Originally Posted by ManyRuns
Have 2 days to ski, Friday and Saturday, from the Denver area. Looking to see if any one would suggest one of these areas over the other for conditions, open terrain, and overall experience. My Dad is flying in and we're doing a short trip. I have never been to Monarch and only ski'd Copper once a few weeks ago (nice snow making and the unopened bowls looked beautiful), but have ski'd all of the other summit county resorts several times.
Monarch is 100% open vs Copper at 60% and has a much better base and the coming storm will likely favor Monarch too. I have a 4 pack to Copper and it's a 1.5 hour drive vs 3 hour. I ski pretty much everything (love Abay Pali!), am sick of skiing groomed blues and my Pops is starting to want to explore the ungroomed. We're pretty no-thrills, like Loveland a lot as our local hill, and just looking for the most terrain and soft snow to explore.
Any opinions? Thanks...and let's hope the snow keeps coming.
MONARCH MONARCH MONARCH MONARCH. Monarch has gotten the best parts of pretty much every December storm, AND opensnow has forecast for them to get about double what Copper is supposed to get this weekend.
I haven't skied Monarch yet this year, but I know it has received almost as much snow as Wolf, and it takes less to cover at Monarch.
When snow is falling, the blacks off of Pioneer and Garfield, Shagnasty, and Outback are where it is at. Most storms wind-load Curecanti and Mirkwood Bowl (the bowl specifically, not the area) to about double what the snow stick says. The steepest lift served run is High Anxiety, followed by Curecanti, and Mirkwood is a little steeper. The hike to Mirkwood is definitely worth it on a powder day after some of the rest of the mountain gets a bit tracked.
Gunbarrel is usually good, but the storm this weekend has Southwest winds, which usually mean it will get less than the stick.
Nothing too insane at Monarch in terms of difficulty, although many of the best lines have a cornice entry.