I apologize if this is old news, but we had a rather harrowing experience Wednesday while camping on the Dolores at about Mile 80 (2/3 of the way through a 3-day, 50-mile Slick Rock to Bedrock run @ 800 cfs.) The snowstorm that hit most of Colorado rolled in on us early Wed afternoon as a rainstorm. We set up camp in the rain and were in our tents trying to stay warm and dry (NOTE: the alcove camp sites were taken.) The rain turned to snow at around 6 PM, and soon after, we heard what sounded like thunder at first, but it kept repeating and getting closer. By the time I figured out what was going on, it was too late. A gigantic thud shook the ground, and I poked my head out of my tent to see a 500 lbs sandstone rock that had landed only a few feet in front of the tent, with enough force to make a crater several inches deep. It very likely would have been fatal had it landed on me. This was an established campsite with de facto tent pads. There were other rocks strewn about between the tent pads, but none looked recent, and I had set up my tent well outside of the existing rock field. The freak snowfall no doubt had something to do with triggering the rock fall, but my takeaway was: be more aware of your surroundings. Look up as well as around when you're pitching your camp. The locals told me that rock falls are common around there because of the soft sandstone. I have no sense of how common or how likely/unlikely this particular fall was. It may be something that only occurs every 100 years in this particular spot, and we were just unlucky enough to have been there when it happened (and lucky enough not to have been killed by it), but we did hear some subsequent rock falls down the canyon during the night.
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