Mount Washington Marmots


The Vancouver Island Marmot  is a uniquely Canadian species, found only on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. It differs from other marmot species in behaviour, genetics and ecology and is easily identified by their unique appearance.  The name means "mountain mouse" and it has nothing at all to to with ski racing.

Sadly, a population estimated in the mid-1980s to be over 300 animals is currently estimated to contain just over 205 animals, making them one of the rarest and most endangered mammals in the world.

The Vancouver Island marmot is an important part of Canada’s diversity and our most endangered mammal. So endangered their only chance for survival is with our help.

There is another species of Marmot that is not quite so endangered, although still far too rare.  That is the Mount Washingon Marmot.  The MWM is less hairy, much larger in stature, cannot whistle very well and drinks beer in copious quantites.  It is also an excellent and very experienced ski race worker.

Found on alpine race courses on Vancouver Island and throught BC and Alberta, the Mount Washington Marmot often visits foreign habitat for short periods of time, usually coinciding with ski racing, or spring rutting season.

The Mount Washington Marmots were first noted about 25 years ago and has been responsible for almost all ski racing on Vancouver Island. The current population is believed to be nearly 100 active individuals. The population is considered healthy and is growing.  

The Mt Washington Marmots pride themselves on hard work and being first on and last off the hill at any ski racing event they attend. They carefully train their volunteer members and at every event provide opportunities for mentoring and then for doing the job.  Because everyone participates and shares the workload no one is overwhelmed or overworked. 

The group offers a much coveted Marmot Workers Award for long-time volunteers who have given many years of service to ski racing and/or have done something above and beyond what is expected of the volunteers. Vancouver Island Marmots are found all across the country working at all levels of ski racing.  The Mount Washington Ski Club have an active ski racing program and the Marmots play a major role in it's success.

Scroll down to view photos of Mount Washington Marmots in a variety of ski racing habitat including  Apex Mt. in BC's Okanagan and the World Cup Ski Races at Panorama, in BC's Kootenay region.

Some Vancouver Island Marmots hanging timing cable.  The Marmots were with The Whistler Weasel Workers in Whistler for the Canadians last year and we expect them back in February 2008, with Barry Peters acting as a Crew Chief.

Mt. Washington Marmots at Apex Mt.

Marmots at Panorama