By Victoria Mashkova, victoriamashkova.com
For those of you who don’t know me the most important fact about my ski culture upbringing is the following: I grew up in a far-away land of cold and unforgiving winters in a small Russian town called Togliatti where hosed-down bunny slopes were the delight of my winter season. Little did I know about a world-class skiing until I moved to Colorado in 2005. And so my slope adventures began!
This past Thanksgiving, I had a great pleasure of spending a long weekend at my friends’ house in Salida, Colorado. Oh, Salida! It is a small, cute town located southwest of Denver. It is close enough you don’t have to get on a plane or spend countless hours in a car and far enough you forget about Denver the minute you take 285 South. It was my second visit to their beautiful home and being in such close proximity to Monarch Mountain, I could not help but sneak away to the slopes. The weather could not have been more perfect. The drive was quick, about 15 minutes from Salida; I popped my skis on and was on a lift in no time.
1/ The mountain…
is known for being a “Heaven for Kids and Adults,” and I was curious to see how it marries the two into a perfect duo. Well, after s close examination, it seems to be a perfect match due to its wide and open runs. There is plenty of room for adventurous riders to share the slopes with little skiers and their families.
2/ The chairlifts…
is something I always panic wonder about on the way to the resort. Ski lifts make me a bit nervous especially when I ski with my son. You know all of that hoopla of getting on and not dropping your skis, poles, gloves or having your pants caught on something; it’s a lot to keep track of. Not that I am speaking from experience.
But here is where the lifties come in: they slow down or hold the chair for you especially if you’re dealing with an older lift that comes at you with the speed of light. Lift attendants always seem to find the time to say “hi” in the midst of you and your 6-year old getting on the lift and make sure you’re both seated comfortably for the ride up the mountain. Amazing!
The minute the chair started pulling up, I forgot all about the lift hassle. Monarch’s landscape is majestic and its wide-open beauty spreads well beyond the slopes that surround you. From the top of the mountain you can see its curves of the terrain and the mountains that spread beyond your reach. Ahhmazing!
3/ The slopes…
are long, wide and nicely powder-packed. The natural terrain gives Continental Divide a great mix of steep runs with slow, scenic and take-all-the-beauty-in rides. Monarch Mountain is a hidden gem in central Colorado. It is never crowded and has a small-town feel with a big heart that opens up to you the moment you get on the lift. I wish my son was there with me to experience all the beauty, but instead he was shredding in Aspen enjoying his Thanksgiving get-away.
Happy slope riding, snow bunnies!