Marble Daly – Another Elk Range Classic

Post by blogger | April 28, 2008      

I guess we’re on a backcountry skiing classics tear. Yesterday, Mount Daly northeast of Marble, Colorado. Details in my guidebook which we should shamelessly self promote if I have half a blogbrain.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Near record cold temps kept the snow from softening, so we messed around near the summit for about an hour while waiting for more heat. Dave and I figured we’d add some interest to the usual scenic shot of famed Capitol Peak, so he caught huge air off the top.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Our descent route is the classic couloir you look at all winter when you’re ski touring off the Quarry Road near Marble.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
WildSnow team is testing Black Diamond’s new boots. Dave likes ’em, so he’s our man to suffer with un-molded liners and such, all for the sake of cranking out a few more carves with either the Method or Factor. Several reviews coming. See previous Factor backcountry skiing boot reviews.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Upski. (Jessica Downing photo)

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Jess crests the summit ridge.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
The down, Chair Mountain area in background. Mike Logan skiing.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Dave, Method testing. (Jessica Downing photo)

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Jess, corn testing.


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15 Responses to “Marble Daly – Another Elk Range Classic”

  1. Scott April 28th, 2008 10:05 am

    We had thought about Daly yesterday but “cleavered” instead. Someone put some beautiful tracks down from the summit of Chair and straight through the chute on skiers left. Whoever it was – nice work!

  2. dave downing April 28th, 2008 10:23 am

    for the record, the Methods I’m skiing are un-molded, but can be molded. I’ve just been lazy.

    also, top photo, bringing the new school to the BC with the Orage bandana, word.

  3. Nick April 28th, 2008 10:34 am

    We were up on Elk mt that day. Beautiful corn skiing.

  4. Lou April 28th, 2008 10:46 am

    Nick, did you do Elk the long way (from cemetery) or the shorter way from Marble?

  5. pete anzalone April 28th, 2008 10:58 am


    Running dogs of capitalism out-rank dogs that pee on plastic boots; keep promoting those great guide books.

    BTW, we were on the other Daly it was fantastiche!

    Berg heil,

  6. Mark Soot April 28th, 2008 2:40 pm

    We skied Mt. Daly on Monday the 21st and experienced excellent corn conditions on this true area classic. We considered skiing all the way down to the Outward Bound Camp and coming out the Leadking Basin Road. Is this the way you usually ski Daly? As the snow was a getting a little soft we decided to skin back up to where you boot up and ski the shadier aspect back toward the ski area. This looks like it would be a great tour as you would have an unbroken fall line for about 3,000′ vertical. Thanks for any route beta and keep up the great work on your blog.

  7. Lou April 28th, 2008 3:19 pm

    Mark, the direct ski down does work, but it needs good coverage so it can be tricky. It can even be dangerous as the snow heats up over the dark shale. A better way to ski the whole peak is to go into Buckskin Basin and ski it around and down, eventually intersecting the Leadking Road at a trailhead. It can be easily climbed that way as well. That’s good, because the road going from Marble up through the residential area to the old ski area is private, and if too many people start using that I’d imagine the residents will gate it. As it is, anyone parking on the residential road should have permission from a property owner, and be considerate about where you park, how much noise you make during early morning starts, etc.

    There is also a hiking trail that goes up the south facing area, but it’s usually a dirt slog unless you catch it early season.

  8. Nick April 28th, 2008 3:32 pm


    We came up from the Marble side, think we started from the same place you did. Tried to give the private property a wide berth, and got on the summer trail. We started later than we should have, as we were thrown off by the frozen conditions from the day before. Turned around before the top.

  9. Mark Soot April 28th, 2008 4:55 pm

    Thanks for the route info Lou,
    We actually parked a car at the Schofield Pass trailhead and got dropped off at the top of the residential road. We did not have permssion from the land owners to park and this concerned me. We ended up slogging down the road but hey, it was a beautiful spring day after a great ski. No biggie…One last question. If you ski the east face into Buckskin Basin it looks possible to hike back up the SE ridge at around 10,800′ back to the summit. Have you ever skied this one – two punch after a good freeze? Take care and be well…

  10. Njord April 29th, 2008 12:32 pm

    Very nice looking turns, Dave!

    Super jeaulous!


  11. dave downing April 29th, 2008 12:51 pm

    don’t worry njord. doing our best to save a little snow for your return (as you can see in the shots, there is still plenty)…can you get back before july? 😉

  12. Auden May 14th, 2008 5:17 pm


    Do you know how far you can drive up the road towards the OB camp, in terms of accessing the back route up Daly? Ie, any idea how much has melted out?


  13. Lou May 14th, 2008 5:52 pm

    Hi Audin, I’m sure it’s melted out enough to be doable. That said, even if it’s melted out your Prius might get pretty beat up doing it (grin).

  14. Auden May 15th, 2008 2:24 pm


  15. Lou May 15th, 2008 2:46 pm


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