Originally Posted by cbrobin
I haven't done Bear is it hard?? Short??
I'd bet that if you've done Bailey at 500 and ran everything but Max & didn't feel too stressed, you're probably fine for anything you'll come across on Bear. If you ran Max at 500, Bear will be totally fine for you. If you walked all the big drops at Bailey, you'll want to look at some of the drops at Bear, but it's still comparable in boating skills necessary.
Bear is a little tigher and a little mankier, but the consequences of a swim aren't too dire in most cases. It has a sketchier feel because there are so many willows hanging over the bank (and overhanging branches, right Dave? Corey? me?) and the run seems like there are few eddies or exits. Of course, if you DO swim, those willows really do make it so there are few exits; especially in the section below the dam. I highly recommend a full-face helmet.
Enjoy & get it while it's here.