Uphill Access Closed

06 December
Categories : Mountain Ops
Posted by Scott Pressly

I know everyone is chomping at the bit and excited for winter. We are too! We’re all hopeful that the snow in the forecast this week will enable Monarch to open soon. Once we do get snow, it will take a concerted effort by our staff to work towards getting the mountain open. With the incoming storm this week, we will be closing uphill access effective immediately until the mountain is open.

With the large increase in uphill traffic (skinners) that we have hosted the last few seasons, we have recognized that there is a public safety issue as we prep the slopes while working to get the ski area open. We have had daily groups of people (many with dogs) consistently passing thorough areas where we are actively piling and hauling snow with heavy equipment. Several others have skied up next to (or even worse…behind) working snowcats. Some have even skied over winch cables under tension as we compact our steeper slopes.

Due to these safety concerns and our need to keep crews focused on opening tasks, all permitted slopes at the ski area are now closed to uphill use until opening. Our goal this week is to work as hard as we can to get the mountain open as soon and safely as possible.

“But it’s my National Forest.” Yes, Monarch operates entirely on National Forest lands. However, we are allowed to manage uphill travel (and other policies) through our USFS permit and its annual operating plan for our permitted area. This includes closing the mountain to uphill access. Please refer to our policies tab on the safety page and the closures + mountain operations section on our uphill policy page on our website for more information.

We strongly support uphill travel and have a very positive uphill policy. We will reopen uphill access after the ski area has opened. Please remember once we do reopen uphill use, ALL uphill users must have an uphill pass. Including season pass holders. Please stay tuned!

Heavy Equipment
Hauling tactics-photo from 2019
Monarch Mountain is an equal opportunity provider and operates under a special use permit with the Pike San Isabel National Forest.
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