Item: Avalanche hazard "risk management" for the yule marble quarry
Title: Avalanche hazard "risk management" for the yule marble quarry
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1994 International Snow Science Workshop, Snowbird, Utah, USA
Authors: Christopher C. Landry, President, Yule Creek Avalanche Services, Inc.
Abstract: Snow avalanches may have been the least anticipated and most tragically underestimated natural hazard faced by the rapidly-spreading Colorado mining boom of the late 1800's. Mostly newcomers with little or no mining experience, let alone mountain experience, successive waves of hopeful men and their attendant boom towns established patterns of industrial and community development during summer months with inadequate regard for the harsh realities of high alpine winters. The inevitable consequences were grim: men were routinely lost in avalanches traveling to and from their mines, entire mine crews were lost sleeping in their bunkhouses, and even schoolhouses were wiped out. The discovery in 1873 and eventual development in the 1890s of the Yule Creek marble deposits was no exception to this litany of harrowing stories. Located some three miles up the rugged Yule Creek valley from Marble, access to the quarry was difficult enough during summer months, and numerous transport systems were tried before an electric tram proved reasonably reliable. Still, winter often thwarted the best technology these determined men could throw at it. After heavy snowfalls-and frequent and sometimes massive avalanches-snow removal was accomplished with men wielding shovels.
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Keywords: snow removal, snowfall, hazard, risk management
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