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Marmots in Mineral King

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Marmots in Mineral King

Postby mountaineer » Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:17 pm

I haven't been there in a few years, but plan on going out of Mineral King in June. Should I worry about marmots? I heard they eat brake lines, etc? Is there any secrets to protecting your car? Myabe a clandestine salt lick nearby?



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Postby Snow Nymph » Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:44 pm

You can use a tarp: http://community.webshots.com/photo/791 ... 4494TvDzqX

or wire:
http://community.webshots.com/photo/791 ... 4538aaBowA

I use moth balls, ammonia, and pop the hood to let light in (marmots like dark areas). They didn't bother my 4Runner.

Some friends wrapped a tarp around their 4Runner and the marmots still chewed something (forget what it was) that cost $500.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Postby SteveB » Sat Dec 31, 2005 4:19 pm

Snow Nymph wrote:You can use a tarp: http://community.webshots.com/photo/791 ... 4494TvDzqX


I've never seen a wrap job with a tarp like that! That's a darned clever idea! :p What size tarp is being used for that pickup? I wonder if anyone's ever used those under-carriage lighting kits up at MK? I'd be curious to know if that keeps them away or attracts them!
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Postby Windwalker » Sat Dec 31, 2005 4:55 pm

The Rangers say it's a seasonal thing that passes around mid summer...but late spring/early summer watch out!

Haven't really heard about brake lines...but they love fan belts and radiator hoses and the anti-freeze/coolant that's toxic to dogs and cats doesn't seem to bother them marmots at all.

We used a combination of moth balls and the big blue tarp.
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Postby JM21760 » Sat Dec 31, 2005 8:50 pm

The Marmots seem to be worse at the Sawtooth trailhead. They were eating hoses and belts as far back as 1978, my first summer in the valley. Apparently, this is the only area marmotia do this, at least according to NPS rangers in 1978. Silver City store used to sell emergency fan belts. I don't know if they still do. Of course, a fan belt won't get you too far if your wiring and hoses are chewed up. The marmotia (plural, slang), never bothered our cars across the bridge, and down by the cabin. There are stories of folks arriving in SoCal, with a marmot under the hood. Way back when, mothballs were the first line of defense. I have a comment in Summit Post.com, under "SierraBonehead". I believe it's under the Sawtooth Peak info. On a side note, around 1986-7, I was working in Faculty Flat, re leveling some cabins. Nothing like being under a cabin, with 2 feet of crawl space, and have a marmot pop up staring you right in the face 6" away! "Run Away! Run Away!"
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Postby Shawn » Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:42 pm

Image
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Postby JM21760 » Mon Jan 02, 2006 3:43 pm

Looks like a wanted poster Shaun. A cute one though. Was that pic taken in MK? The rock looks like MK rock.
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Postby Shawn » Mon Jan 02, 2006 5:23 pm

Hey, sharp eye. Indeed the little guy watched me as I walked up the trail to Sawtooth. Seems like I always see them in the same location.
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Postby ndwoods » Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:14 pm

We have a roll of chicken wire we take....didn't take it last year tho for some stupid reason. Darn buggers chewed the asbestos like liner from the hood of my car, 50% of it completely gone!!!!! Won't go again without the chicken wire!
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Postby JM21760 » Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:06 pm

ndwoods, try a bag or 2 of mothballs. They'll probably still do damage.

I was thinking, for travelers to MK next summer, post your experiences, and Ranger comments on the Marmot problem in MK. Maybe we can start a poll in the spring. We might do a semi scientific study. What cha all think?
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Postby Snow Nymph » Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:45 pm

On our last trip to MK, we got in late and slept the first night in the back of the 4Runner. In the morning we heard noise under the hood, and a marmot was chewing on the asbestos liner. The hood was up for 5 days (boulder to let light in) and it wasn't chewed up anymore. They don't like light.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Postby quentinc » Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:09 pm

I've been to MK dozens of times, including early summer, and have never had a problem. Guess I've just gotten lucky!

My favorite story was from a ranger there -- some guy apparently left poison bait around his car, and came back to find dozens of dead marmots surrounding his vehicle (as well as a citation). Never found out whether the marmots ate part of his car before kicking the bucket.
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