Mirkwood is Open!

Mirkwood is Open!

Yes, you heard it right.  Mirkwood will open on Thursday-December 12th.  This is the earliest opening of Mirkwood Basin ever!...
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It’s Good

It’s Good

The mountain is skiing unbelievably good for early December. The 19" storm total over the last three days really helped...
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Mirkwood Update

Mirkwood Update

MCS Guides, Ski Patrol and our ski packers continue to make progress in Mirkwood Basin. The north and east facing...
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Tubing Time

Tubing Time

The Tubing Park is ready to go. Our groomers put the final touches on the starting ramp and tubing lanes...
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Rollin’

Rollin’

The disruption roller has been out on the Divide. The MCS crew took advantage of the break in the weather...
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Mirkwood Prep

Mirkwood Prep

With 100% of our lift served terrain open, we are now working towards prepping our hike-to and cat skiing terrain...
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Breezeway, Outback & More

Breezeway, Outback & More

What a start! This initial month of winter has been astounding for Monarch. We are quickly approaching 100" of snowfall...
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Official, Amazing Opening

Official, Amazing Opening

After four weekends of operations in November, we are opening tomorrow, Wednesday-November 27th and we will be staying open every...
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Best One Yet

Best One Yet

Our fourth weekend of operations dished out the best skiing of this young winter season with some incredible conditions. We...
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It’s Back!

It’s Back!

Winter has returned!  After a great start in late October, things kind of dried out for the first three weeks...
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Exploders in Action

Exploders in Action

Here are a few more pics of the exploders in action this winter. These photos were taken during the testing...
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Keep it Simple

Keep it Simple

As we head into our third weekend of operations, we are keeping it simple. Two days, two lifts and thirteen...
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Exploder Testing

Exploder Testing

CDOT recently conducted their final testing of the three Gazflex Exploders that were installed in September above US Highway 50....
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Pano

Pano

We will be opening the Panorama Lift tomorrow (Sat-Nov 9th). The Slope Maintenance crew has buffed out a few trails...
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Burnin’ & Lootin’

Burnin’ & Lootin’

We are busy wrapping up the summer projects while pushing into winter. With the early opening of the ski area,...
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Great Weekend

Great Weekend

It was a great start to the season with fresh snow, blue skies and spinning lifts during the first three...
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2019-20 Opening Day

2019-20 Opening Day

We are off and running!  Bluebird skies and pretty darn good conditions for November 1st.  We have the most terrain...
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Opening Details

Opening Details

We are putting the final touches on our prep to open tomorrow on November 1st...our earliest opening day in 50...
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Opening on Nov 1st

Opening on Nov 1st

What a month it has been.  Today we announced the date for our earliest opening in 50 years!  The mountain...
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Fall Storms

Fall Storms

We had another good sized storm move through last night dropping 7" at our snow study with about 1/2" of...
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Shot of Winter

Shot of Winter

Last night delivered a fast moving storm that dropped upwards of a foot or more on certain aspects. It was...
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More Snow

More Snow

We received a few more inches up on the mountain today.  It snowed steadily for most of the day and...
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Fence Day

Fence Day

Several Monarch Cat Skiing and Ski Patrol members along with some volunteers got out into our permitted terrain to put...
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Forecasts

Forecasts

This is the time of year that we all start checking both short-term and long-term weather models on a regular basis. ...
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First Snow

First Snow

We saw our first snow of the 2019-20 season.  It was a quick moving storm but had some intense snowfall...
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Gunbarrel Trees

Gunbarrel Trees

As part of the vegetation management project this fall, we also thinned out the Gunbarrel Trees.  This is the tree island...
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Fall Colors

Fall Colors

Fall is in the air and the colors are out.  We are seeing some below freezing temps at nighttime up here...
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Decker Fire

Decker Fire

Our community is facing a challenge with the Decker Fire burning above the town of Salida. Many of our Monarch...
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Truckin’

Truckin’

We have been cleaning out the log decks that were created by the timber removal in September. We should have...
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More Fences

More Fences

We have added more permanent snow fences around the mountain this fall. These fences protect areas and help collect snow...
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Heli Ops Complete

Heli Ops Complete

We have completed this summer's helicopter operations for our timber removal project. We still have timber processing occurring in three...
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Exploders in Place

Exploders in Place

CDOT flew all three exploders and the control shelter out to the top of the Big Slide path. The concrete...
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Tree Runs

Tree Runs

With the timber continuing to be removed by the helicopter, we are really starting to see how good the skiing/riding...
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Stacked

Stacked

The beetle killed spruce trees that have been flown to the landing sites are starting to stack up. We are...
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Pano Thinning

Pano Thinning

Here is a look at the Panorama ridgeline after cutting down the dead standing trees. We are still flying the...
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CDOT Concrete

CDOT Concrete

The concrete for the CDOT Gazflex Exploder foundations was flown out to the construction site located at the top of the...
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Flying Timber

Flying Timber

Timber removal operations are underway.  We have been utilizing the helicopter to remove beetle killed trees from the Panorama ridgeline. ...
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Heli

Heli

The helicopter showed up and is ready to roll.  We will soon begin flying timber down to the deck sites...
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Already Different

Already Different

With just a few days of timber work on the Panorama ridge, things are already looking different. Trees that have...
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Cutters

Cutters

The next round of the Monarch Pass Vegetation Management project is underway. The cutting crew has started working on the...
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Exploders

Exploders

Three Gazflex Exploders were delivered to the Monarch Mountain parking lot today.  CDOT had been storing them on the west...
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Old, Old Monarch Pass

Old, Old Monarch Pass

As described in my previous post, during the MPVMP we will be utilizing a detour for the CDNST/CT that involves a portion of...
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CDNST/CT Detour

CDNST/CT Detour

With the second phase of the Monarch Pass Vegetation Management Project (MPVMP) soon to begin, public safety on the trails...
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Panorama

Panorama

Here are a few more looks at Panorama Ridge prior to starting timber removal work next week. Once again, we...
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CDOT Project

CDOT Project

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) project is underway. As discussed in an earlier post, preparation work is now taking...
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Pano Ridge

Pano Ridge

The next significant round of the Monarch Pass Vegetation Management Project will begin this month. The efforts last summer involved...
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Hauling Timber

Hauling Timber

The timber decks from our cutting operations in May were finally hauled away this week. Since we conducted the harvesting...
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A-Basin

A-Basin

We are happy to announce that Monarch Mountain and Arapahoe Basin will partner up on our season pass exchange for the 2019-20...
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Summer Views

Summer Views

Summer is flying by up here and projects are moving along. Temperatures have been relatively cool and we've been getting...
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S&R School Building

S&R School Building

Construction is underway for the new Ski & Ride School Building.  Our Property Maintenance crew is building an 1,137 square foot facility...
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Good Morning

Good Morning

There was a nice rainbow over Monarch with some morning rain showers.  Looks like we may get some more rain today. ...
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Serendipity

Serendipity

Serendipity- "the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way". This is exactly what occurred...
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Boulder Project

Boulder Project

The Slope Maintenance Department is continuing on with trail clean-up as part of the MPVMP. As the tree islands are...
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Summertime

Summertime

It's finally summertime at Monarch Mountain. The place is greening up and the flowers are in bloom. Projects are underway...
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Lift Maintenance

Lift Maintenance

The crew is hard at work conducting line work on our towers and sheaves, resetting chairs on the line, and...
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San Isabel

San Isabel

Monarch Mountain is located within the San Isabel National Forest in central Colorado.  The San Isabel National Forest is co-managed...
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MCS Projects

MCS Projects

Earlier this week, several members of the USFS Salida Ranger District and Monarch Mountain staff hiked out to the MCS...
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Monarch Country

Monarch Country

What is Monarch Country? There is something about Monarch Country that’s special. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly...
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Maintenance Work

Maintenance Work

All of the maintenance crews are hard at work this summer. The slope maintenance crew has been plowing roads and...
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Ski Independent

Ski Independent

Happy Independence Day! For the holiday, I set off on a solo ski mission to Mirkwood. On the morning commute...
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Creeks

Creeks

Our creeks are flowing as the snowpack melts off. With the recent warm temps, we are now seeing most of...
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Drifts

Drifts

As we head towards July, we still have quite a bit of snow on many of our slopes and particularly...
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Snowfields

Snowfields

We have begun to see some significant melting of our snowpack over the last few weeks.  There have been a few cooler...
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Summer Snow

Summer Snow

Looks like winter is still upon us. Even with the recent occurrence of the Summer Solstice a few days ago,...
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Big Slide Project

Big Slide Project

CDOT plans to install avalanche mitigation infrastructure along the US Highway 50 corridor during the summer and fall months. As...
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FIBArk

FIBArk

This weekend is the signature summer event in the town of Salida. FIBArk (First in Boating on the Arkansas) is...
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Now & Then

Now & Then

I took this idea from Alan over at A-Basin. Here is a snapshot of this years' conditions in June compared...
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Runoff

Runoff

The snow is starting to melt and the creeks and rivers are on the rise. We are starting to see...
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Ski Country

Ski Country

Several of us from Monarch attended the Colorado Ski Country USA Annual Meeting in Denver this week. This conference covers...
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Wait for It

Wait for It

With the cool and stormy weather in May, the State's snowpack is still sitting on the peaks in the high...
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Opening Lines

Opening Lines

The Ski Patrol trail crew spent the month of May out on the slopes limbing trees. They have been focusing...
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Still Deep

Still Deep

As we approach the month of June, we still have a ton of snow on the ground. At this point...
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Decks

Decks

We are starting to accumulate our log decks as beetle killed trees are removed. We are using a combination of...
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Still Stormin’

Still Stormin’

It just keeps going. We have about a half a foot of new snow on the ground and it continues...
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Winter Marches On

Winter Marches On

It's the third week of May and winter marches on. After a few inches of snow on Fri/Sat this weekend,...
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Conference Season

Conference Season

Every spring, we send some of our crew to the two ski area conferences in Grand Junction, CO. Last week,...
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Road Clearing

Road Clearing

Slope Maintenance has been clearing roads around the base lodge and bottom lift terminals. Clearing these areas provides access for...
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Snowpack

Snowpack

The recent storms in May have really helped to bump up our alpine snowpack. On the large map below, you...
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May Storm

May Storm

Winter continues. We picked up 15" of surprisingly low density snow from last night's storm. Temps cooled off overnight leaving...
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Still Snowing

Still Snowing

Looks like its going to be a short summer up here. We are in store for FEET of snow this...
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Timber Ops

Timber Ops

We are already underway with phase II of the Monarch Pass Vegetation Management Project. There was some terrain that we...
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May Powder Skiing

May Powder Skiing

Is it really May? It sure skied like it was February today. We received around a foot of snow in...
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Sound of Silence

Sound of Silence

All things have slowed down significantly up here at the ski area since closing day. The lifts are not spinning...
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Ski Away

Ski Away

Just because we are closed for the season, doesn't mean that you can't go skiing! With your 2018-19 Monarch Mountain...
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Tear Down

Tear Down

Mountain Ops have been busy wrapping up the 2018-19 winter season. Patrol has spent the last few days removing miles...
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Closing Day

Closing Day

All good things come to an end. Sunday will be our final day for the 2018-19 winter season. We opened...
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Kayaks on Snow

Kayaks on Snow

Today is our one of a kind event...Kayaks on Snow. Boaters race head to head 4 at a time down...
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Final Weekend

Final Weekend

We have reopened for our final weekend of operations. We will be open Fri-Sun with all kinds of activities going...
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Kayak Course

Kayak Course

Work began today on the course for the Kayaks on Snow event. Our Slope Maintenance crew will be moving and...
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One Down

One Down

The first bonus weekend dished out some great skiing conditions. We had powder turns, carvable groomers and wind buffed slopes....
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April Pow

April Pow

The skiing and riding is outstanding for mid-April. With the 7" storm on Thursday and the cooler conditions, we are...
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Tight & Right

Tight & Right

Mountain Operations spent the day getting everything ready to reopen for the weekend. Patrol checked all boundary lines, reset bamboo...
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Quiet Week

Quiet Week

We have now finished up with 7-day operations for the season. We will reopen on Friday-Sunday over the next two...
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Garfield Update

Garfield Update

As described in an earlier post, our lift maintenance crew conducts extensive maintenance projects during the summer months on our...
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Air Med Training

Air Med Training

We had another flight training this week. This time Reach Air Medical Services landed on top of Mirkwood. The flight...
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Tree Work

Tree Work

With this great aerial shot taken from an airplane, it's easy to see where thinning was conducted last summer. You...
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Kids on Cats

Kids on Cats

To celebrate April 1st, we have a cat full of our best little rippers out in the backcountry on our...
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Pick a Peak

Pick a Peak

On top of the Continental Divide and down from the top of the Panorama Lift, you can find our Peak...
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Changes

Changes

After a solid week of classic Colorado spring skiing, it looks like winter will make a return this weekend.
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Heli Training

Heli Training

Flight for Life landed on top of Mirkwood today for a Heli training with Monarch Ski Patrol and our Base...
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Spring Skiing

Spring Skiing

It's Spring Skiing season. The north facing trails still have soft, carvable snow. The south slopes are serving up delicious...
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Ski Conservation Fund

Ski Conservation Fund

As described in an earlier post, the National Forest Foundation - Ski Conservation Fund provides funding for projects that improve...
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A Few New

A Few New

We received 4" new today. It whitened up the place and softened up the turns. It's snowing again this afternoon...
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Sunset

Sunset

The calm before the storm. Beautiful sunset tonight over the mountain. Snow begins tonight and continues into the day tomorrow.
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MCS Recon

MCS Recon

I got out earlier this week into the Monarch Cat Skiing terrain with our guides and staff members of our...
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Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox

Today is the Spring Equinox. The word equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night”—aequus (equal) and nox (night)....
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Garfield Express

Garfield Express

During the big snow storms and heavy loading of the snowpack in early March, Colorado experienced an historic avalanche cycle....
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Beautiful Weekend

Beautiful Weekend

We have a very nice weekend of sunshine and great coverage on the mountain. Enjoy it!
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GDG

GDG

Monarch Mountain will host the 4th edition of the Great Divide Grinder fat bike race today. The Race covers 7...
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Weather Stations

Weather Stations

We utilize several weather stations at Monarch Mountain. Most guests see the weather report on our website or see the...
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Consistent Snowfall

Consistent Snowfall

The 2018-19 Winter Season has been a good one. While our YTD snowfall is just 257" thus far, the water...
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Bomb Cyclone

Bomb Cyclone

We are in store for what is described as Bombogenesis or a Bomb Cyclone. This weather system occurs at mid-latitude...
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Moving Snow

Moving Snow

With the numerous storms and heavy snow this winter, one of our key tools that we use is the Larue...
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Bonus Days

Bonus Days

Due to the deep snow and stellar conditions, Monarch Mountain is happy to announce that we will be extending the...
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Deep Snow-Blue Skies

Deep Snow-Blue Skies

We have some incredible conditions right now. Our base is over 100" deep. We have had almost four feet of...
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Nuclear Option

Nuclear Option

It was absolutely nuking when I left the mountain. More powder skiing (and shoveling) await!
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Highway Mitigation

Highway Mitigation

It's been a busy week for avalanche activity along Colorado's highways. Check out some articles on this here. Monarch Mountain...
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Here We Go Again

Here We Go Again

We have another storm moving in. 7-17" by Friday night. Anyone up for more powder skiing?
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NFF

NFF

Monarch Mountain supports the National Forest Foundation through an opt in donation on lift ticket and season pass sales. The...
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All Time

All Time

Talk about good fortune. As timing had it, I was scheduled on a marketing cat today. With the recent storm,...
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Quite a Day

Quite a Day

This early March storm continues to deliver. It was a big storm day with feet of snow out there and...
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Storm Time

Storm Time

The next round of the storm arrived today adding to an already soft skiing surface. We started off with high...
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Blizzard of MAAHHHrch

Blizzard of MAAHHHrch

Ok, maybe I'm dating myself here, but one of the greatest ski movies ever made was Greg Stump's Blizzard of...
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Magellan

Magellan

I got in an end of the day hike to Mirkwood. The bowl was smooth, buffed out, carvable, chalky white...
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Winter Returns

Winter Returns

After a few days off, it looks like we have more fun coming our way. Snow is forecasted through the...
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Glades

Glades

Staff from the USFS Salida Ranger District visited Monarch today. We explored the gladed tree islands that were treated last...
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Blue Light

Blue Light

When Monarch has a Powder Day on tap, look to the top of Tenderfoot Mountain in Salida for the Blue...
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IFSA

IFSA

Monarch Mountain will host its third International Freeskiing Association (IFSA) event on Sunday. The event will include participants ranging in...
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Slopestyle

Slopestyle

Monarch Mountain is hosting a Slopestyle event in the Never Summer Terrain Park on Saturday. This will be a judged...
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Sneak Peek

Sneak Peek

Heading up the pass just west of the town of Garfield, you can grab a few looks at Mirkwood. The...
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Bundle Up

Bundle Up

Even the Butterfly looks cold! Temps are below zero and the wind is on the move. Soft snow awaits for...
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In the Zone

In the Zone

Winter continues to deliver! Another cold and snowy week is in the forecast. NWS Forecast
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Hike & Ski

Hike & Ski

Blue skies and about two feet of fresh snow made for a great reason to get in a few hikes...
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Fresh Snow, Cold Temps

Fresh Snow, Cold Temps

We received some intense bands of snowfall yesterday. Anyone who was up here knows exactly what I'm talking about. We...
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Race the Divide

Race the Divide

Today is our COSMIC Race the Divide. This is a Ski Mountaineering Race or "SkiMo". SkiMo (short for “ski mountaineering”),...
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Hwy 50 Avalanche Mitigation

Hwy 50 Avalanche Mitigation

CDOT is conducting avalanche mitigation work along the Highway 50 corridor this morning. There are some temporary closures in place...
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Wild Ride

Wild Ride

Hang on to your hats. We are in for a wild ride this week. Anytime they mention atmospheric river or...
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Cat Day

Cat Day

I got out today with our awesome Monarch Cat Skiing staff and some friends from Loveland Ski Area. We had...
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Inherent Risk

Inherent Risk

As discussed in previous posts, Monarch and the ski industry in general, put forth a great amount of resources in...
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TeleFestivus

TeleFestivus

Saturday was Telefestivus, a festivus for the rest of us, (telemarkers that is)...Disclaimer - I'm a recovering Tele Skier. Actvities...
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Leftovers

Leftovers

With a 9" storm total over the last few days and a lot more than that in certain areas that...
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Another Powder Day

Another Powder Day

The 2018-19 winter season continues to deliver. We are on tap for another powder day today after a great storm...
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Winter Storm Warning

Winter Storm Warning

A winter storm warning is in effect. Looks like we are getting back into the goods!
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Half & Half

Half & Half

The Slope Maintenance department grooms several of our trails with a split between groomed and ungroomed. This allows those that...
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Mirk Hike-To

Mirk Hike-To

There is something about ski terrain that requires a little more effort to access. Usually its the better snow conditions...
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The Monolith

The Monolith

The Monolith is located on the Waterdog Ridge near upper Waterdog Lake. This is on the east side of the...
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Gunbarrel

Gunbarrel

Gunbarrel was the first ski trail cut at Monarch back in the 1930s. Today it is still a classic north-facing...
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Still Good

Still Good

The skiing is still really fun out there. Soft turns can be found on the designated trails and the north...
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Park Smart

Park Smart

Today is our last event as part of NSAA Safety Month. Our messaging is covering Park Smart and Freestyle Terrain...
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Monarch Cloud

Monarch Cloud

It was another Monarch Cloud day! This is what we refer to when storms deliver quite a bit more snow...
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Morning Gold

Morning Gold

Mirkwood and the Cat Skiing Terrain were lit up this morning by the sunrise and fresh snow. Both have excellent...
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Deep

Deep

Skiing was deep today!
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Deja Vu

Deja Vu

The Butterfly is getting buried once again. 11" Overnight and 32" in the last seven days. We did have upslope...
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Routes

Routes

After this weeks' snowfall, Ski Patrol has been busy conducting explosive avalanche mitigation routes. These have taken place in our...
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Bury the Butterfly!

Bury the Butterfly!

This storm cycle has been good to Monarch. We buried the butterfly at our Storm Cam. This image shows what...
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Storm a Comin’

Storm a Comin’

Forecast calls for some intense snowfall tonight and into tomorrow. Friday looks like a good day!
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MCS

MCS

Monarch Cat Skiing conditions are great right now and only getting better. We had the crew from Head Skis/Tyrolia Bindings...
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The Big Picture

The Big Picture

I love this view of Monarch! It is taken from across the highway at the site of our All Mountain...
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One Hundred

One Hundred

This weekend's storm has brought our seasonal snowfall total above the 100" mark. This benchmark usually means pretty good coverage...
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Backcountry Day

Backcountry Day

Today is our Backcountry Day event at Monarch Mountain! Join us and the CO AVITalks as part of NSAA National...
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Pow Day!

Pow Day!

Great skiing at Monarch today! It snowed all day and the turns got better with each lap. With the snow...
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Bustang

Bustang

Monarch has collaborated with Bustang, a public bus service operated by CDOT that travels daily from Gunnison to Denver and...
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Wall to Wall

Wall to Wall

Ski Patrol opened East Trees yesterday bringing our trail openings to 100%. East Trees is a steep run in Mirkwood...
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Beacon Basin

Beacon Basin

The Beacon Basin Training Park is located near the base of the Panorama Lift in the runout of B's Bash...
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NSAA Safety Month

NSAA Safety Month

January is the National Ski Area Association's National Safety Month. In support of this effort, Monarch Mountain features weekly safety...
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Sawatch Range

Sawatch Range

Monarch Mountain is located within the Sawatch Range, which is a subset of Colorado's Central Rocky Mountains. The name Sawatch...
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Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Hope your New Year resolutions include more ski days in 2019.
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New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve

Tonight is our New Year's Eve torchlight parade and fireworks show. We have 140 spots open for the public to...
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Nice Day

Nice Day

Looks like we are going to have a pretty nice day up here today. Temps should be a bit warmer...
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Monarch Cat Skiing

Monarch Cat Skiing

Monarch Cat Skiing first began in 1990. This program operates under a separate outfitter and guide permit from the ski...
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First Mirk Day

First Mirk Day

It was a beautiful day with blue skies, no wind, and soft turns to be found in the bowl and...
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Mirkwood Opening!

Mirkwood Opening!

Mirkwood will open today! With the snow that fell over the last week combined with the upcoming forecast, we should...
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Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays from all of us here at Monarch Mountain.
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All I Want for Christmas

All I Want for Christmas

Looks like we'll be enjoying the holidays! Snow is in the forecast.
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Stormin’

Stormin’

It's dumping up at Monarch. Each lap on the mountain today was better than the last.
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Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

Today marks the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the shortest day (and the longest night) of the...
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Groomers

Groomers

During these times in between storms, the freshly groomed trails provide some really fun morning turns. The Slope Maintenance Department...
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Curecanti

Curecanti

We now have all of our lift-served ski trails open after adding Curecanti to the list this weekend. This trail...
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Demo Days

Demo Days

Demo Days are here again! Dec 15/16. Stop by for FREE demo gear. Vendors include Cold Smoke Splitboards, Deviation Ski...
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Tubing in Progress

Tubing in Progress

The Tubing Park is in full swing. Tubing operations will now be open 7 days per week through the holiday...
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Avi Dog Drills

Avi Dog Drills

New and returning Monarch staff members are not the only ones that are training as the season gets underway. The...
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Ski Packing

Ski Packing

The Monarch Cat Skiing Guides had a full weekend of mitigation work with our ski packers. We loaded up one...
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Pro 1 Avi

Pro 1 Avi

We recently held a two-day Pro 1 Avalanche Bridge Exam for several of our guides and patrollers with instructors from...
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Good Stuff

Good Stuff

The mountain has some great conditions right now. For early December, we are looking really good. I got out for...
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Mirkwood Recon

Mirkwood Recon

I got out to Mirkwood this week to check out how things were filling in after our initial avalanche mitigation...
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Freestyle Terrain

Freestyle Terrain

The Park Crew opened the Never Summer Terrain Park today. We have had the guys working on a several other...
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Mirkwood

Mirkwood

As I mentioned in an earlier post about the Breezeway Lift, we are now shifting our efforts towards Mirkwood Basin...
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New Grooming Cat

New Grooming Cat

We just added another work cat to our fleet. We now have three work cats, two winch cats, and two...
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Open Bowls

Open Bowls

Outback and Shagnasty opened today. They are skiing great and dishing out some sweet pow turns. We now have all...
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Storm Cam

Storm Cam

The POW Cam is back! This cam utilizes a 12" tall Butterfly to indicate storms in progress. It does not...
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Breezeway

Breezeway

With the early snowfall and the Thanksgiving weekend storm, we were able to open the Breezeway Lift on Sunday. It's...
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Tubing Park Update

Tubing Park Update

Tubing Park operations will begin on Thursday 11-29-18. A separate ticket is needed for tubing and they may be reserved...
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Storm Day!

Storm Day!

It was a storm day on Saturday. The snow piled up, the wind was blowing, and it was a great...
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MCS Road Building

MCS Road Building

The Monarch Cat Skiing snowcat operators started the process of building the over the snow roads into our permitted area....
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Snow Reporting

Snow Reporting

Many of you may be curious about how we report snow at Monarch Mountain. There are written guidelines on how...
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Give Thanks

Give Thanks

Today is a day to be thankful for good friends, family, health, skiing in November, Colorado blue skies, more snow...
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Disruption Roller

Disruption Roller

We officially began our Mirkwood avalanche mitigation work this week by deploying the disruption roller. This unit disrupts shear plane...
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Lift Ops Training

Lift Ops Training

The Lift Operations crew wrapped up their pre-season training just in time for opening day. We have several returning staff...
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Opening Day

Opening Day

The 2018-19 winter season is underway. It was a beautiful day with bluebird skies and turns to be found on...
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What’s going to be open?

What’s going to be open?

The stoke is high and we are fielding numerous calls on this question. There are some final grooming projects to...
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Mountain Update

Mountain Update

We are working on prepping the mountain for Friday's opening. Snowcats continue to track pack and groom trails. Lift Ops...
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Winch Cat

Winch Cat

The winch cat has been out on the mountain helping to set up the snow base on several intermediate and...
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Nov 16th-Opening Day!

Nov 16th-Opening Day!

Monarch Mountain will be opening for the 2018-19 winter season on Friday-November 16th. We plan to open several lifts and...
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Snow & Cold

Snow & Cold

Looks like we are in for some cold temps and snow today. Sometimes when it's this cold, it can be...
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Ski Patrol Training

Ski Patrol Training

Ski Patrol is back on the mountain! The department just conducted their annual week-long refresher training up at the ski...
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When will Monarch open?

When will Monarch open?

This is the question that everyone has this time of year. The answer is...it depends. As all of you Monarch...
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Snow Harvest

Snow Harvest

As many of you know, we were considering the implementation of a small snowmaking system for this season. The system...
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Post Storm Update

Post Storm Update

We received 10" of high-density snow from the storm on Sunday night into Monday morning. As of Monday morning, we...
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Track Packing

Track Packing

With the latest snowfall this week, the Slope Maintenance Department officially began their snow grooming operations for the 2018-19 winter...
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Fresh Snow

Fresh Snow

The mountain received 6" of fresh snow over the last few days. It looks like some cooler and unsettled weather...
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Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween. I will choose a treat. Winter is back. I checked the webcams last night and saw this snow...
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Fence Party

Fence Party

Monarch Cat Skiing utilizes temporary snow-fences to capture snow that is used for building over-the-snow roads in the MCS permitted area.  These...
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Salida Ski Training

Salida Ski Training

While the peaks have been getting snow, the trails are riding sweet in Salida.  Climb, descend, and repeat as needed until the lifts...
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Prescribed Burn

Prescribed Burn

Our Slope Maintenance and Ski Patrol crews are wrapping up the initial efforts of the Monarch Pass Vegetation Management Project.  They have...
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Uphill Access

Uphill Access

Along with the first snow of the season comes the first round of winter enthusiasts.  Monarch Mountain does have a...
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Kickoff

Kickoff

Monarch Mountain just took a big step towards getting the 2018-19 winter season underway.  We held our annual Manager's Kickoff...
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Grinder

Grinder

The Slope Maintenance Department is utilizing a tub grinder to chip the slash piles that were created during the first phase...
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First Real Snow

First Real Snow

We received our first significant snowfall of the season this week with around 6-8" of snow on Tuesday and Wednesday (and...
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Winter Driving

Winter Driving

It's full on winter conditions out there and the pass is a mess.  I think people forget how to drive...
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Mountain Snow, Valley Fog

Mountain Snow, Valley Fog

The ski area received a dusting of snow with more falling on the high peaks.  More snow is in the...
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Snow & Avalanche

Snow & Avalanche

Monarch Mountain recently sent a crew of Ski Patrollers and Cat Skiing Guides to the annual Colorado Snow and Avalanche Workshop. ...
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Haulin’

Haulin’

The mountain is abuzz with the removal of trees from the vegetation management project.  Logging trucks are busy making their way down...
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Tube Tow

Tube Tow

The concrete is in and the bottom lift terminal is being installed by our Lift Maintenance Department.
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Revegetation

Revegetation

The Slope Maintenance Department uses a hydro-seeder to revegetate soils that are disturbed during our summer mountain projects.  We utilize a weed-free, USFS approved mix of...
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Charlie

Charlie

Due to our high elevation, we only have one aspen tree on the mountain.  Its leaves are turning gold with...
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Different

Different

A few areas that have been treated can be seen in these photos.  The photo above is looking across towards...
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Wind Turbine Work

Wind Turbine Work

The wind turbine at our internet relay site on top of Monarch Ridge received some work this fall.  The engineers that...
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Decked

Decked

The contractors working on the vegetation management project are processing and decking trees in preparation for removal from the ski area.  A...
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Tubes

Tubes

 The new tubes for the tubing park arrived this week!
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Sign of the Times

Sign of the Times

Slope Maintenance and Ski Patrol have been working to install new mountain signage.  We are still planning to fabricate a metal...
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Priority Polygons

Priority Polygons

The first phase of the 5-year Monarch Pass Vegetation Management Project aims to treat the yellow priority polygons shown below.  While...
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Before & After

Before & After

Here are two photos showing how the efforts put forth in the vegetation management project are changing the look of our...
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Tubing Lift Installation

Tubing Lift Installation

The forms for the new tubing lift are in with the concrete scheduled for next week.  The lift that is being...
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Thinning

Thinning

  Tree thinning continues on the Garfield and Pioneer side of the mountain as the Monarch Pass Vegetation Management Project...
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Aspens

Aspens

The drive down the pass is pretty nice this time of year!  Be sure to stop and take in the...
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Gladed Skiing & Riding

Gladed Skiing & Riding

Thinning along the top tree islands of Gunbarrel Ridge can be seen in the photo below.  In just a few...
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Vegetation Management

Vegetation Management

Two feller buncher machines and a processor showed up this week to begin work on the Monarch Pass Vegetation Management Project.  These...
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Misty Mountain Hop

Misty Mountain Hop

Cool, wet weather has moved in this week and it feels like fall out there.  It seems like we hit...
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Top of Mirk

Top of Mirk

The view never gets old up here.  Although, I do like it better with snow!  The air is starting to...
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CDT

CDT

The Continental Divide Trail passes right through the Monarch Mountain Ski Area.  The Colorado Trail that goes from Denver to Durango...
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Tubular

Tubular

The tubing park grading work is complete and the lift installation will soon be underway.  Huge thanks goes out to...
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A View From Above

A View From Above

As part of our operating plan with the USFS, we follow established protocols that enable us to utilize unmanned aerial  systems (drones)...
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Signs, Signs

Signs, Signs

We are continuing to upgrade our on mountain signage with 6" x 6" rough sawn timbers and sharp graphics.  The ski patrol...
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Fall colors in August?

Fall colors in August?

Already seeing some hints of changes in the high country on Monarch Pass.  
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Snow Fences

Snow Fences

Another project we are working on this summer is the addition of new snow fences.  We have utilized snow fences...
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High Altitude Internet

High Altitude Internet

Monarch Mountain is an isolated ski area located high on the Continental Divide.  We have no condos, base area development,...
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Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountains

Rocks...there is no shortage of them up here and our mountain range looks to be aptly named.  We have been cleaning...
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Are you ready for some Cat Skiing?

Are you ready for some Cat Skiing?

Tour cats are ready...are you?  The vehicle maintenance staff has completed their summer work on both tour cats.  The calendar...
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Alpine Tundra

Alpine Tundra

The alpine tundra has been appreciative of the change in the weather. After a hot and dry start to summer,...
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Vehicle Maintenance-Track Work

Vehicle Maintenance-Track Work

The Vehicle Maintenance crew is going though our fleet of snowcats.  Each snowcat has many moving parts.  One of the...
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Tubing Park Grading

Tubing Park Grading

The grading work for the tubing park is moving along.  The slope includes steeper grades in the acceleration zone and then levels out...
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Lift Maintenance-Line Work

Lift Maintenance-Line Work

The Lift Maintenance crew has methodically been going over each of our lifts during the summer months.  A significant part of their...
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Mirkwood in July

Mirkwood in July

In what we are more familiar with as a winter wonderland full of deep powder, Mirkwood Basin in the summertime turns...
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All Natural

All Natural

Monarch Mountain is one of the last ski areas in Colorado to rely entirely upon all natural snowfall.  We have always...
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Pano Hydraulic Tensioning

Pano Hydraulic Tensioning

The Panorama Hydraulic Tensioning System ground installation is complete.  The foundation is set and the tower has been installed along with the...
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Tubing Park Progress

Tubing Park Progress

After timber removal and survey work, the tubing park grading work has begun this week.  The engineered plans involve tubing lanes designed...
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Summer Beauty

Summer Beauty

During the summer months, our favorite ski lines reveal what's hiding underneath all that snow.  Here's a few pics from...
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Monarch Pass Veg Mgmt Project

Monarch Pass Veg Mgmt Project

The Monarch Pass area is experiencing what a significant portion of the southwest mountains have been seeing over the last...
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Panorama Tensioning System

Panorama Tensioning System

A haul rope on a ski lift stretches over time or even hour to hour based on the number of...
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Vehicle Maintenance Lift

Vehicle Maintenance Lift

Monarch Mountain is continuing to update one of the nicest maintenance facilities in Colorado Ski Country.  We recently installed a...
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Panorama Rope Splice

Panorama Rope Splice

We recently conducted a rope splice on the Panorama lift cable. This takes place during the installation of a new haul...
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Panorama Lift Project

Panorama Lift Project

Last summer, we replaced the drive and braking systems in addition to new controls on Panorama.  This summer, we will complete...
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Tubing Park Site Prep

Tubing Park Site Prep

The USFS timber staff marked the trees to be cut to make way for the Tubing Park.  Our Mountain Crew...
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Monarch Mountain Tubing Park

Monarch Mountain Tubing Park

The USFS recently approved the Monarch Mountain proposal to install a tubing park this summer with operations scheduled to begin during the...
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Summertime

Summertime

People always ask, "What do you do up there in the summer?".  While we do not currently offer summer activities...
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Welcome to our new blog

Welcome to our new blog. With this platform, we aim to provide a behind the scenes look at operations here...
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