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The 2019 Marmot & other Alpine beasties thread

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Weathercam, The most important matter here is your dogs’ recall. If you are gonna walk them off lead, then you must be confident of their recall. One hundred percent.
I am not confident of my terriers’ recall. I won’t walk them off lead, because I don’t want to give the local keeper an excuse to shoot them. They are terriers, they get red eye, they kill stuff. They even make sure stuff that already is dead is killed again.
My pet hate is meeting folk with their dog off the lead who say ‘don’t worry, my dog is friendly’. Mine aren’t, and if their dog gets too close, they will kill it or die trying. But that’s terriers for you, in the main.
I’m not that sure that the marmots enjoy it as much as the cat does. Then again, maybe they are just waiting to get chased down their hole for fun?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
dode wrote:

My pet hate is meeting folk with their dog off the lead who say ‘don’t worry, my dog is friendly’. Mine aren’t, and if their dog gets too close, they will kill it or die trying. But that’s terriers for you, in the main.

Well, despite the fact that I 100% support what you said I the rest of your post, I'm not sure why other people whose dogs are well-behaved should be a "pet hate" for you just because you chose a less reliable dog...

Ok, exaggerating somewhat; but surely you can see my point? Why should I put my (thoughtfully-chosen, well-trained) dog on a lead when you hove into view, just because yours wasn't/isn't? [To be fair I'm being deliberately provocative... Hey it's Friday]
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Pyremaniac, apologies if I wasn’t clear.
If you have a (thoughtfully-chosen, well-trained) dog off the lead... then no problem.
All about the recall.
If you have a dog that, nice as it might be, gets close to encroaching on my dogs’ (who are on the lead) space. I will say, “can you call your dog back... mine aren’t that friendly”.
If you can’t call it back, then it shouldn’t be off lead.
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I never walk my dogs on the lead. But then, they are uber-biddable Labradors, walk to heel when I want and I am usually on my own land. I did own a Border Terrier once. Wonderful little dog. Completely untrainable, however. The kids called her the "border terrorist".
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I never walk my dogs on the lead. But then, they are uber-biddable Labradors, walk to heel when I want and I am usually on my own land. I did own a Border Terrier once. Wonderful little dog. Completely untrainable, however. The kids called her the "border terrorist".
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I never walk my dogs on the lead. But then, they are uber-biddable Labradors, walk to heel when I want and I am usually on my own land. I did own a Border Terrier once. Wonderful little dog. Completely untrainable, however. The kids called her the "border terrorist".
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@mitcva, border terrorist is a common term in our house Very Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Weathercam - please continue to post all RandoChien stuff - our Groms and I relish your photos and updates - I hope you are not deterred by negative and unsympathetic comments. There’s a genuine cult RandoChien following.....it’s clear that you, like we, are plugged deeply into the Alpine environment.
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Oh well this will get the PC brigade going Laughing

Ski tour in the Trois Evaches sector (near Galibier) and whilst driving up marmots were like rabbits feeding on the grass verge oblivious to cars.

As we were climbing up dogs were going bonkers, chasing every whistle, and slowly realising that it was a forlorn event.

Skiing down was crazy as the number of marmots next to/in their dens was quite incredible, though I never managed to quite capture them on film, so it was this time that they must have thought that I was the predator Laughing

I did have a classic "Benson" moment as dogs were going off in the direction of some possible cliffs, and my recall was not that good!

But you can see the distance they travel, and we only lost them once Laughing


http://youtube.com/v/qoeHfNk8k0Q
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Pyremaniac wrote:
Sack the Juggler wrote:
Pyremaniac wrote:
ise wrote:

One of the reasons heli-skiing is banned in most places is the disturbance of animals. This is a fact.


Indeed. In Spain and Andorra it's legal but the barrier to entry is high; the environmental impact reports are taken very seriously. Also in these two countries, merely skiing though certain forests in or adjacent to ski resorts is "prohibited" in order to protect the wood grouse (though who knows how it's enforced). Presumably the idea is that ski tourers - who are presumed to be a step up in terms of mountain knowledge - already know better.
is that because they are protecting them for the shooting season?

No, it's because they are very very weak during the winter, yet will take fright and panic if disturbed - which sadly can apparently be enough to knock them off.

Certainly, it's stopped me from taking tree runs for granted.

Returning to one of the other gists of the thread: if your dog chases wildlife it should be kept on the lead. I'm struggling to understand how anyone could argue otherwise.

(Edited solely to correct typos)


Perfectly correct. But what would I know? I'm only the president of UIMLA and representative to the UIAA. Very Happy
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@ise, you'll be saying next that we should not be out ski touring this time of year for fear of upsetting the wildlife rolling eyes

Someone should also tell the Eagles we spotted yesterday to not frighten them Very Happy

And ban the cars from driving along the roads whilst they're feeding on the verges!

And I should add that guides I know and ski (mates as opposed to me being a client) with have no issues but they tend to be more at one with the mountains having lived all their lives there, than dare I say it some ML's.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Thu 2-05-19 8:23; edited 1 time in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Er....I agree entirely re wood grouse. But wcam is right about marmots I think. Bird intelligence is entirely different to mammalian intelligence (excellent work in the last two decades on this) - marmots are intelligent rodents and well know the different threat which comes from humans, dogs and raptors respectively. In Saas they simply looked in bored way at humans, irritated at dogs and absolutely freaked out by the shadow on the ground of large birds and their profile in the sky. I know of no marmots being killed by minor disturbance in the Spring and no research is extant - see my previous posts.

I am glad the numbers are holding up where you are. We worried in the Valais about the hard long late winter last year, which meant marmots had to hibernate for at least a month longer than in the last five or six seasons they have had to. Numbers are down in the Valais - far fewer at Zarbona and other isolated spots. This climatic pressure is surely far more significant than two incompetent terriers.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Weathercam wrote:
@ise, you'll be saying next that we should not be out ski touring this time of year for fear of upsetting the wildlife rolling eyes

Someone should also tell the Eagles we spotted yesterday to not frighten them Very Happy

And ban the cars from driving along the roads whilst they're feeding on the verges!

And I should add that guides I know and ski (mates as opposed to me being a client) with have no issues but they tend to be more at one with the mountains having lived all their lives there, than dare I say it some ML's.


It feels like some sort of game of top trumps. I have guides, who are mates, as clients. Do I win? Very Happy
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Mmmmmm don't think I started the patronising put downs and title throwing Mr President of glorified snow shoe walkers. And now inferring you're more qualified than a guide
Laughing rolling eyes
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I was wondering when we could say that the winter season was definitively over at snow heads and I see that now we have spotted the bickering bores emerge from hibernation we can finally add a layer of storage wax to our skis and lay them to rest until the first of the “will there be enough snow in xxxx on Dec 16th” threads emerge again.

Well done all and have a great spring and summer!

wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It appears that Marmots are not necessarily a good thing. It appears they kill one person a year in Mongolia

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/06/mongolian-couple-die-of-bubonic-plague-after-eating-marmot
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Driving up to the Col du Lautaret today as I was inquisitive above the weather/snow-line as it's raining hard here at 1,400m and temp on the van was showing 5.5 - so theoretically snow at the Col so maybe some powder touring tomorrow / Friday?

And yes was snowing up at the Col along with a strong wind, the forecast is for snow on and off all night / early hours and throughout the morning with weather clearing circa Noon.

On the way back down there is a well-known area where many a walking and ski tour route starts from, and as the weather (being a Bank holiday and ironically in these days of Brexit, VE Day) is so grim there was not one car there, however, I spotted a couple of bouquetin up high, so parked up and started to climb.

Even though I've seen quite a few chamois at distance this season, with bouquetin you can get really close.

They actually had not spotted me as they moved on to an old terrace which allowed me to climb up quite close to the edge of the terrace with me well out of view.

I then popped my head over and gave them a bit of a surprise and then they quickly settled back to grazing.

I always say it about bouquetin that they don't really care about humans getting too near and even with my dogs they're not too fussed, not that I chanced it today as I wanted to get close.

After about a minute they just seem like cows with horns on rolling eyes

We've actually seen camoed guys with massive lens climbing up to photograph them, which always seems a bit OTT as you can get comfortably near to them, as any closer and you start to wonder what a head butt with those horns would do Laughing



And ubiquitous selfie showing how close snowHead

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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
That’s close. And fun. I was climbing in Arolla with my brother and suddenly an ibex stuck it’s head out from behind a huge rock about 5m from us - and fixed us with a ‘...and what exactly are you doing here?...’ stare. Since they are no longer hunted in the Valais they are as bold as brass. And big.

We froze. It looked irritated...a sort of ‘I suppose I will have to stop what I was concentrating on now’. And then ambled off.

They are common enough around here for the ValaisGrom to invent the following joke.

Have you heard that Apple are now doing mountain goats? They are called The iBex.
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According to yesterday's Guardian, a Mongolian couple died of bubonic plague on 1 May after eating raw marmot kidney. Several tourists were caught up in the subsequent quarantine measures. So make sure you cook them thoroughly, chaps.
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What is a good serving suggestion for Marmot? Some form of gratin?
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@Richard_Sideways, loads of recipes on the great internet: No 1 dish in Mongolia and common in certain states in US apparently. Bubonic plague an optional extra. Very Happy

http://www.outsidebozeman.com/lifestyle/outdoor-kitchen/whistle-pig-stew
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I like the renaming from marmot to whistle-pig.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I told the kids years back that Marmot whistle to each other and they still try to lure them out by whistling...

Then again, I also told them they were about the size of a cow and that they hibernate under the pistes and that's what's under the moguls.
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The ibex look well fed.
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