Marmot Harassment | High Sierra Topix  

Marmot Harassment

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Marmot Harassment

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:37 pm

This is not about parking at Mineral King. Have you had run-ins with aggressive
marmots, and having to constantly guard you food? If yes, where has your worst
experience been in the Sierra?
Have you ever had equipment stolen from your tent by marmots. If yes, what's been the
most off the wall item taken?
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



User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8029
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Marmot Harassment

Postby rlown » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:56 pm

actually, I've never met an evil marmot. A skunk or two maybe. I think they sleep when we do. They might get up earlier though?
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5327
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Marmot Harassment

Postby Ozark Flip » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:51 am

Fletcher Lake a couple of years ago. I set up in a really nice campsite in a cutout in the trees. The problem was a den was in the back of the cutout. The marmots had no way out but through me. They would not shut up..irritating. I was tired from the hike in (up Rafferty Creek) and just wanted to chill out there at camp. They became quite aggressive toward me. Crazy! I have come back from fishing and found some of my stuff threw about by marmots. One time in particular in Diamond Mesa near Cloverleaf Lake.
User avatar
Ozark Flip
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 373
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 12:31 pm
Location: Escalon & Cottonwood California
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Marmot Harassment

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:20 am

The marmots at Ostrander Lake swore at us repeatedly for parking our camp near their rocks. They ate my trekking pole handles, argued around my hammock and woke me up, and raided camp while we were gone to lick all the cooking gear left sitting around on rocks. One of them stole a lady's ziplock container she was using as a bowl. We found it eventually.
User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1758
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Marmot Harassment

Postby mschnaidt » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:03 am

I've had a few run ins with Marmots. I had one take off with a trekking pole in the Miter Basin. He was interested in the sweaty black rubber handle. I caught him as he was taking off with the other pole. I retrieved both but the 1st one is pretty torn up. I guess they like the smell/taste of black rubber which is why they go after radiator hoses...

At Sky Blue lake we had one that was aggressive when we were cooking. A rock tossed in it's general direction would scare it off but not for long.

I also had a marmot chew up one of my wool socks in Emigrant Wilderness. The sock was airing out and was pretty smelly. My mistake was leaving it on a log instead of hanging it somewhere.
User avatar
mschnaidt
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:58 pm
Location: Cameron Park, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Marmot Harassment

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:16 am

During an early season trip (April/May) up to Hamilton Lake in the mid 90's we had a couple marmots that hovered around our campsite. I had packed in waders to make the most of the early season fishing and had waded out on the granite slab on the west side of the lake, our campsite to my back. My companion fishing down on the north shore started waving his arms and yelling at me. I turned around to see a marmot going through our campsite. I quickly pulled in my line, waded to shore, and started running up the granite slab to chase the critter away. My legs slipped right out from under me, I slammed sideways on the granite, and ripped my waders. Collecting myself but in pain, I limped up to the campsite and scared the marmot away. He had chewed a nice hole in my boot.

Needless to say, I have no love for the varmints. If I see them close to my campsite I let them know as much.
Wonder is rock and water and the life that lives in-between.
User avatar
Carne_DelMuerto
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:43 am
Location: Auburn, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Marmot Harassment

Postby Flux » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:26 am

Actually had quite a few:

Maroon Bells, CO: Woke up early in the morning to hear a something messing around outside the tent. Zipped and looked out and the Marmot was making off with my camp flop, heading for it's den. I yelled and chucked a rock and it scampered, but left the flop.

Lost Lake near Taos Ski Area, NM: Buddy and I left our packs and walked around the lake looking for a place to camp. Returning to the packs there must have been 8 marmots and 5-6 pika all eyeing them up figuring out how they were gonna get in there and get our grub. I have no doubt they would have. They scattered when we came running.

Lower Desolation Lake, CA: Camped there one night and there must have been 5-6 of those big yellow F'ers living under one of the rocks. We'd be setting up camp and they'd be crawling on your gear. Had to be very careful as the last thing you want is your hip belt chawed off. Not as concerned though as we had bear cans.
User avatar
Flux
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 415
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:57 am
Location: Palmdale
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Marmot Harassment

Postby SSSdave » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:40 am

Gee I just wov doz critters

Decades ago while I was camped near the largest Barrett Lake, one chewed several chunks of cork out of the handle of my old Fenwick pack rod.

For any of you that would like one of the ultimate critter experiences in the backcountry, camp exactly at the cross hairs on this topo:

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=36.42436,-118.59136&z=15&t=T

While camped there, not only were a herd of marmots running all over at all times of day but also many deer, especially late afternoon. And none of them ever seemed too concerned I was just a modest few steps away since they seemed aware I never got up and tried to approach them but rather enjoyed talking quietly to them and laughing. Wherever I peed hours before, the deer were all over it . Of course the marmots were climbing all over my pack as soon as I left but no they did not chew any holes. And even saw a bear on slopes on the other side of the small stream. It's a grassy bench with a fine view east of the Mineral King section of the Great Western Divide. Interesting limestone section in the meadow above. And note for the narrowly focused , no lake and no fish.
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Marmot Harassment

Postby Ikan Mas » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:46 pm

Wow! Highly adaptive, very curious, intelligent, and opportunistic. The marks of a very dangerous species (like us). :)

From all of your descriptions, it looks like the marmonts need for salt is the driver. Hiking sticks, flip flops, dirty socks, fishing pole handles. The all have salt.
Image
User avatar
Ikan Mas
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:43 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Marmot Harassment

Postby quentinc » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:04 pm

I've also had hiking pole handles chewed to bits.
I hate marmots. They are the wilderness version of big city rats.
User avatar
quentinc
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 890
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Marmot Harassment

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:13 pm

Back in the early 90's at Pear Lake met 3 brothers that come to this lake every
2-3 years as a kind of a family reunion. All are avid backpackers living in different
parts of the US.
Well during a discussion around dinner one of the brothers starts telling me about a
story of how one day as they were coming back to the tent they noticed some movement
inside the tent. Thinking is was a bear they started to make noise to scare if out
of the tent, suddenly there was a flash from inside the tent and a marmot scurried out
from inside running into and under some rock near the solar toilet at the lake.
When reaching the front of the tent they had noticed that the zipper was left open
and that there had been no damage to the tent itself but the inside of the tent had
been turned upside down. They also notice that there camera had been pulled from
inside the backpack and had ended up towards the tent door. Some how the marmot
had removed the camera and while pulling it and fumbling around with it accidentally
pressed the shutter the flash went off, scaring the animal. The funny part was that
one of the brothers had a picture in his wallet of a brown fuzzy creature, which was
of coarse the marmot, it had taken a self portrait while in the act! :lol:
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
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8029
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Marmot Harassment

Postby lambertiana » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:33 pm

Funny you should mention Mineral King, because the most persistent marmots I have ever encountered were at Monarch Lake. I play games with them there - set my pack down, and move away about 15', and wait. Soon a marmot will pop up, look at my pack, look at me, then take a few steps toward my pack. This is repeated over and over until the marmot reaches my pack. Then I stand up and take a step toward my pack, whereupon the marmot scurries back down a hole. I sit back down, and the process begins all over again. You can do this for hours at Monarch Lake.

Once when I came back from summiting Sawtooth, I found that the hip belt on my pack was all chewed up. They sure like salt.
User avatar
lambertiana
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:13 pm
Location: Visalia, CA
Experience: N/A

Next

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 8 guests