Marble, Colorado Ski & Snow Report

Post by blogger | December 17, 2008      

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

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.



Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


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!


  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version