This brings into perspective the real danger of being in Grizzly country, and the importance of taking a few simple steps to prevent, or at least minimize, this potential risk.

  1. MAKE NOISE. If the two had been ‘announcing’ themselves (i.e. talking to each, laughing, giving a ‘Hey Bear’ call) the bear would not have been surprised, and most likely, would have left the trail prior to them coming around dead corner.
  2. PLAY DEAD. Although she states she was playing dead, she also stated that when the bear approached she had her hands near its face and neck. This is a threatening posture to bear, and bear consequently took actions against her. Lay face down, hands locked at base of neck, use your elbows and legs to prevent being rolled over.
  3. CARRY BEAR SPRAY. Granted, this situation was a surprise scenario and little time for reaction. However, if he had time to pick up a rock, he had time to use bear spray. Further, she should have had as well and would have had a chance to use it.

This is a hugely unfortunate situation, and we can all be thankful that the two are still alive, and in such good spirits. It is important for all visitors to Yellowstone and Glacier National Park to know how to act in Grizzly Country. The number one rule of making noise would most likely have prevented this whole situation. Our best wishes to a speedy recovery for both of them. Bear spray rental for the two of you on the house if you ever want to come back to Montana!