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[pct-l] an actual bear experience

tom r wrote:
The bear climbs the tree, climbs out on the limb as far as possible,
then jumps on the limb until either the bag shakes free from the cord or
the limb breaks! This is called "Taking the fall". Obviously, once a bear
is willing to "Take the fall" he will defeat any counterbalancing system.

yes, and it happens in yosemite, too.  our first night on the tahoe-yosemite trail was in cold canyon, going north out of glen aulin camp.  this is basically an expressway for bears heading down to scavenge the dumpsters at the camp.  there were 5 of us, and we all hung our food about 20 yds in fron t of our tents, on two different limbs.  during the night we were visited by mama bear and two cubs.  we were woken up by grunting and thrashing, and poking our heads out we saw by the light of headlamps some incredible gymnastics on one limb from which our food was hanging.  pot percussion, yelling and two rocks were enough to send her scampering, to easier food down the valley, we presume.  they did pay another visist about 4 am on their way home.

if your bear has to jump up and down on the limb, you've done about as good a job of counterbalance hanging as possible.  even the best hung food may have to be defended once in a while.  no other problems the rest of yosemite, and we hung every night.  

after yosemite, we had dogs with us.  we still hung our food most nights, but the dogs are a big deterent.  any other dog hikers out there that have had bear problems?  i suspect not.

one final comment.  pct thruhikers travel through the sierra and yosemite very early in the season, usually too early for bears to be that high (tuolumne and environs excepted).  i am guessing this contributes greatly to the reduced incidences of bear problems among the thruhiker population.

Michael Henderson
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