Avid backcountry camper and outdoorsman Jose Rosales is no stranger to adventure, taking to the mountains any opportunity he gets.
But earlier this month he had an unforgettable adventure in Kananaskis Country – a rare face-to-face encounter with a grizzly bear and her two cubs.
On Sept. 8, the Czar, Alta., resident and his dog Rundle were hiking at Turbine Canyon near Upper Kananaskis Lake, heading to the backcountry campground in the area.
With a GoPro set up nearby to capture a timelapse — something he often does on his adventures — Rosales started setting up his campsite. All of a sudden he said his dog escaped his harness and started barking aggressively.
WATCH: An Alberta man is counting his blessings after a dangerously close encounter a grizzly bear in Kananaskis. As Christa Dao reports, the scary meeting was captured on video.
“He started barking and I turned around and I saw this bear that was about… two meters behind my camera,” he said.
Rosales said he scrambled to get Rundle back on his leash and under control, all the while the grizzly and her cubs were dangerously close and moving closer.
“She was with her two cubs and they were kind of staring at me, like crazy. It was kind of like a movie.”
“My first thought was my bear spray but my hands were full and the only thing that came to mind was run away, right? Just in general seeing a bear, I think… you get very scared,” he recalled.
Rosales said he knew there were others in the area and went racing for the bushes to warn them.
“I knew that some hikers were behind me and very close, so I went to the trail and looked for them and they saw the bear too,” he said.
Rosales said the group started making loud noises, doing whatever they could to scare the bear away.
When he got home and looked at the video, he saw the three bears casually strolling along, with the mother sniffing around the campsite before heading back into the wild.
As for the grizzly bear’s tendencies, Rosales said he “didn’t have much time to see if they were aggressive or not,” adding the whole encounter lasted about 30 seconds.
“It didn’t take me long to run away,” he quipped.
Rosales’ wife, Morgan Charlton, said she’s grateful the story had a happy ending.
“I was just happy that they were alive and well… and coming out of it unscathed,” she said.
For the record, Rosales did sleep in his tent that night with bear spray gripped tightly in his hand.