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.
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.