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Caribou Poop is one thing, but THIS???

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
I'm kind of used to seeing wildlife on many of our outdoor explorations, but this was a little much.

Ruthie and I did a climb yesterday on the West Slabs of Mount Olympus just up from the east side of Salt Lake City. When I reached the top of the part where the ropes were no longer needed, our guide told me I could continue scrambling up the ridgeline a little ways to take a photo of Ruthie looking back down the face.

So there I am, innocently scrambling through some big boulders when I stepped around a big rock and almost right on top of this:



He (she?) was coiled up in a sunny spot and was obviously still very lethargic as the sun hadn't been on the ridge for very long and it had been pretty cold overnight. I stepped about a foot away from this thing, saw it out of the corner of my eye, and then leaped about 10 feet away with my heart going about 250bpm.

I went back and took some photos from the shelter of another overhanging rock. By about the 6th click of the shutter, I could see the snake's eyes start to blink and his head moved a little.

Here's a bit of a close-up:



I'm *really* glad he was asleep.

For any of you who don't get the caribou poop reference, you can check out this tr I did about a month ago:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=71742
post #2 of 67
Wishi wishi wishi..who is the big snake...you are...you are..aren't you..yes...yes you are..you are a such a big snake..aren't you.

They are so cute and cuddly at this age.
post #3 of 67
wow... that must have been....... um... Exhilarating?

How long would you estimate that it was? Western Diamondback?

I was just watching a discovery channel show on the most dangerous snakes in the world. "Dangerous" was broken down into several categories: Where the snake lives... (ie: snakes that live in populated areas are more dangerous), How aggressive or likely to bite, amount of venom injected, strength of the venom...

Interesting show.

I'm VERY fascinated by snakes and I love reading about them, watching shows about them and learning about them, but I'm not as much of a fan when they are next to me like that one!
post #4 of 67
Quote:
and then leaped about 10 feet away with my heart going about 250bpm.
Good job working high intensity cardio into your climb. Cardio intervals are great for conditioning.

Your little friend there would make a nice belt.
post #5 of 67
For those of us who are a little weak in our snake identification skills, what kind of snake is that?
post #6 of 67
That would make a SWEET pair of boots
post #7 of 67
Bob, glad you were on your toes. Glad he was sleeping...........Caribou poop is a dream in comparison to this, eh?

Phil, wishi wishi?............ thanks for the chuckle
post #8 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
For those of us who are a little weak in our snake identification skills, what kind of snake is that?
Crotalus viridis, Western rattlesnake



Bob, yours had hazy skin, It was probably molting-about to shedding its skin.
post #9 of 67
I don't think so. We have diamondbacks here, and that isn't one of those. That far North and considering habitat that can only be a Prairie Rattlesnake.
post #10 of 67
That Western isn't the Western Diamondback, and it is indigineous to Washington.

This is a Diamondback:


Hey, that also looks a lot like it. Whatever it is, I wouldn't want to be bitten by it.
post #11 of 67
Bob, you should have named this thread Bob Peters Poop (in pants) I might have in your shoes
post #12 of 67
Looks like a belt to me.
post #13 of 67
That's nothing, try being lucky enough to be the leader in an on your belly no room on either side crawling cave, getting about 20 yards in with people behind you and hearing that rattle start up about a foot in front of your face.
post #14 of 67
Here i was waiting for Bob to talk about how he konked it on the head, then picked it up by it's tail and smacked it around on the rocks before field dressing it and cooking it up for lunch...
post #15 of 67
This ain't Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom ya know.

Marlin: "We'll be right back after Bob konks that viper in the head, milks its venom and plays with the rattle"

(Bob's old enough to understand that)
post #16 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
Here i was waiting for Bob to talk about how he konked it on the head, then picked it up by it's tail and smacked it around on the rocks before field dressing it and cooking it up for lunch...
Bob is exactly like Bear Grylls, except he's much braver and he takes his own photos. Some of the newer readers might not know that much about Bob's talents, so I put together a short list:
  • Bob Peters doesn't climb mountains, he calmly exerts his will on their fragile rocky faces.
  • A big Austrian ski manufacturer was going to make a Bob Peters pro model, but the development team made a trip to Jackson Hole and never came back. Bob Peters sold them all gorgeous houses and got them sweet new gigs just for kicks.
  • You can't kill two birds with one stone, but Bob Peters can.
  • Bob Peters doesn't chase winter, winter chases him.
  • One time Bob's helo broke down in Alaska, so he fixed it with duct tape and told the pilot to fly. Or else.
  • JH saves a ton of money on avy ordnance by having Bob stop by in mornings. He gives dangerous faces a stern look until they release naturally.
/sick photos man, I hope that isn't a real short lens!
post #17 of 67
^are you implying that Chuck Norris shivers when he hears the name "Bob Peters"?
post #18 of 67
I had something similar happen to me on the paved asphalt trail at Independence Rock near Casper. I was strolling along in my Tevas and heard that rattle sound (for the second time in my life). I look down and there it is - one foot from my bare ankle. I froze and after about 5 minutes of immobility on my part, the rattler decided to mosey on over to the weeds and scrub.

Yeah, it was stupid to be in Tevas but, I had just dumped my boat in the water at the yacht club and wanted to do a little sight seeing.


There was this retarded rattlesnake at the entrance of NREL one day. He was by the entrance gate, was being all sunny and warm, and didn't want to move. He didn't like the cars driving by so.....he started striking at every car that drove by. Health & Safety finally came and relocated him further up Table Mountain.
post #19 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
^are you implying that Chuck Norris shivers when he hears the name "Bob Peters"?
In battle between Chuck Norris and God. Bob Peters wins.


garrert you owe me a new labtop for all the water that is all on mine.
post #20 of 67
back on topic, I have never seen a rattlesnake in utah, funny I though I would be in all the right places on my rock climbing, mountain biking, scrambling up random rock face because I can.

sweet pics bob where are the rest of the pictures?
post #21 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
This ain't Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom ya know.

Marlin: "We'll be right back after Bob konks that viper in the head, milks its venom and plays with the rattle. Meanwhile I'll sit here in the jeep drinking a martini."

(Bob's old enough to understand that)
Me too
I took liberties based on how I remember it.
post #22 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
back on topic, I have never seen a rattlesnake in utah, funny I though I would be in all the right places on my rock climbing, mountain biking, scrambling up random rock face because I can.

sweet pics bob where are the rest of the pictures?
Bush - that's cause they're all in PA!

Was riding the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail on the Sun before labor day with my kids, wife, and some friends. Hadn't been down that way in a couple years, and was surprised how busy it was! There were hundreds of people riding bikes, and I'd estimate at least 600 people rafting (plus private boaters). Just south of the Rockport takeout / put in my wife and I stopped to see this guy standing t here holding a 3 ft timber rattler that was mad as hell at being picked up.

I asked the guy how often he catches rattlesnakes, and he says "First time." Puts it back down a couple feet away, and it slithers back toward him and lies there, a foot off the trail. I wonder how many people biked and walked by that thing both before and after the guy messed with it.
post #23 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
Bush - that's cause they're all in PA!

Was riding the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail on the Sun before labor day with my kids, wife, and some friends. Hadn't been down that way in a couple years, and was surprised how busy it was! There were hundreds of people riding bikes, and I'd estimate at least 600 people rafting (plus private boaters). Just south of the Rockport takeout / put in my wife and I stopped to see this guy standing t here holding a 3 ft timber rattler that was mad as hell at being picked up.

I asked the guy how often he catches rattlesnakes, and he says "First time." Puts it back down a couple feet away, and it slithers back toward him and lies there, a foot off the trail. I wonder how many people biked and walked by that thing both before and after the guy messed with it.
I ve seen them in Pa before along with Cottonmouths.

Heck got really close to a large but harmless black racer the other day on a rail trail
post #24 of 67
Funny enough, I saw a 2ft long rattler during a bike ride today.
post #25 of 67
Coming soon: Dynastar's "Bob Peters" edition ski, with rattlesnake topsheets and caribou poop-friendly bases.
post #26 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
I ve seen them in Pa before along with Cottonmouths.

Heck got really close to a large but harmless black racer the other day on a rail trail
No you didn't. At least not the cottonmouths, as they are not found in PA. You probably saw northern water snakes, which are sometimes mistaken for water moccasins or cottonmouths.
post #27 of 67
Thread Starter 
Don't know if we settled the question or not, and I'm certainly not a snake expert (I'm scared to death of all of them), but I'm pretty sure that's a Western Diamondback rattlesnake. Our climbing guide didn't see it, but judging from the photo he thought it was "pretty damn big", like maybe 4.5 to 5 feet.

It also looked very healthy, which is a little surprising given his location. He was almost at the very top of of the summit ridge of the North Summit of Mount Olympus. I'm not certain, but I think the altitude there was about 8,500 feet or so, which seems VERY high for one of these guys.

As for the comparisons between me and Chuck, I think my reaction on seeing that snake was a lot more like Pee Wee Herman than Chuck Norris.

First off, I'm pretty sure I levitated about 10 feet when it registered in my brain that there was a large rattlesnake coiled up about 12 inches from my right foot. Also, there was this very weird little strangled yelp that escaped from somewhere deep inside me. And when I came back to take the photos, it was difficult to hold the camera steady because my hands were shaking so hard. I was pretty much a scared little boy.

I'll post a couple of photos of the climb (which was absolutely wonderful) later today or tomorrow.
post #28 of 67
From the photo, my best herpetological guess is a Great Basin rattlesnake, part of the western rattlesnake group. The markings are too distinct for its Utah cousin, the faded midget rattler, and they're generally smaller. The markings aren't "diamond" enough for a diamondback, and I'm not sure that diamondbacks are native to Utah, but what do I know.

I've come across more than a couple of these guys while traipsing around northern Utah and they always rev my heart. Great photo Bob.

post #29 of 67
According to the Yellowstone Park guide, the only venomous snake in the Park is the Prairie rattler. I'm pretty sure the same holds true for the area immediately south along the Teton range. We have diamondbacks locally and they have a much sharper pattern in the coloration and prefer hotter areas with access to water and shelter. It can make getting around animal troughs and landscape water features exciting.

http://www.us-parks.com/yellowstone/reptiles.html
post #30 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
According to the Yellowstone Park guide, the only venomous snake in the Park is the Prairie rattler. l

All true, but Bob was climbing/hiking in Utah on Mt. Olympus
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