A Mountain Lion Encounter on the Pacific Crest Trail
Case Conover, writing for the Sierra Magazine, tells this short and chilling story about being stalked by a cougar on the PCT.
I tried to sleep but couldn’t. Whatever it was kept circling the tent for hours. I yelled, whistled, banged my pot, even played Tom Petty on my phone at full blast. Then I heard something running toward my tent and skidding to a stop. It was 1:20 A.M. This was starting to freak me out.
I thought about my options. Part of me wanted to stay in the relative comfort of my tent. Maybe I should make a fire?
Like him, I've always wondered whether it's safer to stay in your tent and make noise, or to make a fire.
He was smart to pack camp and seek the company of other hikers camping down-trail, something we don't always have the option to do.
“Sorry to bother you . . . but there's an animal here.”