We went to Gargantua this weekend, I've been going at least once a year for the past few years, and it's not uncommon to see rocky mountain goats up at that elevation, but this time around we ran into a family of nine, some of which were hanging out right in the cave entrance.
I'm not really fond of mountain goats... They're big (up to +300lbs/140kg!), they're muscular, they can scramble up cliff faces faster than I can fall down them, and they have sharp pointy horns that hook just enough to rip your bowels out after they gore you. Also, in my experience, despite what I'm told about goats, they aren't really afraid of humans. I'm not very fond of any animal in the woods that isn't afraid of humans. Last time we came out of these caves there was a goat just around the arrete from the exit (image at bottom). He seemed to challenge us, and kept moving closer instead of bolting like most hoofed animals do in the rockies.
There are eight goats in the picture, we came up behind some of them on our final approach to the cave, and they scrambled back over to the entrance to meet up with the others as the five of us approached (with me shouting at them to move along). The ninth goat was a big billy that had the high ground directly above us before we even knew he was there (no picture). I've had this happen a couple times; where we've run into a goat high up above the treeline, and it doesn't run away, instead it gets the high ground directly above you.
What I want to know is what that billy was planning on doing. There were a fews kids in the herd, no doubt his offspring, and I've seen videos of ibex and rams diving off rocks horns-first at each other. Would a mountain goat attack a human? Was his grab at the high ground defensive, or offensive?