(Last Updated On: April 22, 2009)
Nine of us headed down to Monarch to catch the last day of cat skiing for the season. Regularly, the price is $180, but for the closing weekend the price was reduced to $100. We were expecting about a foot or more, but ended up with about 7 or 8″ instead, but thankfully the snow was quite wet and supportive, so we rarely felt the hard crusty springtime snow underneath. Here’s some of the crew:
Lift-served Monarch has never been high on my list of places to go, as there is a serious lack of steep skiing to be had and I generally get bored there even on powder days. The snowcat terrain, on the other hand, is quite a bit steeper and has a lot more cliffs and spines to play with. Ben and Will started jumping off of some pretty sizeable airs (25’+), which the guides weren’t too thrilled with given that conditions weren’t great for hucking and the guides probably wanted a nice mellow end of their season instead of a bunch of rippers from Crested Butte going for it all day long.
This was my first time cat skiing, and while it cannot compare to heli skiing, it is pretty fun and definitely recommended. Would I go back to Monarch for $180 during regular season? Probably not, since I’d rather hike for something or ski Crested Butte inbound, but I certainly felt like I got my $100 worth. All in all, this day gets a: (bonus points for whoever captions this photo)