Rock Climbing Bears

Mothers with youngsters or cubs – do not attempt this at home!

Endangered Mexican Black Bears (mother and cub) climb Santa Elena Canyon wall surface, March 21, 2014. I spotted them while I was kayaking and also wish to show you my nature caring, rock climbing, dramatic satisfaction.

Adventure Sports: Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is a sport, which involves climbing steep rocks. This sport originated in the nineteenth century in Saxony, Lake District of England. After Walter Parry Haskett Smith climbed Napes Needle alone for the first time, many people were attracted and it later converted to sports in England, in 1880s and by 1930s some two hundred climbing resorts opened in the Elbsandstein region. As the sport evolved grading system was introduced to analyze different levels of difficulties while climbing. Both the safety equipments and climbing techniques have been evolved with the passage of time.

A climber should be mentally and physically be strong to overcome difficulties and having extensive knowledge can make the task easier. Initially the climbers can learn in pairs, while one learns to climb the other can belay or feed the rope from either end of the rock structure. Incase the climber falls, the belayer can lock off the rope. When multiple climbers climb, the leader can connect a rope with carabiners or quickdraws as a protection measure. A more risky method, simul-climbing, involves the leader and the team members to move at the same time, giving less time to belay the rope.

There are many variations to the traditional rock climbing. They can be broadly classified into free climbing and aid climbing. Climbers do not use any kind of equipment in free climbing and in aid climbing; equipments are used to support the weight of the body against the rocks, which have less natural formation.

In lead climbing, the leader of the group of climber ties the rope to his body and starts to climb the rock structure first, followed by his other team members who have the same rope tied to their individual bodies. In traditional lead climbing, the leader places bolts into the rock to ascend and the followers use the same bolts. The cleaner is responsible to remove the bolts so that no trace is left of the path taken. If any of the climbers’ slips or falls, they will lower themselves on to the ground to start over again, instead on resting on the rope.

In sport lead climbing, bolts are already laid into the rocks so the leader doesn’t have to carry extra equipment with him. But in this case, there is a risk of bolts rusting as they are laid before hand, and if precaution isn’t taken it can be dangerous. If any of the climbers falls, he will rest on the rope and will try to climb again.

When a rope is suspended from an anchor, which is placed on the top of the rock structure, this technique of climbing is known as top rope climbing. This involves a solo climber who is belayed from either the top or the bottom of the hill.

Short climbs on tough boulders is known as bouldering. Some climbers use safety ropes, which are dropped above them and some, find bouldering mat more useful. In case a climber falls, spotting from the ground level by other climbers can break his fall.

Solo climbing involves a single climber who uses rope and protection devices to get to the top of the stone structure. Free solo climbing involves a single climber who uses nothing but natural features of the rock formation to ascend.

Since rock climbing has become more of a lifestyle now, indoor climbing has been on the rise. It is also a good way to get started. An environment is created indoor with the help of wood, plastic and fiberglass.

Rock climbing can be hazardous from environment point of view. Because bolts are driven into the rocks, this can be really harmful if done on a large scale. Other than this, soil erosion, garbage, human excretion, damage to native plants by introduction of foreign plant which grow from the seeds brought by clothing and shoes, etc. are other possible harmful effects. To reduce these effects, it is recommended to practice clean climbing.

Rock Climbing Bears
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32 Responses to Rock Climbing Bears

  1. PaleoDino72

    Where in Santa Elena were they?

    • Stephanie Latimer

      Overhang Camp, is what the local river folks called spot in the Santa Elena
      Canyon where I spotted these bears.

  2. Stephanie Latimer

    Oh my goodness, thank you all for sharing the excitement of this moment
    with me. I enjoyed reading your commentary, and love that so many of you
    are nearly as moved by the experience as me. I have more photos and
    footage taken of the bears that day (all of which I left with Big Bend
    National Park), and some of which I may post here at some point. For those
    of you who didn’t enjoy my commentary, please understand that I recorded
    this footage at about 200 to 300 feet from the bears, in a relatively
    narrow canyon, while alone, with no way out but a kayak on maybe 2 foot of
    water (which was between me and the bears), and the whole encounter was
    extremely intense for me. For those wondering about the height at which
    the bears were climbing above the canyon floor, I actually do have footage
    showing that, but it needs to be slowed down before sharing, as it was
    taken in too much of a hurry. I would just estimate that the bears were at
    150 to 200 feet. They were high enough, that the ground and the bears were
    too much to fit on my screen at once at my distance. I can say that if
    they had fallen to the rocky crags, below real damage would have been done,
    probably to me and them. I don’t know anything about rock climbing terms
    or lingo, so I cannot answer those questions. I am just so very glad and
    grateful to have lived the experience and survived to share it. Happy
    watching, and may you all have many merry and equally moving adventures of
    your own!

    • Joy Awesome Life

      Hi Amazing video, Please Please Check Your Inbox,
      Video Manager>Community>Inbox
      Thank You

    • manuel Ramos

      Thanks for sharing this made my day! Never give up.

    • Chetan Bhadrashette

      I loved your commentary!! Wish every commentary on NatGeo were like this.

    • Some Punk

      +Stephanie Latimer that’s awesome. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Goat

      Great catch! Ecologist Chris Morgan who specializes in bears (NG article
      05/05/11), has documented this as well. People don’t realize how
      nimble bears can be.


    why would they go out of their way to climb a cliff that’s almost at a 90
    degree angle, that is just strange.

    • Vidoes4Less

      It wasn’t 90 degrees. I’m sure it was the angle that the camera was pointed
      that made the mountain seem steeper than it is.

    • Stephanie Latimer

      +Vidoes4Less Actually, it was coming out at them… Baby bear had to find a
      new path because he couldn’t reach over the rim rock over his head… The
      wall he chose after was 90 degrees. I’m no professional… I wouldn’t know
      the first thing about doctoring an image, much less footage. Still, I
      support people finding explanations they are most comfortable with.

    • Jeffrey Walters

      +Stephanie Latimer Excellent video and commentary Stephanie.Thank you for
      sharing it,as we have many American Black Bear here where I’m from in the
      Linville Gorge Wilderness Area,in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North

    • Dexxter

      +Stephanie Latimer . I doubt people are saying you doctored the image.
      However if you were using zoom, which is highly likely, then all distances
      appear shorter than what they actually are. This also has the effect of
      making slopes appear steeper than they actually are. I think that is what
      Videos4Less meant.

  4. miguelidcomm

    Nice :)

  5. Amit Kumar


  6. Luciano Dematos

    wow this new to me. thanks

  7. Fremen Warrior

    Actually, great credit is due to the Mexican ranchers in the northern part
    of the Mexican state of Coahuila for having declared the whole area a
    protected wild life area. That allowed the black bear population to rebound
    in Coahuila and later, a few years ago they began spotting black bears for
    the first time in decades on the U.S. side in the Big Bend National Park
    thanks to that effort. The black bears in Coahuila rebounded and some
    actually crossed the border into the U.S. I guess if Trump builds his
    stupid wall things like this and the appearance of Jaguars in Arizona will
    be a thing of the past.

  8. Jay J

    Reminds me of my mother in law sneaking on me climbing this mountan at my
    bachelor party up in the colorado mountains. Lol

  9. OpporTUNAty *

    Why are you whispering, they can’t hear you…..(in a soft voice).
    (Whispering)…your crazyyyyyyy!!!!

    • kahsus

      because this is how a classy person speak :]

  10. George rosado

    that was amazing.. thanks for sharing

  11. Connie Wu

    Good climbers!

    • Farsan Farsan

      I love you beby

  12. Sir Lancelot

    What an awesome video. Never saw anything like that before. Thanks for
    sharing Stephanie…;)

  13. Peter Henriksen

    bad parenting

  14. Diego Visoso

    just do it!!

  15. Dirk Dread

    Go on little one!!! You can do it!!! Hahaha. That made my day!!

  16. Alexander F.

    WHAT?! That is freaking unbelievable!! But, also just f’ing cool!!

  17. gone fishin

    cool bears

  18. rtd237891

    if you thought you could get away from a Bear by climbing a cliff think
    again !

  19. 박빈우

    kya~ better than human !!!

  20. Gee to Hock

    Thank god the baby bear made it

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