Garibaldi Park Whistler A to Z: Hoary MarmotHoary Marmots are the cute, pudgy, twenty plus pound ground squirrels that have evolved to live quite happily in the hostile alpine areas around Whistler.  In the northwest of North America, marmots have a distinct grey in their hair, a hoary colour, so have been named hoary marmots. They manage to survive quite happily in the alpine, largely by hibernating for 8 months of the year and largely for having a surprisingly varied array of food in such an inhospitable environment.

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

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Hoary Marmots live off of grasses, berries, lichens, mosses, and roots and flowers. And live quite well it seems, as they always look well fed, which has one great drawback. They are sought after by bears and wolves. They have a wonderful defense system though. They are constantly on watch and whistle loudly at the first sign of danger, alerting the colony. The prevalence of these "whistlers" as they came to be locally called, in the early days of London Mountain resulted in it's name being changed to Whistler Mountain in the 60's. Hiking on Whistler Mountain, Blackcomb Mountain or Wedgemount Lake in the summer will almost guarantee an encounter with a chubby, jolly little hoary marmot.  Found almost everywhere in the alpine of Whistler, marmots are usually heard before being seen.  The oddly abrupt, whistle sound erupts from fields of boulders when you enter their territory.  Most marmots keep a safe distance from humans, but the more habituated marmots will let you approach quite close.  The High Note Trail on Whistler Mountain is home to several families of marmots.

Hoary Marmot at Cirque Lake

Hoary Marmot at Cirque Lake

Hoary Marmot on the Spearhead Loop Trail, Whistler Mountain

Hoary Marmot at Wedgemount Lake

Hoary Marmot at Wedgemount Lake

Hoary Marmot on Whistler Mountain

Hoary Marmot at Wedgemount Lake

Hoary Marmot on Blackcomb

Hoary Marmot on Blackcomb

More Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking A to Z!

The Coast Mountains run from the Yukon down to Vancouver along the west coast of British Columbia in a band that averages 300 kilometres wide(190 miles).  ...
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Back in 2011 Kups, a Whistler local and now professional muralist painted a hauntingly surreal, blue face on the side of this house.  This beautiful ...
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Cairns, inukshuks or inuksuks are a pile or arrangement of rocks used to indicate a route, landmark or a summit.  The word cairn originates from the ...
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The pale green shub-like growths hanging from trees in the forests around Whistler is called usnea.  These bushy, coral-like fruticose lichens anchor to bark ...
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Armchair Glacier is one of the many easily identifiable mountain features around Whistler.  Along with Wedge Mountain and Black Tusk, Armchair Glacier has a ...
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Aiguille: a tall, narrow, characteristically distinct spire of rock. From the French word for "needle". Used extensively as part of the names for many ...
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Alpine Zone or Alpine Tundra is the area above the treeline, often characterized by stunted, sparse forests of krummholz and pristine, turquoise lakes.  Mount ...
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Accumulation Zone: the area where snow accumulations exceeds melt, located above the firn line.  Snowfall accumulates faster than melting, evaporation and ...
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Amazing Hiking Trails in Whistler

The Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking Trails!

Brandywine Falls is one of the must see sights on the drive to or from Whistler, and arguably the nicest of Whistler’s numerous beautiful waterfalls.  Located about halfway between Squamish and Whistler, the ...
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Garibaldi Lake is the centre and base for much of the hiking in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The Garibaldi Lake campsite is located on the amazing, turquoise shores of this massive and mostly still wild ...
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Alexander Falls is a very impressive 43 metre/141 foot waterfall just 30 to 40 minutes south of Whistler in the Callaghan Valley. Open year-round and located just before Whistler Olympic Park where several ...
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Whistler & Garibaldi Park Best Hiking by Month!

March is usually a snowy month in Whistler, though in 2024 not a whole lot of snow has fallen. Snowshoes are already not necessary for lots of trails in and ...
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April in Whistler is a wonderful time of year.  The winter deep freeze ends and T-shirt weather erupts.  The village comes alive with overflowing patios and ...
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May is an extraordinarily beautiful time of year in Whistler.  The days are longer and warmer and a great lull in between seasons happens.  Whistler is fairly ...
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June is a pretty amazing month to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Park.  The average low and high temperatures in Whistler range from 9c to 21c(48f/70f).  ...
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Free Camping Gear Delivery to Garibaldi Park

Explore BC Hiking Destinations!

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