Marble, Colorado Ski & Snow Report


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | December 17, 2008      

Editor’s note: For information about skiing around Marble, Colorado please see BackcountrySkiingCO.com

As you all can assume, Marble has been getting pounded. J.H and I went up this am for some assessment and observation and of course, some pow chowing. Big surprise, things are tender and sketchy. But perhaps not as tender as we thought. We had good visibility in between periods of light to heavy snowfall and saw no evidence of any natural slides. We got two small whumps ascending Shale Bluffs and no cracking. As far as snow pack, it has tripled in the last week. Settled snow depth and the base of the bowl is 60 inches.

We dug a pit on the east face just above on a slope approaching 30 degrees and that had a snow depth of 72 inches. We did not ascend above the base of the bowl. The pit was discouraging. 3 clean shears were found at approximately 15 inches 28 inches and 40 inches all going in succession with 2-4 taps. There is a dust layer 2 inches high at approximately 36 inches. Below the 40 inch mark the snow is faceted grains, maybe 2 mm in diameter, that provide a weak base but are fairly dense.

Conclusion? J. and I both are surprised there were no naturals and feel that the pack is a hair trigger waiting to go. We did not ski anything steeper than 30 Degrees except for those few rollers around shale bluffs. Shale bluffs seems safe enough now but as always needs to be respected. As far as the skiing, it is superb. Seasons first real face shots. This is a great time to get out and ski some dense trees or small benign pockets. Even from the study plot down the skiing is excellent with fabulous coverage and blower snow.

B.E.



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Comments

5 Responses to “Marble, Colorado Ski & Snow Report”

  1. R.A. December 17th, 2008 4:01 pm

    Thanks for the info…

  2. Skier x December 17th, 2008 10:44 pm

    Skied up in marble alot before the big snow load. We were able to ski some of the steep lines but stayed away from the rolls above the shale because of a strange cross-loading across that part of the mountain. In that area, we found 3’+ soft slabs. They formed when we got the wind event that blew the gondola cable out of alignment on ajax ( a few weeks ago.) It is definitely a very strange place for it to slab up like that- not a place that you would expect. Just trying to share some info and keep the bc family intact.

  3. Lou December 18th, 2008 6:47 am

    The problem with Shale Bluffs is people tend to trend right and end up above that aspen forest, where not only is the snow more of the east/northeast aspect, but a slide would strainer you through those trees. On the other hand, sticking with the more direct line up the Bluffs keeps you in the main avy path. We almost always do that section one at a time, but most groups I see up there just gang ski it on the way up as if they’re in a rando race. I guess that’s why we need beacons with multiple burial functions…

    Interesting about the cross loading. That’s tricky.

  4. Apres Ski Bum December 18th, 2008 11:25 am

    Boys – I usually wait to ski that Quary stuff until its nice and set up in the spring, usually when there are no powder runs to be found up in Aspen Snowmass. And let me just tell you, that’s not right now. With over FOUR feet in the last several days, its a winter wonderland up here. As I write to you from my Aspen Hotel enjoying my coffee while the rest of the family is still recovering after their jello weary legs forced them in for a long winter’s nap. Ski the stuff on the slopes first, so I’m not reading about you in the obiturary section of the Times. I know there are huge powder stashes with no gapers on them, but live to tell about it. Keep turning! Cheers.

  5. Njord December 19th, 2008 4:02 am

    The resorts are skiing nice right now… Highlands was producing faceshots and no one was to be found on the mountain! It was empty yesterday, which is fine by me… because I’m too scared right now to venture anywhere else based on the tender snowpack!

    Njord

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