Thursday, July 14, 2011

Unmarked Obstacles Exist

This morning I was doing a little reading when a tweet from @planetski announced: Wild boars cause disruption in Austria. 

Curiously, there's been a little Wild Boar Buzz on @CorduroyPlanet's horizons this week.TV Chef Anthony Bourdain's Travel Channel Show began airing new episodes this week, and I stumbled upon an episode of "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern" devoted entirely to the feral pigs. I heard a wild boar recipe on the KFBK Outdoor Show recently. You could say there's been wild boar background noise on CorduroyPlanet lately.

So I clicked on the Austrian Wild Boars story...that's where I found the Bears and Wolves in Switzerland story, and that lead me to the Skier Falls Into Bear's Den story.

Say what? You're skiing along, minding your own business, and wham! you fall through the piste onto a hibernating bear? Talk about bad luck! We're gonna need a sign for that...

My Mountain has a couple of bears. We see them, or rather their paw prints early in the season before winter really sets in and the bears retire to their dens to hibernate. We see them again in the Spring when they wake up and set out for breakfast. Again we usually know they're about when we happen upon their tracks. It seems to me that it's been at least five years since I've seen a bear in the, fur.

Back then it was a Winter that was having trouble getting started...we were still making snow into January for the terrain parks and super pipe. The local bruins were taking their damn sweet time bedding down for their hibernation. My Mountain has a day lodge midway up the mountain where there's a small dumpster that serves the cafeteria kitchen and bar.

On the night in question, as I was passing the midway lodge, the lid of the little dumpster blew open, and Mama Bear with a cub exploded out of the dumpster, and they hightailed it down the hill and into the woods. They are surprisingly fast, but now that I give it a little thought, they were running on groomed man-made snow, not squeaky freshly fallen wild snow.

Jamaican World and Olympic Record Holder in the 100M and 200M, Usain Bolt could outrun mama bear for a few hundred meters, but I'm pretty sure that bears are more like Endurance Athletes...think The Tortoise and The Hare. I couldn't gain on the bear at full stick in my speed, what? 12mph?

Over the years I have seen a fair amount of wildlife on My Mountain...coyotes are the most common, of course. Squirrels, porcupines, I saw a weasel in it's winter coat, white fur with black tips on his tail and ears. One of my guys saw a mountain lion or bobcat once, he couldn't be sure which.

The Austrian Wild Boar story didn't give me any idea of what elevation the feral pigs were diggin'. Just know exotic interlopers, should a wild tusker root it's way outta the woods onto My Mountain, I'd find a way to waylay it and turn the tusky tourist into the main course of a slopeside luau! Break out the CP Beach Balls!

Zimmern said the wild boar are much tastier than the domestic porkers...pass the poi and pupus. Mahalo.

1 comment:

  1. Don't believe it! Bears can outrun and out manuver any human pod. I've seen dumpster lids, vehicles, doors torn to shreds by the strength of a bear.

    On my traverses a la pied in the forest, I've seen lots of rooting signs of bear lately. I make enough noise for them to scoot along (hopefully) before I encounter them.

    The little cubs can be very curious and that is what tends to lead to encounters with the Mama Bear. That and lack of food resources which leads them to the snacks that we leave for them in our trash cans at the curbs, or in our cars, or in our back packs.

    Hey, who doesn't like processed, easily accessbile food stuffs? Only "they" get killed for intruding into the human pod realm.

    Grizzlies have been sighted in Wyoming again. I know there is several demes in the Eastern Washington, Canada, Montana area. Again, geographical seperation has pretty much contributed to their slow demise.

    Go BEARS!