 8-[
"On the edge of the porch in the warm evening night
Throwing the bone for the dog I see two passing lights
Well, I wonder where that driver's bound
Is there someone, somewhere, someway out there that I've not found"
-Driving Song

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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby rockchalker » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:12 pm

There was also a mountain lion sighting on the Holy Cross Trail on Sunday night, September 2, about 20 minutes past East Cross Creek. Lion approached the camp site of two overnighters around midnight, interested in their food/trash which was properly stored up high. They made lots of noise and the lion eventually left and did not retun.
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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby Dubdub » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:35 pm

Rockchalker, I take it you are a Jayhawk living in Sugarland, who climbs 14ers. I thought I had it bad being a Red Raider in Amarillo. I respect a Texan who makes the effort to climb in CO.

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