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Bears in the Cirque of the Towers?
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By Joe "Big Boi" Osterman
From Milwaukee, Wisconsin
May 7, 2013
Devils Lake
Just wondering what the latest situation is concerning bears in the Cirque of the Towers. I have heard and read some conflicting statements about their presence and I', wondering what their presence has been like the last couple of summer seasons. I've also read some conflicting statements about food storage in the cirque. Hoping to get some feedback on this, my trip is in August. Thanks!

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By Brian Scoggins
From Eugene, OR
May 7, 2013
The Wind River Range is bear country. Its also wilderness, so nobody is actively addressing any habituation caused by human presence. You will need to hang a bear bag below treeline, and use a bear canister above tree line. The trees in the Winds don't typically allow for good bear bag hanging, so the canisters may be the better option anyway. Obviously, follow good bear protocol, specifically, don't cook or eat in your camp, keep food or other smellables in your tent, or do such things near other people's camps. Carry bear-spray if you're concerned about attacks, it is grizzly country.

To the best of my knowledge, this state of affairs has not appreciably changed in 20 years.

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By Grizzly Jane
From Story,WY
May 7, 2013
Climbing at Post Creek Falls in January 2013
Yep, Brian is right with everything he said. Take your bear spray!

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By Jaren Watson
From Rexburg, Idaho
May 7, 2013
While it's always wise to adopt bear-safe procedures, the pressing concerns for the cirque in August are marmots and mosquitoes. If you happen to see a bear in the cirque, consider yourself lucky. You'll be one of the few to have ever done so. Further north in the range: that's another story.
The trail to the cirque, particularly in August, is well-traveled. You may stumbled across black bears (even this is unlikely), but they'll leave you alone if you leave them alone. I've heard of a couple of black bears looking for food in camp near the cirque, but, again, hanging your food properly is sufficient prevention.
Take bear spray if it makes you feel more comfortable, but, while just my opinion, taking canisters is unnecessarily cautious and extra weight.
Have a great trip. Do NOT forget mosquito repellent.

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By Brian Threlkeld
From Portland, Maine
May 7, 2013
I was up there in early July last year (2012) and we didn't see a single bear or really any signs of bear for that matter. The mosquitoes were bad, but not horrendous. Bring a head net and find a campsite that has some good exposure to wind and you'll be alright. We brought bear canisters and slept well and climbed well knowing we had that extra food protection. Just my two cents...

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By Cor
May 7, 2013
black nasty
Yo BIG,

I have been to the cirque for many August now.
Never seen a bear.
Never carry bear spray.
Never take a bear container.

This is with many years of going there, hanging my food wherever I can.
(Which might not be very high up in the cirque..)

To all the folks telling you otherwise... They do have a point, but have they ever
had encounters?

C

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By Emmett Lyman
From Washington, DC
May 7, 2013
Personal photo
We saw one (black bear) a couple hundred yards from our campsite in the Cirque last July but (s)he didn't bother us. We rigged makeshift bear bags on the bigger boulders and never lost any food - I wouldn't be overly concerned so long as you're familiar with camping in bear country. I recall that someone told us grizzlies generally stay north of the Cirque...

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By builttospill
May 9, 2013
It takes very little time to hang your food. We used a huge boulder to hang our's a few years ago. It's worth taking some sort of precaution, in my opinion, because it takes very little time. And it would suck pretty bad to cut your trip short if a bear ate your food. Let alone any other consequences.

FWIW, there are bear boxes around Big Sandy Lake on the way in if you stop there for some reason.

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By Name
May 9, 2013
A fed bear is a dead bear. Help keep them out of trouble.

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By dan zika
From jax wy
May 9, 2013
tower fever <br />
10 or 12 years ago wyo G & F put a problem bear down south from teton county glad it was a black bear rubbed up against me while slepping or so I thought rumbled through camps climbed trees to yank down food lines bear was good. They gave it one more chance somewhere else. Land managers choice I guess. Have only seen 1 more in winds a little farther north.
You still have to think about bears but not like in yellowstone

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By Austin Pethan
From Madison, WI
Feb 7, 2014
Crimp Scampi 5.10d
I wouldn't worry about seeing a bear in the Cirque, during the summer. It's out of their range that time of year.

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Feb 7, 2014
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.
Didn't see or hear of bear issues last August, either.

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By Brian in SLC
Feb 7, 2014
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
A few years ago I had a fairly gnarly black bear encounter at Shadow Lake. We'd hung our food really high between a tree and very tall boulder. Little bugger musta climbed up the rock and jumped five or so feet out into space, probably a good ten feet off the ground. Shredded our food bags and ate (or gummed leaving the nastiest smelling saliva) pretty much all of our food. Multi day climbing trip over.

Bold bear. We caught him sleepin' off his food hangover and he woke up and snapped at us. We walked back to camp, and, a few minutes later he followed us and came right in. We dislodged him from the area with a few well tossed rocks, but...the little guy was crazy bold.

Right over the hill from the cirque.

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Feb 7, 2014
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.
That's what you get bringing rum balls to the Cirque, Brian. Sheesh. Bear be crazy for dem rum balls.

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