Lake Tahoe skier learns why you never, ever chase the bears

Black bear running through snow
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Black bears are a regular sight around Lake Tahoe, but one skier at Heavenly Ski Resort was so excited to see one that he decided to ignore warnings and chase after it in the middle of a run.

The incident was caught on camera by Danielle Brill, who was vacationing at the resort with her family as a post-Christmas treat.

"I see the bear in the middle of the run, so I stopped, took my snowboard off, thinking I would want to be able to leave in a hurry," Brill told local news outlet ABC7

She kept her distance and used her phone to record the animal dashing away and up a tree, but later spotted another skier approaching it, causing it to barrel across the run, as you can see in the video below.

"It was adrenaline," Brill said. "I think he got spooked and started running full force. He just wanted to get out of there and I'm glad I wasn't in the line of full force running."

Brill isn't the only one to face a speeding bear at the resort this winter. Last month another vacationer shared a video from Heavenly showing a bear sprinting across a busy run, narrowly avoiding skiers and snowboarders.

"Almost hit a bear skiing down ridge run Heavenly," wrote TikTok user @Tao7570, who posted footage recorded by his GoPro camera. "Didn't realize it was a bear until it was too close."


♬ original sound - Tao

Dodging bears

Black bears (particularly cinnamon-colored animals, which may be mistaken for grizzlies from a distance) are common in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Visitors are advised to keep their distance, and avoid attracting them by keeping attractants like food and garbage well out of reach.

"You are responsible for your safety and the safety of wildlife," says Heavenly Ski Resort. "Please help keep wildlife 'wild' by not approaching or feeding animals as they may become aggressive. Our food may harm animals or even cause them death. 

"Maintain a safe viewing distance. If an animal approaches you, it is your responsibility to move away and maintain a safe distance."

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.