Saturday, January 17, 2009

Monarch Crest Muni Adventure (August 2007)

Yeah it's been a while since I completed this adventure, but I was recently re-inspired by a journey these guys just completed. So I figured I should post a few pictures from my much smaller scaled mountain-unicycle epic I completed back in August of 2007. I decided that I wanted to ride the famed Monarch Crest Trail starting at Monarch Pass, Colorado at 11,312 feet above sea-level. This is a true Colorado Epic and a must ride (or run) for anybody who ever is lucky enough to be in the area. The route I took was point to point from Monarch Pass to the Shirley Site some 19+ miles away.

The route tops out and almost 12,000 feet above sea-level and spends the first 12 miles to Marshall Pass over 11,000 feet! The route to Marshall Pass is panoramic view after panoramic view as the trail largely stays on an extended ridge-line and has a net downhill. After Marshall Pass I opted for the "short" route by dropping down the Poncha Creek 4x4 road as I didn't want to keep my wife Kathy and dog Cairo waiting for me too long! The descent from Marshall Pass kept going and going. All in all I dropped almost 3,500 feet over 19 miles and gained maybe a quarter of that! I can't wait to do this route again one day and cover the full 50km+ route all the way into Poncha Springs...

The start, Monarch Pass at the ski lift...
Typical piece of single-track between Monarch Pass and Marshall Pass.
My Kris Holm 24" mountain-unicycle taking a break to pose for the camera. Again up high at almost 12,000 feet above sea-level (between Monarch Pass and Marshall Pass).

Taking a breather at the intersection of the Monarch Crest and Colorado Trail intersection.

Chatting with some of the two-wheelers at Marshall Pass.

Just one of many awesome Aspen groves along Poncha Creek 4x4 road on the descent to Shirley Site.

Finished at last and all just under 4 hours trail-head to trail-head. Not bad for one wheel, fixed-gear and no brakes!

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