Mountain Lions

Have an interesting or epic climbing story? Post it here.
User avatar
Posts: 1970
Joined: 3/11/2006
14er Checklist (58)
14ers in Winter (2)
13er Checklist (102)

Re: Mountain Lions

Postby mtgirl » Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:58 pm

Not a mountain lion, but this bobcat I spotted on West Spanish Peak was nearly the size of a mountain lion !
"Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away."
User avatar
Posts: 44
Joined: 4/17/2010
14er Checklist Not Entered

Re: Mountain Lions

Postby X++ » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:11 pm

I've thought about this topic for years, and I always think about mountain lions when I'm alone in the mountains. Honestly, it's a very strange topic to me. For one, I'd like to think that if the lion ambushes me and I am still conscious, then if I had a gun or a knife, I might have a chance to defend myself. So I carry a tactical knife and sometimes pack a 9mm pistol. I even have a tactical tomahawk on order (yeah, I know, an ice axe would kinda work too). And if I were in the super-boonies all alone, I might even bring my AK-47 (car camping only).

Having said all this, and with all these weapons, I still know that if a lion chooses me, it could be over without me even knowing it.

In the end, I am a cat lover and would never want to hurt one of these majestic creatures.
User avatar
Posts: 382
Joined: 5/23/2008
14er Checklist (8)

Re: Mountain Lions

Postby paul109876 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:02 am

1st of all if a mountain lion chooses to attack me out of a group, my feelings would be hurt. That would mean that the ML considered me to be the weakest one. Kind of like being picked last for a kickball game :cry:

2nd, that's another small reason I carry a fixed blade gerber on my shoulder strap and drink my milk.
Last edited by paul109876 on Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Try waking up on the right side of the grass- that's a good place to start
Opinions are like A$$Holes- everyone has one, but some stink worse than others. So please, keep your opinion clean.
User avatar
Posts: 22
Joined: 5/26/2010
14er Checklist (1)

Re: Mountain Lions

Postby Okie » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:22 am

I've only had one experience with a cougar outside of a zoo. I was deer hunting on the Red River during muzzleloader seson. I had been sitting in stand all day and it was about 30 minutes after sunset. I climbed down and removed my stand. It was twilight by now. I was walking back west through the trees and underbrush to get to a creek crossing. My bowels started calling. I found a spot with mimimal underbrush. Being winter, I had several layers to get out of in order to relieve myself. I set my muzzleloader against a tree. There I was, all squated down and bare to the world, and I heard this blood-curdling scream and the thunderous pounding of hooves against earth coming close which I understood as a frantic bleat. A doe runs by bleating like there's no tomorrow and being chased by about a 200 pound cougar. The cougar stops. Looks at the doe and then back at me and then back at the doe and then back at me. I reach over for my "one-shot" .50 caliber muzzleloader. Oopse, It was just out of reach against that tree. I did something resembling a russian dance where they are crouched and kicking their legs out to get over to the gun. The cougar was still observing me. I got the gun but decided that since I only had the one shot I would not do anything unless he came at me. The cougar seemed to have assessed his situation and decided that the deer was a safer meal. The cougar leaped and took off east towards the direction of the doe. I noticed that I was done with my business (guess the ole saying is true you can get that scared out of you). I got my layers back on and grabbed my stand and muzzleloader and headed west for the creek crossing. I had to turn on my headlamp by now. I kept looking over my shoulder till I got back to my vehicle. That's when I decided to get and went through all the necessary steps to get my concealed-carry license. Then during archery or muzzleloader season's I can legally carry a handgun in the woods for multiple-round protection against those big kitties. Besides range work to remain proficient for hunting, I compete in IPSC ( at my local gun club so I'm "practiced."
Posts: 714
Joined: 5/13/2007
14er Checklist Not Entered

Re: Mountain Lions

Postby Hacksaw » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:54 am

lanternerouge08 wrote:
jdorje wrote:
Though capable of sprinting, the cougar is typically an ambush predator. It stalks through brush and trees, across ledges, or other covered spots, before delivering a powerful leap onto the back of its prey and a suffocating neck bite. The cougar is capable of breaking the neck of some of its smaller prey with a strong bite and momentum bearing the animal to the ground.

I was really surprised this winter when a mountain lion killed a deer across the road from my place on the ice covered pond. I had thought that the cat wouldn't have walked out on the ice since they seem to be afraid of water, etc..
"True love is much easier to find with a helicopter."
User avatar
Posts: 2022
Joined: 3/14/2008
14er Checklist (58)
13er Checklist (69)

Re: Mountain Lions

Postby highpilgrim » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:44 am

Hacksaw wrote:I was really surprised this winter when a mountain lion killed a deer across the road from my place on the ice covered pond. I had thought that the cat wouldn't have walked out on the ice since they seem to be afraid of water, etc..

Being really hungry inspires animals (and people) to do things they wouldn't normally do. See: Miracle in the Andes.
Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
Hunter S Thompson

Walk away from the droning and leave the hive behind.
Dick Derkase
User avatar
Posts: 542
Joined: 9/20/2009
14er Checklist (14)
13er Checklist (20)

Re: Mountain Lions

Postby atalarico » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:29 pm

Interesting thread post.

Cats, and big cats alike, intrigue me. However, I really hope to never see one. It's just a little too freaky, and I know that at my stature (5'4" 130lbs), I'm easy pickins.

However, I would fight for my life if need be. Considering cats have incredibly sensitive eyes and noses, bear spray is not a bad option...if you can get it in time.

Knives (or tactical tomahawks! that's friggin sweet) out for sure.

Nifty videos so far!
User avatar
Jesse Peterson
Posts: 110
Joined: 2/23/2008
14er Checklist (17)
14ers Skied (8)
14ers in Winter (7)
13er Checklist (62)

Re: Mountain Lions

Postby Jesse Peterson » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:24 pm

Seems that the Sangres are a relatively common place for mountain lion encouters to occur. As a kid growing up in southern Colorado I had glimpsed mountain lions twice, both times moving away from me and at a good distance. My third encounter, however, remains indelibly etched in my memory-- 19 years old, camping solo up Willow Creek (below Kit Carson and Challenger) in the dense spruce forest below the lake. I had hiked up in the evening and set up camp just as it was getting dark. As I was breaking wood for a small fire I heard a twig snap in the forest, looked up and saw the unmistakable eyes, golden-green, dinstinctly cat-like. Despite knowing, rationally, that mountain lions don't attack humans,the primal fight-or-flight response immediately took over. I picked up a chunk of firewood. The mountain lion was coming toward me, slowly, moving with an unsettling confidence. I began talking to it- I let it know that I wouldn't taste very good, not having much fat on me, and that I would be happy to get out of her house if she would just gave me a minute. It continued circling my camp, edging closer, less than 15 feet away. In hindsight, I suppose I could have built my fire (which is said to drive them off) and taken my chances, but at the time, a sense of self-preservation motivated me to pack up camp and get the hell ouf of there. I took down my tent without taking my eyes off the mountain lion (in profile I could clearly see its size and long tail). I watched it for as long as I could while I backed away, then turned and scurried down the trail. The act of turning my back to the lion was one of the most unnerving feelings I've experienced-- although in all likelihood the it was just curious and would have ambushed me right away if I were potential prey, my only thought at the time was 'get out of his/her territory.' Although frightening, the encounter was a powerful, almost mystical experience I count myself lucky to have had. I find this topic fascinating-- it touches on one of our primal evolutionary fears, like falling or drowning, only much less common.
"As for mountains, there are mountains hidden in jewels, there are mountains hidden in marshes, mountains hidden in the sky; there are mountains hidden in mountains. There is a study of mountains hidden in hiddenness." Dogen Kigen , Mountains and Rivers Sutra
User avatar
Posts: 11
Joined: 8/14/2007
14er Checklist (47)
14ers in Winter (1)

Re: Mountain Lions

Postby conof » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:37 pm

For all of those interested in mountain lions, my husband and I have been hiking in Colorado for 35 years and have never seen a mountain lion....until now. On Wednesday of this week, while on our way to the upper trailhead for South Colony Lakes on our way to climb Humboldt Peak, a mountain lion stepped out onto the road directly in front of our car no more than 10 feet away. He stopped for a moment, looked right at us and disappeared off the side of the road. It was about 5:15 AM and still very dark. We were surprised at how large the animal was; at least 6-7 ft. It was an unnerving way to start our hike!!
User avatar
Posts: 136
Joined: 5/14/2009
14er Checklist (41)
14ers Skied (1)
13er Checklist (10)

Re: Mountain Lions

Postby letourneau41 » Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:11 am

gurlyclimber wrote:Were you by any chance off of 285 on the east side of Kenosha Pass summit when you saw the moose? There was on there and hordes of people taking photos. It was pretty cool.

I also saw this Moose on Kenosha.
Every man Dies, but not every man truly lives.
User avatar
Posts: 889
Joined: 7/8/2007
14er Checklist (54)
14ers in Winter (1)
13er Checklist (2)

Re: Mountain Lions

Postby JA_son27 » Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:49 pm

I posted the picture of the moose on Kenosha pass in my San Luis tr
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
Matt 25:40
User avatar
Posts: 1818
Joined: 12/5/2007
14er Checklist (58)
13er Checklist (6)

Re: Mountain Lions

Postby nyker » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:58 pm

Last July going up San Luis Peak, we are pretty sure we saw one in the underbrush on the far hill to the right as you ascend the trail near the first saddle/ridgeline, about 200yards before turning right to shoot for the summit at treeline. There had been some deer along the ridge, we saw a coyote in the morning an hour earlier and some elk higher up. It was probably around 7:30-8:00AM.

I'd give it an 80% probability of being a cougar. I've seen just about every wild animal in North America (except a wolverine) and although this was far away (~500yards), it moved like a cat, was the same color, size and height. Given that there were deer in the area-food, the area was very isolated and the time was right, being early in the morning. We were the first ones up in the morning, so the area was likely undisturbed all night.

Even with the distance, it made the hairs stand up on my arm.

Return to “Mountaineering Tales”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests