What is your most memorable wildlife sighting?


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mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 11, 2019 - 03:36pm PT
By far the Forum's most captivating current thread to have a good sitdown/read.

"donini's shot hits nothing but net, the guanacos win!"

"But what a great team effort, too!"

I liked Larry Nelson's tale of saving Penelope the rabbit...cool.

Mountain climber
Timbers of Fennario
Jan 11, 2019 - 04:11pm PT
Seeing a frog pasted on the wall about 700 feet up the Zodiac was memorable. Got me thinking if it was born up there or climbed up. Being woken up by a mountain lion creeping around the crash pad we were df keeping on just outside of Ouray was unforgettable. Wow, bottom of the food chain is adrenaline inducing.

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Jan 11, 2019 - 04:44pm PT
MB, did you see the rare Buff-breasted Bedthrasher there?

Okay, I snorted coffee up my nose. Well played, sir.

Mountain climber
Timbers of Fennario
Jan 11, 2019 - 06:42pm PT
My friend Chonk got this picture while kayaking on of the forks of the American. Golden eagle caught a fawn. Those birds are huge.

Credit: originalpmac

A long way from where I started
Jan 11, 2019 - 07:35pm PT
Somewhere upthread I mentioned an encounter with Lester.

We actually met him more than once, with the first time being probably the most memorable -- in an "Oh F*#k! I'm gonna die!!!" way.

We'd heard that if one cut off the trail halfway up to Snow Creek Wall one could find an amazing collection of 1- and 2-pitch cracks on perfect granite. So, up we went...

And, yes, it looked like we'd scored. Lovely tier of cliffs, split with boatloads of cracks. But, as we got closer, we realized we weren't alone. Two young guys were racing down the trail toward us, at speed. Young, and scared witless. They told us of a huge goat that had charged them, and were clearly thankful to be getting away alive.

Hmmm... What to do?

Well, the goat wasn't charging down the trail after them with black lightning shooting from his hooves and horns, so we decided to at least wander up to the base of the cliffs and check things out. Maybe the demon goat would be long gone.

And so it appeared. The base of the crag was just like the base of any other alpine crag. No monsters in view. So we roped up, and Mari set off up the most appealing line.

And then, with her about 20 meters up, the monster appeared.

The biggest mountain goat I'd ever seen appeared over the high point of the trail and started down toward me. The mountain goat that had charged two big guys... So, of course, I did what any of you would have done. Started screaming at Mari to stuff in a couple of pieces and tie off, so that I could...

...could what? Try to outrun the devil's mountain goat in rough terrain?

But it was useless. Before Mari could get an anchor, the goat was on me...


...he looked at me for a minute and then lay down at my feet, snoozing and chewing his cud.

Think about it. He was probably twice my size, had horns that could rip the entire side off your car with no effort at all, and had already aggressively chased off some other climbers. I was pretty much convinced I was going to die, and could only hope that Mari would be able to tie off to something in the crack and wouldn't starve to death while waiting until he went away.

But all he wanted to do was hang out with a friend and catch some rest.

I guess I caught his vibe, cuz I unfroze and told Mari I was back on belay. She finished the pitch with Lester snoozing at my feet, and then set up a rap to come back down. As she approached the ground, my new friend woke up and...

Lester don't care, but she don't want her face on the internet.
Lester don't care, but she don't want her face on the internet.
Credit: Ghost
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 12, 2019 - 07:32am PT
He should be known as Lester The Molester, don't ya think?
You have a calming effect on beasties if Tulum the iguana is any sort of an odd almost a yardstick.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 12, 2019 - 07:47am PT
Lester the Local. Nice rock, Ghost.

Jan 12, 2019 - 09:36am PT
Hauling ass downhill in Gila NF NM on our tandem bike to get to the bivy, almost dark, hooves thundering in a field alongside us, then over the fence onto the road as we navigated between large elk bodies traversing the road. One last youngster was reticent to jump, but finally did with some encouragement from the others. No documentation, no other witnesses, just a magic moment.

We saw puma, moose, badger, antelope, deer, elk, bobcat, coyote, bald eagle, fox, and others on just that one trip. Beyond cool to share that stuff with the old lady in real time. Five bald eagles on one sand bar in ID, crazy.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 12, 2019 - 09:40am PT
Being surrounded by 80,000 puffins buzzing like bees this summer was pretty cool.
Watching the White-tailed Eagles gobbling them wasnt but its a oneness.

A long way from where I started
Jan 12, 2019 - 09:35pm PT
You have a calming effect on beasties if Tulum the iguana is any sort of an odd almost a yardstick.

I am the Iguana Whisperer.
I am the Iguana Whisperer.
Credit: Ghost

Trad climber
Jan 12, 2019 - 09:41pm PT
A man and his lizard are never soon parted

Social climber
Jan 12, 2019 - 10:11pm PT
hey there say, ghost... wow, love that 'goat story' and its great photo...

say, will try to find a photo to add:

once, just strolling the backfield, bit of woods...
a friend and, we saw a baby fawn, right AT our feet, :O

and-- knew enough to 'soak the beauty' in by eyes and left...
will NEVER forget it... did not have a camera, in those days...
(michigan) ...

then-- a few years back, the neighgor had a 'partly' limping'
deer just 'show up in his backyard, a few houses next door here,
to 'sleep the night' and then, left later in the morning...

wow-- just seeing in the yard, trusting for a 'safe haven' was
very nice... we never knew where it went from there...

can be sad here-- many deer are 'stuck' in the city mesh of roads, :(

where there are many patches of woods, but, not enough for
their best interest...

these were very nice memories...
and, then-- the local on the way home night,
where three VERY LARGE deer and two babes, RAN in from of my
car, missing be by about 2? feet... as i was going about 18 miles per

they were spectacular and even more so-- as not being a 'hit' from the side...

they ran into the lawn of the apartments and later, by the time i came back
to REALLY enjoy them, the folks there said they have--

gone through the building and down into the bit of wilderness near the lake...

oh my....

Social climber
Jan 12, 2019 - 11:35pm PT

Credit: hamie

Social climber
Jan 12, 2019 - 11:51pm PT
In 2016 I was back in Indonesia working in southwest Sumatra. I had to go to this mostly unpleasant 6 am morning meeting. There was this 3 km stretch of road cut like an open wound through the hutan that we had to drive every morning. The forestry department would run thick manila ropes across the road so the gibbons could cross, but the locals would always steal the ropes and it never seemed like it was priority to anyone to keep them up. Quite often we would we hear gibbons usually coming to meeting, though sometimes in better light on the way back. I would hoot back to them and they would seemingly hoot back to me. I like to believe they recognized me after a time. If the hooting was close enough, Id have the driver stop and I was always gob smacked when I saw one and of course sad: Sad that the road was there, that I was there, and that the world is done full up with people and as such a lot of beauty in this world is going to pass into oblivion in at least in the here and now. The Sony RXII camera I had never really performed that well in the rainforest and the gibbons were always furtive and, on the move, as soon as I was within a reasonable shooting distance. I only ever got one true shot of one; and it is a lousy picture. The gibbon is in the lower left middle moving in the tree.

Credit: krahmes

Sonoma County
Jan 15, 2019 - 05:25pm PT
this little pygmy owl eating a chipmunk on the skintrack at Lassen NP last month.

Credit: splitclimber

Jan 15, 2019 - 06:23pm PT
Killer thread!

The Good Places
Jan 15, 2019 - 06:39pm PT
Hey mike. you should splain a little more about that tandem trip: what kinda bikey setup? terminal points? best segments?

Jan 16, 2019 - 09:23am PT
Hey, TBcowboy, it was a simple, slow tour down the US Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (mostly dirt roads) ~2400 mi from the Canadian to Mexico border (Roosville MT to Antelope Wells NM) in 61 days nice way to spend a rainy summer with your babe.

Sort of a TR:

We cached our favorite morsels in five cities, but no need for it. So much of it is good, hard to pinpoint the standout riding. Everything, including the people/excluding Helena, in Montana is worthy; Great Basin WY was surreal; so much good in CO once away from Breck. Gila NF and the desert in NM is good in its own way. A bunch of 200-mi sections could be called classic, and I guess it depends on what sort of terrain one likes. I did a shakedown from Grants to Separ NM. The mapsets by Adventure Cycling Association for the route are second to none, mandatory for planning a chunk. Cheers...

Back on topic... Bugling elk on the Front Range CO
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