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
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
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.
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
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.