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Healy Pass Peak and Monarch Ramparts

Difficulty: 
Easy Snowshoeing
Elevation [m]: 
2577
Round Trip Distance [km]: 
23.8
Net Elevation Gain [m]: 
922
Total Elevation Gain [m]: 
1274
Ascent Time: 
3:45
Bushwhackyness: 
None
Tripdate: 
Sunday, January 13, 2013

It was looking like conditions were going to be a bit avalanch-ey this weekend after a recent snowstorm so Steven, Mike and I decided on a snowshoeing trip around Healy Pass to avoid any super sketchy terrain (Steven had been up the Monarch Ramparts earlier this year in bad weather and spotted an unnamed highpoint he took to calling "Healy Pass Peak" over the pass which would offer a good view of the area).

Setting out from the Sunshine Ski Resort parking lot (while getting some odd looks for having snowshoes rather) the approach to the Healy Pass trail goes up the resort ski out before dropping down into the trees and onto a signed trail. The next 8km or so are in the trees slowly gaining elevation with the occasional clearing hinting of the views to come at the pass. We were lucky today as the trail was already mostly packed down after the last snowfall which made travel considerably less tiring. Once in the pass we left the trail, headed straight up the side of "Healy Pass Peak" (which we measured as being 2577m by GPS) and after a short rock ridden slope were on the summit and treated to far reaching views all around (Mt Ball and The Monarch really stand out as awesome looking peaks). After taking in the views (and some tasty snacks) we headed back down and traversed over to the Monarch Ramparts following the connecting ridge. Nothing techincal around here, though the views keep things interesting. The wind started to get really frosty while on the Ramparts and motivated a quick pace to stay warm. The views from the Ramparts are a bit more limited than "Healy Pass Peak" but still pretty great. Slogging back down the trail to the parking lot seemed to go on for a while, trees, trees, and more trees...

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