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Hoary Marmot - Mount Rundle # 6172

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Date: 2003.07.25
Vantage Point: From rock rib on south side of Rundle

Caption: A territorial marmot guards the passage up Mount Rundle.

PhotoDescr: There is a narrow and loose rock rib that one has to cross when climbing Rundle from the south (standard route) that, at this time, was being guarded by this large and aggressive marmot. Also known as a rockchuck, mountain marmot, or whistler, the hoary marmot is a common creature throughout Banff National Park and all of B.C. inhabiting talus slopes and meadows in mountainous terrain. The hoary marmot feeds almost entirely on greens from grass to small shrubs and can weigh anywhere from 8-20 lbs. I'd say this guy was closer to 20 lbs with his thick winter coat still on. He actually charged at us a few times, coming really close. After I snapped a quick shot he let out a good high pitched whistle (their warning call to other marmots) and was gone. We named him Rundle.

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