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Mineral King TH: Marmots, cars and wires
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Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Mineral King TH: Marmots, cars and wires on 07/25/2012 21:39:35 MDT Print View

Is it true the Marmots at Mineral King chew the wires out of the cars at the TH? Do I need to bring chicken wire to wrap around the bottom of my truck? Is there any other solutions?

Thanks

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: marmots on 07/25/2012 21:53:25 MDT Print View

The answer is: "Yes", but it's the anti-freeze they are after, so they'll be chewing hoses trying to find the tasty fluid. Wire are just innocent bystanders taken down in the frantic search. The anti-freeze urge seems to decline after July, but wise folks still take precautions.

Sprinkling coyote urine (from a hunting store) around your vehicle may help as well, but don't depend on it alone. Chicken wire tightly wrapped is the standard defense!

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Mineral King TH: Marmots, cars and wires on 07/25/2012 22:14:59 MDT Print View

Thanks Stephen, I will try both coyote urine and chicken wire but it is a pain in the ^ss to have to do that!
777
I saw your previous post about ZPacks sleeping bags-I got a ZPacks 30 degree bag on my radar with no zipper.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Mineral King TH: Marmots, cars and wires on 07/25/2012 22:20:33 MDT Print View

I just reported on this situation a few weeks ago after I was up there.

Marmots are known to be around the parking lot, and they will chew electrical wiring and chew rubber hoses, so they can do a lot of damage to a car in nothing flat. The park service has signs up warning visitors about marmot damage, and they have a standard form for you to fill out if your vehicle has been damaged by the furry critters. I don't know if that does you much good.

When I was there, I protected my car, then walked off with my backpack. About five minutes up the trail, I couldn't remember whether I had locked the car or not, so I set my pack down and dashed down the trail. The darn marmots were already surrounding the car and plotting their attack. So, this is not a fantasy.

There are two general methods of protection. One is chicken wire, and you would need enough to surround the bottom two feet of your vehicle. I have heard rumor that there is a store up there that will rent you a length of chicken wire, and the rental fee is about the same as what it would cost you to purchase the chicken wire at home. I can't confirm that.

The other method which I chose uses a simple woven blue tarp. It must be longer and wider than your vehicle by about five or six feet in each dimension. You stretch it out on the dusty parking lot, then drive your vehicle over it. Then you pull up the sides and corners and tie them all together with parachute cord or something. Ideally the tarp will cover at least the bottom two feet of your vehicle. I managed to get my tarp to cover the wheel wells.

I got back about three days later, and the tarp was intact, so the car was intact.

--B.G.--

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Re: Mineral King TH: Marmots, cars and wires on 07/26/2012 00:37:48 MDT Print View

Thanks Bob, I had been wondering about getting those cheap large tarps from Harbor Freight specifically for this purpose. I was unsure whether the marmots would chew through the tarp, or find a way to jump inside the parachute tarp... Glad your method worked and the vehicle was unharmed.

In addition to the tarp, I was also thinking of setting up 20 mouse traps under the car / inside the tarp. harmless when they snap, but scary enough to deter. Perhaps I watched too many episodes of Tom & Jerry.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Mineral King TH: Marmots, cars and wires on 07/26/2012 06:46:04 MDT Print View

Get an air cooled beetle for the trailhead transportation?

No coolant and no exposed wiring under the tinware. Get some braided brake lines and you are set. I want a square back like Dad had.

Edited by kthompson on 07/26/2012 14:34:29 MDT.

David K
(aviddk) - F

Locale: SW Oregon
Mensa Marmots on 07/26/2012 11:18:23 MDT Print View

"Get an air cooled beetle for the trailhead transportation?"

Additionally, you need to hope the marmots are very smart and know the difference!

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Mensa Marmots on 07/26/2012 14:24:38 MDT Print View

Funny that this topic and trailhead comes up. I am planning a few trips out of there next year....