Helpful Hints

Getting Started

Once you have chosen a date for your visit to Monarch Mountain, you can reserve your day on the snow by contacting our knowledgeable reservations staff (888-996-7669 or 719-530-5196). Lift tickets, rentals, lessons, and childcare can be reserved all in the same phone call. All reservations must be made 48 hours in advance.  If you or your family are taking lessons, plan for drive time and expect to arrive at the mountain at least 1 ½ hours prior to your scheduled lesson.  Practice Safe Driving - although our local CDOT does a great job keeping the highway clear, it can be snow-covered and slick. Slow down and get here safe. This also includes driving in the parking lot.  (Please allow an additional 30 minutes for clothing rental.)

Helpful Hints - How to Make the Most of Your Trip

Preparing for Your Trip
Skiing and snowboarding takes place in outdoor environments at high mountain elevations. Adapting for ever changing conditions can be a challenge. Here is a list of some things to consider in your preparation process:

Wear Proper Clothing
  • Dress in wool or synthetic layers so you have the option to shed or add clothing as conditions change. Avoid cotton, especially jeans---it gets wet and stays wet. Top these off with a wind / water resistant shell
  • Wear one pair of comfortable wool or wool blend socks.
  • Choose gloves that are made for winter sports. They should have a water resistant outer shell and light insulating layers inside. Mittens are usually warmer than gloves.
  • Eye protection is necessary. Wear sunglasses for clear sunny days or ski goggles for stormy or low light conditions.
  • Having a stocking cap available for head and ear protection is recommended. Helmets are included in all lesson packages.
  • In the parking lot and around the base area, use proper footwear to avoid slips and falls.
Gear Up Correctly
  • Stretch before you ski or ride to help avoid injury or those later aches and pains that come with physical activity.
  • Avoid tucking double socks or pants into your ski/board boots as this can cut off circulation in your feet.
  • On the slopes, be sure your boots are buckled; unbuckled or loose fitting boots are an easy way to get hurt. Always tie up your boot laces and do not let them drag behind you.
  • Check your equipment for proper operation before you hit the slopes. The techs in our Rental Shop can help you out with this.
Avoid “Acute Mountain Sickness” - This is the most common problem that Patrol sees, and it can happen to you! Symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, unable to catch breath.
  • Be well rested when you arrive.  Give yourself a rest day during your trip to Monarch if coming from low altitude.
  • Stay hydrated, eat healthy, and don't overexert yourself.
  • If you drink alcohol, please do so responsibly. The effects of alcohol are increased with altitude. THE ONLY REAL REMEDY IS TO DECREASE IN ALTITUDE!
  • To help aid in the prevention of altitude sickness, we are now selling a locally made mountain sports drink called Acli-mate in our Sport Shop and Food & Beverage locations.
Be Sun Smart - Snow adds to UV danger by reflecting the sun's rays back at you (even on cloudy days).
  • Use at least 15 SPF sunscreen and don't forget to reapply regularly.
  • Wear eye protection.
Upon Arrival

As you pull off of US Highway 50 into the Monarch Mountain Parking Lot you will be met by our friendly Guest Services Staff who will guide you to a parking space. As you come up the main stairway out of the parking lot you will see the Lesson and Rental Center to your right and Ticket Windows to your left.

If you already have a reservation - enter the main doors of the Lesson and Rental Center and approach the Reservations Window. A Reservation Specialist will present you with your lift tickets and vouchers for your lessons and rentals. You will be guided to the Rental Reservations Desk where a knowledgeable member of the rental shop staff will have your equipment prepared and waiting for you.

If you do not have a reservation - make your way to the Ticket Window to purchase your tickets. For lessons and rentals, enter the Lesson and Rental Center across from the Ticket Window.  Reservations for lessons will need to be made at the Reservations Window.  For rentals, start your process at the Rental Kiosk (computers along the wall) and a helpful Rental Shop Employee will guide you from there. 

Lessons - If you are taking lessons, you will need to exit the Rental Center through the back doors near the locker area.  This leads to the Ski and Ride School Meeting Area. Please gather at the meeting area 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start of your lesson. A friendly Ski and Ride School Supervisor will guide you to your age and equipment specific lesson and introduce you to your instructor.

Set Up A Meeting Place - Set up a place and time to meet with your party around lunch and at the end of the day. Many people panic when separated from their friends on a run because they have no place or time set up to meet them.

Lunchtime Made Easy - Most people seem to eat lunch right around noon. To avoid long lines and guarantee yourself a seat, schedule your lunch at earlier or later times. Please keep walkways and stairs free of clutter. Don't "camp out" in these areas.

Rental Shop Suggestions

Reserve In Advance - Make rental reservations if possible, this can save time in the Rental Shop.

Record Your Equipment - Write down the equipment number on your lift ticket or other safe place. Many rental skis look the same. It is very important that you do not ski on equipment that was not set up for YOU. Each ski is set for your age, height, weight, sole length, and ability. Skiing on other people's equipment will likely result in injury.

Lock It Up - Snowboards are high theft items. Please secure snowboards in lockable racks while not riding them.

If You Don't Know, Ask - If renting equipment, ask questions, it's your job to understand the equipment you are riding on.

Riding the Lifts

vacation tipsIf You Don't Know, Ask - If you are uncomfortable or new to riding a chairlift, ask for assistance from the Lift Staff. Start out on the Caterpillar conveyor lift until you are comfortable enough with your sliding abilities to move on to a chairlift and longer runs. Then use the Tumbelina chairlift, which runs at a slower pace than the other chairlifts on the mountain. We are more than glad to help, so just let the Lift Operator know if you think you may have difficulties. Remember, the lift does not stop to let you load and unload so keep your equipment pointed forward when getting on and off the lift.

Know Your Limits - It's a good idea to be comfortable getting on and off the chair at Tumbelina before moving on to the other lifts, which move considerably faster. Beginners at advanced lifts generally cause more stopping of the lift, and we'd like to keep you skiing rather than waiting in longer lines.

Check For Loose Clothing - Backpack straps, gloves, and anything else that can get caught in the chair. You don't want to get hung up while unloading.

Riding With Your Snowboard - Please do not completely strap your snowboard on while riding up the chair. While it may save you time at the top, it can be very dangerous. Sudden stopping of the lift while snowboarders were strapping in has caused them to fall off chairs. The proper way to get on and off is with only the front foot strapped in. The chairs also become damaged from edges cutting into the seat. Please make sure you have a leash on your snowboard to prevent it from running away downhill. This is a very common occurrence and it's no fun to get hit with a snowboard coming downhill at 50mph.

Don't Swing Or Jump Off Chair - Do not swing the chair or make it bounce up and down as you're riding up. While it may seem harmless, this is a great way to make the cable come off its support wheels, and you would be endangering everyone on the lift. DO NOT JUMP off a chairlift. Besides possibly hurting yourself, you are putting EVERYONE on the chairlift in danger. Jumping off the lift is the best way to cause a de-ropement. This is a very serious offense and the Chaffee County Sheriff will be called with possible fines enacted.

Unloading The Chair - When unloading the chairlift, stand up at the "Unload Here" sign and let the chair gently push you down the ramp, don't push yourself off the chair. Pushing the chair causes it to swing, which can lead to a de-ropement. Please do not bang your equipment against any part of the ski lift towers, or use your poles to mess with any of the moving machinery. The stop gate bar at the top of the chair is an emergency device designed to keep you from continuing downhill on the lift should you forget to unload. Let your legs hit the bar and the lift will stop. The Lift Attendant will help you off the chair - do not jump!

vacation tipsRiding With Kids - Parents with small children; when unloading the chairlift place your child on your right side so the Lift Attendant can assist if necessary. If you're taking your little one on their first chairlift ride, you should already know how to ski and ride the lift yourself. If you are both beginning, we highly recommend lessons, where they will show you how to help your child load the chair safely. Please do not leave your child unattended at the chair lifts if they cannot load and unload by themselves. Never ski with children between your legs (reason: if the child falls, the parent can run them over causing neck, back, or leg injuries). Stay close to them with the child beside you and a hand out for their assistance.

For more info on riding the lifts with kids, click here.

Skier Safety

Know the CodeMonarch can be enjoyed in many ways using alpine, snowboard, telemark or other specialized ski equipment, such as that used by disabled or other skiers. Regardless of how you decide to enjoy the slopes, always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements or risk in skiing and snowboarding that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce.

Ski / Ride Within Your Limits - It is highly suggested that first time riders/skiers take a lesson with a certified instructor. If you are new to the terrain park, start on Tilt and only use features you are comfortable with.

Respect Boundary / Rope Closures - Real wilderness lies beyond the boundary ropes. Expensive rescue or injury can happen if you leave the ski area boundary. $1,000 fines are possible if you cross a rope.

Please see our Skier Safety page for more information on the “Skier Responsibility Code”, Ski Patrol, Slow Zones, Trail Signs, etc.