4:00am – Alarm goes off. Get dressed, grab breakfast, and load the Jeep.4:30am – Hit the road for Monarch.6:30am – Slip up Monarch Pass (Hwy 50) right before they close the road for avalanche mitigation7:00am – Gear up in the Monarch parking with about 8 others that made it through7:30am – Start skinning up Lower Tango and put the first lines on Gunbarrel…it’s knee deep8:15am – Skin to the top of the Garfield lift and find parts of Examiner are almost not steep enough for conditions…last lap on No Name and in the trees are steeper and perfect9:15am – Rest my toasted legs while the crowds held back on the highway arrive10:00am till 2:00pm – Do as many laps as my legs can take on the Panorama lift
POWDER DAY ON SPLITBOARDS AT MONARCH
Sometimes the worst weather days are the best days. It snowed hard all day and the winds howled but the snow was epic. Skin tracks were covered up by the time I got back down. Monarch is a great place to skin in bounds on fun terrain but make sure you still treat it with respect and have a plan. I was going to skin over on the Breezeway / Mirkwood side but Ski Patrol broke a slide in the Mirkwood Bowl with a 4ft crown. Chair laps on Panorama was an awesome backup plan.
- Weston Backwoods Carbon Splitboared with Spar, R&D Surge Pro bindings – Awesome backcountry setup. Could really feel the weight difference when skinning.
- Weston Switchback Splitboard with Spark R&D Arc bindings – Really fun doing chair laps. Super responsive in the trees and easy to maneuver.
- Spark R&D Splitboard Skins (G3) – Climbed really well…not a lot of glide.
- Camp Backcountry 2.0 Carbon poles – Every ounce counts…like the all metal thumb locks.
- Ortovox Traverse 20L – Nice pack for in resort skinning and side country.
- Salomon MTN Lab Helmet – Super light and comfortable dual rated helmet.
- Julbo Aerospace Goggles – The venting (for skinning) and photochromic lenses make a big difference
- Patagonia Capilene Air – Still the best base layer I’ve ever worn.
- Rab Alpha Flash Jacket – Light, warm enough, and crazy breathable mid layer.
- The North Face L5 LT FutureLight Jacket – Futurelight really works. 100% wind / water protection. Breathes like nothing else. Great for backcountry and alpine missions…not as great for sitting in icy/wet lift chairs.