That is until I hiked the John Muir Trail in August 2009. My first encounter with the Marmot, I can't recall. They quickly became a fixture on the JMT however, and I never tired of seeing them around. I think I was quickly drawn to their inquisitive nature. Whether it was walking through a meadow, or over a high rocky pass, I always got a blast at seeing them run up onto some rock to see who was trespassing on its property. Sometimes they would just watch, sometimes they would retreat into their homes, (a medium sized hole in the ground, usually under a rock,) and sometimes they would let out a high pitched whistle, voicing their displeasure.
I could never help whistling back to them, although my whistle was more of an acknowledgement.
Marmots along the PCT in the North Cascades, Washington. This one is keeping watch over his domain, while soaking in some of the last warm sun rays of the season.
Their homes are built in the most scenic places on the planet. They tend to stick to the high altitudes. They hibernate during the winter. Often, I will see them basking in the sun, warming themselves on a rock. If Reincarnation is an option in the next life, I'd like to return to earth as a Marmot.