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Discover Monarch Pass backcountry skiing, situated at Monarch Mountain near charming Salida, Colorado. Home to plenty of wild terrain. Monarch offers a bit of adventure for the whole family, especially for powder seekers looking for backcountry routes. Monarch Pass might not boast as much varied touring as Vail, but this stunning spot is far less crowded and sees about 350 inches of snow each year. Routes range from boutique resort options, off-road tours within sight of Monarch Ski Resort and challenging powder touring at 11,312 feet.
Set your own goals and tour with skilled backcountry experts in Monarch Pass. Expect a full day customized to your skill level, except without having to worry about logistics or route finding. This tour is perfect for individuals and small groups looking for unparalleled access in one of Colorado’s finest powder destinations.
A certified ski guide will take all of the guesswork out of your time in the backcountry. From tour planning to route selection, terrain management, avalanche safety, and gear knowledge, your guide’s expertise and backcountry experience will ensure you have an unforgettable ski touring adventure. It doesn’t matter your skill level, whether you’ve never backcountry skied or you’re seasoned on the slopes, skiing with a guide has its advantages. Your techniques will sharpen, you’ll learn how to navigate terrain safely, make smart decisions, and most of all, you’ll remain safe in unfamiliar terrain.
Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner friendly, meaning anyone with blue level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out with a guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, like skinning uphill, and teach you how to manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe.
What you get in this adventure:
What’s not included:
In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. You will be on your feet for a full day. While there is terrain for all skill levels in Monarch Pass, you will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on intermediate level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.
For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:
For personal items, we recommend bringing:
All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:
Ski rental locations are in Salida and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.
Your backcountry ski tour will be fully customized to match your skill level and objectives. You and your guide will discuss route selection, skills development, and whatever else you’d like to focus on. From there, your guide will plan the perfect day tailored just for you taking into consideration factors such as weather and snow conditions.
Depending on your objectives, full days may start earlier and end later, but in general, your day will look like this:
For this adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 4:1 in most cases but can be 6:1 in the case of an intro to backcountry day. For advanced ski touring, the client to guide ratio is 3:1.
The cost per person decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to backcountry ski with friends and family.
Ski touring in Monarch Pass can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Mitigating avalanche risk is paramount for any excursion in the backcountry — that’s why it’s best to tour with a guide! Rest assured, your guide will set objectives that are attainable for the weather conditions on that particular day. Of course, inclement weather can always get in the way of backcountry skiing, but your guide will know the best course of action to take if the weather takes a turn.
On the rare occasion of truly bad weather, your guide will present you with suitable, safe alternatives. The most common practice is to move to a nearby location if it exists, or to reschedule your backcountry ski tour to a more favorable day.
If backcountry skiing is not possible on your scheduled day and no options presented are viable, you will be issued a full refund.
We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.
If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!
To get to Monarch Pass, most people fly into Denver International Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service three hours south to the Salida area.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet near the Monarch Mountain resort or along Highway 50 taking you right to Monarch Pass.
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Chaffee County, please refer to the Chaffee County website.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
Day Trips Cancellations
Fully refundable within the initial 48 hours from booking, unless the trip date is less than 7 days from the time of the booking.
Cancellations up to 7 days prior to the trip date are refundable 100%.
Cancellations within 7 days prior to the trip date are non-refundable.