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 spent his 20s as an adventure rock climber, scampering throughout the western U.S., Mexico, and Thailand to scope out prime stone and great stories. Life on the road gradually transformed into a seat behind the keyboard, where he acted as a founding writer of the AllGear Digital Newsroom and earned 1,500+ bylines in four years on topics from pro rock climbing to slingshots and scientific breakthroughs.