Marble, Colorado – Raspberry Peak TR

Post by blogger | February 2, 2009      
Backcountry Skiing

This past weekend, Marble, Colorado. We climbed the standard skin track to the summit of Marble peak, then skied down the back (west) side into the Raspberry Creek drain. From there we climbed and skied Raspberry Peak. Photo above is Julie making her first turns of the day.

Backcountry Skiing

Scott near the Marble Peak summit, with the now classic view of the Elk Mountains.

Backcountry Skiing

Scott making turns off the back of Marble. He did the whole trip in a pair of alpine boots. After the day, he said a pair of AT boots are on the list.

Backcountry Skiing

Our goal for the day, the low angled easterly bowl on Raspberry Peak (11,930 feet).

Backcountry Skiing

Lisa, Julie and Scott with Raspberry behind.

Raspberry Bowl is about 1,000 vertical, total climbing for trip is about 4,000 vertical feet. Avalanche concern is mainly the northerly starting zones to your left as you climb Raspberry Bowl. Most of the low angled bowl is not a concern, though the steeper section near the top could be a problem given touchy conditions. For more vertical of quality powder, you can lap the back side of Marble Peak.

Funny thing about this trip was that once we returned, we got reports of the Marble area being incredibly crowded with backcountry skiers. We were the first car there, nearly the last to leave, and just saw a couple of people on the way up Marble Peak. Goes to show, if you get off the beaten path the backcountry is a big place. And if you want parking, just get up early and get the drive done.

Backcountry Skiing

Bonus shot. From the top of Raspberry you get a complete view of the stupendous west face of Mount Justice. Looks like a corn snow paradise to me (though even this got skied during this weekend's Marble circus).

Public service information about skiing the Marble, Colorado area.



16 Responses to “Marble, Colorado – Raspberry Peak TR”

  1. Dongshow February 2nd, 2009 4:56 pm

    Mt Justice looks awesome, congrats on the great conditions.

  2. bj February 2nd, 2009 5:00 pm

    that west face of justice got skied yesterday by some friends, looked like a POWDER paradise from where I was standing 😉

  3. Lou February 2nd, 2009 5:00 pm

    Apparently there were a ton of people up there, of whom we saw hardly anyone. Someone told me that side of Justice got skied. That seems a bit out there to me for this time of year, but each to his own I guess. The snowpack does seem to be quite stable in the West Elks.

  4. bj February 2nd, 2009 5:32 pm

    did you see the tracks coming down the big couloir on Mt Daly? now that seems out there!

  5. Andrew_L February 2nd, 2009 6:14 pm

    I’m not really sure what that white stuff is all over the ground in your photos, but I have to say I like the look of it.

  6. Eric Steig February 3rd, 2009 8:25 am

    Lou! When do we get to hear about Trab’s new dynafit-type binding? It looks very very promising!

  7. Lou February 3rd, 2009 8:27 am

    Eric, I’m working on getting set up with those. Initial photos are available over on TGR and we’ll get some up here soon.

  8. Chad February 3rd, 2009 8:37 am

    Circus would be a good way to describe it. I spoke with a couple members of different groups that were from as far away as Jackson Hole!!

    Question: Lou, With the amount of cars up there this weekend(10+) does the accesibility start to become a concern?

  9. Lou February 3rd, 2009 9:18 am

    Chad, first, I’m surprised someone from Jackson would ski there. Jackson is 1,000 times cooler and better.

    As for the number of cars, it depends on what kind of plowing the Quarry has done. At this time the road is carved out pretty good, but I’ve seen it get to the point where you can only park 5 cars at most on the upper part of the road.

    Main thing is people are now parking on parts of the road that might look wide, but are not wide enough for a car and the Quarry’s hill truck. The hill truck needs room to stay away from the downhill shoulder so they’re not in danger of going off the edge from a road collapse. If people start parking up there in the wrong way, we could end up with ALL our access cut off due to safety concerns. In other words, if the Quarry plays the safety card, I believe they could get the Sheriff to close winter automobile access to the public. If that happens, we’ll have to walk or snowmobile up the road.

  10. Tom G February 3rd, 2009 9:19 am

    10+ cars a circus? Obviously you guys have never skied Vail Pass on a sunny weekend. The Roaring Fork Valley must truly be the land of the privileged! 🙂

  11. Bogie February 3rd, 2009 9:52 am

    I would like to mention that tomorrow Feb 4, from 4:30 to 6:30 at CMC Aspen there will be a “big mountain” roundtable discussion group. The cost is $20 but if that is a problem, contact me at 963 3164 or 309 2027 and I can find a way to reduce it. I will attemp to put together an air bag order at this session. Any input would be useful.


  12. Tobias February 4th, 2009 8:27 am

    Amazing conditions, congratulaions! Nics pics and reading!

  13. El Jefe February 27th, 2009 1:24 pm


    looks like it could be a long day……for my buddies with family obligations….what time did you get started and what time did you get done?


  14. Lou February 27th, 2009 3:02 pm

    It adds about 3 hours to a Marble Peak trip, add a lunch stop to that, perhaps a snow pit, and then…

  15. Cody March 3rd, 2009 9:51 am


    Based on the recent weather and the forecast for the next 4 days, do you feel this would be a reasonable route for this Friday? I’m thinking that the east aspect of Raspberry might be a bit crusty. I have yet to explore the Marble area and am looking for something safe, but fun.



  16. Lou March 3rd, 2009 9:57 am

    Gotta watch out for crust this time of year. Better bet is shorter laps so you can adjust exposure to find the best snow, rather than committing to a big route. This time of year Raspberry would probably be best after a storm placed a moderately thick layer of pow on top of the crust, with decent bonding so avy danger wasn’t too high. That happens pretty often, watch for it.

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