Greg Boswell and Nick Bullock went to repeat a big mixed route on Mount Wilson in 2015 when they were attacked by a grizzly bear. Boswell, then 24, from Cupar in Fife, Scotland, was making his way through thick forest when the big bear chased him down, as Bullock watched in horror.
Bullock, from Llanberis in north Wales, said he heard his friend scream the word “bear” and turned to see him being pursued across the snow by the animal, which pounced on top of him and “bit straight though his brand new boot as if it were a carpet slipper.
“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 prized apart the jaws, pushing and screaming.”
Bullock ran for his life, but when he heard his friend screaming for help he stopped and retraced his steps. “I’ll tell the truth, the thought of running back to face the bear armed with only a ski pole slowed me – in fact, armed with a bazooka would have still slowed me – but Greg was shouting my name, how could I just stand?” he recalled.
After managing to fight off the bear, which had left five deep wounds in Boswell’s leg, the pair spent several terrifying hours wandering around the woods in darkness. “In the distance wolves howled. Following Greg’s bloody footprints, I wondered at what distance bears can smell blood,” said Bullock.
“It was a friend doing as much as he could in a crazy situation to keep his friend from dying,” said Boswell in 2015. “I probably would have died of hypothermia or blood loss if he hadn’t kept me going. I can’t thank Nick enough, even though I know I don’t have to. Cheers bro.”