A Bear Climbed Half Dome!

Bears are great climbers; it’s a fact.

That’s what makes it a terrible idea to climb a tree in a bear encounter. Now it turns out, if you want to escape a pursuing bear by climbing Yosemite’s Half Dome, you’re also barking up the wrong tree.

Yosemite National Park rangers recently discovered evidence that a black bear summitted the iconic formation.

There’s no evidence it climbed the Regular Route — but the park pointed out the ursine visitor probably didn’t need the famous cables to scamper up the back side.

“Yosemite bears are excellent climbers and can easily tackle the 46° angle, no cables needed!” The park said on Instagram.


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The park used the occasion to remind visitors of bear safety fundamentals. (Don’t leave your food out, don’t run if you see one.) And, it said, bears reach places you might not expect.

It reminded me of a totally different Bear’s Reach.

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents’ evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.