Avalanche near Marble, Colorado


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | December 26, 2006      
Avalanche near Marble, Colorado.

Avalanche near Marble, Colorado.

We were up backcountry skiing today near Marble, Colorado and had an interesting time. Over the past few days we’d seen quite a few people skiing what we call “Alley,” and figured since things were somewhat stable we’d perhaps head up there as well. Before skiing we took our usual drive up to an observation point we like, and looked for any sign of slide activity. Zilch. We then drove down to parking at Ally. When I got out of the truck I looked up at the route and spied a fracture line where none had been five minutes before!

We’d seen at least six people headed up Alley so we immediately went into possible emergency mode. Drove back up the observation point and got out the binoculars and the ham radio. Ready for anything. It soon became obvious that no one had taken a ride, though a dog might have gotten a thrill. This avalanche appeared to be wind loaded snow on top of a lightly sun slicked surface, or else the sliding surface was hoar frost. Would have liked to look at the slide profile but needless to say we turned tail and skied the trees over on Marble Peak. If anyone who was up there sees this blog, please leave a comment and let us know the story.

This was not a large avalanche, but could have hurt someone. It’s interesting to see such a slide in Colorado, where our snowpack is usually so crummy that any avalanche steps down to the ground and moves massive amounts of snow. Such slides usually result in killer avalanches that offer little to no hope of survival. It’s testimony to the excellent snowpack we’ve got in the Marble area that this avalanche only involved a thin surface layer and didn’t run full path. Our snow pit today told the story. Super solid all the way to the ground. With, yes, a less bonded layer as icing on the cake.



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Comments

3 Responses to “Avalanche near Marble, Colorado”

  1. Anthony Benham December 28th, 2006 7:10 am

    We were skiing up in the alleys on tue 12-26 me rick wilder and max taam and four dogs, we were outnumbered by the dogs but that is not unusual. someone else set the track on either christmas eve day or christmas day and opened the seal on alley three so we did a halfer in alley three and then went back up intending to open alley two. at the top of the small peak between two and three we stopped to do our thing and rick dropped his glove which rolled down the slope and two of the dogs went after it. they got to the glove, of course neither of them bring it back, and they’re kinda starting back up and rick hollars out that it’s goin and sure enough it was. the crown did not extend to the dogs and no one rode, we were lucky, we had not imagined such a tender condition. we skied two along side it after that and enjoyed the snow that was left. the bed surface was an icy old suncrust which exists on the south aspect of each of those alley bowls esp. no name so the slopes that haven’t gone probably need just a little more snow and they could move on their own. we were up there again today and the wind blew hard overnight and harder slab to that bad snow that slid yesterday.

  2. LBR January 3rd, 2007 2:33 pm

    “Our snow pit today told the story. Super solid all the way to the ground.”
    Sounds like a trip west is in order!

  3. bob franzoni January 1st, 2011 8:17 pm

    iknew rick and havent had contac with him or criss for 11 years

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