A different way to ski the Monarch Ramparts worked out very well. Mixed weather, lots of trail breaking.
We set out from the top of the Wawa chair at 9:30 (Mark having skinned up from the parking lot, the rest took the lifts). Heading towards Simpson pass we found a good route between the Ramblers trip of Dec 12 (in the other direction) and the Great Divide Summer trail.
More or less on the GDT between Sunshine Village and Simpson Pass
We made it to Simpson Pass by 11:15 and to a lunch spot a little north of Eohippus Lake around 12:15.
Crossing the meadows towards Eohippus Lake
From there we climbed up to the south end of the Monarch Ramparts.
Climbing the "ramp" to the Monarch Ramparts
Until there we had significant trail breaking for the 8km or so, generally close to boot-top depth. This task was shared in proportion to our individual strength, so Young Mark and Mike Wingfast did the lion's shares of the work. Big thanks to both of you. The top of the ramparts was both windy and windblown, pretty much as it usually is. We trekked along generally further down the west side than most tours that I've done.
Windblown skiing along the Monarch Ramparts (Monarch in right bkg) - photo from Jim
This trip is not really about the turns, but there are a few to be had where we dropped off the Ramparts a little shy of Healy Pass.
Ready for the descent off the Monarch Ramparts
Turns off the Monarch Ramparts
At the bottom of Healy Meadows we ran into Jack who had been over to Egypt Lake cabin. The ski down the "bobsled" run called Healy Creek trail had it usual thrills. It seemed like it would have been somewhat nasty before the recent snow. We were back at the cars at 5:00. Distance about 22 km, elevation gain around 450 m.
Many thanks to participants: Terry,Mike,Clifton,Mark,Jim for joining me,Carl (C/S).