A veteran ice climber from Great Britain survived a harrowing grizzly bear attack in the woods of Alberta, Canada recently in part by prying the bear’s mouth open.
Greg Boswell, 24, was recovering in a Canadian hospital after he and climbing partner Nick Bolluck, 40, were attacked by the ferocious grizzly bear in deep snow.
The pair had been making their way under nightfall through thick forest to an ice climbing wall on Mount Wilson within Banff National Park when suddenly the bear appeared out of nowhere.
“I spun to watch Greg sprint past me and in hot pursuit was a Grizzly. The bear bounded, pulling and pushing the snow with powerful legs. The snow lapped its belly and didn’t appear to slow it,” Bolluck wrote on his blog.
Speeding past Bolluck, the bear spotted Boswell, who had fallen, and jumped on top of him. Screaming, Boswell kicked at the bear, which managed to bite through his work boot like it was a slipper.
“It lunged once more and crunched into his shin, placing a paw on his other leg before lifting him off the ground,” Bolluck wrote.
Bolluck could hear his climbing partner screaming. “Nick, Nick, help, its got me…” That’s when Boswell reached into the bear’s mouth to pry its jaws apart and release its grip on his leg.
The next thing Bolluck new, his friend was running toward him, ashen face and bleeding. The two gathered their camping gear quickly and headed down a trail only to find that it was the wrong way.
After backtracking for an hour — yes, back toward the offending grizzly bear — they managed to find where they took a wrong turn. Bleeding and worried about the grizzly bear trailing them and any other animals attracted to human blood, the pair were able repel down several rock faces before finally reaching their car after three hours.
It would still be another two hour drive to the hospital.
“All stitched up now and on the mend,” Boswell posted to Facebook as he recovered comfortably enjoying some Grumpy Bear Honey Wheat beer.