Top British climbers Greg Boswell and Nick Bullock have been hitting social media feeds and mainstream news headlines after fighting off a grizzly bear whilst climbing in the Canadian Rockies yesterday evening. The attack took place high on Mt Wilson, where the bear jumped on Greg and bit into his lower leg.
Writing in his blog, Nick Bullock described the attack:
"Greg fell on his back and watched the monster closing. It jumped. Screaming and shouting, Greg kicked at Ursus arctos horribilis and it bit straight though his brand new boot as if it were a carpet slipper. It lunged once more and crunched into his shin, placing a paw on his other leg before lifting him off the ground. I’m not sure at this point what other people would do, but Boswell is Boswell and the bear just didn’t appreciate this, he grabbed the bear’s mouth and prised apart the jaws, pushing, and screaming… “Nick, Nick, help, it's got me…""
Fortunately, Greg managed to escape from the animal after prising its jaws from his leg, leaving five open wounds which required medical attention.
In a Facebook post, Greg emphasised the role that Nick played in ensuring the pair's survival:
"Despite me actually getting bitten, it was both Nick and I that were attacked. It was just as terrifying for him as it was for me. I literally owe my life to Nick."
"I was in shock after the incident and didn't know what to do. Nick got me out of there and drove me to the hospital! It wasn't a one man mission to stay alive like the media is portraying, it was a friend doing as much as he could in a crazy situation to keep his friend from dying! I probably would have died of hypothermia or blood loss if he hadn't kept me going. My stupid idea was to climb a tree and wait until daylight. 12 hours in -20'c and with some serious bleeding to my lower leg is not the best way to spend the night."
Describing the situation and his feelings after the attack, Greg told UKC:
"The only way I can describe it is, utterly terrifying. I'm in bed now and it's 3am and I can't sleep cause I just keep playing it over in my head! People think it's awesome, they literally have no idea how unbelievably scary it is to think you are going to die any second!"
Read a full account of the attack on Nick's blog.
More information to follow shortly on Greg and Nick's highly successful last week of climbing, which has been somewhat overshadowed by yesterday's events!