Since I was up at the summit so early, there weren't other bikers or trail runners around. I descended the mountain the same way I had come, quickly, hoping that the bear was not alerted to my presence. I checked over my shoulder a couple of times to make sure that I wasn't being followed. I was relieved when I got back to the lower trails where there were plenty of bikers and dog walkers.
Since 2015 I have been running the Cumberland Mountain trail system. I had seen posters with cougar and bear warnings, but had never had an encounter or even spotted one. I had seen evidence of them like tracks and dung. My only other encounters with bears while on trail runs were on the Pipe Line Trail north of the Stotan Falls bridge, and the Cape Scott Park trail on northern Vancouver Island. In those incidences I was making enough noise that they knew I was there, and they took off.
The best way to avoid bear encounters while trail running:
- Make noise; sing, shout, wear bear bells.
- Use trails frequented by dog walkers (dogs mark their territory).
- Avoid trails where berries are ripe.