Backcountry skiing accessed by the Quarry Road near Marble, Colorado is a good call. At least sometimes. But savvy skiers and riders know that more than fourteen avalanche paths drop over the two mile section of road used to access the goods. When things get unstable, even driving the road can put your life in danger. A few photos showing the aftermath of one such slide cycle (happened about a week ago, on March 1).
Two big slides went over Quarry Road during the last avalanche cycle. Mud Gulch, in photo above, left a debris pile about 20 feet thick that quarry workers had to punch through with big machinery. The other that ran over the road was the No Name path. It was nearly as big. Either slide would have been certain death to anyone hit by them, be the person inside or outside a vehicle. Interesting thing to me was that this slide was only slightly above average in size for the Mud path. A few years ago, a slide of about twice the volume ran and knocked down a forest to lookers right of the normal path. And judging from the age of nearby aspen trees, Mud runs even bigger than that on a 70 or 80 year average. Click image to enlarge.
Mud Gulch avalanche starting zone is complex. It always interests me how some of the ribs don't slide (note fracture lines), and could function as a safe route even during extreme conditions. Of course the ribs peter out lower down and dump you on to steep terrain that would be terrifying, if not fatal. Another thing interesting about this slide is that the starting zone only involves a layer of snow from the latest storm, yet still produced huge volume and force. Click image to enlarge.