I think I finally understand people who are addicted to white powder. I just indulged a powder addiction myself (snow not blow) for three days at Monarch, a ski area just outside of Salida, Colorado.
Let’s rewind for a moment. If you read about my recent trip to Utah you know that I got totally skunked in terms of snow in that part of the country. Ill pick up where I left off.
Jason and I had been camping and hiking on the San Rafael swell, a remote area north of I-70 in Utah. Because we had cell service I was able to keep an eye on OpenSnow, my favorite website for keeping up on the weather. The minute we saw major moisture headed towards Colorado with favorable predictions, we immediately broke down camp and headed East. It was Tuesday and our plan was to drive back to the Front Range, re-organize our gear, do laundry, and head to Salida, Colorado, on Wednesday, just ahead of the storm.
Looking at the sky on Wednesday morning, you wouldn’t believe that Colorado was about to get one of the biggest storms of the season, but the radar didn’t lie. Lots of Pacific moisture was headed our way and we put our
faith in the predictions as we re-packed the car and hit the road. As we left Conifer, some higher clouds came into view, promising loads of snow in the near future.
Our drive was uneventful but provided some musical entertainment. Jason is one of the more knowledgeable sources of music education in my life and he enlightened me with some artists such as the Rollins Band, Kool Kieth, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, and others. I always come away from our adventures with new music to listen to.
Our room at the Days Inn in Salida was pretty standard. Nothing too fancy,
inexpensive, and a continental breakfast makes life a little easier when you are trying to wake up early to get to the hill before the chairs start turning. That evening we grabbed some food at Currents, a solid choice in Salida if you want descent food at a reasonable price. We were not disappointed.
When I woke up Thursday morning, pumped to ski, I was a little worried. Aside from being overcast, there wasn’t any new snow on the ground and temperatures were slightly above freezing. I had to tell myself, ‘Monarch pass always gets snow, it’s always snowing up there even if it isn’t snowing in Salida. Jason and I ate some food, got our gear together, and hit the road.
As we began driving up highway 50 I slowly felt better and better as snow began falling the higher up the pass we drove. By the time we pulled into the parking lot at Monarch, there was at least 10 inches of snow, conditions were looking great. Oh, and the parking lot was empty. I love skiing during the week.
Without describing every run, I’ll say that those three days of skiing were some of the best turns I have had this season. We received roughly 36″ of snow over three days. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Until next time friends.