Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM


Bear Safety
A bear attack survivor
Bear Safety
Back in the late 1990's and early 2000's I was a webmaster (with Charlie Oriez and others) for the Sierra Club's Rocky Mountain Chapter in Colorado. At that time I created their Get Outdoors Bear Safety page that lasted for at least a decade despite me not having updated it since October 08, 2003!! Below is much of what I had posted, back then, but want to caution you that there is a lot more to this subject that you need to know to be safe in "bear country!" So, enjoy what I've posted here (and back then) but please study the latest materials (from other sources) for not only your own safety, but also to help keep harrasment of bears and other wildlife to an absolute minimum as well.



Ten Essentials Click Here for the Ten Essentials - Don't leave home without 'em!
Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my page on Backcountry Survival...
Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my page on Lightning Safety...


My public radio interview with Doug Peacock:

Doug Peacock Hayduke Lives!
Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for interview with Doug Peacock on KGNU.

I spoke with Doug Peacock about climate change, grizzly bears (and Timothy Treadwell), his relationship with Ed Abbey, and humanity's impact on the natural world.
Doug is an author, Vietnam veteran, filmmaker and naturalist. Doug Peacock has published widely on wilderness issues: from grizzly bears to buffalo, from the Sierra Madres of the Sonoran desert to the fjords of British Columbia, from the tigers of Siberia to the blue sheep of Nepal. Doug Peacock was a Green Beret medic and the real-life model for Edward Abbey’s George Washington Hayduke in The Monkey Wrench Gang.


39-Year-Old Laney Malavolta killed by black bears in Durango, Colorado.

April 30, 2021:
Authorities ruled her cause of death as a penetrating wound to the neck and the manner of death was an accident.
Laney's boyfriend found her body around 9:30 p.m. after she went walking with her two dogs.
At the scene, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers found signs of consumption on the body and an abundance of bear scat and hair in the area.
Three bears were later caught and euthanized. The bears were taken to CPW's Wildlife Health Lab in Fort Collins for a necropsy where human remains were found in two of the three animals.
According to CPW records, between 1960 and 2020, there were about 85 recorded bear attacks on humans in Colorado. Three of those attacls were fatal with Laney Malavolta’s death being the fourth deatj since 1960.


54-Year-Old Survives Bear Attack in Southern California's San Gabriel Mountains.

Dan Richman On Monday, October 10, 2016, Dan Richman survived a terrifying bear attack in the Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park area near Sierra Madre, California. Richman, who encountered a bear while running up the Mount Wilson tail said, "I just looked up and there was this bear standing on its hind legs looking right at me." Richman explained. Richman reported that the bear was about 15 to 30 metres away, so he tried to back away. That's when he saw another bear, much closer to him, so he tried to scare it by yelling.

Richman decided to run for his safety, but didn't make it very far when he was attacked. Richman said, "I was running right past it, and it just came down and got me. It first bit my right wrist and then it somehow came around and got my leg," he explained. "Next thing I knew I was on the ground on my hands and knees and it was almost like a wrestling position." Richman said he played dead and the tactic worked as the bear eventually left.

Richman made it back home, on his own, without realizing the extent of his injuries. He called 911 where he was taken to Methodist Hospital in Arcadia. Richman was treated for multiple cuts to his head, upper body, legs and feet, with the deepest cut coming to his upper leg.


Bear Proof Trash Cans and Food Lockers at Mount Whitney, California

Mount Whitney Food Locker by Roger J. Wendell - 07-24-2012 Mount Whitney Bear Proof Trash Container by Roger J. Wendell - 07-24-2012


To The Sea and Back

In 2013, Matt Dyer was nearly killed by a polar bear
on a Sierra Club outing. One year latter, he returned
to the wild with the people who saved his life.
by Jake Abrahamson
Sierra Magazine, January/February 2015, pp. 29-30
Dyer "When he woke up around 2:30 that morning, the first thing he saw - the only thing - was a silhouette on his tent wall. He yelled, 'Bear in the camp!' And then it dragged him into the animal world. It was biting his head through the tent, and he covered his head with his hands, but it kept mouthing him, crushing his left hand almost completely and tossing him around like a doll. His head was in its maw, his body now scooped in its arms. he could feel its fur on the other side of the tent fabric. It was tugging on his skull, trying to separate him from the loose outer layer of nylon skin. Tug. Tug. Tug."
"The bear flew backward and Dyer with it. They hit the ground as one. He felt a sudden sharp pressure in his chest - his lung collapsing. His jaw cracked in the baer's jaw.

"And now it had him clean by the head ans galloping toward the beach. The land went by. His eyes were fixed toward the bear's rolling abdomen, a convxity of wet, creamy fur. It's taking me into the water, he thought. That's what it would do with a seal. It wants to get me away from those people. The bear was exerting itself tremendously now. It huffed hot exhales that flowed over Dyer's nose and ears. The stench of dead fish felt thicker with each of it breaths.

"Any moment, lights is out. You are gonna die.

"A bone cracked in his skul or neck. There was no pain. None at all.

"Nature was kind to make the body like this. No pain in the final moments. I hope it's how everyone goes."

"The bear huffed harder. He could feel it sturggling with him - an oversize, bony seal. They were still moving toward the beach, Any second, the land would go black, the fishy smell would disappear, his mind would end forever."

- - - - - - -

"We all die. This is it. You're going home.

"A wave of cool air came off the water. They were getting closer.

"Then a flash screamed through the navy blue night and the fell to the sandy grass. Muted voices came from far away. Where'd it go? He couldn't move. He couldn't turn to look. There were giant footsepts somewhere off behind him. He was covered in a claer, gelatinous, fishy-smelling goop. It was gobbed in his hair and streakin the length of both arms. Saliva. The footsteps got quieter, then louder. Somewhere at the edge of his vision, and flash lit the sky. The footsepts went silent.

"Pretend you're dead. That's what squirrels do when the cat gets them.

"He tried to roll over. Nothing. You ain't moving, brother. Green ground, surging sea, flashed of light in a tent going yellow and gray with dawn. A stranger's hands running over his bogy. Jeanne - she's gonna kill me. The jet engine rush of a stove. A woman saying into the phone, 'We can't move him.' And something familiar, a smell from home. Someone, somewhere, was brewing coffee. Smells good."




This September 26, 2001 CDOW press release
was submitted to the Sierra Club's Rocky
Mountain Chapter by Angela Medbery:





There are definite rules about what to do if you meet a bear. In almost all cases, the bear will detect you first and leave the area. Bear attacks
are rare compared to the number of close encounters. If you do meet a bear before it has had time leave an area, here are some suggestions:





  1. 13ers
  2. 13ers.com - Colorado's Thirteeners
  3. 14ers
  4. 14ers.com
  5. Aconcagua
  6. Africa (Eastern) - Kenya, Tanzania, and my Kilimanjaro climb
  7. Africa (Southern) - Our trip through Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  8. AIARE - The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education
  9. Alpine Resuce Team - Evergreen, Colorado
  10. Amazonia and Ecuador
  11. American Avalanche Association
  12. Antarctica
  13. Argentina and Brazil
  14. Australia Main Page
  15. Australia Two Page
  16. Bolivia
  17. Camping
  18. Champ Camp
  19. Climbing
  20. Climbing Photos
  21. CMC page
  22. COHP - County High Points
  23. Colorado
  24. Colorado Avalanche Information Center
  25. Colorado Fourteener Iniative - A Partnership for Preservation
  26. CORSAR - Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue Card
  1. Gear - Stuff for the Backcountry...
  2. High Altitude Medicine Guide
  3. Highpoints
  4. Hiking
  5. LOJ - Lists of John (Lists of Peaks)
  6. Japan
  7. Leave No Trace - Center for Outdoor Ethics
  8. LOJ - Lists of John
  9. Mount Shasta - a Photo-Novella by Peter Santino
  10. New Zealand
  11. Peakbagger.com
  12. Pikes Peak
  13. Russia
  14. Silk Road
  15. Skiing - in the backcountry!
  16. Snow Caves
  17. Snow Day
  18. Summitpost.org
  19. Survival in the backcountry
  20. Ten Essentials - Don't leave home without 'em!
  21. Tibet
  22. Travel and Travel Two
  23. United Kingdom - England
  24. United Kingdom - Wales and Scotland
  25. Walking softly in the backcountry
  26. Waypoints


Warning! Climbing, mountaineering, and backcountry skiing are dangerous and can seriously injure or kill you. By further exploring this web site you acknowledge that the information presented here may be out of date or incorrect, and you agree not to hold the author responsible for any damages, injuries, or death arising from any use of this resource. Please thoroughly investigate any mountain before attempting to climb it, and do not substitute this web site for experience, training, and recognizing your limitations!




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