Here is a pic of our Mirkwood “Log Mahal” entrance under some bluebird winter conditions. We have posted a closed sign at the lower sign bank near the start of the hike to Mirkwood. We have also posted some additional info signs at all access points to the mountain from the base area. With Monarch Mountain closed and zero avalanche mitigation occurring, it is imperative that the public avoid avalanche terrain at this time.
There is no rescue personnel working at Monarch. Any rescue services needed would need to come from CCSAR and CCEMS. With the current COVID-19 situation, there is no reason to place undue burden on our local rescue and medical services.
There have been several backcountry avalanche incidents in Colorado since the Governor ordered ski areas to shut down. Without an active mitigation program occurring, all ski areas should be considered to have backcountry conditions right now. Without a hard overnight freeze of the snowpack and extremely warm temperatures during the day, wet slides are possible during the warm hours of the day. With every storm and/or wind event, storm and wind slabs should be expected to exist. You can read all about the March avalanche incidents in Colorado here. Click here to get the avalanche forecast for the Sawatch Mountain Range.
We have continued to allow uphill travel as a recreational outlet for Chaffee County residents to use during the health crisis. All it would take is one small incident to shut this down. Be smart. Be safe. Have fun.