Dec 02

Winter 2014/2015 off to Slow Start — with Near Miss

Snowpack is thin. It’s going to be hard to catch up now, but Marble does get the precip once the faucet turns on. Be careful. Someone triggered and cleaned out the main bowl a few days ago. Not trivial.

We might have to start treating Marble Bowl like Highlands Bowl, with some intense boot packing in early season, perhaps while elk hunting? Seems like every season we start with a few scary avalanches in the bowl. Those could so easily be prevented with a bit of work. It’s actually a pretty small area. Ten people in October and November could take care of it. Time to be proactive?

Nov 19

Winter 2014/15 Begins

Marble area hasn’t received some of the larger recent snowfalls we’ve had in other parts of Colorado, but the snowpack build has definitely begun. We’ve seen a few folks trying to push the skiing, but snow depth on the access routes from Quarry road is insufficiant to cover downed trees and other obstacles. We’d recommend waiting for another storm or two before backcountry skiing.

We’ve been working on the Marblecam (see menu above). As always, a technical challenge, but we hope it to help increase skier awareness and safety — as well as being just plain useful for trip planning.

Colorado Stone Quarries made quite a few road improvements this past summer. Stop by their office at the loadout and thank them. At the same time you can inquire about road conditions; they’ll tell you if the hill truck is on the road so you know what to expect or can wait till they’re done.

In terms of road safety, this summer the erosion at Shale Cut ate into more of the road “shoulder.” It appears a repair is in the works, but may be halted by winter. As always, be super aware of these eroded narrow sections when you’re driving Quarry Road.

For names of road features as well as tips on how to listen to Quarry business radio, see this post.

Oct 23

Getready for 2014-15 — Quarry’s Rotary Plow

Check out the Volvo L110F compact loader that'll be pushing a loader mounted R.P.M. Tech LM220

Check out the Volvo L110F compact loader that’ll be pushing a loader mounted R.P.M. Tech LM220

We wouldn’t have the Quarry Road to use if it wasn’t for Colorado Stone Quarries Inc. doing snow plowing and road repair. Even so, without a rotary the plowing has been problematic as the road becomes narrower and narrower with a blade plow packing the berm against the roadside. We’re thus duly impressed by what we saw parked and ready to rock at the Marble Loadout a few days ago.

This loader mounted RPM Tech LM220 rotary (snowblower) has its own 275 horsepower turbo diesel, pushed by a sweet little Volvo L110F loader with a gleaming set of killer tire chains. Reminds us of well organized and efficient mountain road maintenance we’ve seen in Europe.

Please, everyone, at least stop in at the Quarry offices this winter and thank them for keeping the one-lane road turnouts and parking free of snow. Consider leaving a plate of cookies, or a tip for the plow driver? Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 16

Quarry Makes Major Road Improvements — Summer 2014

All varieties of backcountry travelers, rejoice. Colorado Stone Quarries, Inc. has been spending an immense amount of money and time widening sections of Quarry Road out of Marble, Colorado. They’ve been adding parking, trucking in roadbase and applying chloride to keep the summer dust down. We’ve been watching the work all summer — impressive. This coming winter, provided they push snow out of parking areas, we should have even smoother vehicle access to the backcountry skiing.

Looking NE from Lumber Curve to Windy Corner, new roadbase ,  much wider than before.

Looking NE from Lumber Curve to Windy Corner, fresh roadbase, much wider than before. A new parking area is visible about halfway into the photo on inside of curve, as well as to right. In this area alone, we count additional parking for at least 8 passenger vehicles, as well as an extra turnout for passing.

Read the rest of this entry »

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