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Gunks Bear


Original Post
Ryan M Moore · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 35

Just a heads up, had a bear come pretty close to me and my partner(30-40 feet) at base of Madame G's on 6/27. After making a suitable amount of noise it wandered down to the carriage road. Happened around noon which was surprising. Might not want to leave any food in your packs at the base...  

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35

Exciting! Was it a juvenile?

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745

That bear cruised nearly the entire length of the Trapps Tuesday (also AAC campground that morning).  There's a photo of it at the base of High E sniffing through a pack, so don't leave nice-smelling things at the base.  I followed it from Betty to The Brat; it was below the carriage road through this section.  Definitely not a cub-size.  I'd guess a young male; those seem to be the ones that like to wander around.

Ryan M Moore · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 35

I'd guess 2-3 years old. Smaller than most full grown bears I've seen in the area, but would be considered full grown in other areas.

Nolan Huther · · Clarkson University · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 602
Gunkiemike wrote:

There's a photo of it at the base of High E sniffing through a pack, so don't leave nice-smelling things at the base.

Photo via Gunk Climbers Coalition on Facebook:

Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 140
  • Jeesh, for my $20 I want bear patrol!
Kevin Heckeler · · Upstate New York · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 1,411

Leaving ANY food in the packs is going to tempt it.  A bear's nose is super, super sensitive.  Think superpower sensitive. They can smell through wrappers.  If that bear has tore into a pack for food before, they will do it again.  Once they equate something with food there's no 'undoing' (unlearning) it.  This bear will likely need to be relocated.

Logan Schiff · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 60

Is "relocated" a euphemism? Probably the same bear I saw a couple months ago bounding towards my belay partner at the base of Arrow. Ran away when we yelled.

SethG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 237

I've been leaving food in my bag at the Gunks for over a decade without incident but in late February I was up there on a weekday and came back down from a multipitch route to find that some creature had ripped a hole in my bag and eaten part of my apple and my pb&j sandwich. I assumed at the time that this was some kind of small varmint but now I'm guessing it was this same bear!

Kevin Heckeler · · Upstate New York · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 1,411
Logan Schiff wrote:

Is "relocated" a euphemism?

Unfortunately it might be.

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 525

To keep animals big and small from sniffing out your snacks: https://loksak.com/opsak/  (Note: this is not a substitute for a bear canister in areas where such things are advisable or required!)

Once bears lose their fear of humans, they are often euthanized.  https://www.nps.gov/grte/learn/news/black-bear-euthanized-due-to-safety-concerns.htm

Ryan M Moore · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 35

I've used the loksak in WY and MT when a bear canister wasn't a good option and being above tree line precluded the use of bear bags. They work great, keep your food organized and dry, work great as a trashbag on the way out. 

Mark L · · New York, NY · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

We need to give him a name.

Kevin Heckeler · · Upstate New York · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 1,411
Mark L wrote:

We need to give him a name.

Poo?

[if it was female, Bonnie the Poo]

Ryan M Moore · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 35

I prefer MUA or camp slime. That way when they "relocate" the bear we can start our collective bitching afresh about how they got rid of him and now we have to pay $20 a night for the new bear and either have to reserve him weeks in advance wit no refund or go without him.

Nolan Huther · · Clarkson University · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 602
Mark L wrote:

We need to give him a name.

Hans

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

fed bear is a dead bear :( humans suck sometimes.....

Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 140

Definitely Hans.

Doug Meneke · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 10

A name?  O' bother.  Winnie if it's a male.  Maybe Winnie if it's a female.  It's not a wonderful thing...but I still like them a lot.  ttfn.  (some of you will get all of that.  I feel sorry for the rest of you.)

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

winnie or poo works  regardless of  gender...

JSH · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 960

There are plenty of techniques for dealing with food, packs, and bears.  

The problem is that climbers at the Gunks have never needed them, and even if a broad campaign were initiated today, it would be probably years until no pack contained food.  Until then, the bear(s) will be endangered, because as Nick said, a fed bear is a dead bear.  Unfortunate, but true.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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