Monday, February 05, 2007

Avalanche in Bear Creek Canyon?

I wouldn't believe it unless I saw it. Saturday morning I went skiing up the High Drive (above.) (It was part of a long training ski for the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse.) Anyway, not more than a quarter mile up from the gate at Bear Creek, I came across a Volkswagen-sized pile of snow that had covered half the road. It had come down a narrow gully on the north side after two days of intense cold and wind, along with a light bit of new snow.
Was it dangerous? No. Even if it had caught a skier or hiker on the road it would have just pushed them around a little at most, but it does suggest that the snowpack is very unstable right now. I can't remember ever seeing snow slides in the Cheyenne Canyon/Bear Creek area just outside the city. Anyone else?
I'm glad I wasn't up on Pikes Peak.
As an aside, the skiing on High Drive is absolutely dreadful right now -- sun-cupped ice topped with wind-blown gravel. It doesn't get much worse. On the other hand, skiing on Upper Gold Camp Road was very good Saturday, and may still be today if the warmth hasn't melted all the snow. Better hurry.


UltraRob said...

I went cross-country skiing Saturday afternoon but was afraid High Drive would have bad conditions and I wasn't sure about upper Gold Camp either. I drove up to ski into Rampart Reservoir but Rampart Range Road was drifted over. There were 2 city utility trucks with plows trying to get what they said was the 3rd person in 3 hours to get stuck. I ended up skiing on Schubarth Trail although it was really wind blown and not great skiing although it was good to get out. I turned around where the house is that I think the owner has been causing access problems. I didn't see any signs of life but didn't want to risk being threatened. I was out at sunset and it was beautiful! I have a couple pictures on my blog.

Dena Rosenberry said...

I heard this morning the rangers working the Pikes Peak tollroad were actively warning people about avalanche danger, and telling people not to try skiing because it was so unstable.

Highstepper said...

I was mountain biking near there a few years back and came across a volkswagen-sized pile of dookie. Must have been a large dog or the Sasquatch.