Saturday Powder Day at Monarch

      4 Comments on Saturday Powder Day at Monarch

Brian in the trees off of Hall’s Alley.

The snow totals in Colorado over the past week and a half have been incredible for many areas. With Monarch receiving 116” of snow in the last 14 days (Mount Baker-esque numbers), it’s hard not wonder if perhaps we’re temporarily living in an alternate universe of some kind.

Brian, Mike, and I, intent on using the first of 3 free Monarch days attached to our ski passes, in conjunction with the desire to avoid I-70 at all costs, made the long but easy drive down 285 to Salida on Saturday morning. By that point Monarch had received roughly 3 feet of snow in 72 hours, with an additional foot falling on us throughout the day while we skied. Needless to say by Colorado standards that is an above average powder day. We did our best to explore the mountain and even made friends with an area local, who showed us a few places before he disappeared into the gloom.

This photo was hanging in the base area cafeteria, which we spotted over breakfast (pardon the reflections). An omen of good things to come.

Monarch’s signature two-seater lifts still pull uphill faster than we can skin. We’ll take it!

This run is called “Mirage”, right off the Panorama Chair. Fitting, as for most of the day we wondered if we were experiencing an optical illusion.

Mike throwing some snow around in “Shag Nasty”.

Twice we worked our way up the ridge line and dropped into the Mirkwood trees before it was closed by patrol. These were by far and away the best two runs of the day.

Charlie, a local we tagged along with for part of the day, kept referring to face shots as “when stuff goes over my head”. Here’s Brian demonstrating what that looks like, whatever terminology you’d like to use.

Last but not least, I threw a little Go Pro footage together. Still working on the editing skills but it turned out pretty well.


This was the first visit to Monarch for all three of us. Ultimately our first visit turned out to be a good one with great snow. The only area lacking in our opinion is the vertical drop from top to bottom (1,160′) compared to other resorts in the state which boast 2,500’+. That said, Monarch has a very unique feel and the reduced uphill capacity/relative lack of crowds definitely seems to keep the runs fresher for longer. Lately Brian and I have been discussing the merits of the different ski pass options available for a weekend warrior Denverite, and we’ve come to the conclusion that any pass featuring a few free days at Monarch deserves a hard look. I think all three of us are excited to go back.

4 thoughts on “Saturday Powder Day at Monarch

  1. Becky

    Great bumping into you guys! We rode there Sunday as well and it was just as awesome. Hope to see you all again soon.

    1. Ben Post author

      Was great seeing you guys as well, as short as it was. Wish we would have gotten a few more runs together! How was Amica’s?

  2. Brian

    This was one of the deepest days since I moved here in 2006. Fitting it aligned with Monarch of all places. Just goes to show it doesn’t matter the mountain, more so the conditions that day.

    1. Ben Post author

      For sure, I heard it referred to as a 20 year storm. It’s nice when the stars align isn’t it? Monarch > Steamboat on that particular weekend.

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