Massive boulders from rockslide narrowly miss home

by Carolina King

Bill and Rena Fries of Ouray woke around 6:00 the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 31 to a “loud smashing bang” coming from near the corner of their house on Pinecrest Drive.
It was too dark to see what had caused the sound and as they were waiting for daylight, “within five minutes of this happening” according to Bill Fries, Ouray Mountain Rescue Team and Ouray Police Department were on the scene. They told the Frieses they had to evacuate. The rescuers, which also included the Ridgway Marshal’s Office, helped the elderly couple get through the debris that looked like a “mine field.”
Two boulders each “the size of a Volkswagen” came down the cliff that the couple’s log home has been sitting on since 1975, one on each side of their home, narrowly missing on both sides. One boulder hit their motor home, turning it on its side while tearing a giant hole “just like a rocket” all the way through it as it came to rest further down the hill.
The other boulder rushed down the other side of the home, taking with it large trees split from about waist-high and completely eradicating the snow shed built against the house. It also damaged the electric tram and stairs the Frieses use to access the home.
“It’s amazing the house is totally intact,” the soon-to-be 90-year-old Bill Fries said. He was upbeat and working on cleaning up the damage when the Plaindealer spoke with him. He said the Colorado Geological Survey came with drones, and they assured him that “they didn’t see anything else left up there that could come down.”

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