Would you be able to climb thirty feet up a tree to avoid a bear — after the bear had already chewed on you for a while? That’s the situation an Alaskan man found himself in recently when he stumbled upon a bear and her cub while hiking south of Anchorage.

From this story on
A 30-year-old Alaska man mauled by a bear pleads for help in a recorded 911 call, telling the dispatcher he’s up a tree and can hear the animal huffing below him. In the recording released by Alaska State Troopers, Ben Radakovich tells the dispatcher to send an ambulance, saying he is “bleeding bad.”Radakovich climbed 30 feet up the tree after he was mauled Sunday morning south of Anchorage by a bear with her cub.

According to the story, it took rescuers almost two hours to get Radakovich down from the tree and to a local hospital. Two things stand out about that story. One, the incredibly cheesy graphics of the story package. Do we really need poorly-rendered video-game recreations of an incident to get the point? And two, this dude managed to get away from the bear and scamper up the nearest tree.

Now, thirty feet doesn’t sound like a lot when you’re on the ground, but thirty feet up when you’re actually thirty feet up? That’s another story altogether. I’m no expert tree climber, and under normal circumstances I probably couldn’t get my uncoordinated a** thirty feet up into the branches of a tree if my life depended on it. But I guess when your life really does depend on it, the adrenaline rush that comes from being a bear’s chew toy could transform even the slowest of us into part monkey.

How far do you think you could make it up a tree in the same situation?