Hoary Marmot

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Denali, Photos, Travel 6 Comments

Hoary Marmot, Denali National Park, Alaska.

Hoary Marmot, Denali National Park, Alaska.

While I was photographing this Dall Sheep recently in Denali, I heard a bunch of rocks sliding down the scree hillside next to me.  I looked over, and this Hoary Marmot came running down the hill and right up to me!  He stopped long enough to stare at me while I grabbed then photo, then it turned and ran off.  Really cool experience.

I’m not sure why he came up to me like that, I’m thinking it was just curious.  He acted like he was used to being feed, but it is very early in the season in an area few visitors are going to be walking, so I don’t think he was feed.  Plus, I don’t think they would like most hand outs.  So, I’m sticking with the curious story.

Comments 6

  1. Awesome closeup. But I do have a question–I’m assuming that if you were photographing sheep that you were using a large telephoto lens. How did you get such a great close-up of an animal right next to you? Did you have more than one camera ready to go?

  2. Post

    Hi Scott,

    Having more then one camera would be a great way to go, but a bit expensive. I used to carry two cameras all the time in my film days, but not so much anymore.

    In this situation, I used the same camera and lens. Even though the sheep was much further away, it is a much larger animal, and I was also including a lot of the colorful rock in the image. The marmot was much closer, but it is much smaller and completely fills the frame, so it just worked out. In both cases I was using a 600 on a full frame camera.

    Great questions.

  3. Bit late in the year but then Alaska is a bit “strange”. Mating season, ya know. Where I grew up groundhogs (very close cousin) could be seen surveying the landscape while sitting precariously on the top of a fence post in the spring. It is probably time for the second crop of the season. What did you use for after shave? Or maybe you had been out camping for a week. In any case, love was probably in the air.

  4. Post

    Thanks Dennis – I’ll go take a look – congrats!

    Thanks Darly – Funny! Yes, it was probably the result of not showing for a few days. 🙂

  5. You never know with those crazy marmots. I had one come and lay down next to me in Glacier National Park last month. I suppose he wanted to see how I was framing my photo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.