Chaffee County Running Club

Many CCRC trails stay snow free all winter ... here are a few views from one that does NOT!

Monarch Crest Trail Ski - April 5, 2008
Monarch Pass to Marshall Pass on the "trail", then down snowy Marshall pass road to bottom.

monarch crest trail ski trip - monarch colorado
7:30 AM start - it wasn't crowded. 
North Fooses creek and Peck Peak in sight.
monarch crest trail ski trip - monarch colorado
Once on the crest, the route gets easier and harder.
Lots of wind, great views, large cornices, funky snow.
cornice ridge on monarch crest trail
Impressive sculptures along every ridge.
monarch crest trail ski trip - monarch colorado
Fortunately and humorously, the trail still held a little snow from a recent storm - a thin white line in a windswept land.
monarch crest trail ski trip - monarch colorado
Great views of Chipeta and Ouray
from the now well-buried trail.
monarch crest trail ski trip - monarch colorado
Nasty snow meant sidestepping and other variations on survival skiing. No smooth telemark turns here.
monarch crest trail ski trip - monarch colorado
A favorite part of the trail on the western side of the crest.
Note fuzzy appearance of grass and snow in high wind.
monarch crest trail ski trip - monarch colorado
The last long climb past Cochetope pass, and the nicest snow along the Crest Trail.
removing skins on the crest trail
Removing skins in the shelter of an odd cornice in the middle of the ridge. Finally, downhill and better snow.
monarch crest trail ski trip - monarch colorado
Despite much searching, the trail was not evident in the trees - so we just contoured across the sidehill.
monarch crest trail ski trip - monarch colorado
A big smile at the top of Marshall Pass.
The slow part is over, now to cover the remaining miles.
monarch crest trail ski trip - monarch colorado
Easy downhill skiing on the Marshall Pass Road.
One snowmobile had tracked the recent snow.
monarch crest trail ski trip - monarch colorado
Nice views of the Sangre de Cristos.
monarch crest trail ski trip - monarch colorado
The second and last of two short walks in snow free zones.
The car awaits :-).