The bear(s) went over the mountain…

2006-07-07 08:12:08.000 – Jim Salge,  Observer

They took the cog down!

The reasons why people decide to climb mountains can range from ‘because it was there’ to deeply personal reasons. The reason why a bear would climb a mountain though has long been settled in childhood song…’to see what he could see.’ But still, despite the longstanding forewarning that the bear would someday come over the mountain, it was still quite surprising to look down off the observation deck and see a mother bear and THREE cubs bounding over the rocks yesterday!

Large animals have been seen from time to time on the mountain, and there are fairly legendary pictures of moose and bears up here, but sightings are extremely rare in the rugged landscape above treeline. It therefore seems very odd that a sow would bring her cubs up to the peak, but none the less, there they were. Mother bear was leading, and the three cubs were evenly spaced in route trailing behind, heading from the Gulfside Trail over to the Nelson Crag trail. Once they got over to the cog, they hopped on the trestle and walked on the tracks all the way down to the trees. At one point one of the cubs fell through the tracks, but it quickly climbed back up to join the group.

Usually, such an event would draw a big crowd, but only Bill from state and I were awake to see them. I have been thoroughly razzed though as to why I didn’t wake anyone else up. That’s always a tough judgment call, as I’ve had mixed responses for epic sunrises and auroras. The new standing rule on the summit, all staff shall be awakened in case of fire and baby animals!

The rest of the day yesterday was spent in bright sunshine until 4:01PM, and for an explanation as to why, see yesterday’s comment. After shift, the interns and I climbed down to Tux to say goodbye to the snow (and skis) for the season, and for a full write up on that, see Dan’s comment tomorrow (just for the guys at How’s that for a teaser!

And lastly, there are only a few weeks now before Seek the Peak, the Mount Washington Observatory’s annual fundraiser/Hike-a-thon, scheduled this year for July 22nd. Be sure to get your registrations in early to ensure your goodie bag and event t-shirt. For full details on this great event, click here!


Jim Salge,  Observer

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