Lauren and I took a long weekend to go see friends Frank and Brittany in Crested Butte. We got an early start, leaving Denver at the crack of 9:30 and made it to Monarch ready to ski at 12:30. We didn’t check the snow report, but there was some fresh; combined with the winds, it skied rather well.
It was a nice warmup for the weekend, and a pleasant surprise to get a little untracked powder skiing on a leisurely afternoon.
It was a pretty quiet evening after we arrived, which was good as we woke up to a surprise powder day with 9″ on the snow report and more coming through the day. Lauren and I gorged at our now-standard hillside breakfast buffet before getting started on a phenomenal day at the area.
On our way out to one last good lap, a bright pink and purple blur blew by us shouting a very excited “Follow me!” Follow her we did, to Sock It To Me which had opened late in the day. Frank and Brittany were waiting below, cameras at the ready (photos of that run here) when Charlie shouted down that where we were looked good, and that we were going to drop in – and was met with two very urgent “NO!”s. Apparently the line below us had slid to the ground in the Christmas/New Years storm cycle, and had a ~15 foot mandatory air to super-thin cover. We had a mellow run out to the base afterwards and stopped for a couple celebratory beers before dinner.
Lauren and I were up at 7 for another huge breakfast, and realized after getting back that the temperature was around zero, delaying our start for the day by a couple hours waiting for things to warm up a bit.
We decided on a leisurely tour of Red Lady (aka Mt. Emmons, 12,392′), and got started about 11am.
Though a bit windy and cold, the views were amazing. We only stuck around for a few minutes before heading down, but I could see that the Elk 14ers are going to be in great condition this year. The first few turns were a bit crusty, but things turned perfectly creamy after only a couple hundred feet.
Brittany brought a pretty heavy setup (Katanas with Dukes), but the weight looked to be worth it for the down.
Frank was testing out a new 20-year-old set of skis, which seemed to do well in the creamy snow