Tom McGhee
The Denver Post
Aspen, CO Colorado

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August 24, 2009
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Guanella Pass closed indefinitely

GEORGETOWN, Colo. - A mass of rocks threatening to fall on Guanella Pass Road has forced the indefinite closure of a 6-mile stretch of the pass west of Georgetown to Clear Lake Campground.

Above-normal rainfall this summer created the unstable rock mass, which might be the size of a football field, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

"With the amount of moisture we have had, the rock mass has loosened up, and there is concern about it sliding across the road," said John Bustos, spokesman for the Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests.

The road will remain closed while the Forest Service evaluates the danger and decides what to do, Bustos said.

The Central Federal Land Highway Division will develop a mitigation plan to deal with the rock.

The large rock mass could be anywhere from 20,000 to 60,000 cubic yards in volume, and would fill up to 6,000 dump trucks.

It is made up of sand, gravel, boulders and rock slabs.

Guanella Pass can be reached on County Road 381 starting at Grant on U.S. 285. Access is only to the pass's summit. There is no through travel to Georgetown.


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The Aspen Times Updated Aug 24, 2009 07:07AM Published Aug 24, 2009 07:06AM Copyright 2009 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.