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thoughts on Monarch Mountain?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thinking about doing a week-long ski trip with gf in March. One of our stops could be Monarch, but I don't know much about it. Anyone here have experience there? How do the runs compare in difficulty to say Copper, WP, or Loveland?
post #2 of 12
Haven't skied Monarch but there is an article in Ski magazine in Dec. or Jan. that hails it as being very good and with a variety of terrain. Also, a lot of the CB and Gunny locals hit it when they want untracked powder and more less crowds. In fact, our white water rafting guide sang its praises when we were there this past July. I'd check it out. It looks great from Hwy 50 when we pass by. If you go, please post a message!
post #3 of 12
I know there are Bears out there with more insight to offer, but I've skied a couple of days at Monarch...

It's small, it's honest, the lift ticket is pretty cheap and the lodge down the road follows suit. I like Monarch, it's a great place to stop for half a day as you're traversing the state.

As far as difficulty of runs.... what kind of runs/terrain do you typically ski at Copper or WP? I guess I'd say it's closer to a small Copper than a small WP. There are some decent cruisers and some steeper runs off the top of the Panorama lift that bump up a bit. If you don't mind some easy hiking and a long runout back to the lift, there's pretty good bowl and tree skiing to the far skier's left of the mountain.

It's a place that you can pretty much feel like you've seen it all after an hour of exploring.... but keep looking, it does have some adventure lurking in hidden places

Have fun!
post #4 of 12
Comparable. You should go.
post #5 of 12
I've skied there a lot. I like it more than all three you mentioned, to be honest.

I think Monarch's whole mountain layout is more sensible than Loveland's. The "family atmosphere" is about the same.

The layout is *lots* more sensible then MJ/WP's. Again, the family atmosphere is very similar between WP and Monarch.

If Monarch was closer to me, I'd ski there instead of Copper so much. Copper's mountain has more variety-within-categories and Copper is *almost* as friendly a mountain as Monarch. Copper is more expensive.

Hope this helps....

- KK
post #6 of 12
It's been 25 years, but I remember Great tree skiing. Nicely spaced pines and little competition for the snow. Used to drive over from CB with a roommate that patrolled there. A day area with only 1000' vertical, but that is just what keeps the crowds elsewhere.
post #7 of 12
Monarch is a fun little mountain, with the operative word being "little." I believe the total vertical drop is 1,200 feet, which is about 1/3 of Crested Butte, Telluride, or the Summit County areas. On the up side it is not crowded, generally has great snow, and has good consistent pitch terrain with some steep hike to chutes and trees. I usually hit it a couple times a year and would recommend it for a day. Not many intermediate runs. It makes a great stop on the way from Summit County to the Butte or T-ride. We stay in Gunnison (much cheaper than Crested Butte) and it is about a 45 min. drive. Some of the motels and stores in Salida and Gunnison (and maybe other surrounding towns) have ticket deals for Monarch and the Butte, so ask around. They also have cat skiing right from the area at a very reasonable price. It's usually booked up ahead of time, but if you ask you may get lucky.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks gang- sounds like Monarch is well worth a visit during our road trip. I'l check out the article in Ski magazine as suggested.

I've skied most of the blues at Copper. Plan to try the new blue/black glade runs at WP this year, and probably will tentatively explore some blacks here and there. gf is strictly in the greens for now.
post #9 of 12
We just got back from skiing three days there. The snow is fantastic, much better that it was at Breck or Vail. (well, Vails grooming is magic, but Monarch had a lot more snow and it was all real). For a small area they have a good variety of runs, although as one poster mentioned, the lack of vertical makes the runs a little short, expecially the really fast black and blue groomers. The bump and tree runs are great and not crowded at all. When we were there the greens and blues were crawling with the Church group kids from Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas, but I had the blacks almost all to myself.

I would definately recommend it for a few days, especially in March. The snow will even better then and the crowds gone completely.
post #10 of 12
Yeah, check it out, then let us know how you liked it.... don't forget the pics
post #11 of 12
This Saturday, 1/12/08, Monarch is having a Demo Day. I'm going.

Any Bears want to join my son and me?

- KK
post #12 of 12
[This Saturday, 1/12/08, Monarch is having a Demo Day. I'm going.

Any Bears want to join my son and me?

- KK]

On top of that, they have had 27" of fresh powder in the last two days. It should be a great weekend. Wish I could join you, but I have to go to Whorelando:
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