By Polly Oberosler
Editor’s Note: Back in April of this year, a massive rockslide occurred on Schofield Pass, a four-wheel-drive forest service road which connects the towns of Marble and Crested Butte.
Popular with mountain and dirt bikers, hikers and Jeep enthusiasts, there was speculation that the sheer enormity of the slide might permanently close the pass, which was originally built in 1883 as a wagon route between the two mining towns. But, on June 8, after three days of work by a dedicated crew of U.S. Forest Service employees, F.S. Road 314 has reopened.
The work was overseen by Jim McBreen, construction and maintenance supervisor for the USFS He described very large trees above the road that were shattered by the slide and reported that one of the holes in the road was nearly 16 feet wide and 4 feet deep. He estimated that nearly 100 yards of road were affected by the slide. A bulldozer team consisting of Larry Augustson and Salvador Landa did much of the road clearing, despite the difficulty of bringing the machine up to the remote location.
Jeepsters and other local four-wheeling clubs regularly perform volunteer work on the road, but this slide was a bit outside of their ability levels. We asked sometimes contributor and Gunnison Valley native Polly Oberosler to share some insights into the pass with us.