Perfect Trees

      8 Comments on Perfect Trees

Brian finding the goods in the Perfect Trees area of Monarch Pass.

The Monarch Pass corridor is a zone we’ve been meaning to explore for many years now, but for whatever reason we just haven’t made it down there much prior to this season. Well this year, with I-70 being what it’s been seemingly every weekend (I’ll say no more), it’s seemed reasonable to head down 285 and avoid the mess altogether. As it happens Monarch has gotten great snow in the past month and a half, and so we figured why not try out the area again this past weekend?

After a great day of skiing Mirkwood Bowl and a few lines off the lift, Brian, Jason, and I motored on up to the top of the pass to check out a few local recommendations.  Although we only really got around to two areas, “Perfect Trees” and “Snow Stake” more or less right off the road, we still felt we got a taste of what this backcountry zone has to offer.  The weather was perfect on this day – warm and sunny, and the snow on shaded northern aspects was perfect as well – 8 or so inches of powder from Friday night’s storm that managed to stay cool the 24 hours prior.  Though we didn’t feel like we got “in there” as far as we could have, the skiing was so good right off the Perfect Trees ridge line we just decided to stay and savor it for a few laps.  A few of our better pictures…

Skinning across the ridge line out towards the “Perfect Trees” area, with Mount Aetna towering in the background.

Lookng down the slope into Pefect Trees, with Aetna and the Monarch Ski Area across the way.

A closeup of Mount Aetna’s Grand Couloir, which happens to be stacked with snow right now. Photo by Brian.

Jason enjoying the bluebird powder day. It felt a lot like spring out there.

Looking back up the slope we lapped. Photo by Brian.

Floral decor at the top of the Snow Stake area later in the day.

Spring is definitely in the air! Can’t wait to get out on some larger objectives here soon.

8 thoughts on “Perfect Trees

  1. Alan

    Looks like you guys got some great turns in. Monarch Mountain is without a doubt our favorite ski area in Colorado. We experienced the best powder tree skiing of the season in the Mirkwood area last weekend. The backcountry terrain off of Monarch Pass is something we have yet to explore but judging by the pictures, we may need to venture out there next time we’re in the area. Grand Couloir looks good for spring!

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Alan. Without a doubt huh? That’s a serious endorsement! Agreed, there’s a lot more to the Monarch area than meets the eye, and a lack of people is definitely one of them. I guess I should stop talking about it huh?

  2. Brandon Chalk

    Solid pow skiing there, guys! Loved the pics! Gorgeous day. Aetna sure looks inviting. I’d like to hit that this spring with the help of my new trusty guidebook!

    1. Ben Post author

      Brandon, yeah man let us know when you do. I’d like to tag Taylor and can’t think of a better excuse to ski Aetna again. Especially this year. It looks really, really good.

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Dillon! We didn’t have our resident semi-professional photographer along (i.e. you) on this trip so we had to make due with the iPhones. They still take pretty good shots though.

  3. Michael R.

    Looking good down there! Ben, I was eying that east face of Aetna when I climbed Taylor, might be a nice option for a peak combo? Let me know if you are interested. By the way, picked up my copy of your guys book – great job! Its really well done, congrats!

    1. Ben Post author

      Hey Mike, thanks for checking in. We talked to a local who said the East Face gets skied almost as much as the Grand. Brian and I were already talking about an Aetna/Taylor ski combo for this spring if the stars align, so yes we would be interested!

Comments are closed.