Trooper Traverse — Leadville – Aspen Colorado

Post by blogger | May 7, 2006      

We’re leaving today for five days backcountry skiing on the Trooper Traverse from Leadville, Colorado to Aspen. The weather looks a bit shaky for the first few days, but it appears we will finish the trip with a string of blue sky days. A few photos from the original trip in 1943.

I've gathered quite an archive of photos from the original 1943 Trooper Traverse. This is one of my favorites. There is not doubt in my mind the guy has a hunk of Spam on that fork. And he's smiling. Perhaps he knows something we don't?

I've gathered quite an archive of photos from the original 1943 Trooper Traverse backcountry skiing trip. This is one of my favorites. There is not doubt in my mind the guy has a hunk of Spam on that fork. And he's smiling. Perhaps he knows something we don't?

Hotel Jerome Bar in the 1940s

Just as it was for the soldiers, Jerome Bar is our ultimate destination. Photo above is the bar and soda fountain around the late 1940s when it was a soda fountain resulting from prohibition. After prohibition the soda serving continued for a while, eventually combining with alcohol service. During their many parties at the Hotel Jerome the soldiers invented a famous drink. Known as Aspen Crud, the somewhat deadly concoction consists of bourbon and vanilla ice cream blended together -- no doubt an opportunistic combination of soda fountain and available libations. The Hotel Jerome told me the would host us with lunch and a round of cruds when we show up this coming Friday after skiing over from Leadville. Thanks Jerome!


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6 Responses to “Trooper Traverse — Leadville – Aspen Colorado”

  1. Lou Dawson August 7th, 2012 11:16 am

    Just repaired this early post from Trooper Traverse historical archives. Had to delete a comment that somehow was causing the browser display to mess up.

  2. Paul M. August 9th, 2012 9:59 am

    Five of us Air Force guys just completed the Troopers Traverse. Although we did not do the traditional route, here are my thoughts…lot’s of walking (2.5 days in July), saw amazing mounatin passes, tons of elk, lots of rain, and no other people until Aspen. Basiclly it was amazing and we’re all looking forward to completing the traverse early next spring on skies. thanks to Loe and for all their hard work on bringing a tradition from the past to current date. i challange any backpacker to experience this 32 mile trek.

  3. Lisa Dawson August 9th, 2012 6:10 pm

    Paul, congratulations on doing the Trooper Traverse! I believe the terrain is more challenging in the summer because of the loose rock we have in Colorado. You’ll love doing it on skis. Let us know when you do it.

    Did you stick with tradition and celebrate with an Aspen Crud?

  4. Javier February 13th, 2014 7:13 pm

    I’m interested in the Trooper Traverse as a summer backpack trek, checking for good general info; e.g., preparations, trip planning, availability of guided group trips, best summer times, etc.
    I live in Texas, close to 10th mtn div’s. summer/fall 1944 home (Camp Swift). First read of the traverse several years ago, described as a summer trip, intrigued since. Not quite ready for the skis. Yet. Thought some summer ‘training’ might be prudent and worthwhile.
    Any advice, info, references, etc.would be sincerely appreciated.


  5. Lou Dawson February 14th, 2014 7:01 am

    Javier, it makes a good summer alpine backpack trip for the adventurous trekker. Quite a bit of it is off-trail. I’d say you need to be an advanced wilderness backpacker to do it safely. Best resources I know of are what I’ve put together here at WildSnow. As for guides, just google different Colorado guide services and ask what they can do for you. Lou

  6. Javier February 15th, 2014 6:38 am

    thanks for your response Lou, much appreciated.

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