“And it kind of got me on the neck when it was pouncing. Just a tiny bit – just grazed it. Nothing piercing the skin. Just took my board and was just protecting its mouth, just not letting the mouth get to me and just push it back.” –Charlie Duffy

A snowboarder who went for a hike just outside Utah’s Beaver Mountain on Sunday probably should have turned back when he started seeing fresh mountain lion paw prints in the snow but Charlie Duffy just paid extra close attention to his surroundings and kept on going:

“A little less than halfway through, I started to see some fresh paw prints. That just got me, you know, on edge. Aware of my surroundings, just constantly looking around.”

KSL reports just minutes later Charlie’s heightened awareness paid off as came face to face with an emaciated mountain lion and ended up in a fight for his life:

“I looked over my left shoulder and, you know, five or six feet behind me, about three or four feet up I saw a mountain lion.”

The mountain lion pounced and Charlie used what was handy to fend off the attack, his snowboard, swinging it in self-defense. The lion grazed his neck on the initial pounce and then ripped up his jacket as Charlie fought it off with his board. Eventually he got some distance from it and it ran off. Charlie then strapped in and rode his snowboard down the mountain. Duffy says the cat was approximately 7 feet long and didn’t look well:

“You know, you could see its bones. It looked very sickly. I got very lucky.”

Duffy wants to remind the public of one thing after his harrowing encounter, riding in the backcountry is best done in groups. He believes things could have turned out very differently if he had not been out there alone.

“Assume if I was with one or two other people the cat wouldn’t have even tried it.”

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