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What Do Marmots Eat On Top Of Long's Peak?
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By Kevin Coopman
Feb 3, 2011
What I do for a Living

My son is doing a science project on marmots and we still cannot figure out what these marmots eat on top of peaks such as Long's and Massive.

Anybody have a clue? I wondered this for years ...

Kevin


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By rangerdrew
From Loveland
Feb 3, 2011
Evans Aprons

Pop Tarts. I was descending from Keyhole Ridge and found a marmot in the Keyhole shelter munching away on 2 individual packs of Pop Tarts. Another marmot thought he'd have a bite, and this guy went crazy vicious.

in all his glory
in all his glory


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By Jason Kaplan
From Glenwood ,Co
Feb 3, 2011
avitar pic <br />

^^^ That's freaking awesome! Watch your stuff. The real question is what did they eat before we started feeding them...


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By Hansel
From Boulder, CO
Feb 3, 2011
My ride

He deserved it, or rather, you did, for letting him feed a marmot. Just saying!...How were the rabies shots?


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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Feb 3, 2011
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.

Packs, boots, trekking pole handles, trail mix, etc...


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By Hank Caylor
Administrator
From Golden, CO
Feb 3, 2011
Lone goat..

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By Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Feb 3, 2011
RMNP skiing. Photo by Nodin de Saillan

Marmots mainly eat greens and many types of grasses, berries, lichens, mosses, roots, and flowers.-Wikipedia


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By Josh Olson
From madison, wisconsin
Feb 3, 2011
Looking at a 5.7 crack with Nick

Way to go Phil, ruining a good thread with the actual answer.


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By Ali Jaffri
From Westminster, CO
Feb 4, 2011
At the village in Hunza Valley, Karakoram, Pakistan

Marmot at Khunjerab Pass
Marmot at Khunjerab Pass


Marmot at Khunjerab Pass.
Marmot at Khunjerab Pass.


Marmot at Deosai.
Marmot at Deosai.



These Marmots in the Himalayas live between 13,000-15,000 feet and feed on roots.


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By Mitch Musci
Feb 4, 2011

Unattended backpacks

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By Jeremy Bauman
From Lakewood, CO
Feb 4, 2011
Climbing the headwall of Second Comming

They eat everything... And I mean just about everything.
During a bivy last summer at Chasm Lake, at night not a foot away from our heads they ate my hat except for the bill, they nibbled on the cork from my partners trekking poles, and they ate some of the cloth from my pole straps as well. But mainly my hat.. it was pretty much completely gone


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By Dan G0D5H411
From Colorado Springs, CO
Feb 4, 2011
Dan on Hurricane

Ali Jaffri wrote:
These Marmots in the Himalayas live between 13,000-15,000 feet and feed on roots.

Hey, nice marmot!


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By Allen Hill
From FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Feb 4, 2011
Slick Rock put in

I once left a Camel straight unattended for a second on a small rock as I packing a haul bag at the bivi under Mt. Alice..... yup he got it and seemed fine for it after ingesting it in a single gulp. They really like sweaty tee shirts too.


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Feb 4, 2011
Bocan

I wonder how much our intrusion in to the high peaks has impacted their ecosystems.

I mean they eat ANYTHING you have, even if you are mid-blink.


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By Sorden
From inside the Bubble, Colorado
Feb 4, 2011
Cadillac Sunset

I laid down to take a nap on the summit of Long's one morning, hands behind my head, hat pulled down. As I was drifting into mid-dreamland, I could feel this strange sensation, like something was nibbling on my watch band. I jolted upright with a loud yalping sound, the little thief scampered away. Everybody on the summit was looking at me and laughing. I like to imagine this marmot's dwelling, filled with watches and other booty.

Side note: I've heard they will lap up our urine because their environment doesn't contain the essential nutrients and vitamins.


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By KevinCO
From Loveland, CO
Feb 4, 2011

I wonder if putting a piece of a salt lick block next to your pack would lead them away from pack damage? Would the NP wildlife bioligists agree with such a tactic (if it would work)?


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Feb 4, 2011
Bocan

Sorden wrote:
Side note: I've heard they will lap up our urine because their environment doesn't contain the essential nutrients and vitamins.


Totally true...I was in the boulder field below Isabelle / Navajo glacier and I had barely walked 3 feet away before the marmot that had been following me for the past 1/2 mile went to town on it.


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By Joe Huggins
From 666 Rue le Jour-Edge City
Feb 4, 2011
mmmm....tree

I think it's sort of comical to see them licking the human cut rocks at the tourist overlooks on Trail ridge in the Spring.Apparently the (relatively) fresh cuts on the rocks make mineral salts more plentiful,as well as providing a more easily lickable surface.
As Kyle Copeland said,"If you can't love a rock,what can you love?".


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By Buff Johnson
Feb 4, 2011
smiley face

I've seen them eat lead


no wait, I didn't see anything


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By Adam Baxter
From Estes Park, CO
Feb 4, 2011

So, I apologize for dropping some dry, humorless knowledge bombs here, but Marmots probably forage mainly on the native species Alpine avens i.e., Dryas octopetala and Kings Crown, i.e., Rhodiola integrifolia. At least those are the 2 dominant species ive seen while hanging around on Broadway and Table Ledge. This is of course not their preferred diet these days which consists of destroying any and all sweat/salt incrusted gear available. My nice pack aint so nice anymore. Bastards.

Anyway, both species have info readily available on Wikipedia, although Im pretty sure his teacher will flip if he uses wikipedia as a primary source. Maybe just say you heard this from a park ecologist who happens to be a climber, which would MASSIVELY inflate my seasonal job status in RMNP, but what the hell, right??


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By Evan1984
Feb 4, 2011

Rappel Anchors...and everything else. Sorry, i don't have a real answer.

The really crazy critter is the glacial worm. They burrow through ice like normal worms go through dirt. They will overheat and die it you touch them, and their bodies have a type of chemical in them that keeps them from freezing.

They eat pollen and spores that blow onto the ice from the vegetaion below.

Evan


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By Adam Baxter
From Estes Park, CO
Feb 4, 2011

Evan Horvath aka Evan1984 wrote:
The really crazy critter is the glacial worm. They burrow through ice like normal worms go through dirt. They will overheat and die it you touch them, and their bodies have a type of chemical in them that keeps them from freezing. They eat pollen and spores that blow onto the ice from the vegetaion below. Evan


That is a rad animal! According to the Wikipedia not alot is known about them. Sounds like a sweet masters or Phd project to take underfoot. Hang out on amazing glaciated peaks studying an animal that only survives in sub freezing climates when all of a sudden ... Oops! Did I just F.A. new routes in Alaska, the Cascades, and Canada on University Scholarship dollars while proving the need to designate this an endangered species (due to glacial retreat) thus providing another link in the chain to substantiate the need to mitigate global climate changes affects on glaciers across North America?? Yes young Jedi, congratulations, you did just do that.


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By Dave Hurst
From Boulder CO
Feb 4, 2011

Marmots love Graham Crackers and singing~!

Graham cracker feasting mini-bear.
Graham cracker feasting mini-bear.


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By Buff Johnson
Feb 4, 2011
smiley face

Is the apple on a stick overhanging a boulder just out of reach, all that evil??

I THINK NOT!!!

I have seen a marmot just get their ass flat out smackdown-kicked by another marmot.

I still get chills at the screams.


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By Kevin Landolt
From Fort Collins, Wyoming
Feb 4, 2011

They ate the rubber grips off my trekking poles in RMNP.


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By Ryko
Feb 4, 2011

They're damn lucky they're cute.

I had a group run interference on me while backpacking in the Mummy Range. Had four in my campsite. While I would shoo them away, they would take turns munching on the leather band on the inside of my climbing helmet.


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