The Bitter-Sweet of Closing Day (at Monarch)


Final turns of the day, of the season – on Gunbarrel

I dragged my eyes open to an early morning grey light. It was the grey that looked like snow, which reminded me it was closing day at Monarch. It was just after 6am.

“Check the early snow report sweetheart,” I mumbled.

Tim grabbed his iPad from beside the bed (technology really can be handy) and a minute later declared “6 inches – we better get on it.” (sweet)

“Uhh,” I thought to myself, “Can’t I just sleep for awhile longer?” (bitter)
But I knew if we wanted to get out the door by 8a I should get on it. I really wanted to ski powder on the last day of lift served skiing at Monarch. And I was hoping that 6″ at 4am would mean at least 8″ or 9″ by  the time we arrived! (sweet)

And so a little while later I was shoveling down some cereal & muffins, and trying to get the 7:30a report before we dashed out the door. When the report hadn’t update by nearly 8am we tried calling – only to get a busy signal.

“Ummm…this feels familiar,” I said. “Like the time a few years ago when they had no power.” (bitter)

So we grabbed our (hiking) skins before heading out the door, still in time to make it for first chair. When we arrived at Monarch there was, in fact, no power – and they would not allow us to skin. Phooey! (bitter)

Then the lights flickered and the power came back on. Phew! (sweet)

Except it still took them over an hour to get the lifts ready & running. (bitter)

The lodge was humming and Tim & I hung around and chatted with friends for a little bit. Then we put on our skis and went down to the lift to wait, and wait.

It turned out to be worth it as we got on about the fourth chair (not including ski patrol), and we were the first ones down Tele Alley in about 14″ of whipped cream! (double sweet)

I admit I get a thrill when I can look back up a slope and see MY tracks. I love the feeling that I made pretty turns and left beautiful marks on the slope – even if they are very ephemeral. I had my camera but it was too windy & snowy to pull it out, so I just soaked up the moment – in the moment.

As the clouds raced across the sky, the sun came and went and the wind gusted something fierce. Sometimes I had to stop and turn around to shield myself.


Watching the clouds race – after skiing from the warmth of the lodge where we noshed on quesadillas and coiffed a beer. Our closing day shenanigans:)

Monarch was not able to get all the chairs running very quickly and we experienced some of the longest line ever at Monarch.
We didn’t get to take a ton of runs (bitter), but the ones we did were awesome fun (sweet)!

I did manage to pull out my camera for a few pics, and I had fun making the journal page (below) as a memory of the day. I’m not sure it’s done, but I wanted to tell the story while it was fresh in my mind.


Tim was ahead of me, and I ‘Eighted’ his last few turns. The photo, with the turns, is at the top of the post.

Last season the snow fall was especially anemic (the ski area had to close a week early), so it was great to see the season end on a high note (in spite of the early power outage). Thanks Monarch and Mama Nature for a great season.

Mama Nature, please keep that moisture coming…I look forward to the green it will create. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll still make a few more turns in the back country before I completely hang up my skis for the season.

Now this is spring time in the Rockies! Wishing you a beautiful spring – whatever mama nature has in store!

Lisa, aka the mountain mermaid


1 Comment

Filed under Everyday Adventure, Journaling, My Salida Backyard, Outdoor Adventure

One response to “The Bitter-Sweet of Closing Day (at Monarch)

  1. Cyndi Hart

    Lisa aka MM ~ Glad you enjoyed your day at Monarch with your sweetie! Time to put up the skis, huh? We weren’t able to get on the water because it was so windy. (bitter)
    Off to Taos this weekend to celebrate our anniversary. (sweet)

I always love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s