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El Cap rats: what ARE those things???
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apollodorus


Jul 10, 2002, 9:43 PM
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El Cap rats: what ARE those things???
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Near the top of the Excalibur, first at the Round Table and then at Frosty's Claustrophobic Bivy, PTPP and I were visited by rather odd creatures. They looked like rats, but were bigger. They weren't fat, but rather fit from their nightly commute. And their ears looked like cats' ears. Using a flashlight, I could see that the fur was a rich amber or dark gold. Apparently, they live by running up and down the offwidth cracks. They seemed friendly, but timid. We let them eat our scraps.

What ARE those things?



kahuna3602


Jul 10, 2002, 10:10 PM
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Pika's maybe? Marmots?? Marmot's are pretty bold. I've heard they knaw thru car radiator hoses to get a buzz from the antifreeze!


johnhenry


Jul 10, 2002, 10:28 PM
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Did they have rings on their tales like a raccoon? I have seen those guys too. They chewed the draw-cord off of my haulbag . Little mealers...


passthepitonspete


Jul 11, 2002, 8:00 AM
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I've seen the ringtails at the base, but not on the wall. They're cute - I think they are felines as people sometimes call them "ringtail cats."

I have also seen a cute little spotted skunk at the base, who was a bit annoying but otherwise harmless, and fortunately smell-less.

Warren Harding has written of "rats" that chewed his ropes. I've never had anything chewed on El Cap.

But yes, what the heck are those little critters, anyway? The are cute.


theamish


Jul 11, 2002, 12:42 PM
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It is called a ringtail, as you called it, it is however a member of the racoon family


camsticker


Jul 11, 2002, 1:31 PM
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That's correct "theamish" Actually the ringtail's genus sp. is Bassaricus astutus in the Procyonidae Family along with Coati's and Racoons.

ivanm (wildlife biologist)



radistrad


Jul 11, 2002, 1:50 PM
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A little off of the subj. but those birds that dart out of the crack where you're gonna jam are called Swifts. Swifts can reach speeds of 200 Mph. They do live in the cracks of El Cap.


crackaddict


Jul 11, 2002, 2:18 PM
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*NEXT ON RC WILDLIFE!*

Dr Piton shows us how to ride the pig!

Our own wildlife biologist ivanm gives us an in depth look at the life of a Ringtail!

Addiroids shows us testicular growth in squirells. Click
here for a preview.


Stay tuned for more!



[ This Message was edited by: crackaddict on 2002-07-11 18:16 ]


hollyclimber


Jul 11, 2002, 2:47 PM
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They are snafflehounds of course.


indiesummit


Jul 11, 2002, 2:59 PM
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We have a beaver that lives at Quartz Mt in SA Oklahoma (check the OK portion). No kidding. Lives in the Sea of Screams area in a little hole that goes back into the dome. The weird part was that he's got this like little dam built up with sticks and stuff...that way when it rains he can play in his little pond. And check this out...I rolled up there one day and found he'd reinforced it with an old forged #3 Friend. Evidently shoved the thing in a crack, and clipped off the dam with it. Smart little guy, you gotta watch out for your gear...


elvislegs


Jul 11, 2002, 3:03 PM
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Dude, I tried that radiator thing once... what a trip man.


karlbaba


Jul 11, 2002, 3:34 PM
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Been visited by ringtail cats, bears,and skunks at the base of El Cap. I've had the shunks crawl right over me! Wheew!

I didn't raise an eyebrow to see rats on the major bivy ledges of the Nose and Salathe, but I couldn't believe it when I saw mice on top of pitch 7 of Zodiac!

For folks climbing the Washington Column, there are often 1-4 ringtail cats on Dinner ledge. They can climb well enough to get food hung on bolts on the wall. I usually rig some elaborate tyrolean for the food or stash it deep into the haulbag for the night as they don't seem to want to knaw through that material.

Peace

Karl


camsticker


Jul 11, 2002, 3:52 PM
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Criky Crackaddict...She's a beaut! You gotta watch these wiley Ringtails as they tend to be very aggresssive towards the male climber...


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