The Ultimate Guide To Catskiing on Monarch Mountain

As a state well-known for its mountainous terrain, there’s something in Colorado for just about every skier regardless of skill level. The imposing mountainous landscape blends almost perfectly with the climate to create the kind of powdery white slopes people love. Not only that but with so much untamed land, we offer some of the most beautiful and adventurous territories for outdoor activities in the continental United States. Fans of backcountry skiing will find no lack of sights and challenges here. If you’re up for a real winter adventure through some of the most challenging slopes, we have exactly what you’re looking for. 

Monarch Mountain encompasses just about everything Colorado skiing is known for. It has a diverse range of options for everyone from beginners to veterans. Situated on the Monarch Pass at the continental divide, it’s a genuinely remote place far from the beaten trail. It’s owned by incredibly friendly people making it a great place for families of all sizes, but that’s not all. Apart from their genuinely great ski trails, they also offer trips up to the pristine mountaintop away from the beaten trail. If you’re looking for a true cat skiing experience in the rough and secluded Colorado mountains, it may be the perfect place for you. 

Backcountry Cat skiing At Monarch Mountain

With over 1,630 acres of diverse expert terrain, Monarch offers some of the most challenging and rewarding catskiing to be had. You’ll find a variety of wide-open bowls, steep chutes, beautiful glades, and some of the best tree skiing you’ve ever seen. Keep in mind, this type of skiing is not for beginners or the weak of heart. Cat skiing in the mountains is an adventure no skier would want to miss. If you’re ready to take your skiing experience into new and wild territory, make sure you’re prepared for the challenge!

Requirements & Restrictions:

The first thing to keep in mind is that cat skiing trips at Monarch Mountain are required to have at least five people attending. If your group has fewer than five people, you’ll have to be paired up with at least one other group. The minimum age for all skiers is 14 years old and all skiers under the age of 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Additionally, your guide may direct you back to the in-bound trails if they feel you’re holding back the group or putting yourself in danger.

Essential Skills For Backcountry Skiing 

With all that in mind, you may be wondering how to tell if you’re truly ready for the journey. Ask yourself, do normal ski runs feel like less of a challenge? Have you mastered the basics and proven yourself on the steepest hills? If so, then cat skiing may be the best way of elevating your ski experience to the next level. If you’re ready to leave the everyday ski trails behind and make your own way through the untouched snowy slopes, here are a few tips to bear in mind. 

  • Remember The Basics – Powder skiing through the backcountry is essentially the same as skiing under any other conditions. There are a few subtle differences, but you should always remember the fundamentals. Stand tall over your fate, face into the fall line, keep your hands forward, and coil then uncoil through turns. 
  • Stay Healthy & Alert – Ensure that you’ll be in good physical and mental condition while on your trip. As you probably already know, skiing can be surprisingly tiring at times, particularly if you’re not accustomed to being on your feet for so long. Make sure you’re in good health and have spent at least a few vertical days leading up to the event. Also, be sure to eat heartily and sleep well the night before. It takes a lot of energy to ski for so many hours, so be sure your mind and body have the energy they need. 
  • Pay Attention & Trust Your Guide – They’re there to make sure everyone is safe and has a good time. Monarch Mountain employs some incredibly friendly and experienced people, so getting along shouldn’t be an issue. They’ll be there to lead you to the freshest snow and also to steer you away from any areas that may have unsafe conditions. If you’re new to catskiing, it’s an especially good idea to ask for recommendations and take their advice as much as you can. 
  • Bring All The Essentials – You’ll need the right skis, the right clothes, and also something to eat and drink while you’re in the cat. Fat skis, at least 96 mm underfoot, are recommended for better balance and smoother turns through the powder. If you’re feeling cautious, Monarch also offers BCA float packs for extra security in case of falls. Apart from the skiing itself, you can expect to spend about an hour eating a hearty lunch, but you’ll probably also want something to eat and drink between runs while you’re in the cat. A bottle of water and something light but nutritious are recommended for ensuring you don’t get caught hungry or thirsty for several hours. 

Remember To Enjoy Your Trip

Above all, ski trips should be a fun experience to make the most of while you have the chance. Remember to savor the journey for all its worth and don’t be discouraged by falls and setbacks. Backcountry skiing in the mountains is an amazing opportunity that most of us don’t get to do every day, so make it count. 

Being a bit out of the way ourselves, Creekside Chalets is the perfect place to stay for anyone with a love for the wild side of the majestic Colorado landscape. We’re located just outside of Salida, the closest town about 20 miles from Monarch Mountain. Our eco-friendly rental properties are situated the perfect distance between the town and the unspoiled wilderness. Contact us here with any questions or concerns and book your Monarch Lodging today!

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