Where have people had trouble with marmots/porcupines?

Trailhead condition requests, questions, alerts, etc.
Forum rules
  • This is a mountaineering forum, so please keep your posts on-topic. Posts do not all have to be related to the 14ers but should at least be mountaineering-related.
  • Personal attacks and confrontational behavior will result in removal from the forum at the discretion of the administrators.
  • Do not use this forum to advertise, sell photos or other products or promote a commercial website.
  • Posts will be removed at the discretion of the site administrator or moderator(s), including: Troll posts, posts pushing political views or religious beliefs, and posts with the purpose of instigating conflict within the forum.
For more details, please see the Terms of Use you agreed to when joining the forum.
Post Reply
User avatar
hoodayer
Posts: 24
Joined: 8/17/2012
14ers: 58  2 
13ers: 45 1
Trip Reports (5)
 

Where have people had trouble with marmots/porcupines?

Post by hoodayer »

After marmots attempted to eat my vehicle's guts below American Basin (another guy that day had an issue with a porcupine), I'm wondering what locations people have run across these creatures interested in chewing up their vehicles. I've heard similar stories about Maroon Lake as well. Where else?

Planning a several-peak trip in July, where we'd like to snag Pyramid, Wetterhorn/Uncompahgre, Sneffels and Wilson Group. Considering chicken wire.
User avatar
kaiman
Posts: 1367
Joined: 5/3/2006
Trip Reports (10)
 

Re: Where have people had trouble with marmots/porcupines?

Post by kaiman »

The Maroon Bells area is notorious for Marmot troubles. Although I've never had any during the many backpacking/climbing trips I've been on in the area it seems to have gotten worse over the past few years with lots of horror stories posted on this very site. So be prepared when you get there!
"I want to keep the mountains clean of racism, religion and politics. In the mountains this should play no role."

- Joe Stettner

"I haven't climbed Everest, skied to the poles, or sailed single-handed around the world. The goals I set out to accomplish aren't easily measured or quantified by world records or "firsts." The reasons I climb, and the climbs I do, are about more than distance or altitude, they are about breaking barriers within myself."

- Andy Kirkpatrick
User avatar
Roald
Posts: 225
Joined: 7/2/2007
14ers: 58  1 
Trip Reports (0)
 

Re: Where have people had trouble with marmots/porcupines?

Post by Roald »

kaiman wrote:The Maroon Bells area is notorious for Marmot troubles. Although I've never had any during the many backpacking/climbing trips I've been on in the area it seems to have gotten worse over the past few years with lots of horror stories posted on this very site. So be prepared when you get there!
Agreed. Left my poles at the top of the saddle on South Maroon last summer, and came back from the summit to find them completely destroyed. Only place I've ever been vandalized by marmots.
chrismjx wrote:

Roald, in that one sentence you managed to demonstrate that A) you're an idiot and B) you're a hypocrite, and a perfect example of the cause of the modern-day problems in this country.
User avatar
climbnowworklater
Posts: 186
Joined: 7/9/2012
14ers: 58  2 
13ers: 5
Trip Reports (7)
 
Contact:

Re: Where have people had trouble with marmots/porcupines?

Post by climbnowworklater »

Personally, I experienced problems at Sneffels TH, Red/Sun TH, and Snowmass TH.
For Sneffels and Red/Sun, I was awoken throughout the night and it sucked. For Snowmass, I fought back. I bought some chicken wire, wrapped my 4 truck tires, and zip-tied them together. Then I sprayed each tire and the perimeter of the vehicle with some "deer and rabbit" repellent from HD ($14). Within 20 mins of laying down, I heard the infamous gnawing. This time it lasted for one second. Whatever "it" was, realized it wasn't getting anywhere and moved on to the next vehicle. I heard the car next to me being attacked as I fell asleep...
"The best climber in the world, is the one having the most fun!" Alex Lowe

"In the mountains there is a strange market where you can barter the vortex of life for boundless bliss." Milarepa
User avatar
BillMiddlebrook
Site Administrator
Posts: 6960
Joined: 7/25/2004
14ers: 58  46  19 
13ers: 173 45 37
Trip Reports (4)
 
Contact:

Re: Where have people had trouble with marmots/porcupines?

Post by BillMiddlebrook »

Porkys!

I've had problems at The Bells, Redcloud/Sunshine, American Basin, Sneffels. It a minimum, bring some spray and a hocky stick for some midnight porky battles. Poles work, too. Gunfire at 2am is probably not good at the Bells so skip that option.

If you're camping elsewhere and leave your car, it will certainly be chomped on at The Bells or Red/Suns if you don't do something.
A call from fascism is coming from within the house. Picture That
User avatar
michaelgrundy
Posts: 155
Joined: 7/9/2012
14ers: 58  7 
13ers: 49 2
Trip Reports (21)
 

Re: Where have people had trouble with marmots/porcupines?

Post by michaelgrundy »

Does anyone have any better ways of wrapping their vehicle with chicken wire? I did this setup 2 weeks ago and it seemed to work fine but I figure there is always room for improvement.
Chicken wire around the truck
Chicken wire around the truck
ChickenWire.JPG (203.58 KiB) Viewed 5455 times
I used 6 3' pieces of rebar to pound around the truck (trying to save the paint) and I used some gardening wire to tie the chicken wire to the rebar. Lastly, I used bungee cords to hold the middle section up a little. (In case they tried pulling the wire down).

Thoughts?
User avatar
climbnowworklater
Posts: 186
Joined: 7/9/2012
14ers: 58  2 
13ers: 5
Trip Reports (7)
 
Contact:

Re: Where have people had trouble with marmots/porcupines?

Post by climbnowworklater »

michaelgrundy wrote:Does anyone have any better ways of wrapping their vehicle with chicken wire? I did this setup 2 weeks ago and it seemed to work fine but I figure there is always room for improvement.
ChickenWire.JPG
I used 6 3' pieces of rebar to pound around the truck (trying to save the paint) and I used some gardening wire to tie the chicken wire to the rebar. Lastly, I used bungee cords to hold the middle section up a little. (In case they tried pulling the wire down).

Thoughts?
WOW, now that is work. I wish I had a picture but I did a different set up. I cut my wire into 4 pieces appx 5 feet in length. Then I "wrapped" each individual tire from the undercarriage forward and used a zip-tie to secure. Then I sprayed the repellent. From the moment I pulled the rolled up wire out, to the last spray of the bottle, the entire setup took no more than 5-8 minutes. Mine was more crude, but easier to work with. I also arrived late and didn't have to hammer anything to wake others. Hope this helps but I too would welcome other ideas. 4 rolls of chicken wire are bulky and not ideal to work with.
"The best climber in the world, is the one having the most fun!" Alex Lowe

"In the mountains there is a strange market where you can barter the vortex of life for boundless bliss." Milarepa
User avatar
hoodayer
Posts: 24
Joined: 8/17/2012
14ers: 58  2 
13ers: 45 1
Trip Reports (5)
 

Re: Where have people had trouble with marmots/porcupines?

Post by hoodayer »

Took some stone throwing and primal screaming while sprinting after them with an ice ax to keep them away at American Basin. I know we're encroaching on their lands, but it's difficult not to get infuriated by them and the damage they can do.

I've read on here about coyote urine sprays and whatnot but have seen mixed opinions about them from people who say they work to people who say it made no difference to the critters that simply ignored it. Chicken wire seems like it may be the most effective option except for the fact that you've got to haul that stuff around. Guess you gotta make sacrifices.

climbnowworklater, it's not just the tires that get attacked, so I don't see how wrapping just them up would help completely. The marmots that went after my SUV went straight for the hoses beneath the engine. They would would get on their two hind legs and poke their head in the engine inside from beneath the grill.

Varmints!
User avatar
climbnowworklater
Posts: 186
Joined: 7/9/2012
14ers: 58  2 
13ers: 5
Trip Reports (7)
 
Contact:

Re: Where have people had trouble with marmots/porcupines?

Post by climbnowworklater »

Hoodayer: hmm, interesting. Never had them chew on anything but directly around the tire in my cases. Even the other night at Snowmass, they went to the chicken wire around the tire, chewed once, then left. Maybe a 4 runner is a bit high for them to reach?? Thanks for the info though.
"The best climber in the world, is the one having the most fun!" Alex Lowe

"In the mountains there is a strange market where you can barter the vortex of life for boundless bliss." Milarepa
User avatar
TallGrass
Posts: 2328
Joined: 6/29/2012
13ers: 26
Trip Reports (0)
 

Re: Where have people had trouble with marmots/porcupines?

Post by TallGrass »

michaelgrundy wrote:I did this setup 2 weeks ago and it seemed to work fine but I figure there is always room for improvement. ... Thoughts?
Yeah. Why isn't it electrified?!


:twisted: :lol:
"A few hours' mountain climbing make of a rogue and a saint two fairly equal creatures.
Tiredness is the shortest path to equality and fraternity - and sleep finally adds to them liberty."
User avatar
EZSide
Posts: 113
Joined: 3/26/2010
14ers: 11 
13ers: 2
Trip Reports (7)
 
Contact:

Re: Where have people had trouble with marmots/porcupines?

Post by EZSide »

American Basin 06/17. The marmot chewed through 6 wires in the main harness, forcing an array of warning lights but not stranding us. It rode all the way into Lake City in the engine bay - we "dropped" it off when we stopped for a shower at a campground - where it could move on to bigger and tastier machines!

- Bill
"There are times when the most complicated actions are suddenly summed up, distilled, and strike you with illuminating clarity" - Maurice Herzog
User avatar
DArcyS
Posts: 949
Joined: 5/11/2007
14ers: 58 
13ers: 545
Trip Reports (3)
 

Re: Where have people had trouble with marmots/porcupines?

Post by DArcyS »

Does anybody know if the porcupines and marmots go after the same thing on the cars?

I had a porcupine chew on my car, but I heard it because it sounded like he was going after some metal.

Marmots seem to go after wires because, as I've heard, the wires are made out of soy protein. Really? Is that true?
Post Reply