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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
From the Aspen Daily News
April 30, 2015
I am truly disappointed this was on my Bucket List and I had posted on this site that I was going this year!
You cant get to the Crystal Mill from Crested Butte going north over Schofield Pass!! (Story from local newspaper below)
A massive rockslide has destroyed part of a U.S. Forest Service road that serves as a popular jeeping route over Schofield Pass between Marble and Crested Butte.

The No. 314 road, near the Devil’s Punchbowl in Gunnison County, is utilized in the summertime by jeepers, dirt and mountain bikers, and hikers.

Already a rutted and rocky path, the recent slide punched four large holes in the road and covered what is left in enormous boulders, effectively closing it from any use beyond walking. The damage is about a mile past the ghost town of Crystal, but it doesn’t affect the route through Lead King Basin.

Glenwood Springs native Tays Anderson told the Aspen Daily News this week that he was traveling up the road on a 4-wheeler with his father about two weeks ago when they came upon the slide.

“There are large chunks of the road missing,” he said. “I don’t think a 4-wheeler, or possibly even a dirt bike, could get past there. It’s impressive.”

But few others were aware of the slide.

Gunnison County’s public works director Marlene Crosby said in an email that her department didn’t know about the slide, and staff at the Forest Service’s Aspen-Sopris Ranger District hadn’t heard of it, either.

One of the holes in the road is roughly 15 feet wide, 9 feet long, and around 4 feet deep. Some boulders on the road are around 5 feet in diameter, and others, larger than vehicles, lay just off the road. :surprise
 

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Do you have a link for the article? I think they got the Road # wrong, that should be 317.

The punchbowl is cool, but the main value of that road to me was in letting you pass through from Marble to Crested Butte instead of just in&out through Marble. Schofield was skinny/scary in some places, which could be fun. I'm amazed that the snow had melted enough for them to (a) get to Crystal in April and then (b) get far enough along Schofield to reach the blockage.

If you planned on going up there this summer, I'd still go. Do the Lead King Basin loop and plan on a hike to Geneva Lake.

I'll probably be camping up there in August.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)

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Discussion Starter #4
JB here is the follow up article!

Published on Aspen Daily News Online (Aspen Daily News Online |)
Forest Service to discuss Schofield Pass rockslide
Writer:
Collin Szewczyk
Byline:
Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
Land managers have no immediate plans to fix bridge above Devil’s Punchbowl

It’s still too early to know if the U.S. Forest Service will be repairing a section of road No. 314, which was destroyed recently by a massive rockslide.

Jon Thompson, backcountry recreation planner for the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District, said the road, which is in Gunnison County and helps connect Crested Butte and the town of Marble, doesn’t officially open for the season until May 21, and engineers would have to take a look at the damage before any decisions are made.

“It’s still a little too early to know,” Thompson said Friday. “But we will be having discussions about it soon.”

He noted that the Forest Service has engineers who check out the slides and any damage to roads to best determine what the next steps should be.

“We have Forest Service engineers that can get up there and [assess the road if it’s a major issue],” he said. “From the description of the damage, this could elevate [to that kind of a situation].”

Thompson said the Forest Service is in charge of maintaining roads No. 314, 315, and 317 in and around Schofield Pass, and has a cooperative agreement for some maintenance with Gunnison County.

“We also have a local partner [for maintenance] up there with High-Country 4-Wheelers,” he added.

The 314 road, which is near the Devil’s Punchbowl, is utilized in the summertime by jeepers, kayakers, dirt and mountain bikers, and hikers.

Already a rutted and rocky path, the recent slide punched four large holes in the road and covered what is left in enormous boulders, effectively closing it from any use beyond walking. The damage is about a mile past the ghost town of Crystal, but it doesn’t affect the route through Lead King Basin.

Just past the slide, Crystal Bridge No. 4, which crosses the south fork of the Crystal River at milepost 14.8, about a half-mile above the Devil’s Punchbowl, was closed last October to traffic after it was determined unsafe for vehicular use.

Thompson said there are no immediate plans to repair that structure.

“The abutments on the bridge are rotten,” he said. “It’s just not suitable for vehicle crossing.”

[email protected]


Add Image:
150429_rockslide_JC.jpg
Photo Credit with Byline:
Jordan Curet/Aspen Daily News
Photo Caption:
Reporter Collin Szewczyk examines one of the holes in U.S. Forest Service Road 314 where a large rockslide damaged a 150-yard stretch of the popular backcountry route.
archive_date:
1 day
active:
active
Source URL: Forest Service to discuss Schofield Pass rockslide | Aspen Daily News Online
 

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One of the holes in the road is roughly 15 feet wide, 9 feet long, and around 4 feet deep.
That definitely qualifies as a hole :surprise

Hopefully they will fix it with plenty of time for you to still make it there.
 

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Already a rutted and rocky path, the recent slide punched four large holes in the road and covered what is left in enormous boulders, effectively closing it from any use beyond walking. The damage is about a mile past the ghost town of Crystal, but it doesn’t affect the route through Lead King Basin.

Just past the slide, Crystal Bridge No. 4, which crosses the south fork of the Crystal River at milepost 14.8, about a half-mile above the Devil’s Punchbowl, was closed last October to traffic after it was determined unsafe for vehicular use.
I'd be surprised if it reopens this year. The first problem is with certifying that the landslides won't happen again, or with removing any rocks that are likely to slide. Then you have to repair the road: the machinery to move these big rocks is substantial, so getting it up there is difficult. Plus, filling the holes in the road takes a lot of fill dirt/rock and roadwork.

Fortunately, since this road isn't anywhere near Vail/Aspen there probably won't be much of a push to keep it closed for environmental reasons.

Fixing this stuff just takes time, Lefthand Canyon near Boulder is still closed and that's been since the floods in 2013.

Still planning on camping up there in August, but now it can't be a loop back through Crested Butte :frown
 

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Yes, well at least this was "destroyed" by Mother Nature who created the features in the first place and not like how the Rubicon was "destroyed" by the Forrest Service who filled certain obstaciles in for being "too difficult" :|

Glad to see this wasn't one of those articles :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
For what its worth? The romantic history...

During the early 1870's the Utes controlled the Crystal River area as part of the Ute Reservation. In 1873-1874 Dr. V. F. Hayden received immunity from Chief Ouray to continue his geologic surveys through the Crystal River Valley. In the spring of 1873 Dr. John Parsons from Denver was conducting another geologic survey of the Elk Mountains to ascertain the agricultural and mineral resources. With the aid of forty prospectors from the Crested Butte area Parsons built a road over Schofield Pass to the Crystal River, then called Rock Creek. Early miners called the trail "S.O.B. Trail" due to the sheer rock walls making transportation difficult, and the famed Devil's Punchbowl.

The reality to finish ...

In 1930 Carvel McWilliams was elected Mayor of Marble. He was a graduate of Gunnison High School and the towns people had hopes of fostering a better relationship between Gunnison and Marble. In April McWilliams went to Gunnison and presented a proposal to replace the old wagon road over Schofield Pass with a road three miles to the north crossing the headwaters of Silver Creek above the Lead King mine to the Commissioners. They favored the idea and passed a resolution recommending the extension to the State Highway Commission.

In 1936 the Governor of Colorado, Ed Johnson, borrowed $25,000,000 to improve roads throught Colorado assigning $50,000 to Gunnison County to build the road from Gothic to Marble. This was part of the "Park to Park Road", a network of roads connecting the nations National Parks. In July of 1938, under county commissioner Bill Whalen, twelve men, two bulldozers and a compressor were working on the road. On September 1, 1938 the Gunnison Courier announced that the long awaited road was within one and a half miles of being completed. It ran from Gothic through Gothic Park, around Emerald Lake and on up Schofield Pass and over to the town of Crystal, five miles from Marble. It was expected that the road would be open 5 months out of the year. As the Gunnison Courier reported "It will be a narrow road but there will be adequate turnouts. It follows the old wagon road as far as possible, when bull trains and mule teams were the means of locomotion." With this new road Marble would be 54 miles from Gunnison instead of 240 miles.

In September work was halted due to early snowstorms. In June of 1939 work resumed, but slowed as the drilling near the Devil's Punchbowl hit solid rock. This, with the heavy rains in the summer and early fall, slowed progress. The gravel surfacing was to take place in 1940, but the delays kept the workers from completing the road. As they worked people would drive down to the top of the Devil's Punchbowl and watch the progress. In the end it took until 1958 for the road to be completed so that vehicles could connect between Marble and Gunnison.

On August 5, 1958 four jeeps with fourteen passengers made a round trip from Marble to Crested Butte. The road had been impassable to vehicles due to boulders, rock slides and washed out bridges. In September, 1928, Jake Baumli Jr. took Charles Orlosky, his wife, and mother to the top of Schofield Pass from Marble. Slides closed the road there after until 1958. Gunnison County had cleared the road and built the bridges to open the road, but the 27 percent grade at the Devil's Punchbowl kept the road in the domain of four wheel drives.>:D
 
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It's a cool place, but a rough ride and narrow
Well I guess I can check that one off the list for my July vacation!
 

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Give it a couple years
What, your only around 800 miles from it:grin
Oh I will be back for sure, many times. Just have to cross it off this trip :lol:
 
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The slide is just past the turnoff to Lead King (when heading to Schofield from Crystal via the Punch Bowl) so you could start in Marble and do Lead King (which is magnificent) and then head to Crystal when you intersect the previously mentioned road from Crystal to Schofield, and then on to Marble. Missing out on the Punch Bowl is a bummer but the aforementioned run would be well worth the time and effort.
 

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Just as an FYI, we rode through there day before yesterday (8/15/2015) from Gothic (Crested Butte) to the Crystal Mill. The road is open to 4 wheelers/atv, albeit we rode across on horses.... That was thrilling enough, I can't imagine doing it in a jeep, although people were. We did come across a Suzuki that got high centered and had to be pull out.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Went over in mid August Started in Marble and viewed the Crystal Mill for the first time!
Spectacular!! Traveled through ghost town of Crystal City then south to the Devils Punch Bowl! Went over the incline and the off cambered bedrock section which I now call the Devils Ledge! My Daughter spotted me through the entire incline and picked a great Line! I never scraped or hit any part of the suspension! The bushes had been cut back and the sharp points played havoc on my paint job! Colorado Pinsriping at its finest! When we arrived at the trail head an older gentleman approached our SUV and asked where did I just come from? When I stated the Devils Punchbowl , he reached out and shook my hand! The Forest Service did a great job of repairing the road! It was very rocky and the OME 3" inch suspension plus the 285/70/17 Duratrac tires were key to me making it over without one bump! The full skid plate gave me confidence when going over the rockier parts! Arrived in Crested Butte 6 hours after leaving Marble it was quite thrilling! Mama said she is ONE & DONE! Never doing the " Devils Ledge " again!! This was on my Bucket List since 1985 ! Glad I finally did it! Thanks to my daughter who hikes 14 ers she is so well conditioned she jogged ahead of me through the entire incline before and after the Devils Punch Bowl and the dreaded Devils Ledge!! I never " bottomed out " once!!
 
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