Thanks everyone for using MarbleSki.org. Public webcam is shut down for the summer. We’ll try another winter of webcam and occasional postings beginning next fall. By all accounts the winter up on Marble Peak and elsewhere in the area went quite well. No major mishaps. Props to everyone.
Happy spring everyone! Snowpack is poorly consolidated other than top layers from recent warmer storms, and free water is percolating in some areas from mid-day to afternoon. Good dense eggshell in the morning if the night has been free of clouds and temps drop. Start early, better to risk having to wait for surfaces to soften rather than a desperate retreat from rapidly developing avalanche danger. As the avy pros say, if you can walk on the frozen snow crust in your boots, you’re good, but if you punch a boot through the eggshell be concerned — especially when things continue to warm.
We’ll keep the webcam running for a few more weeks, but summer is coming early this year as far as we can tell.
Also, be aware that the snowpack in Marble area is something around a half to a third of what we normally see. For example, here at Field HQ we’ve got about two feet on the ground. Normally this time of year we measure it about five feet. Expect the lower elevation approaches such as those of all the Rasberry Ridge zones (Marble Peak, Ally, Noname) to be unskiable fairly soon so get it while you can.
As often happens in Colorado, avalanche forecasts are beginning to sound like a stuck CD, “Moderate, persistent slabs.” “Moderate, persistent slabs.” “Moderate, persistent slabs.” “Moderate, persistent slabs.”
One wonders how to mitigate. Terrain choice is the only solution for 100% safe skiing. Be safe.
As always, when things settle down in the snowpack we’re hoping expert skiers will open up new skin tracks and terrain in some of the lesser used pitches off Marble Quarry Road, but doing so is problematic as that magic combo of relatively safe terrain for the downhill and 100% safe routes for the up is hard to find. For newcomers, remember you can always make a first stop at Windy Corner (see map via menu above) to view most of the ski terrain and assess what’s been used, where tracks are broken, what’s slid and what is hang fire, etcetera.