Marmot, The Whistler

The Hoary Marmot is  the largest North American ground squirrel, found throughout the alpine areas of British Columbia. On a visit to Whistler Ski Area in the summer of 2010, we came across this fellow while on a walk down from The Peak chairlift to the gondola.

Hoary Marmot

We spent several minutes watching this playful character darting amongst the rocks. He was aware we were there but continued to entertain us, stopping frequently to check our presence.

The Whistler Ski Resort is named in honour of the Marmot, which lets out a shrill whistle to warn his colony of any threats.

The word “hoary” refers to the silver-grey fur on their shoulders and upper back.  They hibernate during the winter, then shortly after go through a moult phase in early-mid summer.

Even a spot of sunbaking, so relaxed was this fellow!

9 thoughts on “Marmot, The Whistler

    • Lorelle it looks like they are reasonably harmless in alpine areas, in fact have become symbols, as in the case of Whistler Ski Area. But in agricultural/urban areas, because they are herbivores, they are regarded as pests. Apparently they can strip a vegetable garden in a couple of nights of eating!


  1. Love this friendly marmot as well as your great pictures. Our alpine marmots look more greyish and whistle just as much as the ones you saw in BC. When I hike in the high mountain pastures with my dog, there is a lot of whistling going on…


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