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Marmots eating car hoses in Mineral King

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Marmots eating car hoses in Mineral King

Postby guyd » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:38 am

I'm thinking of leaving my car three days in Cold Spring parking in Mineral King to go hiking first days of July.

Reading '' Each spring and early summer, the marmots of Mineral King dine on rare delicacies in this alpine valley. Their fare includes radiator hoses and car wiring! In the parking areas some marmots feast on car hoses and wires. They can actually disable a vehicle.'' makes me think I should change my destination...

Any experience/comment on this issue?



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Re: Marmots eating car hoses in Mineral King

Postby ERIC » Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:36 am

I think I recall a couple of threads on this topic from a while back. You might try searching "mineral king marmot" at the top of the page and see what comes up.
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Re: Marmots eating car hoses in Mineral King

Postby SPeacock » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:52 pm

Beware of exaggerated stories, trolls and Snopes events. There are residents, store owners and even rangers up there for most of the livable season. Wonder that there would be any marmots left after the current residents were to respond to the invasion.

Check with the rangers up there before you go and find out if a current problem, what you can do about it, and if it is a local problem perhaps you can park elsewhere. I know they would take a dim view on a chemical response to the critters.

Scattering Decon around under your car would be frowned on; is probably a federal offense (National Park); would only knock off the random marmot and probably not have an affect on the entitlement they have discovered and enjoyed.
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Re: Marmots eating car hoses in Mineral King

Postby Flux » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:47 pm

I have read a couple things from Colorado where this is an issue too. Most think the Marmots like the salt from salted roads that collects on the wires and hoses. Not sure though.

I have heard about folks using chicken wire around their vehicles to keep the Marmots out.

On a hike near Crested Butte, we came back a few days later and the deer had licked the grime off the car. There were tongue marks and hoof prints all over.
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Re: Marmots eating car hoses in Mineral King

Postby maverick » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:21 pm

HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Marmots eating car hoses in Mineral King

Postby East Side Hiker » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:31 pm

There are only, what?, 4 roads that go over 10'000 feet in the Sierra? Marmots are not a problem, bears are. That's why there are metal boxes to store your food in at trailheads.
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Re: Marmots eating car hoses in Mineral King

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:25 pm

Note that it says spring and early summer. The marmots are a problem in their time. I was down there in October last year and didn't see any, but wouldn't doubt they are present in spring.

Marmots are not just above 10,000 feet, I have seen plenty between 7-9,000 feet, in and around campgrounds at Courtright, Yosemite, etc. You're thinking of pika, which ARE only present at high elevation - right alongside the marmots.

The Courtright campground host spoke of marmots eating the hoses and wires under the hood of his truck. He swears by dryer sheets at regular intervals around on the engine. Others use the blue tarp/chicken wire, others swear by simply leaving the hood open, claiming the critters don't like the light of day. Talk to the rangers to find out what to do when you go.
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Re: Marmots eating car hoses in Mineral King

Postby balzaccom » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:31 am

A dear friend has a cabin at Mineral King, and agrees that early in the season at the trailhead, marmots are a problem. And yes, chickenwire and other solutions seem to work.

There are far fewer marmots near the residents. Partly because they don't like people. Partly because people don't like them. And own 22s.
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Re: Marmots eating car hoses in Mineral King

Postby East Side Hiker » Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:59 pm

I have a terrible story - when I was the ranger at Upper Piute Mdw, which I believe is about 8,000' (I could be wrong about that), a marmot came into my cabin one night, and my dog at the time, now deceased for many many years, attacked and killed it. It was tragic. But marmots certainly do live mostly in the sub-alpine, rocky areas, or higher.
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Re: Marmots eating car hoses in Mineral King

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:44 pm

I camped at the road's end for four days early just after the road just opened in 2006 and had no problems. I would call and see if they are having any currently reported problems. It would not hurt to throughly wash the underside of your car to get any salt off it if you live near a coastal area or where roads are salted.
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Re: Marmots eating car hoses in Mineral King

Postby Shawn » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:27 pm

As Mav points out, lots of other threads on this subject -

Yet there are lots of the fat little guys up there, mostly escaping the snow line.
Image

I can't recall the name of this TH, but the half dozen times I've been to MK, I mostly parked here. Just to the right of this image, there was an elderly lady that would come out of her cabin and actively chase of the Marmots from in and around the cars. She also gave "Marmot advice".
Image

On one occasion, in early spring, I noticed that I was the only car in the parking lot (that's my Xterra down there). I figured as the day warms up, more cars would arrive and therefore the Marmots would chew on someone else's car and not mine (or at least the odds would be less they'd have lunch on mine).
Image

As I was descending the trail later that day I got to the switchbacks which overlook the parking lot for about a mile before getting back t the TH. As I got closer to the parking lot, I noticed I had figured wrong, my car was still the only car in the lot (stupid me). As I got closer yet, I could see a swarm of Marmots on and around my car. Like a fool, I start jogging down the trail and began using my keyfob to honk the horn to scare away the little guys.

When I got to the car, I checked all around and everything looked okay. I was plenty relieved when it started up okay....still I noticed an odd sound, as though the engine was running louder than before. So I popped the hood open to have a look, and a big, fat red Marmot pops up and runs out and nearly over me.
Image

Apparently the insulation is tasty to the little guys, the car still makes weird sounds I have yet to diagnose. Just this past weekend I changed the ATF in my car and noticed some hoses which have been chewed on, of course I thought of the Marmots.

I look forward to boring everyone with this little story again next year, same time, same forum. :D
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Re: Marmots eating car hoses in Mineral King

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:30 pm

That would be the Monarch/Black rock trailhead.

Franklin Pass/Sawtooth is at the end of the road.

There's also lots of bear poop on the trails as you approach the parking lots, and bear lockers to put your smellables in after you remove them from the car, btw.
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