Animal Annoyances

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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kursavwilage
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Re: Animal Annoyances

Post by kursavwilage » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:32 am

This past Thursday, June 21, me and a friend drove to Mineral King for a quick 2 night climb of Florence peak via the snow chute on it's western ridge. After getting our wilderness permit the ranger recommended that we use one of their tarps to wrap the under carriage of our vehicle to prevent the pesky marmots from eating our radiator hoses and brake lines. Well, it turned out that all of the tarps were already in use so with some trepidation we parked the truck and proceeded on our climb at around 12:30 . Because of the weight of the climbing gear necessary to climb the snow chute and the heat of walking into the sun the entire way we arrived at the north shore of Franklin Lake at 6:30 pm. As we proceeded to set up our camp we were greeted by more marmots that I have ever seen in one place in all my years of backpacking/climbing. While setting up my tent these bold marmots kept trying to raid our laid-out gear coming within 5 feet from me and my friend. The camp setup took forever because we were constantly stopping to chase the unnaturally brave thieves away from our vital gear. The bravest one actually got a hold of the case for my expensive prescription sunglasses and ran off with me in pursuit. I guess because of my persistence in chasing him around the boulders he finally dropped the case and I was able to retrieve it. As we settled down to our late dinner we both agreed that if we did the climb as planned and left our camp set up while we climbed that the chances were good that we would come back to our camp with pilfered or damaged gear then have the strong possibility that my truck could be damaged also. So the next morning we abandoned the climb and hiked back out hoping that we would not find my truck damaged by these beasts at the parking lot. We were lucky this time, my truck was untouched. The fact that these marmots were so brave made me think that they are getting used to humans because they are probably getting fed by campers at Franklin Lake. I love animals and seeing the various animals on my trips into the Sierra is part of the majesty that brings me back year after year. After this experience and my trip to Mt Sill mentioned previously in this thread I can say that the sinister marmot is now not among my favorite animals.....








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Jessratson
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Re: Animal Annoyances

Post by Jessratson » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:06 am

SSSdave wrote:Easy...most annoying animal by far is the MOSQUITO!

;)

Image
I agree, mosquito aren't really animals, but annoying as hell!

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bobby49
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Re: Animal Annoyances

Post by bobby49 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:41 pm

kursavwilage wrote: we use one of their tarps to wrap the under carriage of our vehicle to prevent the pesky marmots from eating our radiator hoses and brake lines. Well, it turned out that all of the tarps were already in use so with some trepidation we parked the truck and proceeded
Next time that you know you are going to Mineral King, take your own tarp with you so that you can protect your own vehicle. I recommend a tarp that is incredibly large. Depending on the size of the vehicle, I recommend using a tarp that is at least eight feet longer than the vehicle, and probably at least eight feet wider. Lay the tarp out flat in the parking lot and then carefully drive your vehicle over it so that it is centered. Then pull up all of the sides and corners and secure it with parachute cord. If you do it correctly, the tarp should be at least three or four feet up the sides of the vehicle, and the marmots can't get over the tarp in order to vandalize the vehicle.

Alternatively, some drivers just wrap chicken wire around the bottom three feet of their vehicle. That might scratch the paint on the vehicle.

If you don't take these precautions, you stand a good chance of your vehicle being immobilized by the pesky devils, and then the towing bill is going to be astronomical.

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kursavwilage
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Re: Animal Annoyances

Post by kursavwilage » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:47 pm

Next time that you know you are going to Mineral King, take your own tarp with you so that you can protect your own vehicle. I recommend a tarp that is incredibly large. Depending on the size of the vehicle, I recommend using a tarp that is at least eight feet longer than the vehicle, and probably at least eight feet wider. Lay the tarp out flat in the parking lot and then carefully drive your vehicle over it so that it is centered. Then pull up all of the sides and corners and secure it with parachute cord. If you do it correctly, the tarp should be at least three or four feet up the sides of the vehicle, and the marmots can't get over the tarp in order to vandalize the vehicle.

Alternatively, some drivers just wrap chicken wire around the bottom three feet of their vehicle. That might scratch the paint on the vehicle.

If you don't take these precautions, you stand a good chance of your vehicle being immobilized by the pesky devils, and then the towing bill is going to be astronomical.

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bobby49
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Thanks for the tarp advice.
The last time that we went to Mineral King was about ten years ago and the rangers always warned us about the marmots but we never took the precautions and always seemed to get lucky upon returning from our many climbs into the valley. This time we not only had to worry about our vehicle but we were worried about possibly coming back to our base camp with our camping gear chewed up. I have never before been surrounded by the little thieves at Franklin lake like we were this time. We plan on going back to finish the climb with our own tarp like you suggested and try to possibly camp somewhere at the lake where the militant marmots aren't so many......

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Re: Animal Annoyances

Post by cgundersen » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:39 pm

I'm finally catching up with HST after a long hiatus and this has been a delightful thread: thanks Mav and all who've posted (including that great rattlesnake shot from Dave). Yes, beyond all the fluids I've shared with loving skeeters, the most delightful animal incident I've had involved friends from the UK whom we took on a short trip in Sequoia. After a hot August entry day, we camped near Moose Lake and chilled out in the crystalline waters. Cocktails were consumed. Tents were erected to afford privacy and after a restorative night's sleep, we awoke to find our friend's wife going a bit nutty. She swore that she had left her brand new French lingerie hanging out to dry on a nearby shrub. Come to think of it, her husband recalled: when I got up to pee, I swear I saw a deer with a brassiere in its mouth. But, I dismissed this as a elevation-alcohol-induced hallucination....Well, we started roaming the area and soon found a profoundly masticated bra. The lace panties were unrecognizable. We had tried to convince Dorne that style was unappreciated in the Sierra, but obviously we overlooked the passion for fashion shown by the deer population. Well, that and maybe a lust for perspiration?

My mantra to neophytes is if it's not metal, it can and very well might get eaten. This thread pretty much supports that argument, but I now am worried that someone will scratch metal, too (yes, I've had sardine tins ripped open by bears, but at least they did not eat the tin).
Cameron

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davidsheridan
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Re: Animal Annoyances

Post by davidsheridan » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:09 pm

2 encounters come to mind:

Backpacking the southern Section of the Lost coast in Sinkyone Wilderness, I cam across this Elk on a narrow part of the trail hiking out of one of the canyons. Hew would not move, and every time I got closer to him, he was getting pissed off! He took over 45 minutes to safely disturb him enough to make him leave and not gore me with his impressive rack.
ElK_on_Trail.JPG
Other time, Hiking to Angels Landing as part of the Trans-Zion hike, I left my pack at the bottom of the cables and came back to find it chewed through in multiple spots along with some of my clothing inside...Arggg.... Damn rodents!

Racoons at Kirby
Cove in Golden Gate Headlands are notoriously aggressive too
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rlown
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Re: Animal Annoyances

Post by rlown » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:17 pm

Impressive Elk. Must not have been during the rut (velvet) or he would have pounced. :)

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sparky
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Re: Animal Annoyances

Post by sparky » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:57 pm

I left my bear can open in camp and wasn't watching. I looked over and my friends dog had devoured my dinners for the next 4 nights (tortillas and cheddar cheese) I wasn't too pleased. Does that count?

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Jimr
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Re: Animal Annoyances

Post by Jimr » Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:10 am

that counts
“Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.”

-John Adams

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Re: Animal Annoyances

Post by Jimr » Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:25 am

The most annoying encounter was at Blue Lake in 2009. This was the first time I took both of my kids backpacking. I put the wife and kids in the tent and I cowboy camped in front of the door. It was very cold, so I was bundled tightly in bag and clothing. I kept hearing little foot steps on my tarp. It wasn't annoying, really. I realized they were chipmunks. How did I figure this out? They started using me as a vaulting horse. They made a game of running and spring boarding off of me. They even did it to my head. There was no way I was going to unravel and do battle in what would obviously be a losing endeavor. I was out flanked and heavily outnumbered, so I just let them do their thing until they got bored and finally stopped.
“Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.”

-John Adams

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