Scotland

Climber Greg Boswell 'prised' grizzly's jaws off leg

Greg Boswell
Image caption Greg Boswell, pictured climbing in the Cairngorms in 2012, was attempting a route in the Canadian Rockies when he was attacked

One of Scotland's leading climbers has been attacked by a grizzly bear while climbing in Canada.

Greg Boswell, from Fife, was on a climb in the Rockies when the bear lunged and lifted him off the ground.

His Welsh climbing partner Nick Bullock said Mr Boswell had tried to prise apart the bear's jaws which were clamped round his leg.

Mr Bullock wrote on his blog: "It bit straight though his brand new boot as if it were a carpet slipper."

The pair managed to get away from the bear and eventually made it back down to Banff where Mr Boswell's injuries were treated at the local hospital.

He posted on Facebook that he was "shook up and sore" after the attack.

"I got attacked by a Grizzly bear last night and lived to tell the tale, and to make the 3 hour descent and 2 hour drive to the hospital. All stitched up now and on the mend," he said.

The climbers had been attempting a route on the 3,261m Mount Wilson in the Icefields Parkway and were "bushwhacking through thick forest" when Mr Bullock, from Llanberis, Gwynedd, north Wales, said he saw his partner sprint past with a bear in "hot pursuit".

"The bear bounded, pulling and pushing the snow with powerful legs. The snow lapped its belly and didn't appear to slow it.

Image caption Greg Boswell is viewed as one of the most talented climbers of his generation

"Greg ran out of sight and the carnivorous freight train passed me, snorting and growling and bounding, dusting me with spindrift - it looked at me for a second, and for a second I thought this is it, this is really it, but in that second the bear had spotted Greg had fallen."

Mr Bullock said he ran uphill as fast as he could but could hear Mr Boswell "screaming and shouting" and kicking out at the bear.

"It lunged once more and crunched into his shin, placing a paw on his other leg before lifting him off the ground.

"I'm not sure at this point what other people would do, but Boswell is Boswell and the bear just didn't appreciate this, he grabbed the bear's mouth and prised apart the jaws, pushing, and screaming… "'Nick, Nick, help, its got me…'."

Mr Bullock said he returned to help his friend, who had managed to escape the bear and was running towards him.

They then spent several hours wandering around the woods in darkness trying to find their descent route before finally making it back to safety.

Mr Boswell is a professional climber who now lives in Peebles. He is widely acknowledged as one of the most talented climbers of his generation.

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