Skiing and Snowshoeing Page

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For many years Heather and I have gone on a cross county ski trip to Old Monarch Pass with a group of people we have known for many years. We have probably done the trip over 10 times with a cast of characters. Recently because of colds, flues or knee problems are attendance record has not been too good.  On this page you will find a collection of pictures from numerous trips picked to best show the adventure.

We have had years where there wasn't enough snow to ski the whole way, we have had years where the snow is so icy that the trip is over in a couple of hours, we have had trips where with the wind chill factor the temperature was 65 degrees below zero and we have had years where the snow was so deep we had to break trail for the whole 12 miles. You just never know what kind of conditions you will face.

With good snow the ski is relatively easy. There is approximately 1 1/2 miles of skiing up to the top of the pass and the remainder of the trip is mostly downhill though not very steeply. It is always nice to see friends we don't see at other times of the year and to get some good exercise.

The trip always starts out with breakfast at the Manitou Pancake House at 6AM. After breakfast we form car pools so we take the fewest number of cars and make the drive to Monarch Pass. We stop at the trail head just above the ski area and drop off most people. All of the drivers then drive over the pass almost to Sargents and drop the majority of the cars off at the end of the trail. The drivers then crowd into as few vehicles as possible and drive back over the pass to the trail head. By this time the people who were previously dropped off have already begun skiing to the top of Old Monarch Pass road.

These are are friends Dean, Josie and family with Jim on the left. Dean organizes this trip every year.


Here are Heather and I almost to the top of the pass. You can tell this was a cold year by looking at Nanook of the North with her face all covered up.


It is beautiful at the top of the pass when there is new snow.


Group shot at the top of the pass.


Once over the pass there are some very nice views.


Looking back at our ski tracks.


This big tree is a milestone along the trail.


Some years the trees are really flocked.


About half way we all stop and regroup for lunch.


A nice sun flare picture.


In recent years at the end of the trip we have been having a pot luck dinner at Jim and Molly's near Mt. Princeton. They are gracious hosts. In previous years we would drive into Buena Vista and eat Mexican food and drink margaritas.


Jim and Molly have a wonderful house and the after ski party is always great fun with good food and home brewed beer some years.


The trip ends with a long drive back to Colorado Springs.

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