What do marmots like to eat?

Swiss Alps: In the Valais, marmots eat out of your hand

Usually, mountain hikers rarely see them. But here the animals are very trusting, they even eat people out of the hand. Marmots are clearly one of my favorite mountain dwellers. I've been fond of the meerkats in the Alps since I was a child.

But I've never come so close to the cute animals as in Saas-Fee. The car-free Valais holiday resort is actually known for its much larger sights. Surrounded by mighty four-thousand-meter peaks, Saas-Fee is popular with hikers and winter sports enthusiasts. And a hotspot for marmots, which are marketed as landmarks.

On giant posters, marmots with binoculars peer over the Valais mountains in front of their eyes and lure tourists like me into the valley. The most famous place for marmot encounters is on the Spielboden. So it goes into the gondola and towards the mountain station. Saas-Fee is already at 1,800 meters above sea level.

During the journey I am already looking for marmots over rocks and hills. In fact, I see some marmots peeking out of their earthworks just before the mountain station. There is already a lot of activity on the hiking trail. Too much for most of the "Munggen" who prefer things a little quieter. Especially when the hikers are out with dogs, the colony needs to be on the highest alert. A guard then warns of danger with shrill whistles.

Marmots eat a layer of fat until October

The cute alpine dwellers have awakened from their hibernation since mid-April and eat a thick layer of fat until October. This is the only way they can survive the cold season slumbering in their caves. Extra feed is fine with them.

But they don't seem to be particularly interested in my “marmot bag” with nuts and carrots on the play floor, apparently they are full. So first I break off the action and take the next cable car to the Längfluh mountain station at an altitude of 2,870 meters.