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Alpine Mammal Behavior: August 17, 2020

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Alpine Mammal Behavior

Instructor: Denny Olsen

Saturday, August 17, 2020

Have you ever wondered why marmots lick your hiking boots and steal your trekking poles? How mountain goats can climb vertical cliffs while lacking opposable thumbs? How the animals of Logan Pass endure frequent subzero temperatures and bone chilling winds for months on end? Learn about alpine mammal behavior and ecology during this fun, informative outing along Glacier National Park’s beloved Highline Trail. We will hike along craggy cliffs, stopping along the way to learn about at least seven of the amazing mammal species that call this area “home.” We will discuss two species of ground squirrels, marmots, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, pikas, wolverines, and any other species we are lucky to observe along the way.

Meeting Place: Glacier Institute Field Camp

Meeting Time: Monday, August 17th at 7:30 AM

Tentative Itinerary: We will meet at the Glacier Park Field Camp and depart for Logan Pass, as soon as possible. We will hike 3.6 miles along the Highline Trail to Haystack Butte, observing and discussing mammal behavior along the way. We will have lunch on the trail at Haystack Pass before returning to Logan Pass. We should arrive back at the Glacier Institute Field Camp by 5:00 PM.

Food: Students are responsible for their own meals. Please bring a sack lunch and ample snacks for trail days. Use of the kitchen is restricted to Glacier Institute Staff only.  No food or cooking is allowed in the cabins.

Equipment: Please see basic gear list. Bring binoculars and/or a spotting scope, if you have them. We also will have several pairs of binoculars on hand to loan out if needed. A camera is optional. Summer weather at Logan Pass can range from snowy and windy to hot and sunny, so come prepared for a variety of weather conditions!

Weather: This course will not be cancelled due to weather. Please check the weather forecast in advance and refer to the gear list for proper attire.

Physical Requirements: Moderately strenuous. 7.2 miles roundtrip from Logan Pass to Haystack Butte, 1500 foot elevation gain.

Transportation during course: We will be traveling in a Glacier Institute vehicle.

Accommodations: Lodging can be purchased for $35/person/night at the Glacier Institute Field Camp. Facilities include bunkhouses, a community bathhouse, a library and a kitchen. Please call the registrar at 406-755-1211 to book lodging.

Academic Credit: Please see our ‘2020 Academic Credit’ Link on our website to learn about OPI credit and FVCC and UM credit for our courses. There is a $20 administrative fee to receive OPI renewal units with FVCC.

Recommended Readings

Glacier: A Natural History Guide. David Rockwell.