VIDEO: Bear spotted on the slopes at Beaver Creek Mountain

It’s that time of year when bears wake up from a long winter’s nap

A bear walks up Lower Peregrine trail on Beaver Creek Mountain on Tuesday.
Eric Phannenstiel/Courtesy photo

A black bear got a powder day at Beaver Creek. Several skiers and snowboarders reported seeing the bear on the trails and in the woods on Tuesday.

At about 1:15 p.m., Eric Phannenstiel of EagleVail was on the Birds of Prey lift (No. 9) going over Lower Peregrine trail when he saw a bear going up the hill.

“The bear was just trekking up the slope, underneath the snow guns, and it had a pretty good gait going,” Phannenstiel said.

“It looked like it just woke up, rubbed its eyes, looked around and said, ‘Where the heck am I?’ I had just enough time to pull out my phone and get some video of it before it was out of my line of sight,” Phannenstiel said.

Izzy Ganley of Minturn was also skiing near the Birds of Prey lift (No. 9) on Tuesday and spotted the bear while enjoying the powder with her friends, Julian Ishii and Steve Gass.

“I saw the bear when I was dropping into the woods off of the catwalk by the bottom of the lift,” Ganley said.

“Steve and I were about to drop in when I saw a big, fuzzy thing move behind a big pine tree, and I yelled at Steve to stop. It startled me a bit because we were going to ski a line right next to the bear, and Julian had dropped into the woods before us about 100 yards back.”

Ganley was excited to see a bear, because she hasn’t seen one in Colorado since she moved here.

“I’ve seen black bears, but only when I lived in Maryland; they’re all over the place there,” Ganley said.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has many resources about living with wildlife and bears in particular. According to its website, black bears are not naturally aggressive, but are strong, powerful animals. If you do encounter a bear, CPW has these tips:

  • Stand still, stay calm and let the bear identify you and leave. Be sure the bear has an escape route..
  • Never run or climb a tree
  • If you see cubs, the mother is close by. Leave the area immediately.

The bears are waking up hungry this time of year, so do your part not to attract bears to food sources that are not a part of their natural habitat. Many mountain towns and communities urge residents to be aware and take precautions to avoid human/wildlife interaction.

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