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munckee


Apr 26, 2004, 7:56 AM
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Bears in the winds...  (North_America: United_States: Wyoming: Western_Wy_: Wind_River)
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What are people's experiences with hanging food, etc?


brianinslc


Apr 26, 2004, 8:07 AM
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What are people's experiences with hanging food, etc?

My experience with hanging food in the Windy's is that them bears are purty durn smart....

We hung our food bag at least 10 feet off the ground, suspended between a boulder and a tree limb, about 8 feet or so from each. Bear must have seen (and smelled, of course) the bag, climbed up the boulder (no mean feat), launched into the air, and in downward flyby, shredded the bag. Unbelievable. Needless to say, 4 or 5 day trip, first night, no food.

Bold little bugger. As we were figuring out what to do, he walked right into our camp. Chased him off with a few well placed rocks.

Shadow Lake, btw.

Bear boxes work the best, if they are available. Also, try to make sure your food is sealed well. What bit us (ha ha), was some summer sausage we'd opened then not put back in a zip lock but just wrapped closed with the original wrapper. If they can't smell it, they probably won't go for it, no matter how poorly its hung. Although, they are curious little buggers...

And...bear drool stinks way bad...

My thought is, if you can hang it, the smart motivated ones will get it. But, the harder you make it, the better so...

Brian in SLC


vulgarian


Apr 26, 2004, 8:12 AM
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Last time I was there we just used a tree - high skinny branch that cubs can't get to.

Take pepper spray - the last time I was there 10 years ago a bear killed some guy a few miles to the south of us the week before. My friend who was there a few years ago said a bear walked right into camp while he and his wife were sitting on a log not six feet away. The bear swiped with its paw at a backpack and opened it up like a surgeon and then proceeded to eat an orange that was in the pack. They just sat there frozen until it walked off.

I also remember warnings posted by climbers that stated they had been having trouble with a bear they reportedly said could climb 5.12.

Beautiful country - are you going to the Cirque of Towers?


boulderman


Apr 26, 2004, 8:20 AM
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Bear canisters


munckee


Apr 26, 2004, 1:40 PM
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Thanks for the replies guys. I'm gettins some mixed responses though. The guys over at backpacker.com seem to think that bears aren't much of an issue above treeline.

http://forums.backpacker.com/thread.jsp?forum=15&thread=41104&start=0&msRange=15

Please keep in mind, I'm not trying to start a "he said, she said" argument or a comparison of the two forums; I'm simply trying to get the best info possible so I'll be prepared for the trip.


floridaputz


Apr 26, 2004, 1:56 PM
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I second, bear canisters are the best. Bears seem to have evolved when it comes to getting your food. It's important to leave the canister on the ground around camp. Don't hang it. The theory is that if he gets the canister by guile, he will run off with it and try to open it somewhere and you will never find it. (even though it's not opened). If left around the campsite, he (or she) will bat it around but leave it where he found it. At places like the cirque, he bears are very smart.


brianinslc


Apr 26, 2004, 1:59 PM
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In reply to:
Thanks for the replies guys. I'm gettins some mixed responses though. The guys over at backpacker.com seem to think that bears aren't much of an issue above treeline.

http://forums.backpacker.com/thread.jsp?forum=15&thread=41104&start=0&msRange=15

Please keep in mind, I'm not trying to start a "he said, she said" argument or a comparison of the two forums; I'm simply trying to get the best info possible so I'll be prepared for the trip.

Sounds like some of them fellers ain't never been in them hills a'fore...

You camp in trees, even in the Cirque. There's bear boxes at Big Sandy lake, which also has trees... Shadow lake has trees.

Bears go where the food is. If you camp above treeline, and there's bears around who are habituated to people food, they'll come to you.

They also munch a ton of stuff that grows above tree line. A friend watched a grizzly in Glacier NP way above tree line, in an alpine meadow, dig its claws into the grass, roll over onto its back which pulled up the sod like rollin' a carpet. Then the bear ate the bulbs on the underside of the sod. Pretty cool to watch.

Brian in SLC


brianinslc


Apr 26, 2004, 2:16 PM
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In reply to:
Thanks for the replies guys. I'm gettins some mixed responses though. The guys over at backpacker.com seem to think that bears aren't much of an issue above treeline.

Here's a couple of shots...note the "treeline"...

Hiking to the Cirque from Deep Lake...

http://mtncommunity.org/...408d7af87a6e84b7.jpg

Note the trees at the base of Pingora...

Deep Lake looking toward Steeple...

http://mtncommunity.org/...408d7b0e7a6f0dc0.jpg

Note the trees at the Lake. You wouldn't really camp any higher than the lake...

And, not that it matters. Bears go where food is, regardless of trees.

Yee haaa...

Brian in SLC


vulgarian


Apr 26, 2004, 3:06 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Thanks for the replies guys. I'm gettins some mixed responses though. The guys over at backpacker.com seem to think that bears aren't much of an issue above treeline.

Here's a couple of shots...note the "treeline"...

Hiking to the Cirque from Deep Lake...

http://mtncommunity.org/...408d7af87a6e84b7.jpg

Note the trees at the base of Pingora...

Deep Lake looking toward Steeple...

http://mtncommunity.org/...408d7b0e7a6f0dc0.jpg

Note the trees at the Lake. You wouldn't really camp any higher than the lake...

And, not that it matters. Bears go where food is, regardless of trees.

Yee haaa...

Brian in SLC

True that. Nice pics, I need to get back there.

The only thing I can add about bear cannisters (and I did carry one on a week trip in the Sierra) is that they are heavier than hell. Turned out we didn't even need 'em. The local bears were feeding on a dead horse. (Not that we could have known that) Still - freak'n heavy.


zacrobinson


Apr 26, 2004, 3:13 PM
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I was there last summer and we were in the northern half of the wind river range. We spent most of our time above treeline. And by above treeline I mean we went 4-5 days seeing nothing taller than 2'. We did not have a bear canister and from talking to locals and others in the region, it seemed like bears weren't much of a concern.

I don't know if we were lucky or if there just arent many bears where we were. It seems that the Cirque is a little more popular thus becoming more of a "bear hotspot"

Good luck with everything and be safe.


sarcat


Apr 26, 2004, 3:26 PM
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Watch out for Yogi and Bobo. They're in them hills and will find your food eventually. Make it a game to see they never get it. What ever you do make it anti skunk, raccoon and porcupine also.


nthusiastj


Apr 26, 2004, 3:28 PM
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We hung our food during our 4 day stay at the Cirque. Most of the other groups there did too. No problems with bears and plenty of places to bag high enough.


munckee


Apr 26, 2004, 5:31 PM
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Thanks guys. Looks like we'll be hanging our food. Don't really want to pay for or carry canisters.


roambb1


Mar 29, 2005, 6:44 AM
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We were in the Winds in September 03, camping around the pass heading into the Circue from the lake. Lots of evidence of bear activity, (scat, tracks) and we did have bear canisters. We left the cannisters on the ground, about 50 yards from camp, and hung the remaining food in a backpack at least 30 feet off the ground in a tree. The next morning, the cannisters had been moved around, prints everywhere, but no luck for the bear. The backpack in the tree... Schredded, still hanging, food spilled on the ground. I have no idea how the bear go to it, but he did. Go with the cannisters. And be cautious, and use proper bear techniques when camping and hiking. In Lander, at the outdoor/hunting shop, we were told of Griz sightings by hunters, etc. At the time, I didn't think that Griz had made it back to the Winds, but rumor said that they had. I'm pretty sure that our friend was a Black though.
Amazing Place.


ddriver


Mar 29, 2005, 7:08 AM
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In 03 we ran into some locals from Rock Springs who are hunters. They also stated that Griz are in the Winds, and down to South Pass if I remember correctly. Also said that they had a Griz dehead one of their pack horses in the Wyoming/Salt River Range not too far from Kemmerer. That said, it seems that the Blacks are the typical culprits for breaking into camps and hold-ups on the trails. I have yet to use a cannister for food, just good housekeeping and hang-em-high strategy. Keep a clean camp and tent, immediately clean up and store all food and utensils in your bear bag or cannister. Dogs may discourage their visits.


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