Footage of Standoff Between Mountain Lion and Two Hikers Goes Viral

Encountered this beauty 8 miles from Crescent Meadow on the High Sierra Trail (Sequoia National Park, CA). Sam Vonderheide (teacher at Arroyo Grande High School) spotted her first ... I wasn't a believer but turned on my video just in case. What an experience! - YouTube description of the video. 

Talk about stopping you in your tracks. Two hikers from San Luis Obispo County were on the first leg of their 11-day backpacking trip through the Sequoia National Forest when they encountered one heck of a big cat. 

Waiting on the path to their camp was a mountain lion they described as being 'bigger than a great dane' and 'ripped with muscles.' 

“I was not sure what the cat was going to do and thought, ‘It could jump, and it might jump on us,’ ” said Brian McKinney, a project manager for a software company who lives in Atascadero told the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

The whole thing began around 6:30 p.m. on July 23rd while the pair were hiking up the High Sierra Trail near Mt. Whitney. McKinney's hiking partner Sam Vonderheide spotted the mountain lion ahead on the trail, just about a mile north, but his companion didn't believe him. Vonderheide began shooting video just in case. 

When they rounded the corner, following the mountain lion, they were startled to see it had gone up on a rock, staring down at the two men on the trail. 

According to the two men, the mountain lion was in no mood to let them pass. No matter what they did, they couldn't scare the big cat away from the trail so they could get by to the camp. It was only after the lion began getting aggressive that the pair decided to call it quits and backtrack a few miles to camp an alternative site. 

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says there have only been 14 verified mountain lion attacks on humans between March 1986 and September 2014. Three of those attacks were fatal. 

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